Nutrition

Supplements To Take In Your 40s

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If you are reaching your 40s or are already in your 40s, your health should be a high priority. Eating a healthy and balanced diet and taking exercise regularly are a must, however you can further help your body by taking certain key supplements.

There are some supplements which I consider essential in your 40s and there are others which may be important to build a foundation for optimal health.

Should I take a multivitamin in my 40s?

I have always recommended a quality multivitamin as I consider this to be important because we often tend to eat food groups that may not necessarily provide an abundance of nutrients. Equally, our digestive system ages with us and so we may not be able to absorb these nutrients efficiently. A quality food state multivitamin will bridge the gap and act like an insurance policy to ensure that our bodies are nourished in order to work at their optimal level.

Alive Once Daily Multivitamin is a comprehensive one-a-day food-state multivitamin and mineral supplement which also contains fruit and vegetable extracts known for their antioxidant properties as well as digestive enzymes to help digestion and mushroom extracts to enhance your immune system. Alive Multivitamin supplement however is not suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

Vegans and vegetarians should opt for Terra Nova’s Living Multinutrient Complex which is also food-based and provides nutrients in a base of green foods which contain digestive enzymes to help enhance absorption.

If you cannot swallow tablets or capsules, then Source of Life Gold Liquid is one of a few food-state liquids providing vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids as well as fruit and vegetable extracts.

What about probiotics and omega 3?

Probiotics are the healthy bacteria in your gut. The older you are, the more vulnerable your system is to unhealthy bacteria. If your gut is not in a healthy state, your body will simply not absorb nutrients, you may experience constipation and perhaps even some gas or bloating. Probiotics enhance your immune system, manufacture energising B vitamins, break down food in the colon and help remove acids and toxins from the intestines.

Mega Probiotic ND is free from gluten, dairy, wheat, soya, yeast and other common allergens that can affect our digestive system and provides eight strains of bacteria that are able to pass through the harsh acid environment of the stomach reaching our gut where they are able to perform their myriad of roles.

Omega 3’s fatty acids are the good fats which your body uses to manufacture hormones, calm down inflammation in the body and have a positive impact on heart and brain function. Deficiencies of omega 3 are common in people who consume large amounts of processed foods, hydrogenated oils and those on a vegetarian or vegan diet. The primary animal sources of omega 3’s are fish oil or krill oil supplements and Lion Heart Pure Omega 3 Fish Oil and Neubria Krill Oil are two of the best omega 3 supplements on the market.

Should I take anything else?

A multivitamin, omega 3 and a probiotic are three key supplements to take during your 40s, however you may also wish to consider the use of Sage Complex. From roughly the age of 35, the production of female hormones by the ovaries begins to decline and this can have subtle effects on the body since oestrogen protects our skin, heart, bones and provides numerous other protective benefits. These subtle changes can also include low mood and often an inability to concentrate. Sage Complex contains herbs that are called phytoestrogens which mimic the female hormones and therefore help to offer protection against many of these concerns, especially as this phase is often termed the perimenopause. Those with much lower levels of female hormones may experience some hot flushes, tender breasts, low sex drive, mood swings and irregular periods, all of which may be greatly alleviated with the introduction of Sage Complex.

If you have a history of osteoporosis in the family or have a dairy-free diet, it would be prudent to consider the use of a calcium supplement. Calcium is needed for our heart, muscles, and nerves to function properly as well as for blood to clot. According to the National Institute of Health, several surveys show that people are simply not getting sufficient calcium on a daily basis to maintain healthy bones. There are many other factors that may lend to calcium deficiencies such as a high protein diet which encourages calcium excretion, lactose intolerance and a lack of vitamin D3 which is widespread in the adult population.

If you decide to take a calcium supplement then please consider Bone Restore with Vitamin K2 by Life Extension which provides three types of highly absorbable calcium alongside magnesium, vitamin D3, silica and other bone building nutrients. The magnesium in Bone Restore will also hopefully help to relax the body, enhance energy levels and may help with better quality sleep.

I always advocate that supplements should be taken alongside a healthy and balanced diet. Always read the labels of all supplements you purchase to see if there are any warnings that would make them inappropriate for you.

Seven Easy Additions To Your Morning Routine For Glowing Skin

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As a Nutritional Therapist, I like to focus on giving advice to my clients that can be incorporated into everyday life. I’m not a fan of diets or fads and I’m aware that unless the advice is do-able, it’s just not going to be adhered to. That’s why I often suggest ‘adding-in’ helpful practices. Here are some of my favourite small additions that could give you glowing skin if implemented regularly…

Drink a large glass of water upon waking

This is one of the nutrition basics but it’s one that can be so easily overlooked. Dehydration really shows on the skin as your body prioritises the more ‘vital’ organs. Some people love getting up and drinking hot water with lemon and that’s wonderful if you have the time. But, if you don’t then a large glass of water is just as hydrating. I also find it’s a much easier way of encouraging compliance.

