Calcium is one of the most important minerals in the body and probably the most abundant. In addition, it is essential for different functions of the body, such as the health of the bones , muscle movement or helping to better transmit nervous messages from the brain to different parts of the body.
To increase calcium levels in the body, it is important to consume foods rich in this mineral, such as milk, dairy products, fatty fish, vegetables from green leaf, nuts, legumes, seeds and whole grains.
In addition, having adequate levels of vitamin D in the body is also beneficial for calcium levels. Specifically, the presence of vitamin D favors better absorption by the body.
Elements that intervene in the absorption of calcium
However, eating foods rich in calcium may not be enough to have adequate levels of this mineral, since we can make different errors that influence the correct absorption by the body.
As a general rule, the main factors that influence calcium absorption are the age, the amount ingested, vitamin D levels and the overall state of calcium balance in the body.
However, there are a number of foods that can negatively influence the absorption of calcium . For example, coffee with milk or not soaking legumes before consumption cause alterations in this regard.
And it is that calcium is an essential mineral for the maintenance and / or performance of different specific functions in virtually all cells that make up the body. It is much more than a key nutrient in bone health.
Foods that ‘steal calcium’
Foods that block the absorption of this mineral are known as ‘calcium thieves’ or antinutrients. Specifically, these are compounds present in certain foods that affect the absorption of some nutrients, such as calcium.
These substances bind to calcium and produce insoluble compounds, which causes a poor or no absorption of this mineral by the digestive system.
These are some of the ‘calcium thieves’ nutrients and the main foods where we can find them:
- Phytic acid: Found in foods such as nuts or legumes.
- Oxalates: They are mainly present in green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, chard and also in other products such as celery, nuts, cocoa or beets.
- Tannins: They are a type of polyphenols present in foods as recognized as coffee, tea, legumes or red wine.
In any case, these ‘antinutrients’ do not perform a ‘steal’ so high as to cause a calcium deficiency in the body.
In this sense, the lack of calcium is generally caused by a deficiency of vitamin C, insufficient consumption of this mineral through the diet or other organic problems.
However, This fact is also influenced by other factors such as age, the absence of physical exercise or the decrease in the estrogen / androgen ratio.
According to different studies, regular physical exercise throughout throughout life, it considerably reduces the loss of calcium from the skeletal bone structure. A sedentary life can lead to accelerated bone demineralization.