Welcome! I'm a 48 (and 1/2) year old, wife, mother (8 1/2 year old son), daughter, sister, friend and volunteer. So, 48.5 really means I'm into my 49th year on this amazing planet, and on July 19, 2010, I'll be in my 50th year. The mid-century mark. L. The big 5-0. However you want to say it, to most of the English speaking world, it means "old". I want to get there with grace, passion, beauty, love and laughter. I want to get there the old-fashioned way: by taking care of myself, eating right, creating a balanced life, laughing and living life to it's fullest. I'll be documenting my journey and hope you will watch and learn along the way. I'll also provide some of my tips for looking young and feeling your best as we head to and beyond our mid-century mark. Here's to being "Beautifully 50".

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Not just for mama's anymore!

If you're a mom, or have friends that are moms' you probably recall how important the supplement folic acid was before and during pregnancy.  It helps prevent a host of serious birth defects which can occur early in pregnancy. I remember taking it ten years ago, but haven't thought about it much since I had my healthy baby boy.  Well, guess what? Dr. Mao recommends a daily dose of 800 micrograms(mcg) per day for people 50 and older. I'm sure that starting at 48.5 will only be beneficial, right?

The New York Times ( http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/03/opinion/03kristof.html) has deemed folate as the world's healthiest food based on the profound impact it can have on forming embryos. It makes sense that if folate has this much power that it's benefits would also transend to adults.  Scientists know that older people tend to be deficient in folate, which enables vitamins B6 and B12 to aid in hormone secretion, synthesize DNA, and manufacture the protective coating around the nerves. These three tasks are thought to be the major elements in our bodies' defenses against fatal age-related disorders such as Parkinson's or Alzheimer's.  So, increase your folate and we can lower our odds of contracting one of these conditions.

The good news is that folate is found in numerous foods, including spinach, kale, brussel sprouts, asparagus, black beans and brocolli, but it is destroyed by heat, so these vegetables have to be eaten raw.  You can also obtain your RDA for folate by eating a morning breakfast cereal (most fortified with 25-100% of your RDA @ 400 mcg, not the 800 mcg needed for over 50). Cereals with the highest levels of folic acid include Whole Grain Total, Cap'n'Crunch Peanut Butter, Cinnamon Life, Frosted Wheaties, Special K, and Raisin Bran.

The good news for any non-cereal eater (like me!) is that this is one case where the natural form of folic acid is not as easily absorbed by the body as the syntheic form. So, simply head to your closest Vitamin store and stock up for good health! I'm headed there now!

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