Calcium is a mineral found mainly in the hard part of your bones where it is stored.  Your body needs it to nourish your bones, gums and teeth.  It is essential for muscle contraction, heart action, nervous system maintenance, and normal blood clotting.

Here are some of the health benefits of calcium:

1. It helps to strengthen your bones.

Calcium helps to promote bone health and it plays an important part in keeping your body in the right shape and posture.  It also helps to alleviate back pain and skeletal problems like arthritis and osteoporosis.

2. It helps to prevent obesity.

When your body is deficient in calcium, your parathyroid hormones stimulate the production of body fats and prevent them from breaking down.  This can result to obesity.  Sufficient amounts of calcium in your body can help to maintain your optimum body weight.

3. It helps your muscles to contract and relax properly.

Calcium protects your heart muscles and allows them to contract and relax normally.  This helps to maintain normal pressure in the arteries and to keep your blood pressure within normal level.

4. It helps to prevent colon cancer.

Calcium works to suppress the growth of polyps which can lead to colon cancer.  According to health experts, the excess calcium that's left in the intestines bind with cancer causing agents and are excreted by the body as wastes.

5. It helps to prevent premenstrual syndrome.

Adequate amounts of calcium in the body also help to lessen indications of premenstrual syndrome such as hypertension, mood swings, dizziness and depression.  Women who are deficient in this particular mineral tend to manifest these PMS symptoms.

6.  It helps to maintain a healthy pH level in your body.

Acidity can give rise to major diseases such as cancer and high blood pressure.  Calcium helps to counter acidity in the body by maintaining a healthy Alkaline pH level. 

7. It helps to control blood pressure.

Its ability to make your heart muscles contract and relax efficiently can lead to low blood pressure. 

8. It helps to keep your teeth and gums in good health.

Eating calcium-rich foods on a regular basis can help to keep your jawbones healthy and strong.  This is essential for healthy gums and teeth because it prevents the development of loose teeth and gums which are favorite breeding grounds of harmful bacteria.

9. It helps in the transportation of nutrients across cell membranes.

These are some of the known health benefits of calcium.  You should include calcium-rich foods in your daily diet.  Food sources of calcium include dairy foods, cereals, oysters, orange juice, some leafy green vegetables such as broccoli and collards, canned salmon, clams, oysters, calcium-fortified foods, and tofu.