In this blog we will talk about Calcium levels in milk and if it is really that good to drink milk in order to get rich.
Since dairy products are commonly used for bone health, many people want to know about calcium levels in milk. But is it a good source of calcium? What about other types of dairy like cheese, yogurt, and ice cream?
Calcium Levels In Milk
Calcium is a nutrient that all living organisms need, including humans. It is the most abundant mineral in the body, and it is vital for bone health.
Humans need calcium to build and maintain strong bones, and 99% of the body’s calcium is in the bones and teeth. It is also necessary for maintaining healthy communication between the brain and other parts of the body. It plays a role in muscle movement and cardiovascular function.
Calcium occurs naturally in many foods, and food manufacturers add it to certain products. Supplements are also available.
Alongside calcium, people also need vitamin D, as this vitamin helps the body absorb calcium. Vitamin D comes from fish oil, fortified dairy products, and exposure to sunlight.
This article looks at why the body needs calcium, which foods are rich in calcium, what happens if the body does not have enough, and the pros and cons of taking supplements.
When we talk of Calcium, the first thing that comes to our mind is Dairy! However, many vegans find it very concerning to meet their daily Calcium requirements of at-least 1000 mg, without milk or cheese in their diet! All the worries can be put to rest with these amazing Calcium rich fruits. Yes! There are many fruits that are quite high in Calcium which can aid in proper bone health of the body. Including these fruits in your daily diet can prevent bone-related issues like Osteoporosis, muscle cramps, nervous disorders and abnormal heart functions. Check out the top 18 fruits high in Calcium, which is also superior sources of many other vital nutrients.
What Happens To Your Body When You Are Calcium Deficient?
Calcium is a crucial mineral that is needed by the body for strengthening bones and teeth. When you do not take the required amounts of Calcium, as per your gender and age, you are very likely to experience numerous health complications, along with the increased risk of fractures. The following are some of the symptoms of calcium deficiency:
- Frequent Fainting
- Anxiety Issues
- Brittle Nails
- Dry Skin
- Tooth Decay
- Muscle weakness
- Nervous Disorders
Why we need calcium
Around 99% of the calcium in the human body is in the bones and teeth. Calcium is essential for the development, growth, and maintenance of bone.
As children grow, calcium contributes to the development of their bones. After a person stops growing, calcium continues to help maintain the bones and slow down bone density loss, which is a natural part of the aging process.
Females who have already experienced menopause can lose bone density at a higher rate than males or younger people. They have a higher risk of developing osteoporosis, and a doctor may recommend calcium supplements.
Learn more here about osteoporosis.
Calcium helps regulate muscle contraction. When a nerve stimulates a muscle, the body releases calcium. The calcium helps the proteins in muscle carry out the work of contraction.
When the body pumps the calcium out of the muscle, the muscle will relax.
Calcium plays a key role in blood clotting. The process of clotting is complex and has a number of steps. These involve a range of chemicals, including calcium.
Calcium’s role in muscle function includes maintaining the action of the heart muscle. Calcium relaxes the smooth muscle that surrounds blood vessels. Various studies have indicated a possible link between high consumption of calcium and lower blood pressure.
Vitamin D is also essential for bone health, and it helps the body absorb calcium.
Calcium is a co-factor for many enzymes. Without calcium, some key enzymes cannot work efficiently.
Studies have also suggested that consuming enough calcium can result in:
- a lower risk of developing conditions involving high blood pressure during pregnancy
- lower blood pressure in young people
- lower blood pressure in those whose mothers who consumed enough calcium during pregnancy
- improved cholesterol values
- a lower risk of colorectal adenomas, a type of non-cancerous tumor
Nutrients in milk
Cow milk is composed of a good balance of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. It is also a great source of many essential nutrients like:
- Vitamins A and D
These minerals and high-quality mixed proteins boost bone formation and improve the body’s enzyme functions. To get a quick overview of the major nutrients in your milk, check the “Nutrition Facts” product labels on milk cartons.
Types of milk
Different types of milk contain different nutrients. They may also undergo different processing methods during manufacturing. Some sellers add additional vitamins and minerals to the milk.
