The human body is composed of certain minerals that are considered essential for the proper growth and performance of both our brain and the body’s systems. A deficiency of any of these minerals is a major issue for our well being. Minerals cannot be made by our body and thus must be part of our diet in order for us to remain healthy. Two of these vital minerals that work together to maintain our body functions are Calcium and Magnesium.
Calcium is an essential part of our body’s overall operating framework and is crucial to the strength and well being of our skeletal system (our bones), our teeth and also our nervous system. Calcium also plays an integral part in the body’s ability to clot our blood.
Just how important is Calcium to our body? Well, our bones and teeth contain over 99% of the calcium in the entire body. Our bones are in a constant healthy flux of breaking down and rebuilding, and as such, calcium helps the bones rebuild properly and stay strong. Our bones in fact are also used as a pseudo-reserve for the Calcium that can be released into the body if and when required. The lack of Calcium in one’s diet can result in many unhealthy bone conditions, including osteoporosis, osteomalacia and rickets. Calcium is also found in the blood, muscles, and other tissue. The concentration of Calcium in the body tends to decline as we age (due to it being released from the body through sweat, skin cells, and waste). For older women in particular this is often caused by the fact that the absorption of Calcium tends to decline with reduced estrogen levels.
The Calcium absorption varies depending on ethnic background, gender, and age. It is crucial for us to maintain the appropriate amount of Calcium needed when considering our dietary needs. However, to help with the absorption and metabolism of Calcium, adequate levels of Magnesium in the diet are essential. If too much Calcium in our diet is not absorbed, it can lead to serious health issues, including arthritis, kidney stones, osteoporosis and calcification of the arteries.
Water can be an important source of Calcium and Magnesium when diet sensitive concerns, such as lactose intolerance or nut allergies, are present.
Calcium and Magnesium work hand in hand. Like Calcium, Magnesium also supports bone mineralization. Similarly to Calcium, the majority (around 65 percent) of all Magnesium in the body is found in our bones. Magnesium assists in the body systems that draw Calcium out of the blood and soft tissues back into the bones and thus preserves bone structure. In teeth, Magnesium holds Calcium in tooth enamel and thus aids in preventing tooth decay. Magnesium and Calcium also act together to help regulate the body’s nerve and muscle tone. The lack of Magnesium can result in various muscle issues, such as muscle tension, spasms and cramps.
The North American diet is quite rich in Calcium, in particular for people that consume dairy. Calcium-rich foods include milk and dairy products, kale and broccoli, as well as various Calcium-enriched citrus juices. The foods rich in Magnesium include nuts, seeds, avocado, legumes, and some fatty fish.
Mineral water can also be a very meaningful source of supplemental nutrition. Depending on the composition of the water, one litre of mineral water can supply a quarter of one’s recommended Calcium and Magnesium intake. An advantage of mineral water as a source of Calcium and Magnesium is as a calorie-free alternative to their traditional known sources such as dairy products and nuts. Water can also be an important source of Calcium and Magnesium when diet sensitive concerns, such as lactose intolerance or nut allergies, are present. The use of mineral water as a healthy non caloric alternative can have a meaningfulness healthy impact in such circumstances. Mineral water in the proper dosage can be a very simple way of achieving and maintaining one’s dietary goals and healthy outlook. If you chose to go this way, look for both the Magnesium and Calcium content in the water so that the values are not too skewed in favour of Calcium for reasons discussed above.