A woman’s body functions in a far more complex way than a man’s.
A woman’s body goes through many different phases like menstruation, pregnancy, breastfeeding and menopause.
As the body goes through these phases, the nutritional demand of the body increases.
Also, women have a lower bone density than men.
They need a regular source of calcium and vitamin D to keep their bones sturdy.
With growing age, the essential nutrients present in the body, like iron, vitamin B12, vitamin D and calcium, start decreasing, especially in the case of women.
Moreover, as women reach menopause, their ovaries stop producing estrogen, a hormone which promotes the formation of bone-forming cells in a woman’s body.
As the levels of estrogen drop, the absorption of calcium by the bones also reduces, leading to weaker bones.
Low calcium content in the bones in the early 20s can give rise to a painful condition in women like osteoporosis in the early 40s and even late 30s in some cases.
Osteoporosis, a condition where the bones become very weak, which makes them prone to sudden fractures.
It very rare for men to be calcium deficient, which is why most osteoporosis cases are found in women only.
Why do women need calcium in their 20s?
Studies have proved that less or no calcium intake during the growing years increases the chances of osteoporosis later in life.
The reason behind this is that the bone strength in later life usually depends on the development of bones earlier in life.
Women need to have sufficient calcium when they’re young to attain peak bone mass.
Peak bone mass is the maximum amount of bone tissue that can be attained in the skeleton of a human body.
Bone mass can be increased until the late 20s and reaches its peak at the age of 30.
How can you prevent Osteoporosis?
For the absorption of calcium in the bones, your body needs vitamin D.
Vitamin D is present in the body and gets activated after coming in contact with the sunlight.
If you’re not exposed to enough sunlight, you can take Vitamin D in supplement form.
So, calcium supplements would be required if you fail to meet the RDA of calcium through your diet.
There are a few easy things that can help you increase the calcium levels in your body and prevent Osteoporosis:
- To increase the calcium levels in the body, a woman should indulge in a diet that includes calcium-rich foods like dairy products (milk, yoghurt, cheese), apricots, soybeans, broccoli and oranges.
- You can also consult a doctor to discuss if you need calcium supplements to meet your nutritional needs.
- Avoid excessive salt, coffee and tea (caffeine) and alcohol as they reduce the ability of the body to absorb calcium and thus most of it gets expelled out in the urine.
- Exercising on a regular basis can help in improving the mobility of the joints and bones, thus reducing the chances of developing osteoporosis.
- Keep an eye on your body weight as women with a body mass index (BMI) less than 18 considered underweight and will increase a higher risk of developing osteoporosis. BMI is used to measure body fat based on height and weight.