Body functions well if it is fed with important nutrients and minerals. The two most important elements that strengthen bones and teeth and make or break your body are calcium and vitamin D. Getting enough calcium and vitamin D is essential for building strong and dense bones and further keep you healthy as you age. While both of these may provide similar advantages to the body, it does not mean they function likewise; rather, they are inter-related and go hand in hand in order to maintain bone health. If you have not known already, here are the important differences you should know about calcium and vitamin D.
What is calcium?
Calcium is a mineral, which is responsible for building bones and further keeping them healthy. About 99 percent of the calcium in our body is in our bones and teeth. Each and every day we tend to lose calcium through our skin, urine, sweat and faeces. It is important to note that our body cannot produce calcium on its own. It is dependent on specific foods that help us get the required amount of calcium every day.
So, what is vitamin D?
Vitamin D is also a vital nutrient that plays an equally important role in protecting your bones; it is required by the body to absorb calcium. So, if your body is vitamin D deficient, there is a chance your body lacks calcium too. Vitamin D is majorly synthesised by our skin by absorbing sunlight. However, there are certain foods and supplements that may help attain some amount of vitamin D in order to keep you healthy, in cases of deficiency.
Sources of Calcium
Calcium is available to us through all kinds of easily available food items.
Here are the sources of Calcium most will have access to:
- Dairy products like milk, yogurt, cheese, cottage cheese are known to be rich in Calcium. It is important to keep the quantities of these items adequate for children especially.
- Certain green vegetables like broccoli, spinach are known to be rich sources of Calcium. Make sure these are part of your everyday diet.
- Legumes are rich in calcium, and so are dry fruits and seafood.
- There are certain calcium supplements; however, it is recommended to refer to your doctor before switching to supplements.
Dairy products like milk, yogurt, cheese, cottage cheese are known to be rich in Calcium
Sources of vitamin D
The major source of vitamin D is direct sunlight. Apart from this, vitamin D is available in a few foods that may include salmon, tuna, dairy products like milk, cheese, eggs and soymilk. For vitamin D intake, there are various supplements available; however, you shouldn’t consume them without your doctor’s prescription.
Basically, calcium functions as a structural building block for bones, while, vitamin D facilitates the absorption of calcium in the body. According to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academics, a normal adult should take 1000 milligram per day of calcium, while 600 milligram per day of vitamin D. Both are equally important elements of the body; hence, it is imperative to ensure that you are taking adequate amounts of both calcium and vitamin D every day.