Vitamins and Minerals for the Over 50's
As promised, here is an over-view of the main essential vitamins and minerals, BUT, rather than take them in isolation it is better to take a good multi-vitamin and mineral tablet aimed specifically at the over 50s.
What it can do for you, for example -
Found in, for example -
Promotes growth, strong bones, healthy skin, hair, teeth, and gums. Builds resistance to respiratory infections. Good for eyes, particularly night blindness.
Carrots, fish oils, eggs, green and yellow vegetables, milk and dairy products
10,000 iu is the average daily dose.Prolonged high doses can be bad for you as it can be stored in the body.
Helps to maintain a healthy nervous system, muscles and heart and energy.Good for stress and aids memory.
Whole-wheat, whole brown rice, oatmeal, bran, milk, liver, fish, vegetables, beef, pork, nuts, fruits.
It is a good idea to take all the various B vitamins in one B complex tablet. Smoking and alcohol can deplete the body of this vitamin.C
Aids in the prevention of the common cold, infections, helps repair body tissues, eg. helps healing after surgery.
Citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables, tomatoes, potatoes. NB. It is generally not a good idea to eat citrus fruits, eg oranges, grapefruits, etc. if you suffer from arthritis.
Helps the body absorb iron. Vit C works best when taken with calcium and magnesium. Vit C is excreted from the body quite quickly so it is a good idea to take a time-release tablet. Smoking can destroy Vit C.
Works with calcium for strong bones and teeth
Acquired through sunlight, eating plenty of fish and fish oils, and dairy products
Dosages over 5,000 iu daily not recommended. Dark-skinned people living in northern climates usually need to take additional Vit D.
Good for the skin and helps you to look younger. Helps healing of burns, and helps with fatigue.
Wheat germ, soya beans, broccoli, spinach and leafy greens, whole-grain cereals and eggs.
Iron tablets destroy the efficiency of Vit E if taken together - allow 8 hours between. Women over 50 and menopausal women should increase their Vit E intake.
Essential for strong bones and healthy teeth
Milk, cheese, soyabeans, sardines, walnuts, sunflower seeds and green vegetables.
Calcium and iron are the two minerals often deficient in a woman's diet. Dolomite tablets are a natural form of calcium and magnesium
Necessary for the production of red blood corpuscles (haemoglobin). Prevents iron-deficiency anaemia and fatigue.
Red meat and offal, egg yolks, nut, beans, molasses, oatmeal
For normal adults the recommended amount is 10 - 18 mg, but before increasing the amount (perhaps because of fatigue, etc) it is better to consult your doctor. It is worth noting that ferrous sulphate, a form of iron that appears in many supplements, may destroy your Vit E: the chelated form of iron is preferable.
Necessary for the optimum functioning of nerves and muscles. Helps fight depression. Good for the heart.
Figs, nuts (in particular almonds), seeds, apples, grapefruit and apples.
People who suffer from cramp are often deficient in magnesium. Alcoholics are also usually deficient. Dolomite (a balanced formula of magnesium and calcium) is a good quality supplement.
Works with Vitamin E and appears to slow down the aging process. Helps with energy.
Wheat germ, tuna fish, onions, broccoli, tomatoes, bran
Selenium is important to human nutrition. Because of intensive farming and food processing techniques, many of our foods are depleted of Selenium.
Good for the immune system, muscle function and blood and brain function. It can also help with healing.
Choice meats such as steak and chops, wheat germ, pumpkin seeds, eggs.
Men should keep their zinc levels up, particularly if worried about prostrate problems. Zinc and manganese are thought to help ward of senility in the elderly.
REMEMBER: What you put into your body is what you get out of your body! So think of food as fuel and choose food from the chart above.
Sadly, cakes, biscuits, etc. are merely 'comfort' foods and not nourishing fuel for the body.
The only result we get from eating too many buns is perhaps ending up looking like one - which is certainly food for thought!!!
NOW HERE ARE A FEW MORE SUPPLEMENTS TO HELP YOU 'SPRING' INTO SPRING.
Co-enzyme 10 The body's 'spark-plug' for energy.
Ginkgo Biloba Helps maintain good circulation to the body's extremities (so good for those who suffer from cold hands and feet). Also improves blood supply to the brain and helps with poor memory.
Glucosamine Helps maintain connective tissues in the joints and is believed to stimulate cartilage growth and promote smooth functioning joints.
Echinacea Boosts the immune system - an aid in the prevention of colds and flu.
Garlic Also boosts the immune system and, importantly, has antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties.
Omega 3 fish oils. Benefits heart, circulation, joints and brain.
Evening Primrose Oil Good for the immune system and appearance of skin.
So all the above are a bonus for the over 50's.
