Looking and feeling young in every phase of life, pt. 2

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Looking and feeling young in every phase of life

Part 2 of 3 Nutrition 

By Lori Hudson Bertrand DC, RN

 

A Nutritional guideline for each phase of life

Growing up I remember my grandmother loving her sweets.  Her favorite was always strawberry ice cream.  She just couldn’t pass it up!  I’ve heard people joke and say when you reach a certain age you deserve to splurge and eat what you want. While eating sweets in moderation is accepted, one may not realize the physiological changes the body goes through as we age and how these changes affect nutritional status. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying completely deprive yourself of the foods you love to eat, but rather my hope is to shed light on nutritional need the body needs as we age.

 

Healthy eating habits are something we know is important, but how often do you evaluate your diet based on your age? The body needs different nutrients as we get older and modifying eating habits can be a simple, yet important, way to improve overall health and wellbeing.  Here’s a look at what dietary changes are needed in each phase of life.

Women 20-40 years of age

Calcium

Helps with bone strength and integrity. Other functions include muscle contraction, improved nerve transmission, and playing an important part in the clotting process.

Some sources include greens (kale, spinach, etc.), oranges, peas, beans, tofu, salmon, milk, yogurt, and other dairy products.

Magnesium

Helps with bone strength and integrity.  Aids in absorbing calcium and vitamin D needed for tooth and bone formation. Plays a role in protein synthesis and in the metabolism of carbohydrates.  

Some sources include nuts, beans, bananas, grains, raisins, figs, and green leafy vegetables.

Vitamin D

Helps with bone strength and integrity.  Aids in absorbing calcium and magnesium needed for tooth and bone formation.  Known to decrease inflammation and helps prevent other illnesses in the body.

Some sources include sunlight, salmon and fish liver oils, fortified milk and orange juice, and some mushrooms.

Niacin (B3)

B3 aids in fat, protein, and carbohydrate metabolism.  It helps improve digestion, eliminate toxins, and rid the body of other wastes.  Also known to help lower cholesterol.

Sources are widespread; some include grains, nuts (almonds and peanuts), vegetables (broccoli, sweat potatoes, tomatoes), fish (salmon and halibut), meats (like chicken and turkey), fruit (mango and peaches)

Pantothenic Acid (B5)

B5 aids in fat, protein, and carbohydrate metabolism.  Helps the immune system, plays a role in the secretion of some hormones, keeps the skin looking younger, and fights fatigue.

Some sources are widespread, but some include whole grains, legumes, greens, mushrooms, milk, fish, and nuts.

Folic Acid (B9)

Functions include the maturation and formation of red blood cells and the prevention of neural tube defects.  It is also necessary for DNA/RNA synthesis and repair.

Some sources include leafy vegetables (greens and spinach), egg yolk, legumes, cereals, and sunflower seeds.

Vitamin A (retinol)

Has many functions within the body.  This antioxidant aids in visual acuity, helps with immunity, maintains skin integrity, and improves cellular health.

Some sources include carrots, sweet potatoes, broccoli, pumpkin, tomatoes, kale, spinach and mango.

Vitamin E (tocopherol)

An excellent antioxidant that protects vitamin A in the body and helps clot blood.

Some sources include green leafy veggies (spinach and kale), avocado, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, mango, tomatoes, whole grains, and vegetable oils.

 

Women in their forties

Calcium

Helps with bone strength and integrity. Other functions include muscle contraction, improved nerve transmission, and playing an important part in the clotting process.

Some sources include greens (kale, spinach, etc.), oranges, peas, beans, tofu, salmon, milk, yogurt, and other dairy products.

Magnesium

Helps with bone strength and integrity.  Aids in absorbing calcium and vitamin D needed for tooth and bone formation. Plays a role in protein synthesis and in the metabolism of carbohydrates.  

Some sources include nuts, beans, bananas, grains, raisins, figs, and green leafy vegetables.

Vitamin D

Helps with bone strength and integrity.  Aids in absorbing calcium and magnesium needed for tooth and bone formation.  Known to decrease inflammation and helps prevent other illnesses in the body.

Some sources include sunlight, salmon and fish liver oils, fortified milk and orange juice, and some mushrooms.

Niacin (B3)

B3 aids in fat, protein, and carbohydrate metabolism.  It helps improve digestion, eliminate toxins, and rid the body of other wastes.  Also known to help lower cholesterol.

Sources are widespread; some include grains, nuts (almonds and peanuts), vegetables (broccoli, sweat potatoes, tomatoes), fish (salmon and halibut), meats (like chicken and turkey), fruit (mango and peaches)

Pantothenic Acid (B5)

B5 aids in fat, protein, and carbohydrate metabolism.  Helps the immune system, plays a role in the secretion of some hormones, keeps the skin looking younger, and fights fatigue.

Some sources are widespread, but some include whole grains, legumes, greens, mushrooms, milk, fish, and nuts.

Folic Acid (B9)

Functions include the maturation and formation of red blood cells and the prevention of neural tube defects.  It is also necessary for DNA/RNA synthesis and repair.

