After forty, our body’s physiology starts to change in a big way. Before, you might have been able to get away with burning the candle on both ends or eating whatever you could grab on the go. But now, you’re looking at a whole new you. For one, your muscle mass starts to deteriorate. If you’re a woman, menopause may begin to mess with your hormones. Also, your risk of chronic diseases, diabetes, cancer, heart disease begin to increase. Are you getting what you need?
Happily, it’s not all doom and gloom. There’s a lot you can do to safeguard your health, which in turn will boost your immune system, and ensure you get enough of what you need. This is why supplementation becomes vital. Still, you can’t just pop any old multivitamin and think it’s done. Many supplement contain only a dash of the bare basics and formulated in a way that’s hard to absorb. Yet, another reason to find out exactly what you need.
Get what you need
Vitamin B12 is poorly absorbed as we age, especially as our stomach acids deplete. But, it’s essential for healthy blood, bones brain and nerve function, so don’t skip it. It can even help improve your mood as it plays a role in creating the happy hormone serotonin. Ideally, you want to aim for at least 2,4 mg and don’t have to worry about taking too much. As a water-soluble vitamin, your body excretes whatever it doesn’t need.
Vitamin D is the “sunshine vitamin”. But, the fact that we’re spending more time indoors these days means doctors are seeing an increase in deficiencies. Deficiencies are linked to diabetes, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, and breast and colorectal cancers. Vitamin D is also crucial in helping your body to absorb calcium. When you supplement, ensure you choose vitamin D3 – the closest to the type you’d get from the sun – and aim for at least 600 IU a day.
Speaking of calcium, we all know it’s vital for healthy bones, but it also plays a role in many other functions. These include muscle contraction, nerve health, and heart functioning. If you don’t get enough from your diet, your body will leech the calcium from your bones. Not ideal, especially when the threat of osteoporosis starts to increase. To ensure you’re getting enough, find a supplement that gives you at least 1000 mg per day.
As for Magnesium, many neglect it, not realising that it aids the absorption of calcium and plays a role in the healthy functioning of their muscles, nerves, heart and blood sugar control. It also helps to regulate blood pressure, which can be crucial after 40. Also worth mentioning is that, if you don’t get enough of it, you could increase your risk of diabetes, heart disease and inflammation. Your goal should be 320 mg per day.
On the subject of inflammation, omega-3 fatty acids are the antioxidant “firefighters” you’ll want on your side. They can also help protect the health of your heart, lower the LDL cholesterol levels and prevent cognitive decline. Ideally, you want to take 500 mg if you’re in good health. If not, chat to your doctor who can recommend the correct dosage.
Last but not least, don’t forget about probiotics. They’re a must for a healthy balance of gut bacteria. They are also known to assist in the management of insulin resistance indirectly.
The bottom line
Proper nutrition is always important, but even more so after the age of 40. It is when taking the right supplements can make all the difference. If you’re unsure about which would be ideal, make an appointment to chat with one of the doctors at Health Renewal. They’ll be able to make a full health assessment and give you a custom nutraceutical “prescription” to ensure you get everything you need to feel your very best.