Over the past few weeks we’ve been discussing the fat soluble and water soluble vitamins. This week, we’re going to shift gears and start discussing minerals.
To recap lets review the difference between a vitamin and mineral. A vitamin is any compound that contains carbon and therefore is organic. There are two classes of vitamins…fat soluble A, D, E and K or water soluble, B and C.
Minerals on the other hand do not contain carbon and are what we call inorganic. There are macro- minerals and micro-minerals. Macro-minerals are calcium, chloride, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium and sodium. Micro-minerals are: chromium, iron, copper, zinc, iodine, manganese, molybdenum, selenium and iron.
There are many factors that can decrease the absorption of vitamins and minerals which include: alcohol, caffeine, antibiotics, stress, corticosteroids, aspirin, diuretics, oral contraceptives, sugar and tobacco. Therefore if you lifestyle includes any of these factors and you are not well there could be a good chance that you are not absorbing your essential nutrients. You will learn over the next few weeks the critical effect that each of the vitamins and mineral have over the health of your body.
This week we will be discussing Calcium
This week we’ll begin by discussing the most abundant mineral in our bodies: calcium. We have about 3 pounds of calcium in our bodies. About 99% is found in our bones while the other 1% is found in other tissue and blood.
What it Does:
- Significant part of the structure of bones and teeth
- Needed for contraction of all muscles, including the heart
- Needed for regular heart beat
- Needed for nerve transmission
- Nedded for cell division
- Needed to clot the blood
- Helps reduce cholesterol
- Helps prevent formation of plaques on blood vessel walls
- Helps reduce blood pressure
Absorbing and Utilizing Calcium:
- Need an adequate amount of vitamin D, A and C and magnesium
- adequate hydrochloric acid
- High stress, gastrointestinal problems, excess salt and excess sugar all negatively impact calcium absorption and utilization.
Found In: tofu, yogurt, milk, cheese, turnip greens, kale, cabbage, salmon, cactus, oranges
It’s important to mention that the majority of the world’s population has an intolerance to milk and/or milk products. As with any food intolerance or allergy, it’s critical to avoid these food items, otherwise this can lead to a breakdown in the protective mucosal lining in your intestine which can cause inflammation, pain, bloating, cramps which will lead to hormone imbalances and a slew of other unwanted symptoms.
The good new is that you can still get a good amount of calcium from non dairy food items (including those listed above). For those of you in the San Francisco area, join us for our upcoming seminar “You Are What You Eat” to learn more about the connection between food and health at Core Pilates in San Francisco Saturday 8/14/2010 at 12:00pm. You can also give us a call to discuss your symptoms or health needs.
Nutrition & Wellness Specialist
Resource: The Power of Nutrient Dense Food by Pattie Weller, C.C.N
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