Monday, August 27, 2007

Proper Nutrition To Protect Against Aging

During the past thirty years, there has been a steadily growing body of scientific evidence showing that vitamins and minerals play a much more important role in our overall health than previously acknowledged.

The proper balance of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients has been linked to health benefits that include stronger immune system response, prevention of many degenerative diseases, and the slowing of the daily wear and tear that is the aging process. A well balanced diet, rich in the necessary nutrients, while difficult to achieve in our fast paced culture, has a wide range of benefits.

It is essential to overall health and longevity to keep the immune system functioning well. There are a number of nutrients that have been shown be necessary to our immune function. Antioxidants, such as the vitamins A, C, E, beta carotene, and selenium have been shown to boost immunity.

The minerals zinc and magnesium are also important for immune function. To ensure a beneficial intake of these antioxidants, you must include a variety of fruits and vegetables in your daily diet. Zinc and magnesium can be found in dairy products, and seafood.

Certain vitamins and minerals have been shown to aid in the prevention of some degenerative diseases, and aging disorders. Antioxidants can help to lower the risk of cataracts, and macular degeneration, which are conditions associated with aging. It is also suggested by experts that they can help slow the aging process by reducing the daily cell damage done by environmental pollution, and time.

Vitamin E has been linked with a lower risk of heart disease. Niacin, a B vitamin can help in reducing the level of cholesterol. Some other nutrients that are helpful in protecting against age related disorders are selenium, cartenoids, flavinoids, and some Amino acids.

Proper nutrition via the diet, while definitely achievable, is often a difficult process in today’s fast paced culture, particularly in combination with the social changes we’ve experienced. People often work longer and harder, and the two income family reigns supreme, followed closely by the single parent family unit.
Another difficulty involved in achieving the standard recommended daily intake levels of essential vitamins, minerals and other nutrients each and every day has to do with food quality. As minerals are depleted from the soil, due to growing practices that include single crop plantings and failure to rotate crops or let field remain fallow to rest and regenerate, as well as through the erosion of topsoil, the mineral content of food is not always what we think it is.

Nutritional supplements offer a reliable and safe means of ensuring that we reach our nutritional goals. Nutritional supplements are not meant to substitute for a good diet, but rather to complement it.
In fact, they tend to perform much better when they have real food to interact with. If you are inexperienced with nutritional supplements, you may benefit from a consultation with a licensed nutritionist who will be able to help you to devise a nutritional supplement plan best suited for your dietary needs and health goals.

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Monday, August 20, 2007

Zinc And Your Body

Zinc, often ignored by the average person, is an essential mineral that plays many roles in promoting the healthy functioning of the body. It is important to the body from the earliest moments of growth and development and is a fundamental part of health throughout our lives.

We need to be sure to regularly meet the recommended daily income levels of this nutrient, as our health and general well being can be significantly impacted by a failure to do so.

Zinc is an important mineral that serves many vital purposes in the body. Approximately one hundred enzymes rely on the presence of zinc to be effective in their specialized tasks within the body. Zinc has a significant role in the process of physical growth of babies developing in the womb, and for the growth of both children and teenagers.

Zinc is necessary to the synthesis of DNA and serves to keep the senses of taste and smell functioning properly. It helps the body’s immune system to be effective and strong, and it is important to note that even relatively small deficiencies of zinc can adversely impact the functioning of the immune system.

Deficiencies in zinc can cause a variety of symptoms, effecting both physical and mental processes. Among the most common are the slowing of growth of babies in the uterus, as well as the retardation of growth in older children. A lack of zinc can interfere with the maturation of the reproductive organs, as well as interfere with reproductive functions and processes. It can contribute to impotence.

Chronic diarrhea, poor appetite, and thus significant weight loss of the unhealthy and undesirable sort, hair loss, and the slow healing of wounds are all associated with zinc deficiencies. So, too, are open sores on the skin and in the mouth, strange tastes in the mouth, and inefficient or reduced mental functioning, especially cognitive processes.

The nutrients essential to body health and functioning are powerful, and it is important to remember that, just like prescription medicines, exceeding the recommended dosage can cause serious health problems.

In some health circumstances and situations, higher doses of zinc may be indicated, but these should always come with a recommendation from your health care provider or as a result of serious, in-depth research undertaken with the guidance of a nutrition specialist.

Those eating a vegetarian diet must be especially careful about monitoring the zinc levels in their day-to-day nutrition. A dietary supplement containing zinc may be their best option to keeping their zinc levels where they should be, as it is more difficult to obtain all the necessary zinc from plant sources only.

This is especially important for children that are being raised in the vegetarian lifestyle, as zinc is important to normal growth and puberty. The many health benefits of a vegetarian diet do not have to be sacrificed, even for children. A simple and safe zinc supplement is an excellent option for health.

Zinc needs to get the popular recognition it deserves for the vital role it plays in the overall health of the body. For those concerned about their daily zinc intake, a dietary supplement containing the proper dosage of zinc may be the right choice.

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