The importance of retaining muscle mass as we age is more important than simply looking great; it can have a domino effect on virtually every aspect of both physical and mental wellbeing. Well-toned muscles support and strengthen weight-bearing joints to alleviate arthritis-associated pain, while a firm and fit core—down to your thighs and butt—elevate your proprioceptive status for better balance. Balance is something we take for granted; however, fragility fractures of the hip, ankle, and wrist are less common for people with more muscle mass.
Sunrise glow on a field of Lupines (Lupinus sp.) and the Teton Range; Grand Teton National Park, WY
The results of a research study featuring 595 men and 1066 women with a median age of 69 support the importance of muscle strength for reduced risk of fragility fracture. Strength of the quadriceps (thigh muscles) was measured twice per year over an 11‑year period. Loss of muscle strength correlated with an increased probability of fragility fracture over the course of the study.
It’s no secret we lose muscle mass as we age; however, research conducted at the University of Alabama Center for Exercise Medicine
suggests we can maintain or regain muscle mass and strength after 60. Some muscle fibres die off, but others shrink and atrophy from lack of exercise and protein-laden nutrition; this can be reversed. Participants in the research trained using weights they could perform up to ten repetitions with until exhaustion. Training resulted in rejuvenation of atrophied muscle fibre and restored strength. Here’s where targeted nutrition comes in: There’s no substitute for protein when it comes to muscle growth and recovery, but there is an alternative to animal-sourced protein with its inherent elevated levels of cholesterol, omega‑6 arachidonic acid, and saturated fatty acids.
Organic lupine and pumpkin seed powder have emerged as nutritional juggernauts for protein supplementation. They’re rich in protein, minerals, B‑complex vitamins, healthy fibre, and more. Indeed, it’s commonplace to see folks of all ages scooping protein powders into their shaker bottles at health clubs. Relax; you don’t have to be a body-builder to bulk up a little.
Look for certified organic and non‑GMO protein powders; they’ll pump up the protein quotient of soups, smoothies, muffins, and virtually any culinary creation. Lupine seed has a neutral flavour, while pumpkin seed has a mild nutty flavour profile. Both deliver over 4 g of protein per tablespoon.
So, reward those aching muscles and your inner athlete with healthy protein: You’ve earned it!
Learn more about lupine protein powder here.
Learn more about pumpkin seed powder here.
Gordon Raza, BSc
As the technical writer for Flourish, Gord shares his
unique perspective on natural health products, nutrition,
and active living.
Platinum Naturals Vitamins offer a specialized Omega Suspension Technology that makes nutrients highly absorbable and available for a full 24 hours.
If you’re vegetarian, you are part of a growing trend in Canada. According to a poll commissioned by the Vancouver Humane Society in 2015, vegetarianism is common in Canada. A third of Canadians are either already vegetarian or are eating less meat!
Compared to meat eaters, vegetarians tend to consume less saturated fat and cholesterol. They consume more vitamins C and E, dietary fiber, folic acid, potassium, magnesium, and phytochemicals (plant chemicals), such as carotenoids and flavonoids. As a result, they’re likely to have lower total and LDL (bad) cholesterol, lower blood pressure, and lower body mass index (BMI), all of which are associated with longevity and a reduced risk for many chronic diseases.
But it can also be challenging to get enough of certain nutrients. Supplementing your diet with Platinum Naturals’ Easymulti Vegan and EasyIron can help give your body what it needs to stay healthy and strong.
Is your vegetarian diet missing something essential?
The iron in plant sources (non-heme iron) can be hard to absorb, especially since it’s often bound to phytates, anti-nutrients that prevent absorption. If you think you might be deficient, it’s worth a trip to the doctor to get your levels checked, especially if you have symptoms of iron deficiency such as:
• hair loss
• pale skin
• cold hands and feet
The iron found in EasyIron and Easymulti Vegan is iron bisglycinate, the best-absorbed vegan iron available. In fact, iron bisglycinate is absorbed 4.5 times better than other vegan forms of iron.
To further improve absorption, the iron in Platinum Naturals supplements is suspended in oil through their award-winning Omega Suspension Technology. This takes advantage of your body’s natural ability to absorb oils. In fact, a clinical study found that iron (bisglycinate) suspended in oil had 3 times higher overall absorption than the same form of iron not suspended in oil. Normally iron can only be absorbed in the upper intestine. But when suspended in oil, iron can be absorbed anywhere within the digestive tract, resulting in maximum absorption and is therefore much less likely to cause constipation.
Vitamin B12 is often lacking in a vegetarian diet, since most sources of vitamin B12 are from animal products. B12 deficiency leads to pernicious anemia, which is a type of anemia you can get even if you eat enough iron. Also, elevated levels of homocysteine (a marker for heart disease) have been observed in vegans. Supplementation with B12 has been shown to effectively reduce homocysteine blood levels. To support proper absorption, EasyIron and Easymulti Vegan contain methylcobalamin, the active form of vitamin B12.
Vitamin D is important for bone health, immune function and a healthy cardiovascular system. But most vitamin D3 is animal-sourced. Easymulti Vegan provides a full recommended daily dose of vitamin D2 to help ensure adequate intake of vitamin D, even in the winter months.
Because vegetarian diets don’t include fish, they lack DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), the two omega-3 fatty acids needed to develop and maintain the brain, retina and cell membranes. Flax oil is an excellent source of the omega 3 ALA, which the body converts to EPA and DHA. Omega 3’s help calm inflammation and are an important building block for glowing skin, a healthy heart and an active brain.
Platinum Naturals’ Easymulti Vegan is designed to complement a vegetarian or vegan diet and provide full-spectrum nutritional support. Easymulti Vegan contains healthy omega-3 from flax oil as well as highly bio-available forms of vitamin B12 and iron. Easymulti Vegan is formulated without any animal products and none of our products are tested on animals.
Platinum Naturals’ EasyIron is a fast-acting, gentle and non-constipating iron supplement. It’s formulated with the essential cofactor vitamins to support blood-building and is suitable for vegetarians.
Whatever your motivation, eating vegetarian can be a great way to take care of your health, your furry friends and your environment, as long as you’re sure to get the nutritional support you need!