In honor of Mother’s Day, this month we are focusing on women’s health. Heart disease, breast cancer, osteoporosis and depression are among the top health concerns for women these days. Many women lead very busy lives and are notorious for not taking as much time or care for themselves as they do for others. Here are a few quick and easy steps to help women improve their health.
Step 1: Take a Multivitamin.
Nutrition & supplementation affects susceptibility to disease. Every year there are: 14 million cases of preventable heart disease, 1.2 million preventable cases of cancer, more than half a million preventable strokes, and thousands of babies born with neural tube defects that could have been prevented with a simple vitamin. The best offense is a good defense. Supply your body with the nutrients it needs to build up its immune system, the real power to fight off any disease.
In the Journal of American Medicine on June 19, 2002, they cited “…suboptimal intake of some vitamins is a risk factor for chronic diseases and common in the general population… Most people do not consume an optimal amount of all vitamins by diet alone…it appears prudent for all adults to take vitamin supplements.” The Council for Responsible Nutrition advocates “the regular use of multi-vitamins and a few other nutritional supplements can measurably improve the nutritional status and lifelong health of the American public.”
Step 2: Stock up on Vitamin D.
Synthesized from the sun, Vitamin D is critical aid in calcium absorption which builds bone density and can help prevent osteoporosis. Vitamin D is also proven to help elevate mood and alleviate depression symptoms. Vitamin D can reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease including heart attacks, stroke and heart failure. Low vitamin D levels are associated with risk factors that cause heart disease: type 2 diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
A study published by the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine has found that low serum Vitamin D levels in the months preceding diagnosis may predict a high risk of premenopausal breast cancer. The study of blood levels of 1,200 healthy women found that women whose serum vitamin D level was low during the three-month period just before diagnosis had approximately three times the risk of breast cancer as the women in the highest vitamin D group. The study is currently published online in advance of the print edition of the journal Cancer Causes and Control.
Step 3: Don’t forget your Omega’s!
Omega-3 fatty acids offer many anti-aging benefits. They protect your heart, reduce your risk of stroke, and may even lower your risk of Alzheimer’s disease. The complex of Omegas 3, 6, & 9 can increase energy performance and stamina, strengthen bones, promote healthy immune system function, aid in weight loss, speed the healing process, enhance brain function, and produce healthy hair, soft skin, and strong nails.
Alpha Linolenic Acid (ALA) [Omega 3] constitutes 57% of the total fatty acids in flax, making flax the richest source of ALA in the North American diet. Studies have found evidence that ALA is related to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. People with certain circulatory problems, such as varicose veins, benefit from omega 3. Omega 3 stimulates blood circulation, increases the breakdown of fibrin, a compound involved in clot and scar formation, and additionally has been shown to reduce blood pressure. There is strong scientific evidence that n- 3 fatty acids significantly reduce blood triglyceride levels and regular intake reduces the risk of secondary and primary heart attack.
This month, remind the women in your life to take care of themselves in mind, body and spirit. Happy Mother’s Day!