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Why we need calcium

  • Supports strong bone and teeth structure
  • Muscle contraction
  • Heartbeat regulation
  • Blood clotting
  • Hormone production
  • Nervous system support
  • Constriction and relaxation of blood vessels

Signs of calcium deficiency

  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Heart palpitations
  • Leg cramps, jumpy legs
  • Numbness, tingling
  • Uncontrolled muscle contractions 

Associated conditions

  • Osteomalacia
  • Osteopenia
  • Osteoporosis

Signs of calcium excess

  • Poor mineral absorption
  • Kidney stones / gallstones
  • Constipation
  • Arthritis
  • Calcification of heart vessels
  • Twitching

How to get calcium from food

  • Milk, yogurt and cheese (organic, with fat)
  • Dark green leafy vegetables such as collard greens, mustard greens, spinach, turnip greens, and Swiss chard
  • Nuts, seeds (esp. sesame)
  • Sea veggies, oysters, sardines/salmon canned w/bones
  • Bone stock, mineral broth
  • Tofu
  • Dried figs, molasses
  • Wheat germ
  • Bone meal, liver

Meal suggestions

  • Yogurt w/seeds & dried figs
  • Salad with grilled tofu and toasted sesame seeds
  • Seaweed salad with salmon or sardine from can
  • Bone stock-based soup with wilted greens
  • Hot molasses as a sweet alternative to hot chocolate 

Tip: Soak or sprout your seeds and nuts to reduce phytic acid and improve nutrient absorption.

Mineral balance

Magnesium and calcium must be kept in balance.  You want to aim for 1.5Ca:1Mg most of the time, but 1:1 during menopause. Calcium should also be balanced with phosphorus (P). You want to aim for 2Ca: 1P. Remember to keep calcium balanced with phosphorus and magnesium!

How much calcium do you need?


Ages 0-.5: 400mg
Ages .5-1: 600 mg
Ages 1-10: 800mg
Ages 11-24: 1200mg
Ages 25-50 : 800mg
Pregnant: 1200 mg
Lactating: 1200 mg
Over 50: 1200 mg

Upper limit: 2500mg
2000 mg/day over the course of many days can be toxic.
Aim for <1500 mg per day.

Best quality in supplements: Calcium citrate, calcium glycinate, calcium hydroxyapatate

Poor quality in supplements: calcium carbonate, calcium oxide, oyster shell calcium

Calcium is depleted by…

  • Antacids, diuretics, caffeine, sodas, alcohol, nicotine, sugar, stress
  • Excess sodium, phosphorus, fluoride, aluminum, chlorine

Calcium is enhanced by…

  • Magnesium
  • Good hydrochloric acid (stomach acid) levels
  • Some protein and fat
  • Vitamins D, K, A, C 


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