Are Your Three Pillars Showing Their Age?
When it comes to aging, there’s nothing more important to health and wellbeing than eating right, adding back essential minerals and nutrients that may be lacking in the diet, and staying physically active. These three pillars are essential and in combination can be a huge step towards insuring that as we age, we are taking care to boost prevention against osteoporosis and protect our hearts.
As women enter their 40s and 50s, a slowing metabolism and a redistribution of fat to the midsection may prompt extreme interventions that cause more harm than benefit. In fact, novel research demonstrates that the particular combinations of foods that we eat may influence bone turnover (the balance between bone formation and bone loss, resulting in a net loss or gain in bone tissue). Moreover, dietary pattern may also specifically influence bone resorption (when cells called osteoclasts break down bone so that minerals – like calcium – can be released into the bloodstream).
It’s best to stay off the high protein/low carb bandwagon, which has been shown in more than 44,000 women to significantly increase the risk for an increase in heart events. Rather, focus on balance and moderation. This means including ample fruits and vegetables, low-fat meats, oily fish and low fat dairy in your diet to meet protein needs and protect bones.
Certain supplements round out the second pillar and in combination can pack a powerful punch. Calcium is critical for you bone health but moderation is key; experts recommend targeting a combined dietary and supplemental calcium intake of approximately 1 to 1.3 grams daily, which can help avoid any potential for the mineral to build up in your blood, rather than be delivered to the bones where it is most needed.
Add an omega-3 fish oil and you’re good to go! The utility of omega-3s is so broad, and supplementation may enhance mood, boost mental energy and has also been shown to help prevent stroke. Moreover, in combination with aerobic exercise, omega-3 fatty acids appear to attenuate the body’s inflammatory response and boost bone mineral density.
Want to get even better results? Try combining these dietary changes with exercise. More than 45 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise, 5 days a week (225 min/week — including walking/hiking, aerobics and biking with the goal to reach 75% to 80% of target heart rate) combined with a daily intake of 1,200 to 2,000 calories (comprising <30% from fat) was recently shown to lead to a more than 10% decline in overall weight and more than 5% loss of overall body fat.
Give yourself the present that will insure your presence in your later years and keep those pillars from showing their age. Diet plus supplementation plus exercise may help to increase the likelihood that the path ahead – no matter how long – is paved with good health and wellbeing.
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The Supplemental is a blog for "Life...supplemented", a forum for discussion around healthy diet, supplements and exercise. Our panel of experts who share a variety of fresh and innovative perspectives, will provide ways to live a healthier life and inspire you to make smart choices.
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