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Blog posts tagged with 'aging'

Changing Needs: A Focus on Age and Proper Nutrition

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Changing Needs: A Focus on Age and Proper NutritionMany people can recite the names of the most popular vitamins and prominent minerals such as vitamin A, D, calcium, and potassium. But are you getting enough each day? Many people are, in fact, missing some of the main nutrients needed to sustain healthy living—especially older adults. As diets change, the number of calories older adults absorb can drop. This can lead to a deficiency in some of the more vital nutrients that are needed for good health and increased longevity. To help you sustain ongoing health, here are some of the top nutrients you should look out for to help ensure that you’re getting the proper amounts.

Bones, Cells and Heart Health

Calcium is essential to supporting healthy bones and teeth. Bone development continues throughout adulthood, which is why your body needs a steady supply of calcium. Not getting enough calcium can lessen your bone density over time, leaving them brittle and making you more susceptible to falling and incurring injuries. Besides dairy products, broccoli and kale are also rich sources of calcium. You can also turn calcium supplementing into a treat by making a smoothie out of yogurt, fruit, and vegetables.

Along with helping maintain healthy nerve function, vitamin B12 helps in the formation of DNA, RNA, and red blood cells. B12 is especially important for older adults because they can’t absorb it as easily as younger people can. To get enough B12, eat plenty of fish, poultry, meat, eggs, and milk.

Folate, or folic acid, is another B vitamin (vitamin B9). Folic acid supplementation is recommended in pregnant women because adequate folate levels during pregnancy may help reduce the incidence of neural tube defects in babies. It has also been connected to protecting heart health and reducing risks of heart concerns later on in life. As one of the eight B-complex vitamins, folic acid helps convert the body’s food into fuel and is a crucial part of overall wellness.

Essential Nutrients for Internal Conditioning

Much has been written and debated about vitamin D. At its core it helps the body absorb calcium and is important to bone density, skin health, immune function, and many other processes in the body. While your skin is capable of producing some vitamin D when you’re exposed to the sun, many people do not spend enough time outdoors to satisfy the recommended daily value. Vitamin D amounts can vary by gender and age, but adults ages 19–70 should get, on average, at least 600 IU each day by remembering to step out in the sun or eating cereals, milk, and juices fortified with vitamin D.

Potassium is an electrolyte that helps your cells, tissues, and organs function properly. It is also connected to the electrical activity of the heart, and aids healthy blood pressure and kidney function. The daily requirement for potassium is 4,700 mg, which can be obtained from bananas, prunes, potatoes, dairy products, soy, and some fish.

While the body doesn’t need much magnesium, it still plays a crucial role in some 300 different processes in your body. Often associated with heart health, magnesium is also pertinent to a high-functioning immune system and bone health as 66% of the magnesium your body needs is stored in the bones. Although magnesium is found in many common foods such as grains and nuts, it is still estimated that people only get 66% of the necessary daily value. You can help make up for this deficit by eating more unprocessed foods such as fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, beans, and seeds.

Keeping Well Fed and Watered

Your digestive tract has a lot of responsibilities that include nutrient absorption, waste elimination, and immune health. Fiber, which is a type of carbohydrate that can’t be digested by the body, aids the digestive system. It is also known for supporting heart health. The national recommendation for fiber is 30–38 grams a day for men and 25 grams a day for women ages 18–50.

The last area of nutrition that is often overlooked is hydration. Fluids are an important part of your diet; water being the most crucial. As you get older your sense of thirst can decline, but no matter what age you are, hydration is important for every process mentioned in the above paragraphs. It is often said that if food is your body’s fuel, then fluid is the coolant. Nutritionists recommend drinking 3–5 large glasses of water each day, or 8 glasses if you’re physically active.

Covering Your Bases of Nutrients

Sometimes keeping track of what your body needs can seem overwhelming. However, if you’ve already made the decision to eat healthier by managing your food groups and portions, you can easily figure out what vitamins and minerals you are getting enough of, and what areas you may need to focus on. Supplementation for many vitamins and minerals is always a viable option due to the various nature of different diets. Getting a wide variety of what you need, at each point in the aging process, however, is crucial to continued healthy living, and it starts with what you know.

