Thursday, January 6, 2011

How to stay healthy: Women fifty and beyond

Eating healthy is important at all stages of life, but particularly at mid-life and beyond.   Today, we know that quality of life is particularly is based upon modifiable choices.  So, for a meaningful and vital life in the future, it's time to re-evaluate lifestyle habits now.

Let's take a look at some things that individually might be done to improve the lifestyle.

Diet

Fruits, vegetable, whole grains and legumes should make up 45 - 65% of the adult diet  Try to cut down the amount of red meat, sugar and sodium which places women at risk for high cholesterol, weight gain, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.("Women's Health" http://www.lifestages.org/)

Women should particularly pay attention to the following nutrients and diet choices:

Calcium - the recommended daily amount is 1,000mg.  Calcium is important for bone health, blood clotting, strong teeth, nerve transmission, blood pressure control.

Good food sources are: yogurt, milk, cheese and other dairy products.  For those who are lactose intolerant, you might expand the list by including, white beans, navy beans, chickpeas, tofu, oats, almonds, brazil nuts and walnuts.  Sardines in oil are very high in calcium.

Iron - the recommended daily amount is approximately 8 mg for the non-menstruating woman.  Iron is important in the red blood cells capacity to carry oxygen (hemoglobin).

Good food sources include: barley, rice flakes, lentils soybeans, mint, parsley and turnip greens and watermelon. Speak with your health care provider berfore taking iron supplements.
Magnesium -  Approximately 320mg per day. Important for neuro-muscular transmission.  May help play a part in blood pressure control and in preventing constipation.

 Food sources include: Peas, nuts, seeds, spinach and other grains.  Plantains and bananas, also are good sources..

Vitamin D - Recommended amount is 400 IU. Most people are deficient in this vitamin.  The importance is growing.   Evidence is now showing that vitamin D is important in blood pressure control, breast health, reducing the risk of certain cancers and mood levels.Sunlight is important in the making of this hormone..  Supplementation is usually recommended.  However, check with your health care professional fist before adding any supplements to your health care regimen.

Vitamin C - 75 mg is recommended daily but for maximum benefits, more is usually required particularly in times of stress. Vitamin C helps to reduce the amount of infections and  viruses.  It is important in overall building up of the iummune system. It is also important in blood clotting.

It is found in citrus fuits, such as oranges, lemons, grapefruit and strawberries. blueberries, tomatoes and blackberries.

Folate - Recommended daily amount is 300mg.  Folate is important for helping produce and maintain new blood cells.  It is found in orange juice, spinach and whole grains.  Many breakfast cereals are fortified with folic acid-the manufactured version.  Just read and check the labels.
Exercise

Is important for overall health.  A suggested way to divide up exercises are:

Aerobic (Moderate) - Important for heart and cardiovascular strengthening.  Suggested is about 30 - 60 minutes per day, or two and one half hours per week.
Aerobic (vigorous) - About 1 and one half hour per week.
Weight training - two times per week
("How much exercising do I need?" http://www.mayoclinic.com/)

Sources:
"How much exercising do I need?" http://www.mayoclinic.com/
"Women's Health" http://www.lifestages.com/

Enhanced by Zemanta
Sherl Wilsher's Expert Author Email Alerts
Sign up to receive email alerts of Sherl Wilsher’s latest articles from EzineArticles.com!

Email Address: