Stay Healthy For Life
Research statistics have revealed that most women live longer than men. One of the varying biological reasons is that estrogen, the female hormone, serves as a protection from heart diseases. It lowers the harmful cholesterol and increases the ‘good’ cholesterol in women. Therefore, without this hormone, men are five times more at risk of suffering from heart diseases than women.
However after menopause, women’s risk of getting heart diseases becomes similar to that of men – unless they practice healthy lifestyle from young. With exercise, a proper diet and regular medical checkups, most women should be able to live to become centenarians.
In fact, the present statistics indicate that female centenarians outnumber male centenarians by nine to ten. Therefore, to live a long, healthy and active life, women have to resort to ‘strategy of healthy living’
20’s to 30’s – Building Your Health Foundation
Calcium and Vitamin D
These are ‘health foundation’ building years especially to prevent osteoporosis at later years. Your body reaches its peak bone mass by the age of 30. After that your bone mass will deplete gradually. Asian women are at greater risk of osteoporosis due to their smaller body frames and lower bone-mineral density. Therefore it is crucial for them to take foods high in bone-building minerals such as calcium and vitamin D.
Daily intake of 800mg of calcium and 5ug of vitamin D is recommended. You should also include in your diet more milk and milk derivatives, dark green leafy vegetables and especially wholegrain as well as legumes and lentils.
Folate / Folic Acid
Women are created to be at the reproduction peak in their 20’s and 30’s. If you were pregnant, your gynecologist or nutritionist would have advised you to include sufficient amount of folate in your diet. Folate or folic acid is crucial in helping the healthy production of DNA and RNA, the building blocks of new cells, in your unborn baby. It is critical especially in the second and third trimester of your pregnancy because your baby’s cells are dividing and growing at a rapid rate.
For normal women, 400ug of folic acid is recommended and during pregnancy, to increase it to 600ug. The folate-rich foods include spinach, ladies’ fingers (okra), asparagus, lentils, kidney beans, oatmeal, tomato juice, sunflower seeds, dark green vegetables, wholegrain produce and liver.
You would want to take more iron since it helps to facilitate blood to the tissues and more importantly to your womb where your baby resides. This is the time that you cannot afford to become anemic because that would make your body physically fatigued. Your baby’s growth would also be adversely affected and there might be complications during delivery.
We suggest 29mg of iron for a healthy woman. During pregnancy, the woman should increase her iron intake to 100mg. Iron supplements may not be as effective as iron-rich foods such as eggs, soybeans, lentils, kidney beans, navy beans, tofu, spinach, raisins and enriched grains, but they are sufficient.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Zinc
Another important nutrient for mother-to-be is omega-3 fatty acids which are vital for your baby’s brain development. A good source of omega-3 fatty acids is oily fish such as salmon, albacore tuna, sardines, herring and mackerel. If you are afraid of the high mercury level in fish, you may consume flaxseed oil or borage oil instead.
Acne, a common malady during your teenage years, may return when you reach adulthood. Your skin cells would not be readily renewed and pores would get easily clogged with microorganisms. Your face would have blackheads or whiteheads and some pores may become inflamed and filled with pus. To help heal and repair your damaged cells caused by acne, take Clearpores, or more zinc which is known as the ‘clean-up enzyme’.
Zinc also inhibits sebum production which causes acne flare-up. Oysters, red meats, poultry, beans, nuts and certain seafood contain good amount of zinc. Vitamin A will help reduce the production of sebum too. This vitamin can be found in carrots, mangoes, spinach, dried apricots, egg yolks and liver. Nevertheless, drink at least eight glasses of water daily to keep your cells hydrated.
40’s – Journey To Menopause
Omega 3, 6 and 9
Some women start to experience pre-menopausal symptoms when they reach beyond 35 years old. At this stage, your ovulation may not be frequent and the declining estrogen level may produce all kinds of frustrating symptoms such as mood swings, sleep problems, hot flashes, vaginal dryness, breast tenderness and other complications. Make sure that you consume a wide variety of nutrients and supporting herbs to help you sail through this transition smoothly. One of the nutrients you want to consume more is Omega-3 fatty acids or better still, a healthy oil blend of Omega-3, 6 and 9.
Eat In Smaller Amount and Exercise
Experts say that if you take good care during these transitional years, you will reap the benefits for years to come. As the metabolism rate of women decreases between two to eight percent every ten years, you should be careful with your diet. Your muscles would reduce in size and you will easily gain more fat.
Cut down your calories intake by about ten percent especially if you are desk-bound and have little opportunities for physical activities. Avoid eating too much carbohydrates and junk foods. Eat smaller but regular holistic meal portions. If you must have these, consider taking Proactol after your meal. It is an organic fiber product that is clinically proven to bind over 27% of dietary fat intake. Do find time to exercise so as to tone up your muscles.
You may want to ensure adequate supply of folic acid (400ug daily) as it is helpful in regulating the levels of homocysteine, an amino acid produced by the body to prevent heart disease. Multivitamin or B-complex vitamins will also be beneficial. Continue to take enough calcium (800mg) and vitamin D (5ug) from food sources daily. You must also monitor that you have at least 25g of dietary fibers daily to prevent constipation. Some good recommendations are psyllium husks, oatmeal and definitely more fibrous vegetables and fruits with high levels of pectins.
50’s – A New Journey After Menopause
Most women reach menopause in their 50’s and this is the moment of celebration! At this age, you do not ovulate any more and you are free from the monthly hassle of menstruation. You are now more matured and revered for your knowledge and wisdom. However, health wise, you will have to be more vigilant. You can do much to prevent heart diseases, osteoporosis and many other chronic degenerative diseases that come without the protective female hormone.
Stop Taking Iron Supplements
You should stop taking iron supplements and depend only on your regular meals for iron intake. Your daily intake of iron should be reduced to 11mg. For maintenance of your bone mass, increase your calcium intake to 10oomg daily and Vitamin D to 10ug.
Omega-3 and Magnesium
Sodium may increase the chances of getting heart diseases. Consume foods high in omega-3 fatty acids as they support the function of prostaglandins which are the center of all cellular activities. Omega-3 also helps to lower the cholesterol level and reduce pain in joints. It will rejuvenate your skin which may have become drier and flakier. Your aging body needs magnesium for more than 300 biochemical reactions. Magnesium also help prevents and manages disorder such as hypertension, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. Eat banana, pearled barley, buckwheat, oat bran, almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, pine nuts, pumpkin seeds and dark green leafy vegetables for your supply of magnesium.
60’s – Healthy Prime Timer
The secret of aging gracefully and beautifully is to continue your positive lifestyle habits. When you reach 60, you will continue to experience various physiological and psychological changes. You may suffer from loss of teeth, reduced sensory inputs and may be affected by moods of depression and anxiety.
Load your body with wide variety of wholesome food of different colors that are packed with enzymes and nutrients. Meal time should be exciting.
Eat Healthy and Exercise
The healthy regime of healthy food intake and regular exercise should continue. Join yoga, tai chi, line dancing or ballroom dancing classes. Do brisk walking or even gardening. Make life enjoyable by widening your social contacts. Get involved, eat well, rest enough, exercise and live a healthy and happy life.