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Herbal Nutrition Supplements: The 5W’s

Herbal nutrition supplements are everywhere these days. So should you be taking them? To help you decide for yourself, here are the whos, whats, whens, wheres and whys on herbal nutrition.Herbal Nutrition Supplements: What Are They?The National Library of Medicine gives this definition: “Herbal supplements are a type of dietary supplement… that contain herbs, either singly or in mixtures”.Herbal nutrition supplements come in a variety of different forms, however, and some are better and safer than others. The Mayo Clinic advises you to “select products that have been scientifically tested”.Quality Herbal Supplements: Why Take Them?There is a good chance that quality herbal supplements may be a healthy choice for you. Herbal nutrition supplements are excellent for people who are unable to meet their nutritional requirements because of food allergies, medical conditions, or busy schedules that don’t leave enough time to control and monitor nutrient intake.Quality Natural Supplements: Who Should Take Them?Herbal nutrition supplements can be very beneficial for a wide range of people who need to fill in the nutritional gaps left by an incomplete diet.However, there are also people who should not take herbal nutrition supplements. Check with your doctor first if you have:
High blood pressure
Thyroid problems
Parkinson’s disease
An enlarged prostate gland
Blood clotting problems
Heart disease
History of stroke
Liver problems
Or, if you are pregnant or nursing
Herbal Nutrition Supplements: When Should You Take Them?Herbal nutrition supplements can serve as a great complement to your diet or as an addition to conventional medicine. It’s important to note, however, that in some cases, combining herbal nutrition supplements with other medicine can be lethal. If you’re currently taking any doctor prescribed or over-the-counter medicine, be sure to consult your doctor before taking any herbal nutrition supplements.Quality Herbal Supplements: Where Do You Find Them?Herbal nutrition supplements are not all created equal. The Mayo Clinic warns that you “be extremely cautious about taking herbs manufactured or purchased outside the United States.” They add that, “toxic ingredients and prescription drugs have been found in some herbal supplements manufactured in other countries.” Your best bet is to stick to well-known products with wide usage and a popular history.Herbal nutrition supplements, when used by the right person, at the right time can have incredible health benefits. If you think herbal nutrition supplements might be right for you and you’d like to learn more, click here to take a nutrition survey.

Nutrition For the Elderly

This is a pretty detailed story addressing nutrition for elderly people. As an RN, I’d been educated in nursing school about the aging process and what unique ailments the elderly population had. Nutrition for the elderly population was not part of the curriculum. Let me walk you through this so you can understand how nutrition fits in the aging process.In hospital practice, I didn’t truly appreciate issues with the elderly because hospitals are acute care, not chronic care. We knew the longer an elderly patient was in the hospital, the more likely they would become confused, progressively more ill, develop complications, and often die. In total ignorance of elder care, I left my hospital position to work as an ADN (Assistant Director of Nursing) at a nursing home where a friend of mine had taken the Director job and was looking for good help. Within the first couple weeks, I’d sent several patients to the hospital ER because of that ignorance! The first patient had a hard, hot, swollen, reddened area on her right calf. In acute care, that is a blood clot. It’s very dangerous because it can break free, go to the lungs, block air flow and cause death. In chronic care, as in this case, it can be a recurrence of phlebitis. The symptoms are identical (red, hot, swollen leg) but the causes are different. I didn’t regret it, because you never really know. It might have been a blood clot, but…other staff with more experience, and knowing the patient’s history, would not have sent her.Several body systems affect nutrition for elderly people. Let’s start from the head and work our way down.1. Memory Loss. It’s not a normal part of aging. There are plenty of elderly folks that have no problem with memory. There’s an abundant amount of information available to address memory loss. How is nutrition affected by memory? Yes, I wrote that right. Read it again, then, continue. We need to remember to buy food, store it properly, prepare it, and eat it! Any of those steps could be and are forgotten. I’ve watched people go to their cupboard for food, find nothing they like, or nothing at all, and then return to their chair to watch t.v. and not eat! Foods go bad and are eaten anyway – things taste differently as we age. Thought goes into preparing food, what if you forgot how to make a sandwich? What if you forgot if you took your medicine, or if you thought you ate, but really took your medicine?2. Eyes, ears, nose, mouth, throat. Vision dims, hearing is diminished, smells are different, there may be swallowing difficulties…mouth pain, tooth pain, dry mouth, and poor fitting dentures. How many times is nutrition for elderly provided in a can? Have you looked at the ingredients in those? Being milk based causes mucous production and increases difficulty with swallowing. Going out to eat is out of the question if you have trouble swallowing. Choking in public? No way! How and what do you eat if your mouth hurts? What if your dentures are loose? Do you see how eating may lose it’s appeal?3. Lets get to the stomach next. As we age, everything slows. It takes longer for foods to digest. Many times, sweets are eaten first because taste buds change. What about a glass of lemonade or sweet tea? They sure won’t let you add salt to the food, so sugar it is. Then there’s less food eaten because the stomach is filling quicker than it’s emptying. Of course, you could always rely on that nutritionally inadequate can again.4. Moving the food through the rest of the system, taking the nutrients out and expelling the waste, is slowed too. There’s a higher percentage of ‘transverse impaction’ in the elderly than any other population. That means the food moves out of the stomach, into the top portion of the intestine, then just sits there and hardens. If it becomes an obstruction, label it critical!5. What about that bladder? When your joints hurt, you don’t want to get up to go to the bathroom. So, you drink less water. Water nourishes the cells, carries nutrients in and wastes out. When the elderly don’t drink, they become dehydrated and toxic! Round and round we go, back to memory, which is affected when we are toxic. The first sign of dehydration in the elderly can be hallucinations!6. Other issues are heart palpitations (causing weakness and “I just feel bad”), respiratory trouble (if you can’t breathe, it’s hard to eat), bone & joint pain (it takes too much effort to get to the table), and emotional changes (primarily depression).Believe it or not, there is hope (beyond the can). Nutrition for elderly people, because of advanced technology, is as simple as giving candy to a baby. That’s an old cliché, but it still works! Reducing the size of nutrients so they go straight into the cells, bypassing digestion is the key. The simple solution? It’s called cellular nutrition. Here are the benefits:Memory is one of the very first things that improve with regular use. For the first bit of time, remind someone to take the nutrition. Eyes, ears, nose, mouth, and throat? No issue! Just put it in a glass of water to sip on. Hold it in your mouth or even spray it on your skin. The nutrition will get in there, it’s cellular! Do not heat it up though; the heat will destroy the enzymes. Cellular nutrition doesn’t need digestion, so the stomach is not an issue. Intestines will move better. Nutrition given to the cells of the body cause the body to eliminate wastes more efficiently. Both loose stools or constipation will benefit with balance! Yes, water is needed to get the nutrition into the cells, but just one glass a day will do that (even in divided amounts), so running to the bathroom isn’t a problem. Then, when a body responds to the nutrition and heals, drinking more water won’t be such a bother. In the elderly, metabolism is slower and often activity is less, so not as much water is needed.All body systems are dependent on balanced nutrition. Anyone that takes prescriptions should tell their doctor about starting on a supplement so they can monitor them. It’s common for physicians to have to reduce and eventually eliminate many prescription medications once a balanced nutrition is achieved! If your doctor won’t work with you, find one that will. After all, you pay them, right? Get your money’s worth!