Calcium Assessment

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Below is the dietary source of calcium from the food that I consume every day – number of servings per day multiply by calcium content (mg per serving) = total intake of calcium.

Age wise calcium requirement:

Age

Calcium mg per day

 Up to 6 months

  200

7 to 12 month

  260

1-3 yrs

  700

4-8 yrs

1000

9-18 yrs

1300

19-50 yrs(female)

1000

19-70 yrs (male)

1000

Over 50 yrs (female)

1200

Over 70 yrs (male)

1200

As per the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) or the Recommended Daily Allowance, the sufficient nutrient requirement for my health age wise is 1300mg of calcium, whereas the table above shows my dietary intake of calcium is 1165mg. So my diet is 135 mg deficient of calcium. Spinach, turnip, greens, tofu, collard greens and yoghurt, to name a few have excellent sources of calcium. I would require increasing the intake of some of these to meet my daily calcium intake. Food ranking system which is based on the nutrient density of the food, have found dairy foods to be good sources of calcium and their nutrient density is lower. So I would need to add some dairy products in my diet like yoghurt, cheese and buttermilk as they contain a form of calcium that my body can easily absorb. Below is the calcium content in some dairy products that I could include:

Yoghurt 150g                  225 mg calcium

Cheddar cheese 30g       220 mg calcium

Butter milk 250ml             300 mg calcium

To meet the daily calcium requirement I need to make some changes in my routine diet.

 

Diet

Calcium in mg

Calcium intake in mg

Breakfast

 

 

 

 

Glass of milk 280ml

1 salmon and cheese sandwich using whole grain bread

340mg

450mg

 

                790mg

or

1cup calcium-fortified breakfast cereal with 200ml calcium-fortified milk

600mg

 600mg                 

Lunch

 

 

 

 

1 cup of spinach

Grilled cheese sandwich on whole grain bread

300mg

316mg

 616mg

or

1 cup cooked turnip greens

125mg

                   125mg

Dinner

 

 

 

 

2 slices whole meal bread

1 cup cooked green beans

  75mg

  58mg

 138mg

 

 

Total daily calcium intake

1354mg

My breakfast, lunch and dinner foods having high calcium content very well balances my required calcium intake and helps in many of my physiological activities. The calcium content from the food I eat helps me maintain strong and healthy bones, helps in blood clot, nerve conduction, muscle contraction, regulates the enzyme activity and the cell membrane function.

Dietary factors relating to calcium:

  • To help conserve the body’s calcium eat foods that are as low as possible in sodium, as too much sodium robs the body of its calcium stores. Sodium intake should be below 2,000 milligrams each day.
  • Phosphorous a mineral, if taken in excess can cause the loss of calcium in the body. Meats, milk, coffee and tea are rich in phosphorous, so it is best to be consumed in moderation.
  • Phytates and oxalates found in plant foods can bind with the calcium and prevent the body from absorbing the calcium in the foods that we eat. The calcium and phosphorous in the food we eat combines to form calcium phosphate a major component of the mineral complex called hydroxyapatite which gives strength and structure to the bones. The main role of calcium is to maintain strength and density of bones in the body.

So depending on the diet that I take, calcium is absorbed according to the needs of my body. If my diet is deficient in calcium and if I need more, my body may absorb more, while on the other hand if I need less calcium and eat calcium rich foods, my body absorbs less of the calcium. I need to take care and be sure that the intake is in proportion, to escape from the calcium deficient causing osteoporosis.

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