As we grow older we can easily get stuck on what's happening to the outside of us. The commercial, Help I've fallen and I can't get up, crossing my mind when looking in a mirror. It seems like in just a year my body has changed. Besides getting shorter as we age, it's like our skin from the top of our head to the bottom of our feet begins to sag.
There are some great products and procedures that can help certain parts of our face and body, but if we spend too much time tripping about the downward spiral of our face and bodies we're missing the point on what's truly important for lifelong health.
As we grow older, our bodies go through many changes, including a change in our daily dietary needs. It is important to take into account these needs and adjust our nutrient and caloric intake accordingly. While in most cases dietary alterations will not be drastic, they are still important to maintaining good health.
This article is directed at the 50 plus group. We see changes on the outside, we feel the changes that are happening on the inside, but do you know we can fight this downward spiral?
Unless you stay as active as you were in your younger years, your calorie intake needs to be reduced. Many older people become less active, and your muscle mass decreases. Less muscle mass requires fewer calories. If intake is not adjusted properly, an increase in weight can happen. Stay active.
Incontinence increases as we age. You could assume that limiting intake would help with that. Who wants to worry more about crossing your legs when you sneeze than covering your face in your sweater? Don't get dehydrated. As we age we need water as much as we do when we're younger. “It is recommended that men get 13 eight-ounce cups of liquid a day and women get 10.”
Vitamin B12 is greatly needed for cell reproduction. It helps to maintain both healthy nerve and red blood cells. Vitamin B12 is released from the proteins in food during digestion. As you age, your stomach produces less hydrochloric acid which aids in the digestion process. So while your intake of foods rich in Vitamin B12 might be the same as when you were younger, your body may not be absorbing the same amounts. Those over 50 can have a blood test to find out your B12 levels. It might be prudent to rely on a fortified source or a supplement, rather than solely on dietary intake.
We actually need more Vitamin D as we get older. You will probably find that you aren’t in the sun as much, or that if you are, you are using sun screen, which will weaken the effect. But our need for Vitamin D increases as you get older. Vitamin D helps maintain normal blood levels of calcium and phosphorus. Sun exposure is the most important source of Vitamin D. Again a supplement might be needed.
Women's iron needs can change after menopause. Women need less, but you still need to be getting at least 8mg of protein a day.
Fiber is important to digestion, as well as to lowering cholesterol and helping regulate the body’s sugars. Men over 50 should be getting 30 grams as opposed to 38 for men under 50. Women over 50 require 21 grams, under need 25 grams. Most people are falling short of recommended fiber intake. So while you may need less because you are older, depending on your diet, you may still need to increase it. Add it naturally by opting for fruits as desserts and vegetables for snacks. Leave them uncooked with skins on to maintain the highest level of fiber. Also put more whole wheat and bran into your diet. A dietary fiber supplement is something you might want to consider.
Calcium absorption decreases with age. Calcium is needed for strong bones and teeth as well as a host of vital body functions from muscle contraction to sending messages through the nervous system. The National Institute of Health recommends that men and women aged 51 plus have 1200mg of calcium per day. This is up from the 1000 recommended for men and women 19-50.
When you don't get enough of these vitamins and minerals you can feel tired, lethargic and even depressed. If you are experiencing symptoms that are new to your own body, please listen to your body. With healthcare being affordable and preventative screening and tests covered by insurance there simply is no excuse not to take advantage of these services and find out everything you can to live a healthy long life.
Now that you have a plan to take care of that body of yours it might be fun to consider that many skin tightening procedures available also.
(If you have any health concerns, it is a good idea to consult your doctor prior to making dietary adjustments or considering supplements.)
Lois Trader is all about women's heart health. Valentine's Day is coming up. Make sure you are doing enough for yourself and then dig into the other women in your life. My book, "Surviving" will help you live your best heart healthy life.