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(BPT) - Just about everyone feels like they could use a little extra pep in their day, that surge of energy to get things done and enjoy their favorite activities. This is especially true as we age.
However, very few people actually feel as if they have the energy they need. The stress of modern life, poor sleep habits, consuming processed foods and less than optimal digestion are triggering a perfect storm for a human energy crisis.
There are several simple ways to tune up your nutrition and lifestyle habits so you can feel better than ever. A great place to start is with your diet.
“A healthy diet that is rich in plant foods, whole grains and lean proteins is always the starting point in reaching optimal health,” says Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum+, an author and internist. “At the same time, as we get older, it’s important to understand how our bodies change, and what we need to do to help our bodies get what they need to keep our systems running well.
“However, despite our best efforts,” Teitelbaum explains, “it is very difficult for us to get all of the nutrients we need from food alone. Sometimes nutritional supplements may be needed to fill nutrient gaps.”
In addition to movement and a healthy diet, Teitelbaum shares things people in their 50s and 60s need to know to optimize their health and feel good.‡
1. Your digestive system changes as you age, so make sure it's getting support.
A healthy digestive tract is crucial for overall health. As we age, our digestive systems often need more support in order to properly break down food and absorb the nutrients our bodies need to function optimally, according to a study published in Oncotarget.
To get the most nutrition from the food you eat, Dr. Teitelbaum recommends talking to your doctor about adding a plant-based enzyme supplement to your regimen to support your digestive health. GI Digest, for example, is a comprehensive digestive enzyme formula designed to assist in the proper digestion of proteins, fats, starch, dairy and gluten.‡
2. Small things can make a big difference for heart health.
Getting an adequate supply of omega-3 fatty acids along with vitamin D, also known as the sunshine vitamin, may support cardiovascular health.‡ Because vitamin D is best absorbed in the body when taken with a fat source, Dr. Teitelbaum suggests talking to your doctor about a supplement that has a combination of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D, like QÜELL Fish Oil EPA/DHA Plus D.‡ Also, be sure to talk to your doctor about other heart-healthy habits you can incorporate into your life, because things like daily walks, reducing stress and increasing your fruit and vegetable intake can all support heart health.‡
3. Is your energy lagging? It may be a simple deficiency.
As we age, we tend to accept at face value that having less energy just comes with the territory. Sometimes the solution is a simple matter of meeting our bodies’ nutritional needs. For example, one mineral that helps the body convert nutrients into energy is magnesium. When levels get low, it can interfere with your body’s ability to access its energy stores, causing the body to work harder, as shown in a study published in the Journal of Nutrition.
To support your body’s metabolic function, a supplement like Magnesium Glycinate contains 100 mg of magnesium in an easy-to-swallow tablet.
In addition, vitamin B12 is a nutrient that helps your body convert food into energy; however, as we age, our bodies can begin to have trouble absorbing enough B12. To support your body’s energy needs, ask your doctor about taking Methyl B12 Plus, a great-tasting lozenge that rapidly dissolves in the mouth.
If your energy levels are lagging, Dr. Teitelbaum says, it’s important to talk to your doctor, so together, you can uncover the root causes, and he or she can make recommendations.‡
4. Feed your body with real, whole foods.
Food processing destroys most of the vitamins, minerals and other key nutrients the body needs to function optimally. Dr. Teitelbaum says the best thing you can do is cut the sugar from your diet and slowly add whole foods. Though most adults should be eating at least 1.5 cups of fruit and two cups of vegetables per day, a mere 9 percent actually meet that target, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
It may sound like a tall order to work all those fruit and veggie servings into your diet, but break down the daily goal into smaller parts and it may feel more attainable. For example, just take the simple step of adding one extra serving of fruits and veggies to each meal. Slice some banana on your morning cereal, opt for the steamed veggies with your entree, snack on veggies and hummus, and close the meal with fresh berries. Supplementing with a high-quality multivitamin can also help fill the gaps in your diet. Dr. Teitelbaum recommends Ultra Preventive X as a daily multivitamin that can help provide the nutrients you need in their most usable forms for the body.‡
To address your needs and support your health, always talk to your healthcare practitioner about adding nutritional supplements to your daily routine. To discover new ways to use nutrition to tune up your health, visit the Douglas Labs website and watch the videos at www.douglaslabs.com/tune-up-teitelbaum/.
+Dr. Teitelbaum has been retained as a medical consultant in advising Douglas Laboratories.
‡These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.