Defying The Aging Process With Nutrition
Proper nutrition can defy the aging process in many ways. First, nutrients help prevent disease. Second, proper nutrition supports the body’s health and general function helping its ability to remain strong, vital and in good shape no matter your age.
Eating right is key in staying healthy, and at age 50 nutrient needs change from what you may have needed in your younger years.
Key vitamins and minerals are needed for skin health, to protect from the top killers of women, such as heart disease, cancer, and stroke, and even to manage symptoms of menopause.
Key Nutrients For Women Age 50
- Daily Requirement: 1,200 mg
Calcium is essential for strong bones, which helps to prevent osteoporosis. Furthermore, calcium builds strong teeth, serves the body in blood clot function, and helps to maintain a regular heartbeat.
- Daily Requirement: Age 50 to 70: 600 IU; Age 71 and older: 800 IU
Vitamin D helps prevent osteoporosis by supporting the absorption of calcium, which helps keep bones strong. It also maintains brain and mental health, and reduces the risk of depression. Vitamin D can also control blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
It may play a vital role in diminishing inflammation, as well as protecting the body against numerous chronic diseases.
Getting enough vitamin D is easy if you spend at least 10 to 15 minutes in the sun daily; you can also get it form diet and vitamin supplements.
- Daily Requirement: 400 mcg
Folic Acid, or vitamin B9 reduces the risk of anemia, helps build a healthy brain and spinal cord as well as create red blood cells. It also helps with the production of both DNA and RNA, which are the cells’ building blocks, and in building new tissue. Folic acid helps prevent the changes in DNA that can lead to cancer.
Studies have shown folate acts similar to hormone replacement therapy (HRT), which can help ease menopause related hot flashes by interfering with the monoamine neurotransmitters, serotonin, and norepinephrine.
- Daily Requirement: 320 mg
More than 350 enzymatic functions require magnesium to properly function, such as maintaining a healthy heart, strong bones, metabolism, healthy functioning of nerves and muscles, and regulating blood pressure and blood glucose levels. It also helps with the absorption of calcium in the body. Magnesium may help prevent type 2 diabetes. It also helps maintain healthy heart rhythm. For women, it reduces risks of high blood pressure.
Omega-3 fatty acids
- Marine forms contain EPA and DHA and are found in oily fish
- Plant forms contain ALA or alpha-linolenic acid and are found in plant foods, including oils, seeds and nuts
EPA AND DHA can lower elevated triglyceride levels, which reduce risks for heart disease. Omega-3 fatty acids lower bad LDL cholesterol and elevate good HDL cholesterol. These fats also help reduce risk factors for cancer.
Consuming more omega-3 fatty acids helps with menopause related mood swings and may help prevent depression and depressive symptoms.
Omega 3’s may also sharpen brain function. EPA and DHA found in fish oil helps relieve joint pain and stiffness in those who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis. These nutrients also boost the effectiveness of anti-inflammatory drugs.
- Daily Requirement: 8mg
Iron is an important mineral found in the red blood cells of the human body, which transport oxygen. Iron deficiency can lead to a condition known as anemia, where there is a reduction in healthy levels of red blood cells. Iron also lowers risks for certain diseases and promotes healthy immunity.
- Daily Requirement: 21 grams
While digestive health and regularity are probably its best known benefits, fiber offers additional key benefits for good health, especially as it relates to aging. Fiber helps to reduce risks of developing type-2 diabetes and studies have shown fiber to lower blood pressure.