Information Provided by: Dr Julie Monica
As we age, our nutritional needs change and the impact of nutrition and supplements on the management of aging becomes increasingly important. Proper nutrition and supplementation can play a crucial role in promoting healthy aging, improving overall health and managing age-related conditions.
Our metabolism slows down as we age and our body’s ability to absorb and utilize nutrients may decrease. This can result in deficiencies in essential vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients leading to a decline in overall health and an increased risk of age-related diseases.
Protein’s Role In Healthy Aging
One of the key nutrients that play a critical role in healthy aging is protein. Many older adults actually are deficient on a daily basis. It is essential for maintaining muscle mass which tends to decline with age due to a phenomenon called sarcopenia. Sarcopenia can lead to weakened muscles, reduced mobility and an increased risk of falls and fractures in older adults.
Adequate protein is also essential for bone strength. Consuming proper protein through food sources such as organic; lean meats, dairy, eggs, and fish. And super healthful are plant-based options like beans and tofu can help maintain muscle mass and support healthy longevity.
Antioxidants Offer Protection From Cellular Damage
In addition to protein antioxidants also play a crucial role in the aging process. Antioxidants are compounds that help neutralize harmful free radicals in the body that come from chemicals and pollutants which are unstable molecules that can damage cells and contribute to aging and age-related diseases. Antioxidant-rich foods such as fruits and vegetables especially those with bright colors and that are eaten raw like berries, spinach and carrots, can help reduce the oxidative stress on cells and promote healthy aging.
Calcium and vitamin D are also essential nutrients for managing aging
Calcium is crucial for maintaining strong bones and vitamin D aids in calcium absorption and a host of other, vital functions. Always have your Vitamin D levels tested when having blood work done. We see a deficiency in a surprising number of people especially in certain parts of the US.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are found in fatty fish such as salmon and trout as well as flaxseeds, chia seeds and hemp hearts have been shown to have numerous health benefits including reducing inflammation and are essential for brain function and have been associated with a reduced risk of cognitive decline and age-related cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease.
Probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria that reside in our gut, also play a crucial role in healthy aging. Probiotics help maintain a healthy gut microbiome, which has been linked to various health benefits, including improved digestion, a stronger immune system, and better mental health. Probiotic-rich foods such as yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut and kimchi, as well as probiotic supplements can help support a healthy gut and overall well-being in older adults.
Multivitamins are useful for helping to meet nutrient needs
Multivitamins, which contain a combination of essential vitamins and minerals can be beneficial for older adults who may have difficulty meeting their nutrient needs through food alone. I believe “Multis” are most useful in that they:
- In a single formula can provide a base for the most needed supplements. Especially, for instance, minerals that are so often deficient and overlooked.
- And to have and manage this complete approach you can take in a capsule, tablet, powder or liquid.
- And as of late there are specialized formulas made to be complete as well as contain extra nutrients to support specific conditions. A good example, because there are quite a few out there are multis for diabetics that also contain blood sugar stabilizers.
However, it’s important to choose a multivitamin specifically formulated for older adults to ensure it meets their unique nutrient requirements.
What You Can Do Now
My best advice to healthy aging is: START YOUNG!
The above is very solid, basic information and is cited as so many older adults are deficient in these foundations. But these same nutrient deficiencies are seen in adults of all ages!
To be healthy can be more challenging today in the food climate we are in. I describe this as, fast processed and empty. Supplements can help.
So, have tested your vitamin and mineral levels and other vital nutrients if you can. And supplement accordingly and eat truly well. These insights and corrections to balance your health building core with the right levels of what the body needs is profound, can help ward off disease conditions and add to your longevity.
It’s important to note that supplements should be used judiciously and it’s always best to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen, especially for older adults who may have specific health conditions or medications that could interact with supplements.