Wondering if you should take the trouble to eat certain foods or spend the cash on supplements?
For the majority of women, these 4 nutrients are well worth the effort and/or cash!
Everyone believes that calcium develops solid bones, however this mineral is also important for many other reasons and where it comes from and what can destroy it is often surprising!
Calcium relaxes muscles after they have contracted, it regulates many cellular functions and also buffers acidity in the blood. People are never really too acidic per se, as the body does a stellar job of managing the pH at all times. What can happen, though, is the number one buffer for acidity in the body is calcium – and guess where the largest store of calcium is? That’s right! In your bones. Brittle bones as you age may not be as simple as a lack of calcium, it could be a life long battle keeping your body pH regulated!
Calcium can be found in large amounts in green leafy foods. Dairy is not the best source as it has the effect of leaching calcium from the bones (hip fracture and milk consumption studies show that the more milk, the more hip fractures!!). Nuts, seeds and whole grains also contain good quantities of calcium.
Not only does D play a very significant role with calcium regulation in the body (Vit D is just as important for strong bones as the calcium itself) low levels of Vitamin D are being associated with more and more age related disorders. Low Vit D is associated with obesity, hormonal disorders, thyroid function, metabolic disorders, various cancers, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and more.
Vit D is actually formed in the body by a reaction between sun and skin! However, we are all aware of sun exposure issues these days, so Vit D may need to be supplemented. There is a large body of research being done on this vitamin (it can even be considered a hormone since it is made in the body and does many hormone type jobs) and the jury is out on the best amount of supplementation, if supplementation is effective and how much sun is safe.
In the meantime, if you are not getting much sun, and are a middle aged woman, vitamin D supplementation would be wise as it is very common for women from about 45 years old onward to be low in D!
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
These fatty acids are required in doses that can help mop up damage done by excessive Omega 6 fatty acids. One of the biggest issues in heart disease, insulin resistance and and practically every type of inflammatory based illness is a poor omega 3 to omega 6 fatty acid ratio. In very simple terms (because its not that simple) omega 3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory while omega 6 fatty acids are inflammatory. If you eat a lot of refined oils you will need more omega 3 to balance the ratio and to help mop up the inflammatory fires!
If you don’t want to take fish oils for whatever reason (concern for the ocean and devastating fishing industry, concern about pollutants in the ocean, etc) two excellent sources are lab grown sea algae (fish don’t make omega 3, they eat the algae to get it), and freshly ground flax seed (not flax seed oil)
Pre and Probiotics
As we discover more about the human microbiome we are discovering more and more about how important this major regulator of our health is! The microbiome is essentially the billions of microorganisms that live in our gut. They digest our food, make various chemicals from their digestive processes, and provide us with either toxic or life saving chemicals that we absorb into our systems.
We are seeing a correlation with many modern day illnesses associated with out of balance gut flora. Pro biotics are the “good” colonies of gut bacteria and pre biotics are the foods that feed them. Fibre is the number one pre biotic and without getting too technical the correlation between eating enough fruits and egetables and good health is turning out to be mostly to do with pre biotics and their effect on the health of our little gut friends.
Pro biotic supplements are very useful after anything that can kill of the gut microorganisms. We want to make sure we keep the scales balanced towards a healthy gut!
If you want to know exactly what you should be eating, and supplementing, and in what amounts, the Cenegenics Elite Health Assessment is the most advanced way of finding out, with over 120 tests conducted.
Through Cenegenics association with the Australian Anti Aging Corporation, we are also at the forefront of Microbiome research and management of an individual’s health outcomes by understanding this very important facet of health.