Tips for Healthy Aging
Tips for healthy aging. Some of us want to live to be 100! Some of us just want to live happy and healthy for the years that we do have. Either way, wouldn’t it be nice if we could age gracefully? A healthcare provider recently shared these tips for healthy aging with me, and I thought to share them with you. It’s easy to get overwhelmed, but just take it one step at a time. Before you know it, you will have tackled the whole list.
Eliminate aluminum and Teflon pots and pans. Teflon off-gassing can happen in 5 minutes, especially if the Teflon coating has begun to break down already. Replace your cookware with glass, stainless steel, cast iron or corning ware. I thought I had found a good product line after much Teflon-free research. I became suspicious of it though, because it was acting just like Teflon. So I did a little more digging. I had purchased something similar that was just as toxic. So, I drove down to Williams-Sonoma, looked at all of their options and asked to speak with their most seasoned salesperson. She was very patient and helpful. Make sure to ask them to not recommend Teflon or Teflon-like product lines. You may pay a little more, but these are items you will use daily for years. You’re worth it!
Good fats are essential for proper mineral absorption, energy and a stable mood. Avoid margarine, shortenings like Crisco and hydrogenated oils. This is a tough one because many processed foods have hydrogenated oils listed on the ingredients list. Think of the aisles upon aisles of processed or frozen foods at the big box stores. We recommend you use butter, olive oil, coconut oil and coconut butter.
When shopping for olive oil, I always look to see that the olive oil is sourced from one country. I know, it sounds silly…but, I don’t want to eat olive oil that has come from multiple countries in one bottle. I don’t think it’s too much to ask to have one source! If they haven’t listed the country of origin, I assume it’s all mixed up from several countries. This is common practice in the olive oil industry according to Cook’s Illustrated. I recommend their magazine.
Thank goodness butter doesn’t get a bum wrap anymore! We really like Kerrygold grass-fed butter found at Sprouts and even Costco. We use it for everything, including our morning coffee/beverage.
Quality protein is super important for a stable mood and for rebuilding soft tissues. Even if you don’t eat animal protein, we recommend you get plenty of protein throughout the day. If you do eat animal protein, we recommend 4 ounces per meal. Four ounces is about the size of a deck of cards, so it doesn’t take much. Good sources of non-animal protein are seeds, nuts, beans, chia seeds and quinoa.
Increase Water Intake
We can never over state the need for pure, clean water. Not lemonade, iced tea, coffee, La Croix or even our favorite, Topo Chico. An easy calculation to know if you are getting enough water is to take half your body weight and divide it by 2. Your answer is the number of ounces of water you should be drinking per day. So, if you weigh 100 pounds, you should be drinking 50 ounces of water per day. If you find at the end of the day that you didn’t drink enough water through the day, no sweat, drink it then…even before bed. I actually make a habit of drinking water before bed, so that I have to get up in the middle of the night. This ensures that I keep all my joints moving, even if only for a short walk to the bathroom and back.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Adding 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to 4 ounces of water helps improve digestion overall. You can also add fresh lemon to your water to improve digestion too. Skip the sugar though, otherwise it would be lemonade.
Limit Sugar Intake
Limit sugar intake, especially before bed. This was a tough one for me too! Let’s just say that I love sweets. For many years cookies, cake and ice cream were part of my regular diet. The sweet cravings were real, particularly after dinner. After years of abusing my poor little body, I broke that habit. I flat out just don’t buy those products anymore. Once in a while I will bake something for a special event or as a treat. You will find that if you don’t have them handy, you simply won’t eat them. When I am feeling like I need a little something sweet, I make myself a cup of tea and have a small bit of high-quality chocolate. It’s enough to satisfy my sweet tooth, and keep me feeling vibrant the next morning. So if you are waking up tired, fatigued or with joint stiffness, lighten up on the sugar intake. Sugar ramps up inflammation in a big way.
Increase Mineral Intake
The best way to increase mineral intake is by increasing vegetables and fruits in your diet. Always fresh or frozen, never canned. A great way to get more vegetables in our diet is by steaming, sautéing or including them in soups. The good news is that fresh vegetables are high sources of fiber which aids with constipation and digestive health. Some believe that organic produce is higher in minerals too…
Make Your Own Stock
One great way to increase minerals is by making your own stock. Stocks are delicious and an excellent source of calcium. If you make your own, you have control over the quality of the ingredients. A convenient alternative is Health Valley stock + gelatin capsules.
Decrease Carbohydrate Intake
Keep carbohydrates to a minimum for energy and mood throughout the day. When we eat too many carbohydrates, especially simple carbs, our blood sugar takes a dive several hours later if not combined with fiber or protein. I love yummy mashed potatoes or macaroni and cheese as much as anyone, but I limit how often I do this. Our insulin levels take a roller coaster ride when we overdo it, and it’s simply not worth it. Your body prefers steady glucose levels, and is much healthier for it. So, lower your risk of diabetes and skip the breakfast cereals, bagels or plain toast (unless combining with protein or fiber). This includes your kids…
Do your best to avoid aspartame altogether. Our bodies don’t really know how to digest it. Aspartame is commonly found in diet sodas, gum, drink mixes and yogurts. If you are going to eat something sweet, you might as well have the real thing, sugar. Aspartame is a chemical compound that doesn’t really belong in our bodies.
At minimum, consider taking a high-quality multi-vitamin and 1-2 teaspoons of cod liver oil daily. My favorite brand of cod liver oil is Carlson’s and it is readily available. If you want tailored supplement recommendations, ask us next time you are in the office. We have access to a catalog of over 20,000 professional-grade products and 290+ brands. Together we can come up with customized recommendations just for you.
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