By Helen Sanders, editor of Health Ambition
As we get older, we all start to feel the effects of aging. You can’t deny that it’s all part of the process of life.
Women who are reaching that pivotal milestone in their lives might find adjusting to the changes a bit of a struggle. Nowadays there are so many options out there to help you take control of your own personal transitions and making the most out of your later years.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) multivitamins are the most commonly used dietary supplements with approximately 40% of the population using them. With supplements playing such an important role in modern day lives, can multivitamins really help you put a spring back in your step?
How Can Vitamins and Minerals Help?
Vitamins and minerals are vital because you need them to keep your body working properly. If you want to keep your immune system and nerves healthy you need to make sure you are getting enough. There are four essential nutrients that every women reaching the autumn season should make a point to be aware of:
One of the consequences of the menopause is a reduction in estrogen. This hormone plays a big impact on bone health and helps with the absorption of calcium. The risk of developing osteoporosis is something that should be a serious concern if you are not getting enough calcium into your body. It could seriously affect your spring and your step. Because of this, the recommended daily intake of calcium increases for women from age 51.
Top Natural Sources of Calcium: Milk, yogurt, leafy greens
Vitamin D is also particularly beneficial in maintaining the growth of strong bones and healthy teeth, muscle development and keeping the immune system working. Most people are lacking in this vital nutrient because the principle source of vitamin D is sunlight. There are very limited natural food sources that contain any sort of decent levels. Vitamin D also makes you feel better in yourself, lightening your mood and promoting positive thinking, which inevitably will boost your outlook through the stages of gradual transition.
Top Natural Sources of Vitamin D: Sunlight, salmon, mackerel
The levels of vitamin B6 decrease as you age, but it’s an essential nutrient that you need in later life so you need to think about upping your intake from 1.3mg to 1.5mg per day. This B vitamin plays an important role in keeping your heart healthy and if your body doesn’t contain enough it has a knock on effect with other enzymes and elements because they rely on B6 to do their jobs too.
B6 is strongly linked to the roles of producing red blood cells and helping your metabolism function properly, keeping blood sugar levels regulated and reducing risks of potential age related diseases like diabetes and even dementia. There is even suggestion when combining vitamin B6 with folic acid could be the optimal therapy for stroke prevention.
Top Natural Sources of Vitamin B6: Beef, tuna, banana
Another member of the B vitamin complex, vitamin B12 is also very essential for those in their later lives. Those who are deficient in this nutrient could experience symptoms such as problems with balance, poor memory, and fatigue. This vitamin works together with vitamin B6 to help produce new blood cells and maintains that all important nervous system keeping you focused and fresh.
As you get older, your ability to absorb this vitamin through digestion decreases, therefore increasing the risk of developing associated health problems such as Alzheimer’s.
Top Natural Sources of Vitamin B12: Beef liver, sardines, lamb
How a Multivitamin Could help you get Your Spring Back?
There has always been the strong debate about whether supplements actually benefit your health or whether it’s just all marketing hype. However, as you reach this time of adaptation, there are some valid points which should be taken into consideration:
? As you get older your ability to absorb nutrients through digestion starts to reduce, so you may not be getting what you think from your foods.
? Your energy/calorie consumption decreases, therefore in theory you shouldn’t need to eat as much, making your task of achieving a full quota of nutrients even more of a challenge.
? Your body needs additional intake of certain types of nutrients to prevent illnesses which people of a certain age could be susceptible to such as osteoporosis, arthritis, diabetes, cancer, or heart disease
? Multivitamins cover a wide spectrum of nutrients helping you fill in the gaps in your diet.
There is no substitute for wholesome natural food so try and look at your diet first, but multivitamin supplements could give you that nutritional insurance to help you take control of change.
Personally, if I knew there was something out there that could make life’s changes a little smoother I wouldn’t hesitate to ask for some help.
Have a chat with your doctor if you have any concerns, they should be able to provide you with the best advice to suit your personal needs.
At the end of the day if you can maintain a well balanced diet and incorporate some form of exercise, your health will prevail and you should get the spring back in your step.