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A Healthy Smile May Reveal More About Your Health Than You Realize

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A Healthy Smile May Reveal More About Your Health Than You RealizeWhen it comes to oral health and hygiene, there’s a universal understanding that it’s important to brush and floss twice daily to protect against cavities. But did you know that research has suggested that your oral health mirrors the health of your whole body? The mouth-body relationship can influence your heart and digestion, as well as your immune system, so the condition of your teeth could indicate the state of your overall health.

Oral Care Beyond the Brush

Proper care for your teeth and gums doesn’t just come from brushing and flossing twice a day; there are many essential vitamins and minerals that can help you keep your teeth, gums, and mouth healthy and clean. Let’s take a look at some of the most important ones you can supplement into your daily nutrition.

Calcium

Universally known as vital to forming and maintaining healthy bones, calcium can also help strengthen your teeth and your jaw bone where your teeth are set. It is vital for people no matter what their age or gender to get the recommended daily amount of calcium to continue maintaining healthy bone density. Milk is the most well-known source of calcium, but collard greens, tofu, and supplements are also good non-dairy sources of calcium.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is just important as calcium for strong bones and teeth because it helps your body absorb calcium. Your body produces vitamin D when your skin cells are exposed to sunlight, but if you spend a lot of time indoors you may need to supplement additional vitamin D into your diet, both for you oral and overall health.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C can help reduce inflammation and protect your teeth and gums. It is also crucial to supporting a healthy immune system and helps to form strong connective tissue as well as teeth and gum tissue. Vitamin C is also water soluble, so any excess gets flushed out of your body. It is recommended that people take vitamin C every day, but if you’re getting your vitamin C from fruit juices, limit yourself to 1 glass of juice per day because citric acid in fruit juices can actually wear down tooth enamel.

Water

Water might be the most underrated liquid on the planet. This building block of life, however, also provides oral health benefits. Water helps keep the mouth hydrated by stimulating saliva flow, which cleans your mouth by neutralizing bacteria. It’s recommended that you drink 8 glasses of water a day.

A Few Minutes a Day

Oral hygiene is a lifelong task. But it is one of the easiest tasks you can do to support your well-being. Proper brushing and daily flossing, as well as regular dental checkups can ensure that you will enjoy a healthy smile throughout your life. But there are also foods you can eat between brushing to give your oral health the extra boost needed for a bright and healthier smile.


GH3 Advanced

 

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What Facial Feature is Often Forgotten in Winter Protection?

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What Facial Feature is Often Forgotten in Winter Protection?When frosty, winter weather strikes, many of us prepare for the cold by adding extra layers of clothing to stay protected and comfortable. Our heads, however, usually get nothing more than a hat for protection, leaving our faces—especially our lips—exposed and at the mercy of the elements. Chapped lips and dry skin are nothing new to those who have experienced that cracked, raw feeling from the effects of cold and blustery weather. But while the skin over the rest of your body has many layers to help seal in moisture, your lips only have a thin layer of skin. This makes them prone to losing up to 10 times more moisture than any other part of your face or body.

You'll Only Make It Worse!

Many of us have the immediate instinct to lick our lips when they get dry. However, this only exacerbates the situation. When saliva evaporates it can leave the lips more dehydrated. Saliva is also more than just water; it contains digestive acids that help dissolve food, which can further hinder the health and healing ability of your lips. You may also have the tendency to bite or chew chapped pieces of skin on your lips. This can also slow the healing process, leaving exposed areas of your lips that can lead to possible infections or cold sores.

Vital Protection Tips for Lips

The key to preventing dry heat or cold winds from chapping, cracking, and drying out your lips is to seal in moisture. Use a lip balm to keep your lips hydrated and protected. Good ingredients to look for in lip balms that help seal and hydrate are petrolatum, shea butter, and sunflower seed oil. It's also important to look for products that have SPF protection to help minimize sun damage that can also dry out lips. While you may not have the ability to control the weather, you do possess the ability to protect your lips and skin from the effects of less-than-ideal weather conditions. If you're going outside, carry your lip balm with you; most lip balm tubes fit easily into any pocket. Drink plenty of fluids to help your skin stay hydrated because skin heals better when it has moisture, and breathe through your nose because breathing through your mouth can also cause lips to dry out. Dry lips don't need to be something you have to endure all winter long as long as you're aware that even the smallest parts of your body need winter protection too. So get out that lip balm and pucker up.


