Here’s something to ask yourself. Do you take better care of your car than you do your health? Taking a comprehensive multi-vitamin formula, consuming the right protein and eating good fats rich in omega-3s every day is like adding miles to the life of your body.
Your investment in health will be rewarded by looking younger, feeling better and hopefully living longer with a few of our favorite healthy maintenance tips.
Take a multi-vitamin
For a longer, healthier life
USDA research shows that 90% of us are deficient in one or more vitamins, minerals or nutrients. It’s almost impossible to get the daily recommended dosages you need from food alone. Hundreds of studies point to the enormous difference a daily multi-vitamin can make to help reduce your risk of many diseases.
They come in a range of potencies, from 1-per-day formulas to 8-per-day vitamin packs.
The general rule is, the more pills you take, the better and more complete the formula.
Consume protein daily
Build muscle, stay lean and boost immunity
Research shows you need to eat 4-6 protein-rich meals or snacks each day to prevent muscle breakdown, maintain even blood sugar levels, boost metabolism and stay lean. If you don’t have the time or desire to prepare and eat 4-6 meals every day, protein shakes are convenient and easy meal alternatives.
How much protein do you need?
Protein requirements for most people should fall between the Medium and Typical columns. Studies show weightlifters may need .72g per pound of bodyweight, highly trained cyclists may need .8g per pound, rigorous exercise training might require 1.3g per pound, and world-class weightlifters may need up to 1.6g per pound. A good rule of thumb is to eat protein (grams) to match your ideal body weight.
Choose the right type of protein
Whey is the highest quality protein available. It’s fast-digesting and low in lactose. Whey is also high in BCAAs, making it ideal for muscle building, dieting and immune health.* It’s great before and after workouts.
High Protein Blends
Protein blends typically contain whey, casein, egg and/or soy protein. Each protein digests at a different rate, creating a timed-release effect that not only builds muscle but also prevent muscle breakdown.*
Meal Replacements (MRPs)
MRPs are meant to replace a normal meal. They’re high in protein and contain carbs for energy, plus vitamins and minerals. Multiple fast- and slow-digesting proteins provide for longer satiety. Good for dieting and muscle building.*
Weight Gainer (high carb)
Most gainers are high in carbs and are an ideal choice for gaining lean mass for those who have difficulty consuming enough calories.
Take more omega-3s
From fish (EPA and DHA) and flaxseed oil (ALA)
Most people know they should cut back on saturated fat and trans fat. But they don’t realize they eat too much omega-6 fats and too few omega-3 fats.
An imbalance of these essential fats can lead to inflammation, joint problems, allergies, heart problems, impaired athletic performance and more.
Bring your omegas into balance by taking fish oil and flaxseed oil, and cut back on foods that contain omega-6 fats like salad dressings, beef and processed foods.
Take fish oil or eat more fatty fish
Fish oil is rich in two of the most important omega-3 fatty acids — EPA and DHA. These omega-3s provide benefits throughout the body and are especially important for cardiovascular health, nervous system health, brain function and joint health.*
A typical daily dose of the active components (EPA and DHA) is 300 mg to 1,000 mg, provided you also include some fish in your diet. That translates into taking 1 to 3 regular strength 1,000 mg softgels per day.
Most fish oil supplements are from fish low on the food chain like sardines and mackerel. Manufacturers remove potential contaminants through various processes, so you’re guaranteed pure and safe fish oil.
Flaxseed oil is rich in vegetarian omega-3s
Flaxseed oil is one of the richest vegetable sources of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a short-chain omega-3. Your body can only convert about 10% of ALA to EPA and DHA (long-chain omega-3s), which is why you also need fish oil. But since you need more than just 1-2 grams a day of omega-3s from fish, flaxseed is an ideal choice since it can provide another 7-14 grams of omega-3s a day.
Flaxseed’s mild taste allows it to be used in many ways. Add it to protein shakes, mix it with vinegar to make salad dressing, or take it right from the spoon.
Experts recommend taking 1-2 tablespoons of flaxseed oil daily. One tablespoon provides about 7,000 mg of omega-3 (ALA), making it a quick and inexpensive way to add this essential fat to your diet.
Take more vitamin D3
For bone and heart health, and immune and nervous system health*
Severe vitamin D deficiency affects 50% or more adults. Your skin makes vitamin D from sun exposure. In places where sun exposure is minimal, deficiency can be as high as 90%. The elderly are more prone to deficiency since the capacity to activate vitamin D in the skin is lost as we age. However, simply living in a sunny climate provides no guarantee against deficiency. Studies in south Florida and Hawaii have demonstrated surprising levels of deficiency.
Other factors that increase the need for vitamin D include sunscreen use, having dark skin, living in the northern U.S. and being overweight.
When supplementing with vitamin D, D3 is the preferred form, since it’s far better absorbed than vitamin D2. The RDA was just raised from 400 IU to 600 IU per day, but 1,000 to 2,000 IU per day is a more optimal dose.
Due to a wide body of research showing tremendous benefits for heart, bone, joint, colon, breast and immune health, many people are taking even higher doses of vitamin D3.* If you get plenty of sun exposure, you may need less. Take extra D3 if your multi-vitamin supplies a low amount of this vitamin.
Take a probiotic
Boost intestinal health and immunity*
Probiotics, also known as good bacteria, are extremely helpful with establishing and nourishing the friendly intestinal flora in your gut. Bacteria such as acidophilus and bifidus are vital for healthy digestive and immune functions.* Take a probiotic daily, especially after an illness or a round of antibiotics.
Take digestive enzymes
Get the most out of your food
Even though we may eat well, we may not be absorbing all the nutrients from food. Indigestion, gas and bloating, and food allergies may all be signs of poor digestion. Supplemental digestive enzymes may help ensure optimal digestion. They assist the body’s ability to break down and digest carbohydrates, protein and fat.*
Enjoy better overall health
Put yourself on the path to good health
Looking younger, feeling better and living longer requires a total approach to nutrition. Instead of just treating symptoms of poor health with drugs, give your body the materials it needs to repair and heal itself.
Start now on the path to better health and do something good for yourself today.
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