Optimal nutrition is essential for longevity. While whole foods are the best source of vitamins and minerals, our diets often fall short of optimal. Scientific evidence shows that supplementing with certain vitamins can prevent or even reverse the biochemical changes associated with aging. Adding the right vitamins can also target chronic inflammation, which reduces the risk of diseases including cancer, heart disease and diabetes.
Many Americans are nutrient deficient without even knowing it. Ninety-four per cent of us don’t get enough Vitamin D and over half of us don’t get enough magnesium. (Hint, these supplements top the list of vitamins and minerals to add to your diet.)
The challenge is determining which vitamins you really need to add to your diet. Fountain Life members receive quarterly executive blood panels to take the guess work out of which vitamins your body is lacking. However, there are a few general guidelines all of us can benefit from.
Research shows there are eight key vitamins and minerals that promote longevity by contributing to the processes that keep the cells in our bodies healthy.
This mineral activates enzymes for hundreds of different chemical reactions in the body, including DNA repair and energy production. It also plays an important role in improving insulin sensitivity, regulating blood pressure, and countering inflammation – a factor in metabolic diseases such as diabetes.
2. Vitamin D
A key nutrient that’s essential for bone health and immunity, vitamin D also regulates cell growth, which may have an effect in preventing cancer. Low levels of vitamin D are associated with heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.
3. B-complex vitamins
The eight B vitamins support metabolic health. Some are linked with a reduced risk of Type 2 diabetes, dementia and depression while others promote the production of red blood cells and proper maintenance of the central nervous system.
4. Vitamin E
This antioxidant is key for strong immunity, healthy skin and eyes, and also works to rejuvenate cells and protect them from damage.
5. Vitamin C
Most often touted for its immune benefits in preventing common illnesses, vitamin C also helps repair and regenerate tissues, lowers blood pressure, increases iron absorption and reduce the risk of heart disease.
6. Vitamin A
Also known as retinol, Vitamin A is the gold standard when it comes to anti-aging – it’s no wonder it’s a key ingredient in many skincare products, Vitamin A not only slows down the effects of aging on our skin, it also promotes a stronger immune system, better vision and helps the heart and lungs work properly.
An essential trace mineral that supports healthy thyroid function, selenium also helps neutralize free radicals, thus protecting cells from oxidative stress, which is often responsible for insulin resistance and metabolic dysfunction.
Almost all of the calcium in our bodies is in our bones and teeth, but it also plays a crucial role in other functions, such as nerve transmission and muscular function. Calcium deficiencies can lead to heart problems, as well as high blood pressure.