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Vitamins and Minerals for the Over 50’s
As promised, here’s an over-view of the main essential vitamins and minerals, but instead of taking them in isolation, it’s better to take a good multi-vitamin and mineral tablet specifically targeted 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. Prevents respiratory infections. Good for eyes, especially night blindness.
Carrots, fish oil, eggs, green and yellow vegetables, milk and dairy products
10,000 iu is the average daily dose. Long-term high doses can be bad for you because it can be stored in the body.
Helps 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 different B vitamins in one B complex tablet. Smoking and alcohol can deplete this vitamin C in the body
Helps prevent common cold, infections, helps repair body tissues, eg. Helps in healing after surgery.
Citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables, tomatoes, potatoes. NB. Eating citrus fruits like oranges, grapes, etc. is not a good idea if you suffer from arthritis.
Helps the body absorb iron. Vitamin C works best when taken with calcium and magnesium. Vitamin C is excreted quickly from the body so it is a good idea to take a time-release tablet. Smoking can destroy vitamin C.
Works with calcium for strong bones and teeth
Eat more sunlight, plenty of fish and fish oil, and dairy products
Doses greater than 5,000 iu daily are not recommended. Dark-skinned people living in northern climates generally need more vitamin D.
Helps skin look good and young. Helps heal burns, and helps with fatigue.
Wheat germ, soybeans, broccoli, spinach and leafy greens, whole-grain cereals and eggs.
Iron tablets destroy the effectiveness of vitamin E if taken together – allow 8 hours in between. Women over 50 and postmenopausal women should increase their vitamin E intake.
Essential for strong bones and healthy teeth
Milk, cheese, soybeans, sardines, walnuts, sunflower seeds and green vegetables.
Calcium and iron are two minerals that are often deficient in women’s diets. Dolomite tablets are a natural form of calcium and magnesium
It is necessary for the production of red blood cells (hemoglobin). Prevents iron deficiency anemia and fatigue.
Red meat and offal, egg yolks, nuts, beans, molasses, oatmeal
The recommended dose for normal adults is 10 – 18 mg, but it is better to consult a doctor before increasing the dose (perhaps due to fatigue, etc.). It’s worth noting that ferrous sulfate, a form of iron that appears in many supplements, can destroy your vitamin E: the chelated form of iron is better.
Necessary for optimal functioning of nerves and muscles. Helps fight depression. Good for the heart.
Figs, nuts (especially almonds), seeds, apples, grapes and apples.
People who suffer from cramps 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 for human nutrition. Due to intensive farming and food processing techniques, many of our foods are deficient in selenium.
Good for immune system, muscle function and blood and brain function. It can also help with healing.
Choose meats like steak and chops, wheat germ, pumpkin seeds, eggs.
Men should keep their sex levels up, especially if concerned about prostrate problems. Zinc and manganese are thought to help with aging in the elderly.
Remember: what you put in your body, you get out of your body! So think of food as fuel and choose foods from the chart above.
Unfortunately, cakes, biscuits etc are only ‘comfort’ foods and not nutritious fuel for the body.
The only result we get from eating too many loaves is probably one that looks like one – which is certainly food for thought!!!
Now here are some more supplements to help you ‘spring’ into spring.
Co-enzyme 10 is the body’s ‘spark-plug’ for energy.
Ginkgo biloba helps maintain good circulation in the body’s extremities (so good for those suffering from cold hands and feet). It also improves blood supply to the brain and helps in poor memory.
Glucosamine helps maintain connective tissue 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 oil. It benefits the heart, circulation, joints and brain.
Evening primrose oil is good for the immune system and the appearance of the skin.
So all above are bonus for above 50 years.
Now we all know that there is nothing like a good cup of tea to give yourself a lift, and finally it has been confirmed that tea is actually good for us (it’s surprising, we all know from experience that if we enjoy something then this guarantee (that someone will find out that it is bad for us). Research has also shown that green tea has significant health-promoting properties. So the next time you feel like reaching for a ‘cuppa’ of green tea – drink it by itself or with a lemon wedge – and it’s really refreshing. As a matter of interest, I recently visited a tearoom where they offered a selection of over 300 different teas, and guess which one the owner drank? Yes, green tea …’ said nothing!
