Sunday, February 7, 2016
Supplement Spotlight: Calcium for Better Bones
You know how they say young people think they’re invincible? Yeah, I never had that problem. I always looked both ways before crossing the street. I flossed my teeth every night. I got eight hours of sleep, no matter what.
So you get the picture: I was worried (and maybe a little paranoid) when it came to my health. But I took all the right precautions, so I felt like I probably had things under control.
Your body uses calcium for blood clotting, nerve conduction, cell division, and other important functions.
Then, when I was in college, I took a bone-density test, just because it was offered for free at my school. I figured I had nothing to worry about, because I was pretty young.
But when I took the test, I got a score of -1.2, which the nurse told me was a sign of osteopenia. This is a condition that can lead to osteoporosis later in life.
Needless to say, I freaked right out. In my mind, this meant my bones were dissolving and I’d be a big floppy noodle by the time I was 30.
This was when I started taking my bones a little more seriously. But I was confused — I thought I already ate plenty of calcium-rich foods, so why weren’t my bones super strong?
I learned that your body uses calcium for blood clotting, nerve conduction, cell division, and other important functions. In fact, calcium is so vital that if the body doesn’t receive enough from your diet, it will start pulling it from your bones — which was probably the problem I was having in college. (Well, one of many problems, but that’s another story.)
Leafy greens such as kale can be a good source of calcium.
When people talk about calcium, they usually talk about dairy products. But dairy is often loaded with saturated fat, which you probably don’t want for a number of reasons. Don’t be discouraged though — it turns out that dairy isn’t the only way to get your daily dose of calcium.
I was surprised to learn that some great sources of calcium are actually fresh vegetables, including leafy greens such as spinach, kale, and collards.
Certain types of fish can be good sources — canned sardines and salmon, for example. Many foods are fortified with calcium, such as certain breakfast cereals and some juices.
If you aren’t getting enough calcium in your diet (and let’s face it, kale is in right now, but I can’t eat it every day), you should look for a quality calcium supplement such as Active Calcium™ or Active Calcium™ Chewable.
These supplements include plenty of vitamin D, which promotes calcium absorption and helps build strong bones.
Both of these supplements also contain magnesium, an essential nutrient that plays a key role in the bone remodeling process. In addition, it helps in the development and maintenance of bones and teeth — so it’s pretty obvious why USANA included it in these two bone-building supplements.
Active Calcium also comes complete with vitamin K, which influences the rate of mineralization of the bone matrix. Overall, it’s good news for your bones.
After I did my research, I started doing some weight bearing and resistance training, walking every day, eating green salads, and taking calcium supplements.
Unfortunately, I didn’t know about USANA back then, but now that I do, I keep a bottle of Active Calcium Chewable at my desk so I’ll remember to take the recommended four tablets every day.
I know my bones aren’t invincible, so I better take care of them.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
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