Q: Dear Dr. Mao, My mother is aging and I wondered if you could make some recommendation for keeping her immunity and health up?
A: As we age, our bodies become depleted of most of the essential minerals and vitamins. To further complicate this, our absorption mechanisms are also weakened, and we tend to absorb less of these nutrients.
I recommend a wholesome balanced diet that contains:
• 1 or more servings of protein, in chicken or fish form.
• 4-6 servings of vegetables, and be sure to include green leafy vegetables. The vegetables can be steamed, broiled, or boiled; avoid raw vegetables.
• 3 servings of fruit per day. This will ensure proper intake of balanced nutrition.
Furthermore, at an older age, certain supplements should be taken. Vitamin C, A, and zinc are very good as antioxidants and are very effective in preventing colds and the flu; however, do not take too much of these. 500 AU of vitamin C daily should be sufficient. A good source of vitamin C can be found in citrus products and berries, especially blueberries. If your mother suffers from arthritis or other joint and bone degenerative conditions, she should include vitamin B, vitamin D, calcium, and magnesium (found in fish oils and cheese). Be sure to consult with a physician to determine the proper dosages.
I would also suggest a mild form of tai chi or qigong exercises for her that will strengthen her immunity and circulation.
She may be interested in trying “Five Elements of Health” herbal supplement by Traditions of Tao to provide a whole body tune-up and “Ancient Treasures” tea to tonify the qi. Of course, discuss with your physician before beginning any new health regime.