Bones provide the structure or skeletal framework of the body. They protect organs as the ribcage protects the heart and lungs, and the skull protects the brain. Bone marrow, inside the bone cavity, produces all the red blood cells in the body.
Consuming adequate calcium, along with weight bearing physical activity, helps build strong bones, promotes bone mass and may reduce the risk of osteoporosis later in life. The risk of osteoporosis is increased due to a decline in bone mass as we age. Vitamin D helps aid the absorption of calcium to prevent weak or brittle bones. Calcium is needed to help promote healthy bones, teeth and to support function of the heart, muscles and nerves.
Since the body can not produce calcium on its own, it must be absorbed through food. Good sources of calcium are found in the following:
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