Now that there is concern about the long-term use of HRT (hormone replacement therapy), many women are looking for natural alternatives to ease menopausal symptoms and maintain a healthy lifestyle as estrogen levels decline. Phytoestrogens are estrogens derived from plants that act like ours. These are found in soymilk, soybeans, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, red clover, etc. So here is a chance to give you a recipe known as ‘HRT Cake’. So why go with a slice of this ‘feel good’ cake and a cup of green tea?
50 grams of sunflower seeds, 50 grams of pumpkin seeds, 50 grams of linseed,
50 g sesame seeds, 50 g almond flakes, 50 g raisins.
100 grams of cranberries, 150 grams of chopped dried apricots,
2″ stalk ginger, chopped ½ teaspoon nutmeg ½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon malt extract, 3 teaspoons apple juice,
425ml (approx) soya milk (add more milk if needed to make a smooth drizzling consistency).
Combine all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
Add the cranberries, apple juice and soy milk and stir well.
Leave to soak for about half an hour.
Preheat the oven to 190°C.
Line a loaf tin with baking paper and spoon mixture.
Bake in a pre-heated oven for about l¼ hours.
Once cool, slice and store in refrigerator.
If you don’t feel like baking a cake, why not include a good percentage of the above ingredients with your breakfast porridge.
Here is my version of a nutritious/HRT breakfast.
Combine oats, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, flaxseeds, sesame seeds, raisins in a microwaveable dish; Toss in all or any of the following to your liking – dried apricots, prunes, apples, dates, almonds, walnuts, plus a teaspoon of malt extract or honey, water if desired, or preferably soymilk, and microwave. approx. 3-4 minutes. Eat with a dollop of bio-yogurt on top (if desired) and you’ll really be set for the day – you definitely won’t feel the need for a mid-morning snack.
And while we’re on the subject of menopause, don’t forget the importance of taking care of your bones with extra calcium.
* Healthspan of Guernsey (www.healthspan.co.uk) offers a good range of tax-free vitamins and minerals with free post and packing. They also print a very good informative monthly magazine, and if you spend more than £10 (and with so much on offer it’s very difficult to spend less than £10) they’ll add your name.
Mailing list for a free monthly magazine.
Top of page
Stop the press! ! !
Although in my previous column I promised not to mention chocolate, I can’t wait to pass on the good news…..recent research shows that chocolate is actually good for us – Halleluiah! I quote below from the Daily Mail, 1 June 04.
“Chocolate ‘Keeps You in a Good Heart’
Scientists delighted chocolate lovers yesterday when they discovered that eating the sweet can help protect against heart disease. Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco found that the dark variety of the candy with more than 70 percent cocoa content is beneficial for blood circulation. Good blood flow is important to avoid narrowed or blocked arteries, leading to heart attack or stroke.”
I must say that I personally agree with the headline of the newspaper, because tucking into my favorite chocolate bar always makes my heart feel better. It’s only after I break it down that my heart starts to sink as guilt creeps in. Well, as long as it’s dark chocolate with more than 70% cocoa solids we don’t have to spoil the pleasure with guilt. And, unlike other comfort foods like milk chocolate or chocolate cake, there’s the added bonus that we’re less likely to put on weight with this ‘high cocoa content’ chocolate, as it’s much harder to overindulge. Rich dark chocolate.
However, don’t forget that ‘less is more’! Remember when the medical profession informed us that ‘a glass of red wine is good for the heart’? Generally, people just heard ‘red wine is good for the heart’ and ignored the ‘one glass’ recommendation. Unfortunately, just because you’re consuming a bottle of red doesn’t mean you’re consuming a bottle of health. (Sorry to be a ‘party pooper’). Likewise, if you’re a chocoholic, try swapping your usual milk, fudge, cream, chocolate for a small amount of high-quality dark chocolate with over 70% cocoa solids – enjoy it, and,
Hopefully, reap the rewards.
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