Important Ingredients for Continued Health and Happiness As You Age
A boomer is someone born between 1946 and 1965. In Canada that totals over 9.6 million people, or over ¼ of the population. Their sheer numbers have wielded immense power influencing our economy, society and values. This influence is expected to continue and possibly intensify as they transition from the workplace to retirement.
So what is it boomers want? The same thing all Canadians want - economic security, health and happiness. The economic security aspect I will leave to the financial gurus. Today I’ll cover the other two topics - health and happiness. The reality is (unfortunately) once we pass a certain age each birthday brings with it more than cake and presents, it brings deterioration. Our bodies begin a steady (and hopefully slow) decline. Essentially we begin to wear out our parts.
Clean living will do wonders for slowing down the decline. Your mother was right all those years ago. Regular exercise and eating your veggies when you’re young sets the pattern for adolescence and adulthood. Sugary sweets, fatty snacks and a sedentary lifestyle effectively ‘flip the switch’ dramatically accelerating the decline.
Regular exercise and healthy eating both provide numerous health benefits. Instead of providing the laundry list of conditions they prevent or improve, it is sufficient to say that regular exercise and healthy eating improve virtually every aspect of your health and contribute to the prevention of numerous diseases, including some that can be debilitating and potentially fatal.
In addition to exercise and healthy eating, supplements provide the nutritional foundation of good health and longevity. Each provides a unique nutrient profile that fills holes in even the healthiest diets.
Fibre: Adequate fibre is essential for good health. Over the past century we have seen a dramatic increase in digestive complaints and blood sugar issues. This increase corresponds with an almost 30% decrease in the daily consumption of fibre. This is unfortunate as dietary fibre can help to prevent both of these conditions but with our current diets it can be difficult to obtain enough daily fibre. Topping up your fibre is easier than ever. Supplements are available that are low dose (1 teaspoon), high in fibre (97%) and completely tasteless and non-thickening.
Probiotics: Simply put, probiotics are live microorganisms which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit upon you. The health benefits most strains provide are digestive support and immune system improvement. Contrary to popular belief, a mammoth amount of our immune system’s action occurs in the gut, where probiotics have the greatest power. To obtain ideal benefits, you need to ensure that you take probiotic strains that are both clinically proven and Health Canada approved, e.g. Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium bifidum and Bifidobacterium longum.
To make life a little easier, look for a supplement that combines your fibre & probiotics in one product. Look where you shop for supplements for a clear, taste-free, non-thickening fibre supplement with added probiotics.
Protein: Protein is the building block for all the muscles in your body. As you age, you eat less food overall and as a result your protein intake decreases. In addition, as you age your ability to break down dietary protein and build new muscle also deteriorates. The combined net effect is that after age 30 you begin a steady loss of muscle. This muscle loss results in weakness and loss of stamina, which then often leads to a reduction in physical activity. This circular pattern of muscle weakness and reduced physical activity, leads to further weakness, frailty and poor overall health.
To combat muscle loss it is imperative to ensure you supplement with adequate high quality protein beyond what you can eat. Powdered instant high protein shakes offer you the ability to have a high protein drink with very low calories. Look for instant drinks that are easy to mix and taste good; that way you are more likely to take it on a regular basis.
Multi-vitamin / Multi-mineral: It is virtually impossible to get all the vitamins and minerals you need in adequate amounts each day from food alone. That is why a well-balanced, high quality multi is important as a supplement to your daily diet. A good choice is always a vegan hypoallergenic multi as they are free of fillers, allergens and unnecessary additives. These smaller pills (because of the lack of fillers) are easy to take. There are specific formulas, including one just for the “silver set”.
Greens: Popeye was right. Greens, including spinach, are wonderful for energy, endurance and good health. It turns out that greens are a class of superfood with chlorophyll being the magical constituent. Chlorophyll increases energy, helps breathing and helps to balance pH for better nutrient absorption. The easiest way to take greens is a liquid concentrate. The best concentrates mix easily, have no grit and can be found in a flavourless, mint or chocolate version.
A healthy diet combined with moderate exercise and proper supplementation can help you enjoy a long, healthy, and less painful life after the daily grind of work is but a memory.