Age gracefully with a little help from these three nutrients.
While I absolutely love my age, getting older does come with a few setbacks. Regular activities that we used to practice with ease have become more difficult. Our skin and muscles lose their tone more quickly, making us work harder in the gym. Menopause is a beastly battle of hot strokes and mood swings, estrogen surges and recessions.
The good news about all of these age-related obstacles? There is something we can do about it! We can age gracefully—with a little help from these three nutrients.
Women of all ages are more prone to developing osteoporosis than men—and this risk of bone loss only heightens as we age. But we have ways to prevent bone loss and maintain our bone density.
Make sure to consume calcium-rich foods often. Dairy products naturally contain high amounts of calcium. If you have gone dairy-free like me, you can still consume enough calcium, but make sure to purchase dairy-free milks, cheeses, and yogurts that have been fortified with calcium.
If you do not think you consume enough calcium, you may want to consider a supplement. Vitamin D, the Robin to this Batman, increases your absorption of calcium significantly. To make it easy, look for the calcium supplements already paired with vitamin D. Also, make sure to take your supplement with a meal as it is fat-soluble and needs food for optimal transport and absorption into the body.
Don't forget what it's like to have glowing, hydrated skin. I'm not talking about the rosy cheeks and sweating temples that come from the constant hot flashes. I mean radiant, taught skin. One of the body's proteins, collagen, helps maintain your skin's hydration and elasticity. But, as we age, we tend to produce less of it and our skin can lose its youthful look.
Chicken and fish both contain collagen in their connective tissues, so consuming these proteins will provide you with an ample supply. For the same reason, you will find high amounts of collagen in bone broths. For those of you who don't eat meat, you can instead consume foods that boost your body's natural production of collagen. Try to eat healthy amounts of citrus, berries, leafy greens, and garlic.
The body produces vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. You may not be at risk of a deficiency during the summertime. But, once the weather beckons us back indoors, we may need to look to our diet to increase our intake. As we age, the likelihood of a deficiency also increases. This deficiency can lead to age-related illnesses, such as cognitive decline, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and depression.
It is a tricky vitamin to glean sufficient amounts of in the diet. Salmon, milk, certain mushrooms, and egg yolks all contain vitamin D, but you may want to have your levels checked and potentially supplemented as it may not be enough. I recommend having a full blood panel taken so that you know your exact levels before adding on an external supplement.