What is ageing?
Everyone talks about ageing, but what is it??
Why do we experience the symptoms of creaky joints, less energy, and generally slowing down?
More importantly, do we need to experience this?
Of course, no one in his or her right mind would attempt to arrest the progress of time, but you can slow the effects of time, because many of the symptoms are the result of the way we live rather than the inevitable effects of ageing. Age is a number. It is the way you feel that determines your quality of life.
Staying younger, in every sense of the word except age, involves an integrated approach involving both physical and mental health. One without the other is ineffective. You can’t achieve a healthy body without a healthy mind.
To slow the ageing process you need to understand the underlying causes of ageing, essentially every aspect of you comes from only two sources:
- Your genes (a very small portion)
- Lifestyle (the majority of cases of heart diseases, diabetes, strokes, obesity, raised cholesterol, hypertension, arthritis develop as a direct result of our lifestyle)
So, if you adopt a more balanced lifestyle, you may not completely eradicate these conditions but you will certainly reduce their effects.
The body is made up of lots of tiny cells; about 50 trillion. The powerhouse of our bodies lies in each of these cells. They use the energy and oxygen delivered by the blood stream to power themselves. They act in unison as specific organs (such as the liver, heart, brain and muscles) and enable all of the bodily functions to occur.
The secret to feeling younger is in providing our cells with the building blocks that they need to survive and to clear the cellular waste before it accumulates.
Nutrition is at the base of everything we do and everything we are and can play a key part in ensuring healthy cells and a healthier you. You are what you eat.
If you place your health as your top priority, you can achieve much higher quality and enjoyment of life.
In practice this means really simple changes to your lifestyle, such as:
- Changing your diet to reduce the risk of disease
- Lowering stress
Many studies have shown that free radicals play a key part in the ageing process. “Free radicals” is a term used to describe damaged cells that can be problematic. They are “free” because they are missing a critical molecule. Free radicals can injure cells, damaging DNA and this creates the seed for disease. They can also cause a chain reaction leading to an increasing spiral of damage to healthy cells. There are many signs of free radicals, including:
- High blood pressure and heart disease
- Pain such as joint pain arthritis
- Type 1 or type 2 diabetes
- Eczema and other skin diseases
- Excess weight or obesity
- Chronic syndromes such as fibromyalgia, fatigue, sleep disturbance and depression
Free radicals steal your years and their presence in your body can be caused by many things such as:
Environmental toxins (smoke, pollution, heavy metals, chemicals in food and over-processed food)
Chemicals in skin products, cleaning liquids, detergents and electronic equipment
- Other internal and external stress factors
- Added sugar
- Poor nutrition
- Emotional stresses
Free radicals can affect you in a number of wars and can impact on a number of organs and bodily functions such as:
- Liver, they can impair the liver’s ability to clear toxins from the body. If your liver does not detoxify well, the result is oxidative stress. This can lead to fatigue, acne, wrinkles and rashes.
- Kidneys, resulting in water retention and oedemas.
- Mitochondria, these are found in most of our cells and are very important, they produce energy, which the body needs to work and live. Without good energy production, you end up suffering from fatigue, lethargy and early ageing.
- The Digestive system, this is the source of your youth. Allowing uninvited guests into your stomach and intestines such as bacteria, fungi, and other infestations can cause oxidative stress. Your intestines are connected with your brain and your digestion determines your wellbeing.
- Joints and ligaments when they hurt or are sore and swollen
- The heart and blood vessels, causing high blood pressure and heart palpitations
- The skin, which is your business card wrinkles and sagging skin are cause by oxidative damage to the layer of the skin.
You can stay young with antioxidants, they fight free radicals and reduce the damage they cause in your body.
So to protect your body from free radicals there are some great foods you should eat:
- Vitamin C and A and the many others micronutrients that we get via a diet rich in quality vegetables, fruits and berries.
- Root vegetables – they contain water soluble fibres that keep your blood sugar under control, Carrots, sweet potatoes, beetroot, celeriac, turnips, parsnips, Swedes, onions and garlic.
- Pulses chick pea, kidney beans, cannellini, butter beans, black-eyed beans, adzuki and lentils
If you want to minimise the impact of free radicals you should follow the following advice:
- Choose organic food if you can
- Eat good quality protein, fish and lean meat
- Drink 1 to 1 1/2litre of water or herbal tea
- Eat regular meals (never skip breakfast and don’t forget your snack)
- Eat a balance diet with healthy fats, good quality proteins, complex carbs and vegetables.
- Take a multi vitamin daily and some good probiotics
- Don’t forgot your exercise and relaxation
- Control your stress and get enough sleep
- Any chemicals, sugar and excess salt
- Avoid all white stuff (white bread, rice, flour, pasta etc..)
- Processed food
- Trans fats
- Dairy products