Vitamin D and Calcium go hand in hand with one another, like twins. Both are just as important to the other when it comes to functioning at their optimal levels in the body. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is found in only a few foods. The primary source of Vitamin D can be found in direct sunlight however a few foods are also known to contain amounts of Vitamin D.
The reason why Vitamin D and Calcium go hand in hand is because Vitamin D promotes the absorption of Calcium into the stomach and maintains adequate calcium and phosphate levels. It is also needed for proper bone growth and repair, if the bone has been broken. Without proper levels of Vitamin D, bones may become brittle, thin or even misshapen. Sufficient Vitamin D in children prevents rickets (softening of the bones) and osteomalacia which is also the softening of the bone, only milder in adults. Together Vitamin D and Calcium protect more mature adults from osteoporosis.
There are a few ways to getting sufficient levels of Vitamin D into the body, starting with good old sunshine, however in some climates that is not always possible. Unfortunately there are only a few foods found that are rich in Vitamin D but are extremely essential. Salmon, tuna, mackerel, trout, cod and cod liver oil, are all excellent sources of Vitamin D. Milk, soy milk, yoghurt and cheese also contain Vitamin D as well as infant baby formula, which should be a great relief to moms. Other foods rich in Vitamin D are also egg yolks and ready to eat cereals such as oats and corn flakes.
Calcium is one of the most essential minerals to the body. It’s crucial for the development of strong bones and teeth, as well as muscle contraction and blood clotting. Muscles can cramp and heart muscles can even fail if not supplied with the right amount of calcium. Nerves and nerve impulses and the transmission of information between nerve fibers, can’t function properly without just the right amount of calcium.
Luckily Calcium foods are vast, and can be consumed by most people irrespective of their diet limitations. Milk, cheese, yoghurt and ice-cream are all tasty and well known sources of calcium but keep in mind that Swiss cheese contains the highest volume of calcium in cheeses. Vegetarians can also find their healthy dose of calcium in broccoli, kale cabbage, spinach, asparagus, carrots and mushrooms. Garlic, onions, green beans as well as potatoes and tomatoes, are all great sources of calcium rich foods. A variety of fruits also contain calcium such as apples, oranges, grapes, pineapples, strawberries and cherries. Eggs, chickpeas, gingerroot, beef, ham, chicken and even sesame seeds also contain calcium, the list is practically endless.
With all these various calcium rich foods available, receiving your adequate daily quota should not be a problem. If you still feel that your diet is still lacking in calcium, calcium supplements are available but it is advisable to consult your health care professional before taking these supplements. Remember, in order for calcium to be absorbed properly on to the body, Vitamin D is required. A healthy balance of the two will have your body working at its optimal levels in no time.