Northwest NEWS

January 11, 1999

Valley Special

Eat to beat: The four most common health threats to women over 35

by Paulette Quiroga-Jacklin, CPFT, CFC

   Many of us take for granted that we will live to a ripe old age. However, it was only recently that America's current generation has enjoyed a life expectancy of 75 to 85 years.

   At the turn of the century, a woman's life span was under 50 years. In fact, this is the first time in history that women can expect to live up to a third of their lives in their post-menopausal years. Remaining vibrant, healthy, and full of energy during those years requires a commitment to sound nutrition and a healthful lifestyle.

   Women's nutritional needs begin to change at about age 40, because of a decline in estrogen and testosterone production. At this stage of life, perimenopausal women need more calcium (to prevent osteoporosis), as well as zinc, selenium, and antioxidants such as vitamin C and E and beta-carotene (to boost immunity).

   After menopause, women need to be conscientious about cutting saturated fat from their diets, because of the increased risk of heart disease. Neglecting these new requirements can also lead to a greater likelihood of memory loss, strokes, and breast and colon cancer.