Science

How We Define "Healthy Aging"

4 min read
We talk about "healthy aging" and what it really means, from a scientific standpoint. (Hint: It has nothing to do with gray roots or wrinkles.)
We talk about "healthy aging" and what it really means, from a scientific standpoint. (Hint: It has nothing to do with gray roots or wrinkles.)

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When we began our long, obsessive road to creating a multivitamin for women over 50—along with our plant-based protein powder, Essential Protein 50+—it was always a given that they would support healthy aging from within.

But what does “healthy aging” even mean? That’s a great question. Here's how we see it.

In short, “healthy aging” means doing what you can to support your body and your wellbeing as you age.

Of course, wellbeing is a bit subjective—but the idea is that you should be able to lead a life well-lived, depending on what that looks like for you. According to our science team, “healthy aging” just means supporting your body for whatever that may be. And that’s the maxim that we kept in mind while formulating Essential for Women 50+, and Essential for Men 50+ and Essential Protein 50+.*

Primary aging vs secondary aging

There are certain inevitabilities to growing older: gray hair, wrinkles. This concept is known as primary aging—basically, the biological factors that are beyond our control, because growing old is part of life.

That said, there are certain environmental factors that we do have more agency over—habits that can actually have an impact on longevity and aging. This is called secondary aging. Things like healthy eating, physical activity, and even wearing SPF can ultimately help with long-term wellbeing and even the aesthetic effects of aging. And that's true for younger people and older people alike. In other words? Our choices now can really add up over time. (1)

"Healthy aging" is about this kind of active role we play in our own wellbeing—which is why being mindful of our nutrition and fitness levels can be really, really important when it comes to supporting the body for the long haul.

Your supplements should be designed help fill nutrient gaps.*

Part of supporting healthy aging from within is recognizing that as our bodies go through major changes like menopause, our nutrient needs change, too.

Let’s talk about bone health, for example: Prior to menopause, estrogen helps out a lot with calcium absorption in our bones. But when our estrogen levels change throughout the different phases of menopause, we may benefit from some nutrient support to help. That’s why we include vitamin D3, vitamin K2, magnesium, and boron in Essential for Women 50+—these key nutrients are calcium helpers when it comes to supporting bone health.*

Iron is another great example, since it’s something we have to think about a bit more before menopause to support all that blood flow with our periods. But post-menopause, it’s a lot easier to meet your iron needs through your diet. (Psst: Shellfish, spinach, legumes and quinoa are all great sources.) That’s why we don’t include iron in our 50+ multivitamin.*

Something else to take into account: Macronutrients, like protein. Muscle breakdown naturally increases as we get older, due to something called anabolic resistance, which basically means that it’s more difficult to stimulate muscle protein synthesis. Supplementing with a high-quality, life stage-specific protein powder can be a great way to help mitigate any dietary gaps as you age.

Essential Protein 50+ was formulated with these evolving nutritional needs in mind—and to further support the maintenance of muscle mass, we added calcium HMB to the 50+ formula.*

All in all, “healthy aging” should look exactly how you’d like it to look—and from our POV, your supplements should take some of the guesswork out of your nutrition needs, so you can just focus on being you.*

Want to see healthy aging in action? Learn more about Blue Zones—the areas across the world where people tend to have a higher life expectancy—and what habits they have in action.

References:

  1. Primary Aging. APA Dictionary of Psychology. (n.d.). Retrieved from APA.

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