Nutrition

Cholesterol and Aging

Although our cholesterol levels tend to rise with age, the medical community suggests that this is not desirable. Cholesterol, in itself, is important in the manufacture and care of cells, but too much can interfere with blood flow, contributing to cardiovascular disease and, possibly, heart attack. HDLs – high density lipoprotein, the ’good’ cholesterol – attach themselves to the LDLs – low density lipoprotein, the ‘bad’ cholesterol – and move them to the liver, where the LDLs are released.


Smell and Dementia

There’s nothing like the smell of fresh laundry or the air after a good cleansing rain. Realtors recommend baking cookies before a potential buyer visits the seller’s home; thereby giving the house a homey feel. The list could go on, as those smells take us back in time or give us comfort. But what does it mean for those that can no longer smell?

The olfactory system, being one of the oldest sensory systems, is the first to be affected with the onset of dementia or Alzheimer’s. US researchers have created a list of scents used to help make the determination. These smells include cheese, clove, fruit punch, leather, lemon, lilac, lime, menthol, orange, pineapple, smoke and strawberry. If an individual cannot recognize three of the ten given, then they are five times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s.


Potassium – Nature’s Simple Health Aid

Your grocer, local farmers’ market and even the garden growing in your backyard contains this key ingredient for proper body function; an ingredient that is important in the maintenance of the blood, cells and electrical pulses.

Fruits such as apples, apricots, raisins, oranges, bananas and avocados are rich in potassium, as well as leafy greens, broccoli, tomatoes, potatoes (especially in the skin). Other food sources of potassium are whole grains, nuts and seeds, and fish such as cod, flounder, salmon and sardines. Also, certain herbs such as nettle, red clover, horsetail, skullcap, sage and catnip are potassium sources.


Food Can Be Our Medicine

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Hippocrates.

“In the old days, you took medicine when you got sick and hoped it would make you well. Now scientific studies are showing that we can actually boost our immune system to help fight off infections and disease before we ever get sick! While the age-old wisdom of getting enough sleep, minimizing stress, eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly still holds true, there is exciting new evidence that eating certain foods – including cultured dairy products – can boost the immune system and provide other amazing health benefits as well.”


Water: The Healthy Necessity

Now that spring is upon us, warmer days are just around the corner.  For many, this warmer weather means more outdoor activity, and more perspiring. Keeping the body hydrated – drinking more water – becomes all the more important this time of year.

This is especially true as we age. Hydration is an important part of the nutrition equation. But it is also challenging because, as one ages, the sensation of thirst diminishes. The less water a person takes in, the less thirsty he or she becomes. This leads to dehydration which occurs more frequently and much more quickly in the elderly. Fluid loss can affect the heart, kidneys, brain, and in severe cases can be life threatening.