Why You Need Calcium

This important mineral does more than build bones. Find out why you need it and how much you need.
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Photo by: Serhiy Zavalnyuk

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You might associate calcium with growing bones, but calcium isn’t just for kids. Everyone needs calcium — in fact, it’s the most common mineral in the human body. In addition to helping you build bones and teeth, calcium helps nerves transmit signals from your brain to your body and helps your muscles to move.

Most adults need 1,000 mg of calcium a day, but men and women over 70 should get 1,200 mg a day (that’s because as you get older, your body has a harder time absorbing calcium). Interestingly, during pregnancy your body becomes more efficient at using calcium, so your calcium needs stay the same.

What happens if you don’t get enough? Your body will take calcium from where it can find it — namely, from your bones, if you don’t get enough through your diet. So to keep your bones strong, make sure you have plenty of calcium in your diet.

Get more calcium in your diet: 8 Ways to Get More Calcium in Your Diet

Kerri-Ann is a registered dietitian who writes on food and health trends. Find more of her work at kerriannjennings.com or follow her on Twitter @kerriannrd or Facebook.

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