Nutrient of the day: Calcium
Calcium is one of the most important and abundant minerals in the human body. It plays an important role in the development and maintenance of the bones. Calcium is also needed in tooth formation and is important in some other body functions too. Calcium performs a number of basic functions in your body.
Your body uses 99 percent of its calcium to keep your bones and teeth strong, thereby supporting skeletal structure and function. The rest of the calcium in your body plays key roles in cell signalling, blood clotting, muscle contraction and nerve function.
Dairy products are the major source of calcium. Green leafy vegetables, broccoli, legumes, nuts, and whole grains provide calcium but in smaller amounts than dairy products.
If we do not have enough calcium in our diets to keep our bodies functioning, calcium is removed from where it is stored in our bones. Over time, this causes our bones to grow weaker and may lead to osteoporosis — a disorder in which bones become very fragile.