Healthy aging is a big priority for women over 60. It’s a good thing too. After all, we are on track to live longer than any generation before us. We want to make sure that those extra years are filled with vitality and happiness.
One of the “pillars” of healthy aging is nutrition. But, with so many conflicting studies (not to mention advertising campaigns) out there, it’s difficult to know what really works.
To help demystify nutrition for older women, I recently interviewed Lynda Goldman. Lynda is an expert on nutrition and healthy aging. She has made it her life’s goal to help other women our age to achieve a state of positive well-being.
In our interview, Lynda and I discuss supplements, but, we also talk about how to get the minerals and vitamins that your aging body needs through fresh, organic food. I hope that you enjoy my conversation with Lynda.
What are your favorite healthy foods? What healthy aging principles have you applied in your life? Please watch the interview and join the discussion at the end of this article.
Here are some of the minerals and vitamins that Lynda says are essential to healthy aging.
Magnesium, a trace mineral, found in the soil, is essential to many processes in our bodies. Unfortunately, as Lynda explains during our interview, the magnesium in our soil has become depleted over the years, due to the use of chemical fertilizers. As a result, many of us may not be getting the magnesium that we need, even if we eat “healthy foods.” The problem is even worse for those of us who eat a lot of processed foods.
Lynda recommends asking your health professional whether it makes sense for you to be taking a multi-vitamin to make up for this potential deficiency.
While you are talking with your doctor about magnesium, be sure to bring up calcium too. Calcium is available in combination with magnesium in supplement form. As with so many things in life, balance is key. You want to make sure that you don’t get too much calcium either. So, talk with your doctor and find out what your situation is.
Vitamin D is crucial to many processes in the body. It is essential for bone health and, according to at least one recent study, it may help to fight the symptoms of depression.
You probably know that we get much of our vitamin D from the sun. Unfortunately, many of us live in climates where we don’t get the vitamin D that our bodies need. Others simply spend too much time indoors.
If you are looking for a way to boost your vitamin D intake, you may want to try fatty fishes and egg yolks. Or, if your doctor says that you need a supplement, there are plenty of great options out there. As with anything, information is power. Don’t assume that your vitamin and mineral levels are in balance. Get them checked by a professional.
During our interview, Lynda explains that iodine is somewhat misunderstood. Since table salt includes the word “iodized,” many of us believe that it is providing more than enough iodine. According to Lynda, this is not true. Instead, she argues that we should consider using sea salt.
Of course, salt is a tricky substance. We need salt – just not too much salt. So, make sure that you measure your blood pressure regularly and talk to your doctor about how to balance your iodine consumption
Let’s move away from vitamins and minerals for a second to talk about a category that is essential to healthy aging – fabulous fish oils. You probably know that fish oil can be an excellent source of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. But, did you know that, when combined with exercise, fish oils can help you to live a longer, healthier life?
According to this report, older adults with relatively high levels of the 3 types of omega-3 fatty acids had a 27% less chance of dying from any cause than people in other categories.
Personally, I’ve started to add a little salmon to all of my salads. It’s absolutely delicious and a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. What are your favorite fish dishes? Let us know in the comments at the end of this article.
There has been a lot of discussion lately about the importance of maintaining a “healthy gut.” According to WebMD, “Probiotics” are the good bacteria that help keep your digestive system healthy by controlling growth of harmful bacteria. They go on to say that “prebiotics” are carbohydrates that are food for probiotics. So, the two work together.
To be honest, I was a bit skeptical about probiotics and prebiotics at first. That said, recently, my son convinced me to give kefir a shot. My goodness, what a difference! Of course, everyone is different, but, since I started drinking kefir, I have lost a lot of weight (trust me, that’s a good thing in my case) and I have way more energy.
I’ll have way more to say about kefir in the future – and I may even post a video of how to make it. In the meantime, ask your doctor whether increasing your exposure to probiotics and prebiotics could put you on the path to healthy aging.
Gluten is another topic that has gained a lot of attention recently. The truth is that many recent studies have shown that most of us can tolerate gluten just fine. But, for people who are not able to tolerate gluten, removing it from their diet can make a big difference.
Lynda says that if you feel sluggish, you might want to consider going gluten free for a while to see if it makes a difference.
For a balanced look at exactly what gluten is and how it can impact your body, take a look at the following video.
Finally, Lynda says that each of us should make sure that we have enough healthy oils in our diet. In her opinion, there is a misconception that “all oils are bad,” which is absolutely not the case. For example, the fats in nuts, fish and avocados are excellent sources of healthy oils. You may also want to try coconut oil, which is one of my favorites.
I hope that you found this information useful. Nutrition and exercise are so important when it comes to healthy aging. It’s up to each of us to make sure that we are getting the nutrition that our bodies and brains deserves.
What are your favorite healthy foods? Have you made any changes to your diet recently that have had a positive impact on your energy or overall health? Please join the conversation.