No matter which way you look at it, nutrition is important. Growing children need proper nutrients for development, young people need to fuel their active lives, parents need to keep up with busy families, and as you age, you want to protect your health as much as possible.
As functional medicine specialists, Neil Spiegel, DO, and Jennifer Gularson, PA-C, discuss nutrition with you during your very first visit.
At Osteopathic Center for Healing, we often find that modern life can make proper nutrition difficult. Whether your goal is to maintain optimal health or to practice an anti-aging lifestyle, nutrition plays a role, and that role is likely much larger than you know.
As you age, your nutritional needs change. For example, your metabolism slows, so you may need less food than you did when you were younger. You may also have decreased bone density, lose muscle mass, and have more trouble absorbing certain nutrients.
Just as it takes years of smiling for crow’s-feet to appear around your eyes, your nutritional needs change slowly over time. One of the best things you can do is to maintain a varied diet rich in lean protein, vegetables, and fruits.
And, of course, see your doctor regularly. We can help you understand your nutritional needs at any given stage of life. If you need supplements, we can determine which ones as well as recommend reputable products.
The anti-aging benefits of good nutrition
If you’re thinking about things like thinning hair, wrinkles, loss of muscle mass, or even failing memory and cognition, you’ll be happy to learn that some fairly simple nutritional principles can address all of those issues.
Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as saying, “Have a handful of acai berries with breakfast every day and stop wrinkles from forming.”
The good news is that following sound, proven nutrition advice does improve your skin, eyesight, hair growth, and bone density, and can even support your brain health.
What to eat
Have you heard of the Mediterranean diet? What about the DASH diet? These two diets are remarkably similar and both are often recommended to address a host of health issues such as cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, and other chronic conditions.
One group of researchers even combined them to form the MIND diet (the Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay) to create an eating plan to slow cognitive decline.
The focus of all three eating plans includes:
- Healthy fats, such as olive oil and avocados
- Lean protein, especially fish and poultry
- Frequent consumption of leafy, green vegetables, fruits, and some whole grains
All three eating plans also suggest avoiding overconsumption of sweets, fried foods, fatty meats, dairy, and processed and/or fast foods.
Rather than trying to eat one miracle food, the idea is to adjust your diet to include more healthy foods more often and less processed foods overall.
If you’re confused about the best nutrition plan for your age and health, schedule an appointment at our Rockville, Maryland, center. Good nutrition is the basis of good health, and we’re always happy to help you develop a diet that works best for you.