Why is calcium so important for good health? Calcium plays a critical role in several bodily functions such as muscle contraction, transmitting messages through nerves, and for releasing hormones. In a diet with a calcium deficiency, the body depletes calcium from the bones, leading to health disorders and disease.
Just about every cell in our body uses calcium for optimal health. This is why its more important to up your intake of calcium as you get older because, during the aging process, our bodies absorb less calcium.
There are a lot of calcium-rich foods besides milk that we can include in our daily diets to ensure we are getting sufficient amounts of this important mineral.
The recommended daily intake (RDI) of calcium is 1,000 mg per day for the average adult and it should be increased to 1,200 mg per day from the age of about 50 years.
Cheese is an excellent source of calcium, especially parmesan cheese, which contains 33% of the RDI per 28 grams. Our bodies also tend to absorb calcium from dairy products more easily than from plant sources. Aged, hard cheeses are also low in lactose so easier to digest.