Living to your best age of 100 is more possible than ever. It helps to have good genes and a healthy lifestyle in your favor, but sometimes our bodies can’t always get enough of the nutrients we need from our food to stay healthy and active. To ensure that you fill in any gaps, supplements can help, with a few caveats. The supplement industry is unregulated and has no requirements to put in what they say or to do what they advertise. It could be just expensive “toilet water” because most ingredients pass unabsorbed. Also consider that cheap supplements aren’t good and good supplements aren’t cheap! It’s best to buy brands from a trusted source, and especially read the labels for contents. In many cases, supplements may be necessary for some people in a weight management program, such as my “It’s Easy Eating by Judi Samuels.” You will be eating better, but perhaps eating less. You are increasing activity at the same time. Energy deficits create a greater need for nutrients so supplementation may be needed when real food may not be enough. There are many supplements which have tons of research in evidence-based science. They are easy to produce and are generally acceptable for everybody. As you age, it will be important to consider which supplements will benefit you the most regardless of your health status. The following are my recommendations for the six most important supplements that would benefit most everyone for healthy aging: 1. Multivitamin Take a daily multivitamin/multimineral supplement that provides at least 400 micrograms of folic acid and at least 1,000 IU of vitamin D, which you may choose to take separately. They should contain no iron and no preformed vitamin A (retinol). Adding a multivitamin to your daily supplement regimen is beneficial because it can help ensure your body is getting most of the nutrients it needs. Even though a healthy diet should provide the essentials, it’s often difficult to eat the healthiest of diets. Additionally, your body needs certain amounts of important vitamins and minerals, such as folic acid, iron, B12 and zinc. These nutrients must stay within a certain range. Too much or too little of these essential nutrients may do more harm. A multivitamin allows a person to consume safe amounts of essential nutrients. 2. Fish oil Take supplemental fish/flax oil, in capsule or liquid form. Look for molecularly distilled products certified to be free of heavy metals and other contaminants. Fish oil contains Omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, which we can’t make and are essential for optimal cardiovascular health and brain function. This includes protection against heart disease and stroke, lowering cholesterol, stabilizing mood, maintaining memory. Additionally, omega-3 fatty acids are powerful anti-inflammatory agents. Healthy fats such as fish oil promote lipolysis, the breakdown of fats for energy. Daily dose should be 2,000-3,000 mgs. 3. Probiotics Probiotics are “good” bacterial strains that keep the gut healthy thereby supporting the immune system by counteracting “bad” bacteria in your digestive tract and within the body. Probiotics also support production of B vitamins within the intestinal tract, aid in maximum absorption and utilization of nutrients, and for digestive regulation. Buy a high quality, broad spectrum, organic product with multiple strains of bacteria and at least 20 billion colony-forming units (cfu’s.) 4. Vitamin D D is the “new” miracle nutrient. Studies are showing just how remarkable this vitamin is in all aspectsof health and disease prevention. Vitamin D is an essential part of calcium absorption and maintaining bone health. It is also a critical part of your overall health and immune system. Vitamin D is manufactured by exposure to sunlight, but most people don’t get enough and can’t make enough themselves, especially if you live in a northern climate. It may also provide protection from osteoporosis, hypertension, and several autoimmune diseases. Daily dosage should be about 2,000 IU per day. 5. Magnesium Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the body. Found in bones, teeth, and red blood cells, magnesium is an essential element required for proper functioning of the nervous, muscular and cardiovascular systems. Among its many benefits, magnesium helps maintain muscles, nerves, and bones, and studies have shown that a diet rich in magnesium may help protect against metabolic syndrome, a combination of risk factors that can lead to diabetes and heart disease. It promotes normal blood pressure, and is known to be involved in energy metabolism. According to the National institutes of Health (NIH), the recommended dietary allowances (RDAs) for adult males is 270-400 mg; adult females is 280-300 mg. Amounts can be doubled if used as a sleep aid or for constipation. Preferred forms are magnesium citrate, oxide, aspartate and glycinate. 6. Coenzyme Q10 CoQ10 is especially necessary for anyone on a statin to regulate cholesterol. It also protects against certain inflammatory processes. Add to your daily regimen: 100 milligrams of a crystal-free softgel form taken with your largest meal. If you have any questions at all about your health and supplements, click here and contact me today. Let's chat!
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