or “Well, you are over 40 (or 50, or 60) so what did you expect?” Even, “There's not much I can do about it, it just comes with age.”
That last one is the one that really kinda sticks in my craw and ruffles my feathers. Two reasons. 1. That people actually expect bad things to happen as they age, and 2. They truly believe there really isn't anything they can do about it. Let me just start by quoting Paul Zane Pilzer, “There's a small demographic of people getting healthier as they age.” To which I always add, “And it's not an exclusive club”. Because it's not. So what sorts of things are we talking about here...
Much like your DNA does not totally determine the outcome of your health – it really only controls about 20 which means you control 80 percent – lost nutrients are only gone forever if you don't replace them. So, if we control 80 percent, why are so many people simply accepting the aches, pains, increased weight gain and any number of lifestyle diseases that plague the majority of today's population, especially in North America? Mostly because people don't realize how much influence they actually have over their own, let alone how to use it.
Our bodies are amazing, high-functioning, highly complex machines. I often compare our bodies to our vehicle, as our bodies are the vehicles that drive us through life. Most of us understand that in order to keep our vehicle running in tip top shape there are certain basics that need to be done on an ongoing basis. Not only will you have a nicer ride in, your vehicle lasts longer and costs you less in the long run. It's much easier and cheaper to change the oil regularly, than to run the engine dry, have to get a tow, and replace a seized engine, or even buy a new car.
Our bodies are very similar. The trouble is, we don't have dashboard with lights telling us where to look and what to fill. We do, however have indicators that give us clues if we would just listen. The human body is not meant to live in disease (dis-ease), it's actually designed to heal. And as long as it has what it needs, it will do just that. You'll notice kids heal up from cuts and bruises pdq compared to their grandparents. Before you go saying I've just proved the opposite point of what I was originally aiming at, stick with me a minute. Not doubt about it, Grandma and Grandpa will heal slower. Unless they've been replenishing some of the things the body naturally loses over time. Yep, you can do that.
Calcium, bone density, vision, joint pain, flexibility, sarcopenia (muscle loss), weight gain, memory, immune function, energy are all things many people just take for granted will come at some point as they age and they have no control over it. And they would be wrong. Remember that 80 percent? For example, we know that stomach acid needed to breakdown and absorb vitamins and nutrients depletes with age. Having your doctor check and knowing which ones you're low in means you can add those to your daily regimen, both in whole foods that contain the desired nutrients, as well as through supplements. Collagen and the production of nitric oxide in the body go way down somewhere around age 35-40. At that age, most folks are down about 30 percent of collagen, with a further 30 percent drop every decade after. And the NO isn't producing much at this stage any more either.
Collagen is the most prominent protein in our bodies. Most associate it with hair, skin and nails, but it's also found in teeth, bone, our vascular system, tissue, fascia – so basically most of our innards and joints need collagen to stay healthy and function properly. Unless you've been following my column and caught the article on nitric oxide a month or so ago, you may not have even been aware that that was a thing. But it is. And a very important thing as a matter of fact. Nitric oxide production is needed for circulation, absorption of nutrients, delivery of oxygen to the body, energy, and immune function. As we begin to understand what things the body uses up and doesn't make more on its own, we can then add in food and supplements to help replace and put back the nutrients that are missing. And when the body has what it needs to do its job, great things happen.
Just a quick note here for those who think they can get all the nutrients their body needs without adding in any supplements, yes it's possible. But are you able to do it consistently to get everything you need every single day? Likely not. That's exactly what supplements are for. To come alongside and fill the gaps in your nutrition and replenish those things your body has used up over time. Now it won't happen overnight. Just like it took time for your body to use up some of these essentials, it will take some time to replenish them and bring your body out of the red and back into the black.
So where do you start? Listen to what your body is saying. Whether you're 30, 60, or 90, it's never too late to make healthy changes and refill those gaps. Take note of anything you may have brushed off as “old age” and start with that.
Beginning August 18, Tania is launching her NEW Nitro Nutrition program. If you're ready to take back control of your health, reserve your spot for the 21 Day Kickstart today.
Kelowna Nutritionist STOP dieting, start living! Lose the Bloat, Melt your Belly, Love Your Life!! Last thing, last time, believe it! Sign up to receive my bi-weekly FIT Nutrition blog, and get started today.