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Most of us know that calcium is important for strong teeth and bones. Your heart, muscles and nerves also need calcium to function properly. One thing that may come as a surprise is that calcium is important for regulating our mood.

Calcium is one of Nature’s sedatives with calming and relaxing effects. It has recently been shown to be significantly more effective than acetaminophen in long-term pain reduction in orthodontic treatment. So, in addition to relaxation and stress relief, calcium also provides relief from pain.

People who have depression and anxiety have been found to be deficient in calcium. A negative association was found in middle-aged Korean women between dietary intake of calcium and depression; the less calcium they consumed in their diets, the more depressed they were.


Calcium needs to be consumed along with fat in order to be utilized by the body. One of the consequences of “low fat” diets is the body can’t use the calcium from fat-free foods. For instance, while cow’s milk is a good source of calcium, the calcium in skim milk is essentially wasted unless you add some other source of fat at the same time. If, along with your skim milk, you ate a piece of toast with butter, you would be able to absorb and use the calcium. But in the absence of fat, no matter how much calcium is listed on the label, you aren’t getting any of it! It’s better to drink milk with at least 1% milkfat to utilize the calcium.


Of course milk and cheese are excellent sources of calcium but so are dark leafy greens like kale, turnip greens and collards. Almonds are also high in calcium, making almond milk a good alternative to cow’s milk for calcium. Almonds and almond milk also naturally contain fat so the calcium is readily available. A variety of fruits are also good sources of calcium including oranges and strawberries.

An adult needs around 1000 mg of calcium each day. I include dark leafy greens in my diet every day, either in green smoothies in the morning, salad at lunch, or cooked greens with dinner or all three! I include a teaspoon of flax oil with my greens, in my smoothies, salad dressing and squirted directly on cooked greens to insure good calcium absorption and a powerpunch of omega 3’s! Flax oil has a sweet, nutty taste and is the perfect compliment to dark leafy greens. Sauteing dark green leafy vegetables in olive oil will also provide the oil needed to get the calcium benefit as well as other fat soluble  nutrients like vitamins A, E, and K.

Some sources of calcium:

  • Dairy products like milk, yoghurt, and cheese
  • Dark leafy greens
  • Sardines
  • Flax seeds
  • Almonds
  • Soy products like soybeans, soy milk, and tofu
  • Sesame seeds
  • Brazil nuts
  • Many common cooking herbs, especially savory

Calcium is a key player in both depression relief and stress reduction, working closely with magnesium, vitamin D, potassium and other nutrients to maximize its benefits. Foods that are high in calcium tend to also be good sources of potassium, magnesium, and so forth, because all of these nutrients work together. The best way to ensure consuming adequate amounts of calcium, along with the other nutrients calcium needs to do its job properly, is to eat a wide variety of whole, healthy foods including dairy products, almonds, and dark green leafy vegetables.


  1. Leilani says:

    I really enjoyed the information I received from this article you published. It’s quite interesting and very helpful. I’ll be thinking of a glass of milk (calcium) in a whole new way now, when I’m depressed. Thank you.

    • JOHN S says:

      I saw something on Animal Planet regarding lethargy in animals relating to ‘ generally being out of it ‘ and the relief was a direct infusion of calcium into the animal’s bone marrow to instantly relieve the problem. Maybe drinking more milk and taking a calcium supplement is the answer for MY depressive symptoms instead of antidepressants. Going to try it and see.

  2. admin says:

    You’re welcome. I’m glad you enjoyed it and hope you continue to enjoy the information here!

  3. What’s up friends, its impressive piece of writing regarding teachingand fully explained,
    keep it up all the time.

  4. Miriam says:

    Very good, informative site.

  5. Toni michelle says:

    It is so very true about needing calcium I went into Christ hospital for depression once and they treated me with a thousand mg of calcium and I started to feel better mood wise….

  6. frank sottile says:

    since i started taking vitamin d3 4000 a day i have anxiety attacks can you tell why


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