If you are over 45, you are probably starting to feel the signs of aging. And yes, while I always say that it's better to get your nutrients from food first sometimes supplements are necessary.
Unfortunately there are just some all-too-common nutrients that we simply don't get enough of. And they're absolutely critical to optimal health and wellness. Especially as we age.
I always recommend getting a blood test to see which nutrients you are deficient in and always read the supplement labels to see if there are warnings that would make them inappropriate for you. And, of course if you have any medical conditions or take medications or other supplements always speak with your doctor before starting anything new.
The following three vitamins I feel are the most beneficial to us as we get older.
If you live in North America chances are you are low in vitamin D. It's the “sunshine vitamin” and we just aren't able to hang out in shorts every day of the year. Even if we did we'd wisely use a bit of sun protection too.
Vitamin D is very important for everyone but especially women over 45. Here is why:
It helps to protect our bones!
Vitamin D helps our body absorb and keep the calcium we get from our food and drinks. And we all know that calcium is one of the main things our bones are made of.
Want to know something funny about vitamin D (but it's true, I swear)?
People who get enough vitamin D tend to fall less frequently. Especially as we get older.
Vitamin D can help your bones stay strong and help you fall less. Win-win!
Magnesium is an essential mineral needed for over 300 reactions in your body.
As with vitamin D it's very common for us to simply not get enough. Not even the 320 mg per day that's recommended.
Low levels of magnesium have been linked to high blood pressure, diabetes, low bone density, and even migraines.
Magnesium is found in so many healthy whole foods like beans, nuts, seeds and green leafy vegetables. In fact, the magnesium element is central to a plant's chlorophyll – it's actually what causes green plants to be green! And most of us just don't get enough green plants into our bodies on a regular basis. (I have a recipe with green leafies for you below).
Magnesium is a very common supplement and is often added to multivitamins.
This one is probably my most favorite, just because its great brain food!! I have a poor memory anyway, those who know me laugh that I can't remember names of people I met yesterday! So you can bet I'm taking Omega-3's religiously. We've all heard that we need to get more Omega-3 essential fatty acids, right? They are good for our hearts, brains, and help to reduce inflammation. I was also just told today from my eye doctor to take Omega-3s for my dry eyes! These are all good things when it comes to our health and wellness.
But not all of us are ready, willing, and able to eat fish three times per week. Oh and by the way, wild Alaskan salmon, preferably king or sockeye, is one of the best fish you can eat for its heart-healthiest oil profile. Be sure its wild and not farmed!
While fish oil supplements contain the “brain healthy” fats called EPA and DHA, those two are not technically the “essential” fats. The plant omega-3 known as ALA is essential and that is because our bodies can convert ALA into EPA and DHA when necessary.
Omega-3 supplements can be found in forms of flax oil, algae oil, fish oil, or even fish liver oil.
Tip: Fish liver oil (e.g. cod liver oil) also contains vitamin D so check your labels and add the amounts together to know how much vitamin D you're actually getting. You don't want to over do Vit D!
So to sum this all up, there are three supplements to consider now that you're 45 or older, they are: vitamin D, magnesium, and omega-3s.
Always read the supplement labels to see if there are warnings that would make them inappropriate for you. And, again, if you have any medical conditions or take medications or other supplements it's always a good idea to speak with your doctor before starting anything new.
Here's a great recipe to add some Vitamin D, Magnesium & Omega-3s to your meal:
Salmon Quinoa Buddha Bowl
4 cups baby spinach
1 cup quinoa (cooked)
1 can wild salmon
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
½ red onion (diced) (optional)
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
dash salt and pepper
Split spinach, quinoa, wild salmon, sesame seeds, and onion (if using) between two bowls.
Mix sesame oil, rice vinegar, and lemon juice together and pour on top of prepared Buddha bowls.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve & Enjoy!
When looking for canned salmon try to get the ones with the most vitamin D and make sure cans are BPA-free. Good quality canned fish is usually in the “natural foods” section of many large groceries.