Magnesium is one of the six essential macro-minerals that make up 99% of the body’s mineral content, and hundreds of studies have proven magnesium’s benefits toward health. Without the presence of magnesium in the organism, energy could not be produced or used in the cells, muscles could not contract and relax, and crucial hormones could not be synthesized.
Therefore, magnesium can play a major role in protecting health and preventing chronic diseases and malfunctions. According to the National Institutes of Health, adequate magnesium levels are required for maintaining normal muscle and nerve function, steady heart rhythm, bone strength and density and a healthy immune system.
But perhaps the most important function of magnesium in people over the age 40 is blood pressure regulation. High magnesium intake has been shown to reduce the risk of developing hypertension and heart disease in adults, as well as providing powerful protection against inflammation.
Furthermore, new clinical studies also suggest that magnesium supplements can effectively treat chronic migraines, which tend to be very common in women between ages 40-60. If you strive to eat a healthy, balanced diet, you’re probably getting good amounts of magnesium and don’t need to take supplements. But just in case, up your intake of dark leafy greens, beans, soy, nuts, seeds and avocados.
However, if you think you might be deficient, consult your physician for further advice. Magnesium supplements are fairly inexpensive and available in a variety of forms with different absorption rates – magnesium chelate, magnesium citrate and magnesium glycinate are absorbed better than other forms.
The most important health benefits of potassium include protection from heart stroke and kidney disorders, as well as enhanced muscle strength, improved metabolic rate and lower levels of stress and anxiety. This is the third most abundant mineral in the human body that contains the components for maintaining optimal well-being and health. For starters, potassium contributes to keeping brain function at a normal level by allowing more oxygen to reach the brain, thus stimulating neural activity and enhancing cognitive function.
Furthermore, thanks to its vasodilating properties that help relieve the tension of blood vessels, potassium plays a key role in keeping blood pressure in check in people of all ages, but especially in older adults. Research has shown that older adults who eat foods higher in potassium are less likely to suffer from high blood pressure and experience heart strokes than those who eat less potassium-rich foods, but it has also found that the majority of older American women do not eat the recommended amounts of potassium from foods.
A balanced diet should offer adequate amounts of potassium. The recommended daily allowance is 4.7 grams, but significant health improvements can also be seen in people increasing their intake to as little as 2 grams per day. The most important dietary sources of potassium are citrus fruits, bananas, avocados, vegetables and grains.
Second best choices include salmon, chicken, milk, potatoes and almonds. But when it comes to potassium supplements, you should be very careful – too much of this nutrient can cause harm to the gastrointestinal tract and even trigger dangerous cardiac arrhythmias.
Omega-3 fatty acids deserve a special place on this list because of their powerful health benefits for older adults, including combating the negative changes that accompany aging, the most prominent of which are increased heart disease risk and cognitive deterioration.
Several health agencies have established omega-3 recommendations based on research findings which clearly show that omega-3 supplementation can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, lower triglyceride levels and LDL cholesterol levels, slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. According to these, the daily amount of omega-3 fatty acids, including both EPA and DHA, required for adults of both sexes is 800 to 1,000 milligrams daily.
The benefits of omega-3 fatty acids on human health have been well-documented by countless studies, especially in terms of brain function. Most recently, one large study found that people with higher blood levels of omega-3s had bigger brains and performed significantly better on memory tests and tasks that demand abstract thinking than individuals who had lower levels.
You can get omega-3s from oily fish, walnuts, flaxseeds, chia seeds, soybeans and leafy vegetables, but you can also make sure you’re getting enough by taking a fish oil supplement.