Now we all know that there is nothing like a nice cup of tea of give yourself a lift, and at last it has been confirmed that tea is actually good for us (this comes as a surprise, as we all know from experience that if we enjoy something then it is guaranteed that someone will come up with the discovery that it is bad for us). Research has also shown that Green Tea contains remarkable health promoting properties. So next time you feel like a 'cuppa' reach for the Green Tea - drink it on its own or with a slice of lemon - and it is really refreshing. As a matter of interest, I recently visited a tearoom where they had on offer a choice of over 300 different teas, and guess which one the owner drank? Yes, Green Tea …'nough said!
Now that there is concern about the long term use of HRT (hormone replacement therapy), many women are looking for a natural alternative in order to alleviate menopausal symptoms and maintain a healthy lifestyle when their oestrogen levels drop. Phytoestrogens are oestrogens derived from plants that work in a similar way to ours. These are found in soyamilk, soyabeans, linseeds, pumpkin seeds, red clover, etc. So here is an opportunity to give you the recipe for what is known as the 'HRT CAKE'. So why not cut yourself a slice of this 'feel good' cake to go with your cup of green tea?
50 gr sunflower seeds, 50 gr pumpkin seeds, 50 gr linseeds,
50 gr sesame seeds, 50 gr almond flakes, 50 gr raisins.
100 gr cranberries, 150 gr chopped dried apricots,
2" stem ginger, chopped, ½ teaspoon nutmeg, ½ teaspoon cinnamon,
1 tablespoon malt extract, 3 tablespoons apple juice,
425 ml (approx) of soya milk (add more milk if necessary to make a soft dropping consistency).
Mix all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
Add the cranberries, apple juice and soya milk and stir well.
Leave to soak for approx ½ hour.
Pre-heat the oven to 190°C.
Line a loaf tin with baking paper and spoon mixture in.
Cook in pre-heated oven for approx l¼ hrs.
When cooled, slice and store in freezer.
If you don't feel inclined to bake a cake, why not include a good percentage of the above ingredients with your breakfast porridge.
Here is MY version of a nourishing/HRT breakfast.
Into a microwaveable dish mix oats, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, linseeds, sesame seeds, raisins; toss in all or any of the following as your fancy takes you - chopped dried apricots, prunes, apple, dates, almonds, walnuts, also perhaps a spoonful of malt extract or honey if desired, cover with water or preferably soymilk, and microwave for approx. 3-4 minutes. Eat with a dollop of bio-yoghurt on top (if desired) and you'll be truly set up for the day - you certainly won't feel the need for a mid-morning snack.
And whilst we are on the subject of the menopause, don't forget the importance of looking after your bones with extra calcium.
* Healthspan of Guernsey (www.healthspan.co.uk) offer a good rangeof tax-free vitamins and minerals with free post and packing. They also print a very good informative monthly magazine, and if you spend over £10 (and with so much on offer it's quite difficult to spend less than £10) they will add your name to their
mailing list for a free monthly magazine.
Top of Page
STOP PRESS ! ! !
Although in my previous column I promised not to mention chocolate, I can't wait to pass on the good news ….. recent research has shown that chocolate is actually good for us - Halleluiah! I give below an extract from the Daily Mail, 1 June 04…….
"CHOCOLATE 'KEEPS YOU IN GOOD HEART'
Scientists endeared themselves to chocolate lovers yesterday when they revealed that eating the sweet can help protect against heart disease. The researchers, at the University of California, San Francisco, found that the dark variety of the sweet with a cocoa content of over 70 per cent can be beneficial to blood flow. Better blood flow is crucial to avoiding narrowed or clogged arteries, leading to heart attack or stroke." …….
I must say I personally agree with the newspaper heading, as my heart always feels good when I tuck into a bar of my favourite chocolate. It is only after I have demolished it that my heart sinks when the guilty feeling kicks in. Well, as long as it is the dark chocolate with over 70% cocoa solids then we needn't spoil the pleasure with a feeling of guilt. And, unlike milk chocolate or other comfort food such as chocolate cake, there is the added bonus that we are unlikely to put on too much weight with this 'high cocoa content' chocolate, as it is quite difficult to over-indulge with this very rich dark chocolate.
However, don't forget that 'less is more'! Remember what happened when the medical profession informed us that 'a glass of red wine is good for the heart? Generally, people only heard 'red wine is good for the heart' and ignored the recommendation of 'one glass'. Unfortunately, just because you consume a bottle of red does not mean that you are consuming a bottle of health. (Sorry to be a 'party puper'). Similarly, if you are a chocoholic, then try exchanging your usual milk, fudge, cream, chocolate for a small amount of high quality dark chocolate containing over 70% cocoa solids - enjoy it, and,
hopefully, reap the rewards.
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