Aging is an inevitable process, causing changes like the appearance of wrinkles and blemishes, thinning and graying hair, bone loss, and decreased muscle mass.
Aging is also accompanied with an increased risk for slowed cognitive function, weaker bones, weakened immune system, and malnutrition. The process is different in each of us widely influenced by genetics as well as the dietary and lifestyle choices we make.
Nourishing and supporting the body in younger years ensures that we remain healthy, active, and mobile throughout the aging journey. Once do we start aging, we need to continue doing those things to support the needs at that time.
Habits to Keep You Healthy
- Drink plenty of water, at least 8/8 oz glasses daily
- Eat a nutrient-dense diet, including veggies from a wide range of colors, some fruits, complex carbohydrates, adequate complete proteins, high-fiber choices, and essential fatty acids
- Avoid saturated fats like trans fats, margarine, and overheated fats/ oils
- Avoid concentrated and refined sugars that promote weight gain and weaken the immune system
- Avoid tobacco and alcohol
- Start the day with lemon water to cleanse the liver, kidneys, and the digestive tract
- Keep the bowels moving by drinking plenty of water and eating fiber-rich foods
- Maintain a healthy weight by eating high quality food and watching your size portions
- Exercise on a regular basis and stretch every morning
- Get enough sleep to allow repair and rejuvenation to your body
- Incorporate stress-relieving techniques like yoga and meditation
- Think young, not letting numbers dictate your feelings
- Act young by doing the things you genuinely love
- Pay attention to signs and symptoms so that you recognize a problem before it becomes more serious
- Take high quality multi-vitamin containing folic acid and vitamins B6 and B12
Advanced Age And An Increased Risk Of Malnutrition And Related Deficiencies
As we start the aging journey, we become more prone to malnutrition as we eat less, appetites get smaller, and we even tend to absorb fewer of the nutrients we ingest. Hence, we become more susceptible to becoming deficient in nutrients like calcium, iron, magnesium, fiber, protein, and vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, B12 and C.
What We Can Do
- Plan your healthy meal plans in advance in order to choose high quality ingredients and still stay on budget
- Prepare meals for the week to ensure you are not skipping meals or using unhealthy alternatives
- Choose food that promote proper digestion and absorption and avoid processed food items as well as those you are allergic or intolerant to
- Eat more veggies, fiber, whole grains, and healthy oils like grape seed oil, hemp oil, coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, and flaxseed oil. Choose fish like mackerel, salmon, cod, herring, and flounder
- Take digestive supplements and probiotic supplements to support digestive function
- Identify nutrient deficiency and start adding high quality supplementations, if needed
Advanced Age And Reduced Speed In Completing Cognitive Tasks And Remembering Details
As we age memory becomes slower in completing thinking tasks like mathematics. Nutrition is of utmost importance for the brain health, as the brain stations consist of essential fats, amino acids, and phospholipids while the neurotransmitter ( the message itself) is typically built out of amino acids, vitamins, and minerals.
What We Can Do
Following a diet that consists of the 4 essentials for the brain is of utmost importance. Ensure that your diet includes glucose, good fats, amino acids, and a wide array of vitamins and minerals.
- Glucose: Add more complex carbohydrates to your diet, such as veggies, brown rice, and whole grains, all of which provide the body with a consistent source of energy and improve mood
- Good Fats: Choose healthy sources of fats, including fatty fish, avocados, nuts, and olive oil. This helps to support and protect the brain cells.
- Protein (amino acids): Important amino acids for the brain include tyrosine ( for physical and mental performance), GABA ( reduces anxiety), and tryptophan ( boosts mood)
- Important vitamins and minerals: B vitamins help relieve stress and depression; calcium and magnesium boost brain function; calcium takes part in the electrical signaling within the system, and manganese promotes normal nerve and brain function.
Advanced Age And Weaker Bones And Increased Joint Pain
As we age, women are at higher risk for weaker bones as they are no longer producing as much estrogen as needed for proper calcium absorption.
What We Can Do
- Manage stress by practicing yoga, meditation, exercise, or simply doing the things you love
- Remove tobacco, carbonated drinks, and caffeine from your daily routine
- Get enough protein as protein deficiency equals bone loss
- Eat a lot of whole foods and high quality foods items that ensure you get enough calcium, magnesium, zinc, copper, boron, potassium, and vitamins B, C, D, and K
- Drink plenty of water, at least 8-8 oz. glasses daily
- Eat plenty of fruits and veggies ( 3 servings daily)
- Exercise on a regular basis, focusing on weight bearing exercises
Advanced Age And A Weaker Immune System and Increased Infections/Illness
As we age we become more susceptible to infections, colds, flu, and illness.
What We Can Do
- Add active acidophilus cultures which are found in many yogurts. Avoid sugar-containing yogurt as it diminishes the positive impact of the beneficial bacteria
- Eat more garlic as its antibiotic properties keep disease at bay
- Eat more sweet potatoes which have a robust nutritional profile! Only ¾ cup of baked sweet potato provides 60 percent of the RDI for vitamin C and more than 300 percent of the RDI for vitamin A
- Eat more cashews and pumpkin seeds, both of which are packed with zinc which is needed for immune function
- Eat more blueberries that are packed with cancer-fighting antioxidants, magnesium, calcium, fiber, potassium, and vitamins A, C and E
- Eat more broccoli which is high in fiber, vitamin C, beta-carotene, and anti-cancer properties
- Choose healthy fats in fatty fish, avocados, nuts, and olive oil that boost immunity
- Swap coffee for green tea which is loaded with antioxidants. Aim at drinking 1-3 cups daily
- Exercise on a regular basis to increase oxygen and thus help fight invaders successfully
- Add more water to your diet to flush out bacteria and toxic matter. To determine the amount you need, take your weight in pounds and add a zero. ( 150 lbs=1500ml-1.5l)
- Avoid sugar which is known to weaken the immune system
- Practice prayer, yoga, positive thinking, tai chi, or meditation, all of which improve overall wellness
- Get enough sleep, at least 8 hours of restful sleep per night
- Wash your hands to lower the chance of spreading a virus to the nose or mouth