Whole milk from cows was the gold standard for healthy and nutritious milk for decades. It is composed of about 88% water, 5% carbohydrates, 3% protein, 3% fat, and a considerable amount of minerals like potassium and phosphorus. An 8-ounce cup of whole milk has 276 mg of calcium, or 27% of your daily value. Whole-fat or full-fat milk also has significant saturated fats. The specific composition of whole milk depends on the breed of cow (Holstein or Jersey), its diet, and lactation stage.
Low-fat milk contains 1% fat as opposed to the 3.25% fat of whole milk. As fat has more calories by weight than any other nutrient, many dietitians and nutritionists recommend low-fat or skim milk options. Low-fat milk has a higher calcium content by weight than whole milk. An 8-ounce cup meets 29% of your daily value of calcium.
Skim or fat-free milk
Skim or no-fat milk has all of the milk fat removed from it. As a result, it has fewer calories and a higher percentage of calcium by weight. An 8-ounce cup of skim milk contains 325 mg of calcium, which is nearly a third of the daily adult calcium requirement. Skim milk also has higher amounts of vitamins than whole milk because of fortification.
Almond milk is a plant-based milk made by grinding almonds into an emulsion. When unsweetened it has much lower calories and sugarcompared to whole milk. Almond milk is also lactose-free and full of nutrients like iron, phosphorus, zinc, potassium, and magnesium. It is naturally high in calcium and is fortified with it as well. This makes almond milk a much better source of calcium than cow’s milk.
Soy milk is made by suspending fine particles of soy flour in water. It is a good source of protein, Vitamin A, and potassium and contains very little saturated fat. Soy milk is not naturally high in calcium but can be fortified to improve nutrition value. However, soy milk is not suitable for people who are allergic to soy in any form.
Rice milk is made from milled rice (white or brown) and is the milk least likely to cause allergies. It is an excellent option for people who are sensitive to dairy, soy, or nuts. Rice milk needs to be fortified in order to be a good source of calcium and vitamins. It is low in protein but high in sugar, carbohydrates, and calories.
Hemp milk is the newest addition to plant-based milk products in the US. It is made from the seeds of the hemp plant, which is related to the cannabis plant. Hemp milk only contains trace amounts of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and will not cause a “high.” Hemp milk is by far the best alternative milk source of calcium. One 8-ounce serving contains 450 mg of calcium, which is 45% of the recommended daily allowance.
Pea milk, oat milk, cashew milk, and coconut milk are a few of the other varieties of milk available in the market today. They have different nutritional compositions and are usually fortified with several micronutrient
Which milk is healthiest?
Drinking milk is a great way to fulfill day-to-day dietary requirements, thanks to its rich nutrient profile and high calcium content. But the choice of the best milk for your bones depends on personal diet habits, body composition goals, and potential risks or allergies. Look into organic, plant-based alternatives that provide a diverse range of nutrients, including calcium. If you prefer to stick to cow’s milk, skim or no-fat milk is a great option that offers the same nutrients as whole milk without the fat and calories.
To add calcium to your diet, consider non-dairy sources like okra, collard greens, turnips, sardines, and dark leafy greens such as kale. Regular exercise, especially weight-bearing exercises like jogging or walking, is also crucial for maintaining strong bones.
Calcium has several important functions.
- helping build bones and keep teeth healthy
- regulating muscle contractions, including your heartbeat
- making sure blood clots normally
A lack of calcium could lead to a condition called rickets in children, and osteomalacia or osteoporosis in later life.
Sources of calcium
Sources of calcium include:
- milk, cheese and other dairy foods
- green leafy vegetables – such as curly kale, okra but not spinach (spinach does contain high levels of calcium but the body cannot digest it all)
- soya drinks with added calcium
- bread and anything made with fortified flour
- fish where you eat the bones – such as sardines and pilchards
How much calcium do I need?
Adults aged 19 to 64 need 700mg of calcium a day.
You should be able to get all the calcium you need from your daily diet.
What happens if I take too much calcium?
Taking high doses of calcium (more than 1,500mg a day) could lead to stomach pain and diarrhoea.
What does the Department of Health and Social Care advise?
You should be able to get all the calcium you need by eating a varied and balanced diet.
If you take calcium supplements, do not take too much as this could be harmful.
Taking 1,500mg or less a day is unlikely to cause any harm.