Sangati Jogwar

News Highlights

  • Different types of foods you eat make a major impact on calcium absorption.
  • That is why it is important to know when to eat the calcium supplements.

Calcium is extremely vital for bone health. Usually, when you think of calcium a glass full of cow’s milk appears in front of your eyes. No doubt milk is an excellent source of calcium. But this mineral is abundant in canned fish, tofu, yogurt, and fortified non-dairy milk. Studies have shown that even vegetables like broccoli and leafy greens have calcium in small amounts.

Despite the availability of calcium in its natural form, many times, especially after a certain age, people are advised to take calcium supplements to protect their bones. The body requires calcium constantly and hence restocking and replenishing it is highly essential. According to Kristan Hruschak , Aging Well Nutrition Founder, “Calcium also plays an important role in blood clotting, helping muscles to contract and regulating heart rhythms and nerve functions.”

How to maximize the absorption of calcium for better results?

Hruschak says, “Pairing your calcium supplement with or without a meal impacts how well it’s absorbed—and how effective it is. Calcium citrate, lactate, and gluconate are well-absorbed at any time of day and can be taken with or without food. On the other hand, if you’re using calcium carbonate, take it with food or immediately after eating to improve absorption. Doing so also reduces the likelihood of gastrointestinal side effects, like gas, bloating or constipation.”

Hruschak also says that the different types of foods you eat also make a major impact on calcium absorption. She gives the example of phytates which are plant compounds present in nuts, dried beans, bran, seeds, and whole grains which can bind with the calcium and thus make the absorption of this mineral in the body easier.

According to Hruschak, “Oxalates found in rhubarb, spinach, nuts, and teas can do the same. Soaking dried beans and cooking these foods can minimize their interference—or you can take your calcium supplement separately from meals high in these foods.” Since certain medications can also interfere with calcium absorption more often the supplements should be taken 3 to 4 hours apart from your regular medications.

Special tips to improve calcium absorption

Hruschak says that you should not take more than 500 to 600 milligrams of calcium at one time and should rather rely on smaller doses for better absorption. Spacing supplements for a gap of 3 to 4 hours is a good idea.

Also pairing vitamin D supplements with calcium is a better idea. Another important thing to keep in mind is avoiding high-phytate, high-oxalate foods, and high caffeine doses while taking calcium supplements.

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