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Navigating your nutritional needs

Looking to complement the healthy plate you’ve been eating from with essential nutrients your diet is lacking? Towering shelves of supplements can intimidate anyone, so we’re here to help you navigate your nutritional needs!

I. Vitamins, Minerals & Antioxidants – “The Multi”
Despite your efforts to eat from a healthy plate you may not be getting enough of all of the essential nutrients. A 2017 McMaster University study found 58% of Canadians who thought they were getting enough calcium, actually were not! It is worse for vitamin D – 78% who are not getting enough think they are. It’s easy for your diet to lack certain nutrients when you consider your dietary preferences (dislikes), intolerances (nut allergies), or special diet (vegetarian). A multivitamin can improve your intake of essential vitamins and minerals. Many essential nutrients act as antioxidants. You want lots of these – antioxidants act like warriors protecting your body from free radicals that cause damage, inflammation, disease and aging.

II. Omega-3s – “Good Fats”
Omega-3s are also ‘essential’ (EPA and DHA are classified as essential fatty acids). Yet, common Canadian diets lack sufficient omega-3s. Increasing your intake of fish by one serving a week may help maintain brain function as you age, according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2016).

III. Probiotics & Digestive Enzymes – “Gut Helpers”
How well is your gut absorbing that nutritious food you eat? Digestive enzymes help you break down food. As you age, your body produces fewer enzymes. You may need to include some digestive enzyme supplements to help make up for the shortage. Probiotics help by converting nutrients into forms your body can use. For example, vitamin K1 from leafy greens makes up about 90% of our vitamin K consumption, but it’s only bone-beneficial when converted by probiotics to vitamin K2. Probiotics also support the immune system, moderate inflammation and influence mental health.

IV. Ailment Specific “Personal Nutrients”
Some supplements target specific nutritional needs, such as lutein for your aging eyes, phosphatidylserine for your brain, colostrum for immune support, turmeric for inflammation/joint pain, or Chaste tree to balance hormones.

V. Greens & Protein “Power & Energy”
“Eat leafy greens,” we’re always being told. But, sometimes life gets busy, and we don’t. Including a greens supplement may help fill in any leafy gaps in your diet.

Protein is a master of curbing cravings – your fork will be less likely to stray away from your healthy plate. Protein helps your muscles recover from exercise. For those over 60 years of age, you need more protein (1-1.3 kg/g/day) to avoid age-related muscle loss.

Optimize your health to include any essential nutrients your diet is lacking. Then, make it personalized with supplements that target what ails you.
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References:
Public Health Nutr. 2017 May, 8:1-8.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28478781 – Calcium and Vitamin D intake versus perception study
Am J Clin Nutr, 2016 Feb, 103(2):330-340.
http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/103/2/330.long– Fish Oil intake and cognition study
Probiotic Rescue, Allison Tannis 2008
https://books.google.ca/books?id=g_eeUgAUnykC&pg=PT128&lpg=PT128&dq=probiotics+convert+vitamin+K1+and+vitamin+K2&source=bl&ots=zmP2YBaFFg&sig=wvyXOmoMB_A5eWu8Kzbag_U99Jo&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj87Yf3_o3UAhVGORQKHRA0Aj8Q6AEIYjAJ – v=onepage&q=probiotics conh
Nutrients. 2015 Aug; 7(8): 6874–6899.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4555150/ – Protein needs for over 60
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