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The 10 Best Health Habits of Zoomers
Feel your best during your golden years. Embrace these healthy habits to help prevent degenerative diseases.
1. They Seek Out Whole Foods
Nourishing your body with nutrients directly from food is essential to feeling your best on a foundational level. Aim to live by the expression – “If it came from a plant, eat it. If it was made in a plant, don’t”. A whole foods diet promotes the health of all body systems – from balancing blood sugar and preventing joint aches, to giving you the energy you want to enjoy your days. Lots of colourful vegetables, organic meats and fish, nuts, seeds, and fruits will give your body the nourishment it needs to help you feel your best and prevent chronic illness.
2. They Address Food Intolerances
Food intolerances (aka food sensitivities) can develop over time, and people often go undiagnosed for many years, suffering from stomach issues and other health problems because they are unaware. Not only can these intolerances cause obvious symptoms such as gas, bloating, abdominal pains, and heartburn, but they can also cause fatigue, joint pains, poor immune function, memory issues, mental fogginess, headaches, trigger autoimmune responses, and skin irritations like psoriasis, acne, or eczema. Identifying food triggers through lab testing or a specific food elimination diet can help you heal your gut lining and reduce or eliminate pressing health concerns, allowing you to feel (and look) your best.
3. They Check Nutrient Levels
One of the easiest ways to ensure you are on target with your health is to have key vitamin and mineral levels tested. This is especially important as we age because nutrient levels naturally decrease in the body and aren’t absorbed as easily. Regular testing of iron, vitamin D, vitamin B12, calcium, and magnesium will help to ensure that your key nutrient levels are on track. Specialized comprehensive laboratory testing can take this a step further by analyzing many vital micronutrients including vitamins, minerals, amino acids, antioxidants, fatty acids, and metabolites. The more information you can gather, the better your potential to feel good and function well each day.
4. They Take Prescribed Supplements
To treat certain health concerns, natural substances may need to be given at therapeutic doses that are too high to obtain from food alone, making a high quality supplement the best method for attaining benefits. Any prescribed supplement needs to be taken consistently in order to work, and at the individualized dose that is right for you.
The quality of supplements can vary, with some containing artificial colours and flavours, or binders and fillers that prevent the key ingredients from being properly absorbed. Often times, a higher quality professional brand will get you the results you’re looking for, while you may not see the same effects with a lesser quality brand or dose.
5. They Love Fish, Flax and Chia
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential nutrients that can be found in foods like wild caught fish, flax, and chia seeds, or taken as a fish oil supplement.
Omega-3 fatty acids are important structural components for cells, and exert beneficial anti-inflammatory effects. The average diet today does not contain adequate amounts of omega-3s, leading to deficiencies that promote health problems. Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to benefit cardiovascular health, weight management, vision, brain health, and nervous system function.
6. They Support Their Joints
Joint formula ingredients such as glucosamine, chondroitin, and other natural anti-inflammatories have proven to be extremely helpful for rebuilding joint tissue and reducing inflammation. Glucosamine is one of the most researched joint health supplements, particularly for osteoarthritis. Chondroitin is a component of cartilage, making it useful for reducing pain and improving mobility. Natural anti-inflammatories shown to be beneficial for joint health include curcumin, boswellia, and as mentioned earlier, omega-3 fatty acids. Taken correctly, these supplements may replace or reduce the use of pharmaceutical anti-inflammatories or pain relief medications.
7) They Take Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 deficiency is especially common in older adults, most often due to intestinal malabsorption. Significant B12 deficiency can lead to neurological symptoms such as numbness and tingling of the hands & feet, memory loss, and mood changes. Correcting deficiencies can include dietary changes, or supplementation using the bioavailable form, methylcobalamin, either taken orally or via injection.
8. They Get the Sunshine Vitamin
Vitamin D is essential for the proper utilization of calcium in the body, ensuring optimal functioning of the nervous system and bone formation. Vitamin D also modulates the immune system, meaning that it enhances your innate immunity but inhibits the development of autoimmune responses.
As we age, we have a reduced ability to synthesize vitamin D from the suns rays, which is further perpetuated by lack of sun exposure and the use of sunscreens. Supplementation can be valuable, and vitamin D is best absorbed when taken with a meal.
9. They take antioxidant CoEnzyme Q10
CoEnzyme Q10 (aka CoQ10), is a powerful antioxidant compound that helps produce energy for your cells, strengthen your cardiovascular system, regulate blood pressure, and support a healthy immune system. It is integral to many processes in the body, and as we age, our levels naturally decline. Statin drugs also deplete CoQ10 in the body, leading to potential side effects like muscle aches and pains. The most bioavailable form of CoQ10 is known as ubiquinol, which is the best form to supplement with as you age.
10. They enjoy fitness and being active
Not only does physical activity promote the release of feel-good endorphins, staying active can also help improve circulation, keep joints mobile, maintain lean body mass, and keep your cardiovascular system functioning optimally. During exercise, you want to challenge yourself, but not push to the point of harm. Always consult your primary healthcare provider before starting a new activity or exercise program, and be sure to stop your activity if you experience any pain or discomfort.
Nicola Kempinska, ND practices family medicine, with a focus on anti-aging and longevity medicine as well as, women’s health. For more information or to book an appointment please visit: www.DrKempinska.com
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