Why Some People Stay Spry and Sharp As They Age
There is no cure for aging, but there are certainly some things you can do to slow its progression so you retain your big heart’s vibrancy, your lovely bones’ strength, and your mind’s sharpness and clarity. As people age, the body’s supply of essential vitamins and minerals slowly depletes and requires that, in addition to good nutrition, supplements may be necessary to keep you healthy, strong, and alert longer. Of course, before you decide to add anything to your diet, you should check with your doctor so you don’t interfere with medicine you’re currently taking. If you have trouble keeping track of doctor appointments, medications, and supplements, maybe looking into in-home care assistance would be beneficial.
Three Amigos of Your Healthy Heart and Bones – Vitamins D3 and K2, and Magnesium
Everyone knows that with aging comes the onset of more brittle bones. To keep bones healthy longer, you naturally need to keep calcium levels up and prevent degenerative diseases like osteoporosis. As much as possible, you’ll want to get your calcium from dairy products in your diet instead of supplements. Where supplements come in is by creating the perfect delivery system for the calcium you take in to protect your bones and heart.
Research has shown that many older Americans have taken vitamin D and calcium without consideration for how it works in the body and have done more harm than good, causing vitamin D toxicity and arterial calcification, leading to heart attacks and strokes. Vitamins D3, K2, and magnesium are the synergistic solution to healthy hearts and bones.
According to Dr. Kate Rheamue-Bleaue, ND, “If you take a calcium supplement, it’s important to maintain the proper balance between calcium, vitamin K2, vitamin D, and magnesium. Lack of balance between these nutrients is why calcium supplements have become associated with increased risk of heart attack and stroke.”
Vitamin D3 helps the absorption of calcium into your bones. To determine if you are D3 deficient, you just need to ask your doctor for a simple blood test. If you are deficient, you’ll need to take a supplement, because it’s difficult to eat enough to make up for lack of vitamin D3. Not only do you need this essential vitamin for absorbing calcium, but it also boosts your immune system and aids in cell differentiation – a fancy way of saying it protects you from some cancers.
In her book, Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox: How a Little-Known Vitamin Could Save Your Life, Dr. Rheamue-Bleaue says, “The biological role of vitamin K2 is to help move calcium into the proper areas in your body, such as your bones and teeth. It also helps remove calcium from areas where it shouldn’t be, such as in your arteries and soft tissues.” K2 activates the proteins from D3 that move calcium, so they’re working together for the prevention of heart attack and stroke, and simultaneously strengthening bones.
As with vitamins D3 and K2, many people are magnesium deficient, which is problematic if you take calcium supplements. Dr. Carolyn Dean explains in her book, The Magnesium Miracle that calcium and magnesium need to be balanced for your muscles to be in a neutral state. “The heart is a big muscle; magnesium relaxes muscles and calcium tightens muscles. If there is too much calcium and not enough magnesium, calcium tightens muscles including the heart, and that tightness can be angina and heart attack where the heart muscle goes into spasm. When muscles around the arteries tighten, it causes hypertension.” It’s important to take magnesium if you’re taking calcium.
Protect Your Beautiful Mind with B Vitamins, Coenzyme Q-10, and Gingko Biloba
If you’re feeling moody, anxious, or depressed, the culprit could be a shortage in B vitamins – particularly folic acid, B6, and B12, which are the most common deficiencies. As we age, it may be more difficult to absorb B vitamins from foods, so supplements are necessary.
Coenzyme Q-10, better known as CoQ10 is a necessary nutrient for the mitochondria, or energy centers of your cells. As people age, the CoQ10 that the body makes naturally begins to diminish. This protective antioxidant is necessary to prevent cognitive decline and is an essential supplement for a healthy brain.
Gingko Biloba has long been revered by the Chinese for supporting brain function. Western medicine has verified the effectiveness of Gingko with studies such as the one at The Aging and Memory Research Center at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute. In their study, participants with age-related memory loss showed significant improvement after taking Gingko Biloba for six months.
In concert with your efforts at taking care of your body and mind, it’s good to reach out to someone who can help you challenge your cognitive abilities with effective, low-pressure, activities designed to keep you sharp. Connecting socially with friends and your community also stimulates your mind and elevates your mood.