Sinetic
 

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Technology-Savvy Seniors a Step Ahead in Understanding Health

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Technology-Savvy Seniors a Step Ahead in Understanding HealthOver the past 20 years, we have seen so many leaps in technology that it would be a common misconception to think that technology is only popular among youth. But according to the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project nearly 87% of older people are using e-mail and search engines and the number is increasing. Studies show that more and more older Americans are quickly adopting the Internet as an efficient way to engage, inform, and communicate. But did you also know that being tech-smart, as you are right now, also has health benefits?

The Techno-Health Connection

A recent study revealed that older men and women who used the Internet were more likely to be physically active, eat a healthy diet, smoke less, and partake in screenings for preventing major illnesses. Researchers also found that the more time older adults spent using technology, the more likely they were to engage in these healthy behaviors. The study included 6,000 men and women ages 50 and older who completed surveys over the course of nine years. The surveys took into account their Internet usage along with their demographics, physical activity, diet, and health screenings they underwent. Researchers found that both men and women who used the Internet regularly were 50% more likely to exercise and 24% more likely to eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day. Study author Christian von Wagner, a lecturer at University College London, also found that there was a dose-response relationship between Internet usage and health patterns—meaning that the more time people spent online, the more likely they were to practice good health habits in real life.

A Tool for Health and Knowledge

The Internet can be a wondrous tool when it comes to health. Users can use online resources to seek information about managing health conditions; learn about nutrition, healthier eating habits, and exercise; and discover new supplements that may be beneficial to them. Exposure to this type of knowledge and connecting with others can be a great motivator in the quest for a healthier lifestyle. The knowledge is out there—all you have to do is seek it out and put it to practical use!


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“Beauty Sleep” Isn’t Just a Figure of Speech

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“Beauty Sleep” Isn’t Just a Figure of SpeechSleep is a crucial part of our lives; unfortunately it is usually the first thing we compromise when our time is stretched thin. Have you ever noticed the differences in the way people say “you look refreshed” and “you look tired”? In the first instance, it's meant as a compliment and people tend to be friendlier and more cheerful around you. In the latter case, people aren't exactly eager to keep company with you—and there's a reason why. According to a new study, sleep deprivation can affect the way you look and the way others behave towards you.

Your Face Says It All...Literally

A recent study done on the facial effects of sleep deprivation took 10 subjects and photographed them on two separate occasions; first after eight hours of normal sleep and then again after 31 hours of sleep deprivation. The photographs were taken in a laboratory at the same time of day; 2:30 p.m. after both occasions. Forty other participants were then brought in to rate the 20 photographs based on fatigue, sadness, and 10 other facial cues. Unsurprisingly the results showed that sleep deprivation resulted in hanging eyelids, redder eyes, swollen eyes, and darker circles beneath the eyes. It was also associated with paler skin, more fine lines and wrinkles, and more droopy corners around the mouth. In short, lack of sleep made people look sadder, unhealthy, and less attractive compared to when they had normal amounts of sleep. The interesting side-effect of looking sleep deprived was the way it affected the behavior of others towards the person who looked sleep deprived. Facial perception involves a complex neural network and is said to be one of the most developed visual perception skills in humans. Apparently, how tired you look influences the way people interpret traits such as trustworthiness, aggressiveness, and competence. "Since faces contain a lot of information on which humans base their interactions with each other, how fatigued a person appears may affect how others behave toward them," said Tina Sundelin, lead author of the study and doctoral student. "This is relevant not only for private social interactions, but also official ones such as with health care professionals and in public safety."

Healthy Sleep as a Problem Solver

According to the National Sleep Foundation about two-thirds (63%) of Americans say their sleep needs are not being met during the week. Healthy adults need an average of 7–8 hours of sleep a night. Instead of watching television or surfing the internet before bedtime try reading, listening to soft music, or drinking a warm decaffeinated beverage to help you relax and fall asleep easier. Healthy sleep is also a creature of habit. Going to bed early, or forming a consistent routine leading up to your bedtime can help the body induce sleep easier. As the study above shows, getting a healthy amount of sleep can have a large positive impact not only on your daily health and energy, but it can also influence your interaction with others. They don't call it beauty sleep for no reason, so support your health and make sure you get plenty of those important z's.


SurAsleep
 

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