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Nutrition

Knowing When You Need to Supplement Your Diet

As you age, your digestive tract begins to slow down. It doesn’t produce enough enzymes to work as efficiently as it did in the past. When your digestive tract becomes sluggish, it’s much less likely to be able to extract the nutrients you need from the foods you eat. This poses two major problems. Not only does your food not digest properly, many nutrients are lost in the process. Including a multivitamin/mineral complex as part of your daily routine will help you maintain your health and give back some of the energy you may have lost.

Digestive Issues

ProbioticsOne of the ways you can improve your digestion is to include a probiotic supplement. You can include probiotic-enhanced yogurts into your meal plan, but many of them have added sugars. A probiotic supplement will provide you with the additional enzymes you need without the added calories. By following the directions on the label, you can keep your digestive tract functioning at its best, even after the age of 50.

Lack of Energy

Vitamin B complex is made up of the many different B vitamins, including niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, and B12, just to name a few. Also included in this group are the amino acids. Both of these are essential for optimum brain function and the utilization of sugar/glucose into usable forms of energy. They are also the ones that are depleted the fastest by stress. With that being said, if the vitamins make it through the digestive tract, many are lost rather quickly to stress and maintaining brain function. Losing energy or not feeling as peppy as you used to is a good indicator that you may need to add a B-complex supplement or multivitamin to your diet.

Changes in Your Skin, Nails, and Hair

One of the first visible signs of a vitamin deficiency is changes to your appearance. Your hair and skin may become dry and lose their shine. Your fingernails can start to become brittle, cracked or have a ridged appearance. They are often the first things that begin to change when your digestion starts to falter. Including the three Omega fatty acids (Omega 3-, 6- and 9-fatty acids) is a good way to help replenish the nutrients that will revitalize your hair, skin, and nails. Vitamins A, D, and E will also help. A good multivitamin will provide you with everything you need to protect your bones, hair, skin, and nails from potential damage and keep each one looking their very best.

Problems with Your Teeth and Gums

Healthy Gums and TeethAnother issue many people begin to have as they age involves the deterioration of their teeth and gums. Good dental health is dependent on the amount of nutrients the body receives. One of the first signs of steadily decreasing health is bleeding gums that are sensitive to the touch. As the gums continue to deteriorate, your teeth may become loose or abscesses may start to form. Vitamin C, A, E, and zinc are needed to keep soft tissues in the mouth healthy and strong. Vitamin D and magnesium are needed in a 2 to 1 ratio (100mg/50mg) to keep bones, teeth, and connective tissues healthy. If the teeth are allowed to deteriorate, you will begin to experience cavities or other issues like sensitivity and chipping/cracking.

Signs of Depression

Depression is common among people with vitamin deficiencies or hormone imbalances. Vitamin B Complex, Omega 3-fatty acids, and amino acids are just a few of the most important vitamins that are essential for optimal brain function. When these important nutrients start to decrease, chemical reactions in the brain slow down. This can result in the endocrine system not producing the hormones the body needs to function efficiently as a whole. This can lead to a distinct loss of energy, headaches, and even depression. The less active you become, the lower your moods will go. This creates a destructive cycle that affects both your physical and mental health.

Know the Signs and Choose the Right Supplement

Every person’s physical make-up is different. This means that their nutritional needs will be different as well. Talk to your physician to determine what type of multi-vitamin is best suited for your body and your lifestyle. As you begin to become more active or your health begins to improve, the type of multi-vitamin you need may change. Eating a healthy diet is a must. Even with a diet that includes all of the nutrients you need, you still may need to add a supplement if you are over the age of 50. Your body begins to function at a must slower rate as you age which can alter how your body uses the nutrients it receives.

If you have questions about your diet and whether or not you are getting all of the nutrients you need for optimum health, schedule an appointment with your physician and undergo a complete physical. Your doctor can discuss any health issues you may have and also recommend what type of multi-vitamin/mineral complex you need to get your body back on track. Taking a supplement doesn’t just boost your energy. It will help boost your immune system so that it works more efficiently, keeping you happier and healthier than ever before.

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