Have you ever really taken note of how you feel when you wake up in the morning? Do you feel rested and ready for an active day? Or do your energy levels droop mid-day, once your morning jolt of caffeine has worn off? Perhaps you experience insatiable cravings for sugar or unhealthy food, sabotaging your good intentions. Maybe excessive worry and chronic stress is preventing deep restful sleep. How would you rate your overall physical, mental and emotional health? If you are exercising regularly, eating nutritiously and getting sufficient sleep, you might feel you are in good health. However, if you are managing a chronic illness or are taking a host of medications to feel well, your health is less than optimal. A health conscious lifestyle that can be adhered to for the balance of one’s life can lead to a longer healthier lifespan and a happier outlook as well.
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines health as “A state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” Achievement and maintenance of optimal health is a lifelong endeavor that requires commitment as well as action. Making positive nutrition and exercise choices each day can help to maintain energy and activity levels and prevent bone and muscle loss, supporting balance and strength throughout the senior years. Emphasizing adequate sleep and reduced stress levels can have a positive impact on overall mental and physical health, as well as proper weight maintenance. A healthy lifestyle can help to ward off many age-related chronic diseases and help one maintain independence with aging. Per Robert Crayon, author of Nutrition Made Simple: A Comprehensive Guide to the Latest Findings in Optimal Nutrition, there are basic principles to follow to attain optimal health:
- A positive self-image
- A diet free of toxic foods
- Optimal intake of beneficial nutrients
- Clean air, water and living environment
- Adequate sunshine
- Sufficient exercise and rest
Sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? Yet, most Americans currently have or are developing one or more progressive degenerative diseases. Baring unmodifiable risk factors of age and genetics, many chronic conditions are considered largely preventable with the elimination of three modifiable risk factors, notably: inactivity, smoking and poor diet with excessive energy intake. These causes are expressed through intermediate risk factors of obesity, elevated blood pressure, high glucose levels and abnormal lipids, such as high LDL cholesterol. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that elimination of these three risk factors would prevent 80 percent of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes and 40 percent of cancers.
- Common modifiable risk factors, excessive alcohol use and environmental pollution all contribute to a range of chronic ailments that can lead to poor physical health and a shortened lifespan.
- Physical inactivity can lead to high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome and depression. While inactivity tends to increase with age, older adults who are physically active significantly reduce their risk of falls and improve or maintain normal daily functions.
- Our day to day dietary choices can prove to be one of the primary ways to either sustain healthy cellular function or burden our systems into dysfunction. Optimal intake of macro and micronutrients supports the bodily structures and functions that build metabolic reserve.
- An optimal diet nourishes the microbiome to control inflammation and support brain health and a healthy immune response. A diet rich in fibrous foods, such as low sugar fruits and vegetables, feeds the beneficial gut bacteria.
- A healthy diet should include diversity, seasonality, natural colors and freshness. Choose whole foods free of toxic ingredients and antibiotics, and whenever possible opt for organic pasture raised meat, wild caught fish and high quality healthy fats.
- The wide ranging benefits of micronutrient supplementation include: filling nutrient gaps in individuals with mostly healthy diets, extra insurance for those with unhealthy diets, and therapeutic support for specific metabolic functions. Data shows that over one hundred million Americans over the age of two are not consuming guideline levels of vitamins A, D, E, and C, as well as calcium, magnesium, thiamine and folate.
- The clinical goal of micronutrient supplementation is not necessarily to reduce the risk of a particular outcome, but to diminish the likelihood of a limited metabolic capacity due to inadequate availability of a necessary nutrient. Micronutrients are critical to basic cellular functions that build the metabolic reserve needed to support optimal wellness throughout one’s lifetime.
Per Thomas G. Guilliams, Ph.D. founder of the Point Institute, an independent research organization, lifestyle factors that influence long term health and wellness include healthy diet and nutrition, sufficient hydration, physical activity, healthy stress response, adequate sleep, a healthy gut ecology, good hygiene and daily habits, and a sense of purpose and belonging.
Professional Supplement Center offers these and many other high quality nutritional supplements in support of long-term optimal health and wellness:
Vitamin A 10,000 IU by Pure Encapsulations®: From growth and development to vision, reproductive and immune health, vitamin A is essential to the healthy function of a wide range of biological processes. This product provides vitamin A sourced from Norwegian cod liver oil and readily absorbable vitamin A palmitate. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO formulation. If pregnant, lactating or taking medications, please consult a healthcare provider before supplementing with higher doses of vitamin A.
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E-400 Natural with Mixed Tocopherols by Professional Supplement Center®: ON SALE! These easy to swallow soft gels provide pure, all natural vitamin E in a synergistic blend of d-alpha, d-gamma, d-delta and d-beta tocopherols in support of a high level of antioxidant activity, free radical scavenging and overall wellness. Gluten free formulation.
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Preventing Chronic Diseases, A Vital Investment. http://www.who.int/chp/chronic_disease_report/contents/part2.pdf
Optimal Nutrition. http://americannutritionassociation.org/newsletter/optimal-nutrition
Dietary Intake and Nutritional Status: Trends and Assessment. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK218765/
Risks of Physical Inactivity. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/conditions/cardiovascular_diseases/risks_of_physical_inactivity_85,p00218
Consequences of Poor Nutrition. http://frac.org/obesity-health/consequences-poor-nutrition
Guilliams, Thomas G. Ph.D., Supplementing Dietary Nutrients, A Guide for Healthcare Professionals, Point Institute. 2014