Magnesium is one of the most important minerals for long-term health. It’s needed to maintain the ‘pumps’ that control the movement of salts in and out of cells.
It is also essential for nerve conduction, muscle relaxation, healthy bones and just about every metabolic reaction in the body – including energy production.
Painful joints were traditionally treated with oral painkillers such as acetaminophen (paracetamol), ibuprofen or stronger anti-inflammatory drugs.
These are now discouraged following concerns that they may affect your liver and kidneys, as well as increasing your long-term risk of heart attack or stroke.
While diet should always come first, there are some supplements that provide additional benefits that can be difficult to obtain from food alone – especially if you are eating less to lose weight, if you have a reduced appetite or are avoiding certain foods due to intolerances.
Many kitchen spices have warming properties that can enhance your health as the weather turns colder. While they are available in supplement form, use them in recipes whenever possible.
Cold weather can have many adverse effects on health. For example, your metabolism has to work harder to keep warm, which may seem a good thing if you’re trying to lose weight.
The down side, however, is that your immunity can suffer, partly because of decreased blood flow and immune responses in the nose – your first line of defence against respiratory viruses.
You have more control over your heart health than you might think. In fact, researchers estimate that almost one in three heart attacks are linked with eating an unhealthy diet while an unhealthy lifestyle – smoking, not exercising, drinking too much alcohol – accounts for many of the others.
An estimated one in two Americans take a vitamin supplement, but when you’re facing a wall of products, it’s not always easy to know which one to buy.
Few people escape joint aches and pains, however gracefully they age. Over 100 different types of arthritis can cause symptoms of pain, swelling, stiffness and restricted movement.
Many women find that increasing their intake of plant hormones helps to reduce menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes.
These plant hormones have a weak effect on human oestrogen receptors and include soy isoflavones as well as lignans. These ligans are found in good quantities in ground flaxseed, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sweet potatoes and lentils.
As you get older, your bowels tend to become less regular and predictable. Common ways to improve this are to increase your intakes of fiber and fluids. These options work best if you also increase the presence of beneficial bowel bacteria.