Most of the calcium in the body is used to make the bones and teeth hard. The remainder is found in the body fluids and is essential for the transmission of nerve impulses, for proper blood coagulation, and for promoting proper contraction and relaxation of muscles such as the heart.
Calcium absorption from the diet is enhanced by the presence of phosphorus and vitamin D. It is inhibited by excessive protein intake, excessive fat intake, and foods high in oxalic acid. Examples of foods high in oxalic acid are spinach, chard, beet greens, lambs quarters, chocolate, rhubarb, and wheat bran, whose calcium content is poorly utilized.
* Bowes and Church, Food Values of Portions Commonly Used, J. B. Lippincott Co., Philadelphia/Toronto, Copyright 1970
*Laurel’s Kitchen, A Handbook for Vegetarian Cookery and Nutrition, Nilgiri Press. Copyright 1976 pg. 492 Revised 4/04