Did you know there are foods that can lower the calcium levels in your body and cause certain diseases? Hypocalcemia, as it is called in medical terms, is very common not only after age of 40, but also when your diet contains lots of decalcifying foods. Find out which ones they are in the following article.
What is hypocalcemia and what is its effect?
It is an imbalance in calcium levels in the blood. In adults, the normal value is 4.5 to 5.5 mEq / liter. It is very important to have the right amount of calcium for healthy bones and teeth, as well as for our muscles and nerves to function properly. It is good to know that normal levels are maintained through the action of parathyroid hormone, intestines and kidneys.
Among other factors, hypocalcemia can be due to:
- Lack of vitamin D
- Chronic renal failure
- Magnesium deficiency
- Certain types of leukemia or blood disorders
- Treatment with bisphosphonates, drugs that treat osteoporosis
- Medications such as diuretics, insulin, laxatives, estrogen or glucose
- Caffeine, carbonated drinks
The most common symptoms of lack of calcium in the body are:
- Neuromuscular irritability, this means the function of the nerves and muscles is affected by cramps or spasms, both in legs and arms
- Numbness or finger pains and even tremors
- Depression or irritability
- Confusion, disorientation
- Heart palpitations
- Increased frequency of urination, painful urination
- Weight loss without dieting or exercise
- Shortness of breath, chest pain
- Swelling of lips
- Nausea, inability to eat
- Diarrhea that is not ameliorated after two days
Which are the decalcifying foods
In order to maintain healthy and strong bones it is necessary to take into account which are the foods that absorb calcium or eliminate it from our body:
- Animal proteins: on a diet where red meat is predominant, poultry and eggs often have metabolic acidosis, that is to say a disorder in the body that causes increased elimination of calcium in the blood
- Sodium: eating too much salt increases calcium excretion in the urine. To avoid this, you need to consume without adding salt, avoid canned food, salty snacks, pies and processed and ready-made meals, fast food. It is important to reduce consumption of salt when preparing food and not to take the salt shaker at the table. The recommened amount per day is up to 2 grams.
- Tobacco: although it is not a food, it is also among the most important decalcifying People who smoke are more vulnerable to lose calcium, especially in the case of women over 40 years, that is to say, after menopause.
- Sugary soft drinks: colas are very bad for the body for different reasons. Besides having a lot of sugar and fizziness, they have high phosphorus content (in the form of phosphoric acid). This mineral in small quantities is good, but in sodas has adverse effects. It favors acidosis, just like meat.
- Alcohol, coffee, refined products (bread, rice, flour and white sugar), because they favor the elimination of minerals such as calcium in the body.
Does dairy decalcify the bones?
Researchers from Harvard University have eliminated dairy from the “food pyramid”. They came to the conclusion that these foods, contrary to popular belief, are not suitable for increasing the calcium level our body needs.
Milk is not necessary for our body once we have passed the period of lactation, because it causes acidification in the blood, that is to say, it disturbs the acid-base balance. Not only is this caused by dairy, but also by meat, stress, lack of physical activity, not drinking enough water etc.
And, as noted above, the acidification is synonymous with lack of calcium in the blood. The body tries to balance this irregularity with phosphorus, which is stored in the bones (they are made of these two elements basically). By taking phosphorus and regulating the pH, calcium will be “dissolved”.
Thus, by consuming dairy products regularly, the body will slowly decalcify the bones in order to balance the blood. Among other consequences of pH imbalance we note: irritability, poor concentration, chronic fatigue, propensity to disease development, allergies or infections, etc.
How to control the decalcifying foods consume?
A diet that is too rich in foods that eliminate calcium needs to be complemented by a higher consume of those that do contribute to increasing calcium level. Thus, health problems associated with the lack of this nutrient are avoided. The problem is the foods that “eliminate” calcium provide phosphorus, which is vital for proper functioning of the brain, heart, muscles, tissues, bones, for the metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates and fats and for energy.
Phosphorus is essential for children developmental stages, therefore, it important to maintain a balance or increase foods that offer more calcium, such as dairy products, green leafy vegetables, sesame, almonds, dates, dried figs, raisins, citrus (orange, lemon, grapefruit), kiwi, blackberries, raspberries, papayas, carrots, cabbage, beans, onions, leeks, artichokes, celery, turnip, endives, cauliflower and algae.