Calcium

calcium

Leafy greens like Kale (grown at Elk Meadow Farms) are excellent sources of calcium

Food Sources of Calcium:

  • Almonds
  • Asparagus
  • Avocados
  • Blackstrap molasses
  • Brewer’s yeast
  • Broccoli
  • Buttermilk
  • Cabbage
  • Carob
  • Cheese
  • Collards
  • Dairy foods
  • Dandelion greens
  • Dulse
  • Figs
  • Filberts
  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Kale
  • Kelp
  • Milk (cow & goat)
  • Mustard greens
  • Oats
  • Prunes
  • Salmon (with bones)
  • Sardines
  • Seafood
  • Sesame seeds
  • Soybeans
  • Tofu
  • Turnip greens
  • Watercress
  • Whey
  •  Yogurt

Herb sources of Calcium

  • Alfalfa
  • Burdock root
  • Cayenne
  • Chamomile
  • Chickweed
  • Chicory
  • Dandelion
  • Eyebright
  • Fennel seed
  • Fenugreek
  • Flaxseed
  • Hops
  • Horsetail
  • Kelp
  • Lemongrass
  • Mullein
  • Nettle
  • Oat straw
  • Paprika
  • Parsley
  • Peppermint
  • Plantain
  • Raspberry leaves
  • Red clover
  • Rose hips
  • Shepherd’s purse
  • Violet leaves
  • Yarrow
  • Yellow dock  

Other Sources of Calcium– Scientific Names and Combinations:

  • Bio-Dent (Standard Process Labs)
  • Bone meal
  • Calcifood (Chewable wafers) (Standard Process Labs)
  • Calcium Chloride
  • Calcium Citrate
  • Calcium Gluconate
  • Calcium Hydroxyapatite
  • Calcium Lactate (made from milk product or NOT) (Standard Process Labs)
  • Calcium Sterate
  • Calcium with Boron
  • Calcium with Vitamin D3
  • Cal-Ma Plus (has magnesium and parathyroid hormone extract) (Standard Process Labs)
  • Cal-Mag-Zinc
  • Calsol (alkalizes the body) (Standard Process Labs)
  • Dicalcium Phosphate
  • Min Chex (Standard Process Labs)
  • Min Tran (Standard Process Labs)
  • Oyster Shell Calcium (often contaminated with heavy metals)

Signs of Calcium Deficiency:

  • Aching joints
  • Associated with cognitive impairment, convulsions, depression, delusions and hyperactivity
  • Brittle nails
  • Eczema
  • Elevated blood cholesterol
  • Heart palpitations
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Insomnia
  • Muscle cramps
  • Nervousness
  • Numbness in the arms and/or legs
  • Pasty complexion
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Rickets
  • Tooth decay

Health concerns – Calcium is used for:

  • Celiac disease
  • Gingivitis (periodontal disease)
  • Kidney stones
  • Migraine headaches
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Painful menstruation (dysmenorrhea)
  • Pregnancy and postpartum support
  • Premenstrual syndrome
  • Rickets

What Calcium Does:

  • Aids in neuromuscular activity
  • Essential in blood clotting
  • Formation of strong bones and teeth and maintenance of healthy gums
  • Healthy skin
  • Helps prevent cancer
  • Helps prevent cardiovascular disease
  • Involved in the activation of several enzymes, including lipase (which breaks down fat for utilization by the body)
  • Lowers cholesterol levels
  • Maintains proper cell membrane permeability
  • Maintenance of a regular heartbeat
  • May increase the rate of bone growth and bone mineral density in children
  • May lower blood pressure
  • Needed for muscular growth and contraction
  • Participates in the protein structuring of RNA and DNA
  • Prevent bone loss associated with osteoporosis
  • Prevention of muscle cramps
  • Protects against the development of preclampsia during pregnancy
  • Protects bones and teeth from lead by inhibiting absorption of this toxic metal
  • Provides energy
  • Transmission of nerve impulses  

Cautions & Comments for Calcium 

  • A diet high in protein, fat and/or sugar affects calcium uptake
  • Amino acid lysine is needed for calcium absorption.  Food sources of lysine include cheese, eggs, fish, lima beans, milk potatoes, red meat, soy products, and yeast or supplement form
  • Antacids such as Tums are not recommended as a source of calcium because they neutralize the stomach acid needed for calcium absorption
  • Calcium may interfere with the effects of verapamil (Calan, Isoptin, Verelan)
  • A calcium channel blocker sometimes prescribed for heart problems and high blood pressure.
  • Calcium supplements are more effective when taken in smaller doses spread throughout the day and before bedtime
  • Calcium supplements should not be taken by persons with a history of kidney stones or kidney disease
  • Consuming alcoholic beverages, coffee, junk foods, excess salt, and/or white flour also leads to the loss of calcium by the body
  • Female athletes and menopausal women need greater amounts of calcium than other women because their estrogen levels are lower
  • Heavy exercising hinders calcium uptake, but moderate exercise promotes it.
  • Insufficient vitamin D intake, or the ingestion of excessive amounts of phosphorus and magnesium, also hinders the uptake of calcium
  • Oxalic acid (found in almonds, beet greens, cashews, chard, cocoa, kale, rhubarb, soybeans, and spinach) interferes with calcium absorption by binding with calcium in the intestines and producing insoluble salts that cannot be absorbed
  • Taking calcium with iron reduces the effect of both minerals.
  • The average American diet of meats, refined grains and soft drinks (which are high in phosphorus) leads to increased excretion of calcium
  • Too much calcium can interfere with absorption of zinc and excess zinc can interfere with calcium absorption.

Helpful Links and Resources:

https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/calcium.html