For Women, Healthy Diets May Help with Mobility When Aging
According to a study out of the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and published in the Journal of Nutrition, an association has been found between women who maintain a healthy diet and a reduction in the risk of developing impaired physical function as they age.
“Little research has been done on how diet impacts physical function later in life. We study the connection between diet and many other aspects of health, but we don’t know much about diet and mobility,” said the senior author of the study. “We wanted to look at diet patterns and try to learn how our overall diet impacts our physical function as we get older.”
Using data comparing the 54,762 women involved in the Nurses’ Health Study and measuring their Alternative Healthy Eating Index, the researchers found some results. They found that women who maintained a healthier diet were less likely to develop physical impairments compared to women whose diets were not as healthy. Additionally, reduced rates of physical impairment were associated with a higher intake of vegetables and fruits, a lower intake of sugar-sweetened beverages, trans-fats, and sodium, and a moderate alcohol intake.
Interestingly, the associated was stronger with an overall diet as opposed to individual foods.
One of the authors added, “We think a lot about chronic diseases, cancer, heart disease, and tend not to think of physical function. Physical function is crucial as you age; it includes being able to get yourself dressed, walk around the block, and could impact your ability to live independently.”
So as women age, they need to make sure their overall diet is healthy to keep themselves mobile.
Razi Berry, Founder and Publisher of Naturopathic Doctor News & Review (ndnr.com) and NaturalPath (thenatpath.com), has spent the last decade as a natural medicine advocate and marketing whiz. She has galvanized and supported the naturopathic community, bringing a higher quality of healthcare to millions of North Americans through her publications. A self-proclaimed health-food junkie and mother of two; she loves all things nature, is obsessed with organic gardening, growing fruit trees (not easy in Phoenix), laughing until she snorts, and homeschooling. She is a little bit crunchy and yes, that is her real name.