Calcium is an important mineral that your body requires for strong healthy bones and teeth, for proper function of nerves, muscles, kidneys, and the heart. Insufficient calcium in the diet causes an increased risk of osteoporosis, a disease that depletes calcium in the bones. The bones become weak and fragile, there is loss of height, spines become curved, and one is easily suceptible to fractures, especially in the case of women.
One way of getting calcium is through supplements. However, its always best to take the doctor's advice on how much calcium you need to take each day. High dosage of calcium from supplements raises the level of calcium in the blood, which can damage the artery walls. 500 mg of calcium is the 'safe' recommended intake per day if one is resorting to supplements and is to be taken with food that will facilitate slow calcium absorption.
The safest and best way of getting calcium is through food rather than supplements. Low fat dairy like milk, yoghurt and cheese can give you the calcium you require as well as they help lower blood pressure. Be sure its low fat. Calcium from food is absorbed slowly and will not damage the arteries. Consuming dried fruit and nuts, like raisins, almonds, dates, prunes and hazlenuts can help build and preserve calcium in bone tissue. Avocado and Broccoli are also good sources of calcium.
Low impact exercise like walking, swimming, yoga, tai-chi can strengthen your bones. Protect your heart and bones by getting natural calcium from food.