Dry body brushing

This is great for lymphatic stimulation, as well as exfoliating the skin. Your lymph can only be moved manually as it doesn’t get ‘pumped’ in the same way your blood does. Practicing dry body brushing has been said to reduce cellulite and improve skin tone. Start at your feet and brush upwards in small circular motions towards your heart. For arms, begin at the hands and work upward. For the stomach, work in a counter-clockwise pattern. I prefer to do this in the morning rather than the evening as it can be quite energising. A couple of minutes before showering is ideal.

Alternating hot/cold shower

Again, this is great for your lymphatic system. It also helps to improve blood circulation. Blood flow to the surface is what carries the nutrients from your diet to the skin. I suggest alternating between hot and cold right at the end of showering, sticking to each temperature for about 20-30 seconds before switching (it’s meant to feel a little bracing but there’s no need to push it to where you feel uncomfortable). Then repeat this in total about three times.

Have an antioxidant-rich breakfast

Antioxidants are an essential part of the diet for healthy skin. They help protect against damaging ‘free radicals’ (the unstable chemicals in our environment that can cause premature ageing). They protect our collagen and elastin, vital proteins that maintain elasticity as well as increasing blood flow to the surface of our skin to help achieve that glow! They can be found in fruit and vegetables so it’s important to eat a wide variety (especially focus on ‘eating a rainbow’). Foods that are particularly high in antioxidants include blueberries, cherries and strawberries (or any seasonal berry in fact). That’s why I advocate including them in your breakfast in some way – either in a smoothie or as a topping for porridge or granola. My all-time favourite antioxidant-rich breakfast is an Açaí bowl.

Don’t forget about including ‘good’ fats

I think people are less scared nowadays about including fats in their diets (the bottom line: ‘good’ fat doesn’t make you fat). I encourage my clients to incorporate either avocados, nuts, seeds, nut butters, chia seeds, hemp seeds or flaxseeds into their breakfasts. The omega-3 fats found in these foods help keep skin plump as well as keeping you satiated for longer so less likely to eat sugary snacks. Omega-3 is also a great anti-inflammatory.

Vitamin C

Topical vitamin C is big news these days. As well as being an antioxidant, it also plays a key role in collagen formation and synthesis (that’s the protein that keeps skin looking bouncy and youthful). I recommend both topical and dietary sources for maximum effect. Our bodies can’t store vitamin C so it’s important to regularly include sources of it in our diet. Foods rich in vitamin C include citrus fruits and berries.

Take your supplements with breakfast (and save the coffee for mid-morning)

You’re much more likely to remember to take supplements if you take them at the same time every day. Most supplements can be taken alongside your breakfast so it’s easier to remember. Try to avoid drinking coffee at the same time, however, as caffeine can inhibit nutrient absorption. It’s best to save coffee until mid-morning if possible.

Frances Phillips is a Nutritional Therapist and Health & Beauty Writer, www.thenaturaledit.com.

Turmeric, Ghee and Sesame Oil

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Health bunnies can’t fail to have noticed how Ayurveda (the ancient Indian approach to wellness) is increasingly influencing our daily routines. Lattes and porridge laced with the golden herb, Turmeric; the idea of ‘oil pulling’ i.e. swishing our mouths with sesame or coconut oil; ghee (revered as a precious superfood in India) as the ‘good fat’ of choice.

In a way this is a natural extension of the interest in yoga, since Ayurveda stems from the same knowledge base – the Vedas, a vast body of ancient texts covering all aspects of living life to the full from exercise, eating and meditation practices through to astrology and architecture. But what does Ayurveda mean? Directly translated, the word ‘Ayur’ means life and ‘Veda’ knowledge, and generally could be described as a holistic approach to healthy living and longevity. A renowned Vaidya (Ayurvedic Doctor) I met in India recently had a very simplified and practical explanation – that it is a way of extending life mainly through good food and sleep. Read More…

Something Sweet

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On a recent trip to the Himalayas, I was lucky enough to meet an Ayurvedic chef who took me on a tour of his organic kitchen garden. Amongst the usual herbs and leaves you might expect to see (mint, coriander, basil) were stevia plants, these days increasingly being adopted by the healthy brigade as a natural sweetener. He picked one of the green leaves – which looked a little like wild mint – for me to taste, and I was surprised by its delicious sweetness. That something ‘in the raw’ like that could taste so sugary made me think about how much confusion there is over sugar – what’s healthy and what’s not. Read More…