Some sources include leafy vegetables (greens and spinach), egg yolk, legumes, cereals, and sunflower seeds.

Cyanocobalamin (B12)

Aids in protein metabolism required for red blood cell formation, which is necessary for healthy neurological function.  It also promotes digestion.

Some sources include egg yolks, salmon, cereals, chicken, yogurt, milk, and clams.

Potassium

Helps maintain fluid and electrolyte balance, transfers nutrients, controls muscle movement, promotes oxygen absorption, and regulates blood pressure.

Some sources include apricots, almonds, chocolate, green leafy veggies, whole grains, bananas, and soybeans.

 

Women over 50 years of age

Calcium

Helps with bone strength and integrity. Other functions include muscle contraction, improved nerve transmission, and playing an important part in the clotting process.

Some sources include greens (kale, spinach, etc.), oranges, peas, beans, tofu, salmon, milk, yogurt, and other dairy products.

Magnesium

Helps with bone strength and integrity.  Aids in absorbing calcium and vitamin D needed for tooth and bone formation. Plays a role in protein synthesis and in the metabolism of carbohydrates.  

Some sources include nuts, beans, bananas, grains, raisins, figs, and green leafy vegetables.

Vitamin D

Helps with bone strength and integrity.  Aids in absorbing calcium and magnesium needed for tooth and bone formation.  Known to decrease inflammation and helps prevent other illnesses in the body.

Some sources include sunlight, salmon and fish liver oils, fortified milk and orange juice, and some mushrooms.

Pantothenic Acid (B5)

B5 aids in fat, protein, and carbohydrate metabolism.  Helps the immune system, plays a role in the secretion of some hormones, keeps the skin looking younger, and fights fatigue.

Some sources are widespread, but some include whole grains, legumes, greens, mushrooms, milk, fish, and nuts.

Pyridoxine (B6)

Aids in fat, protein, and carbohydrate metabolism; maintains healthy skin integrity; and promotes a healthy immune system.

Some sources include bananas, spinach, broccoli, cantaloupe, peppers, and potatoes.

Cyanocobalamin (B12)

Aids in protein metabolism required for red blood cell formation, which is necessary for healthy neurological function.  It also promotes digestion.

Some sources include egg yolks, salmon, cereals, chicken, yogurt, milk, and clams.

Folic Acid (B9)

Functions include the maturation and formation of red blood cells and the prevention of neural tube defects.  It is also necessary for DNA/RNA synthesis and repair.

Some sources include leafy vegetables (greens and spinach), egg yolk, legumes, cereals, and sunflower seeds.

Vitamin A (retinol)

Has many functions within the body.  This antioxidant aids in visual acuity, helps with immunity, maintains skin integrity, and improves cellular health.

Some sources include carrots, sweet potatoes, broccoli, pumpkin, tomatoes, kale, spinach and mango.

Vitamin C

Aids in collagen formation, promotes iron absorption, and is an excellent antioxidant.

Some sources include citrus fruits, strawberries, greens, broccoli, and green peppers.

Vitamin E (tocopherol)

An excellent antioxidant that protects vitamin A in the body and helps clot blood.

Some sources include green leafy veggies (spinach and kale), avocado, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, mango, tomatoes, whole grains, and vegetable oils.

Potassium

Helps maintain fluid and electrolyte balance, transfers nutrients, controls muscle movement, promotes oxygen absorption, and regulates blood pressure.

Some sources include apricots, almonds, chocolate, green leafy veggies, whole grains, bananas, and soybeans.

Zinc

A key player in immune response; aids in tissue repair and healing; and is necessary for a healthy since of smell and taste.

Some sources include cashews, cereal, oysters, beans, almonds, dried peas, milk, and oatmeal.

Iron

Utilized in oxygen transportation, regulates cell growth, and helps maintain a healthy immune system.

Some sources include tofu, molasses, beans, spinach, raisins, shrimp, turkey, tuna, lentils, and whole grain cereals.

Omega 3

Promotes cardiac function and brain stability; decreases inflammation in the body; and supports eye health.

Some sources include flax seed, salmon, walnuts, tofu, grass fed beef, and green leafy veggies.

 

Keep in mind that each person may have more specific dietary needs based on history, medical condition, or other associated factors.  There are so many vitamins, minerals and supplements contained in various foods.  Consuming a balanced diet, packed with essential nutrients can help replenish the body of key elements that are necessary as we age.

 

 

Lori_frontblogImage

DEFINE’s senior instructor and anatomy specialist, Lori Hudson Bertrand D.C., R.N. is a doctor in chiropractic and registered nurse. Her love for helping people through education about anatomy and physiology drives her to continue to share her experiences and knowledge with others as they pursue their journey towards health and restoration!

 

Information about recommended health screens and examinations used in this post is found in Taylor, Lillis, LeMone, Lynn, Fundamentals of Nursing, (Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer, 2008), 1423-1425.

 

Anderson, J.E. & Prior, S. (2013).  Nutrition and Aging, 9.322. Retrieved from:

http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/foodnut/09322.html

 

 

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