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Healthy Aging: Your Better Nutrition Guide

Another year older, another year wiser, but will it be another year of better health? Aging can feel like an un-plug-able drain on our internal resources with no way to stop the process and thus maintain your current health status or, even harder, improve upon it for healthy aging. Fret not as with better nutrition you can and you will help support better health whether that means healing, maintaining, preventing or optimizing your health as the body ages. So what does healthy aging look like?

Nourish All Your Systems, Together: The whole body needs better nutrition but we don’t need different nutrition for better health nor for healthy aging. The good news is that key nutrients support the whole body’s total health. So when you consume probiotics, yes you are helping support a healthy digestive system but that also supports immune health which reduces overall stress and enables better heart health and brain health and so on. Same goes for a daily dose of broccoli’s glucoraphanin which enables detoxification, which removes unwanted toxins, which makes it easier for the body to do its daily tasks, which supports healthy skin, immune health and so on.

Know Your Numbers (and Levels): While there are certain nutrients every body needs, your body ages better when you know what you specifically need to replenish, restore, and support.

  • Get labs drawn every six months including your vitamin D (25OH), your sed rate and CRP (markers of inappropriate inflammation), your HgBA1C (once a year is fine unless you are working on yours) to assess pre-diabetes/diabetes, heavy metals to assess toxin burden(s) and other labs may include stool or breath test for bacteria, omegas, and Berkley Heart Lab for knowing what your cholesterol really looks like.

R&R for Building Better Habits: You are never (EVER) to old to build better habits and that includes recognizing and replacing those that aren’t serving you with ones that will enable better health. While your myelin production may have slowed (learn more about this important brain matter in an awesome book “The Talent Code” by Daniel Coyle building better habits can and should happen.

  • Identify what habits you currently have – list them all out on a piece of paper – ranging from taking the dog out to checking your email or social media. Then vet them into lists – better health enabler, better health deducting.
  • For the better health enabler habits, write down what it is that motivates you to do these? How did they become habits? How would you feel if you didn’t do them one day? Several days?
  • For the better health deducting habits – pick 1 or 2 that you really want to change and that will give you the biggest bang for better health by changing them to a better health enabling habit. Maybe you don’t take your supplements or you are having 3 glasses of wine a day or you have stopped being active or you have trouble sleeping.
  • Now look back at the better health enabling habits descriptions – what motivates you for these, how do you make them happen – and write down a few thoughts for the 1 or 2 habits you picked – what could you do differently today and tomorrow and this week and next month? What would motivate you to do these? What would you have to give up to do make these happen?
  • Just Do It… give yourself one month to see if you can create a new better health enabling habit by improving one that was previously deducting. Then put a calendar reminder each week for the rest of the year (the year that you are remodeling this habit not the calendar year) to check in on how you are doing.

Aging can and should be awesome. Like anything, healthy aging takes work – you have to train daily to age better – but the work is worth it when you age with better health. Have personal questions about your better aging Rx? That’s what I am here for – so make an appointment for an initial consult with me today.

Originally printed on ashleykoffapproved.com. Reprinted with permission.

Ashley Koff RD is your better health enabler. For decades, Koff has helped thousands get and keep better health by learning to make their better not perfect nutrition choices more often. A go-to nutrition expert for the country’s leading doctors, media, companies and non-profit organizations, Koff regularly shares her Better Nutrition message with millions on national and local television, magazines and newspapers. Visit her website at ashleykoffapproved.com.

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