Feeling tired and moody? Struggling with weight gain? Have a hard time staying focused at work? If so, it's time to tweak your diet and make lifestyle changes! As you age, your metabolism slows down. Women go through menopause, which triggers weight gain, hormonal imbalances, and mood swings. Men experience a decrease in testosterone levels and lean mass. Aging also affects skin elasticity, bone density, eyesight, and brain function. These changes can impact your life, leaving you vulnerable to diseases.
Fortunately, there are ways to slow down aging and keep your body functioning at its peak. Certain nutrients improve bone density, support healthy vision, and boost metabolism. They can be obtained through diet and supplements. Regular exercise helps too. An active lifestyle can minimize muscle loss, keep your bones strong, and enhance immune function. Here are some key nutrients to look out for in your 40s:
Calcium and Vitamin D
Calcium deficiency may lead to osteoporosis, fractures, and bone loss. This mineral plays a key role in metabolism and bone health. Calcium supplements are particularly beneficial for women, especially those at risk of osteoporosis. Vitamin D aids in calcium absorption, so include it in your diet. Studies have linked vitamin D deficiency to a higher risk of cancer, cognitive decline, and heart disease.
Commonly referred to as the body's engine, magnesium regulates over 350 enzymatic functions. It has a direct impact on your metabolism, blood pressure, digestion, brain health, and sleep cycles. A diet low in magnesium increases your risk of migraines, osteoporosis, weight gain, diabetes, and stroke. This mineral also helps your body deal with stress and fight diseases. The recommended dose is 500 milligrams per day.
Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids
Omega-3 essential fats lower inflammation, delay the aging process, and support cardiovascular health. EPA and DHA keep your cholesterol levels low and prevent blood clotting. These healthy fats can also lift your mood and enhance brain function. Due to their anti-inflammatory properties, they ease joint pain and soothe muscle aches. To get more omega-3s in your diet, take fish oil supplements and eat at least two serving of salmon, tuna, or sardines per week. Avocado, nuts, seeds, and unrefined vegetable oils are rich in essential fats too.
As your body ages, its ability to absorb vitamin B12 decreases. Thus, it's important to supplement your diet with this nutrient. The best food sources of vitamin B12 are poultry, meat, eggs, and dairy. This vitamin is also available in pill and injection form. Its role is to maintain healthy nerve cells, support healthy energy levels, and regulate your mood. Research also shows that vitamin B12 may help prevent osteoporosis, dementia, Alzheimer's disease, depression, and chronic fatigue.
Coenzyme Q10 serves as an antioxidant and bioenergizer. This nutrient is required for mitochondrial ATP synthesis, energy metabolism, and cardiovascular function. It also assists in maintaining healthy cholesterol levels, protects against brain damage, and prevents neural degeneration caused by aging. Coenzyme Q10 is available in supplement form as ubiquinone or ubiquinol. When used as part of a balanced diet, it lowers your risk of diabetes, cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, and heart failure.
Be aware that not the even the best supplements can compensate for poor nutrition. Clean up your diet, cut down on sugar, and stock to whole, natural foods. Make exercise a habit and get plenty of rest to allow your body to heal itself.