Today I am going to talk about ageing. I know none of us really want to go there, or accept it’s happening, but it’s the natural process of growing older which happens to all of us.
To some extent the ageing process is genetically determined, but it’s also influenced by other factors, in particular, dietary and lifestyle choices.
This article considers that ageing is normal, but sped up ageing is not normal and there are steps you can take to slow things down.
Many women resort to Botox, fillers and other aesthetic treatments to help them look young. These are fine and you can achieve some excellent results, but relying on beauty treatments alone will not be enough. It’s important to look after your body and internal organs as well.
If you want to glow on the outside, you need to take care of the inside.
Likewise, these beauty treatments won’t give you energy or stop you from getting ill. And for the best results, you need to make sure that the body can detoxify itself properly.
The body is constantly building new cells to replace those that are old or poorly functioning. In order to do this, good nutrition is essential.
Junk food and toxins hinder the buildup of new cells and will speed up the ageing process. It is therefore important to feed yourself with food rich in nutrients. After all, only healthy foods can create healthy cells.
What has a negative influence on ageing?
When you are young, you can get away with an unhealthy lifestyle, but there comes a time where bad choices will catch up with you. I speak to so many women who have to change their lifestyle and choices in their 40s because they suddenly put on weight, develop health problems or find their energy levels and motivation are low. An unhealthy lifestyle will also start showing on your face quicker than a healthy one.
The following will have a detrimental effect on your skin and body and speed up ageing.
- Consuming processed foods and fast foods, including chips, white bread, sugar, white rice and pasta.
- Regular long-term alcohol consumption
- Caffeine and fizzy drinks
- Poor hydration
- Recreational drugs
- A lack of exercise
- A lack of good quality sleep
- Poor detoxification
- Chronic inflammation and disease
- Stress, a negative outlook, and depression.
Positive influences on ageing
It is never too late to take on your health. As I mentioned earlier, our cells are constantly rejuvenating themselves – help them now and you will look and feel better. You can do this by:
- Eating a healthy diet rich in variety, colour and nutrients.
- Drinking two litres of water a day
- Taking regular exercise, start with aiming for 10,000 steps a day.
- Maintaining good quality sleep.
- Ensuring our body can expel toxins.
- Stop smoking and reduce alcohol consumption.
- Having a regular detox
- Working towards a positive attitude with a purpose and goal in life
- Taking care of others, family, friends, and those in need
Foods which promote healthy ageing
Here are some foods you can introduce into your diet to promote healthy ageing:
- Seaweed – there are many types and they support collagen production
- Sweet potatoes – this superfood contains vitamin C, E, and Beta carotene
- Sweet peppers – red, orange, yellow or green, they contain vitamin C
- Broccoli – contains Vitamin C, calcium, and sulphur compounds
- Nuts and seeds, have Vitamin E, zinc, and essential fatty acids
- Berries are rich in minerals and antioxidants
- Oats are rich in minerals and healthy fats
- Oily fish contains Omega 3 and EFAs
- Avocados are rich in vitamin E and contain healthy fats
Fruit and vegetables that contain Pytochemicals
“Phyto”in Greek means “plant”. Phytonutrients are compounds found in plant foods which give foods taste and fragrance. They promote health and fight disease.
Phytonutrients are present in fruit, vegetables, tea, nuts, grains, beans, herbs and spices. The Key Phytonutrients are:
They are blue, purple, or black in colour. Food sources which contain them include blueberries, blackberries, aubergines, and black olives. These antioxidants fight free radicals, support heart health, circulation and vision.
These are yellow and orange and are present in carrots, winter squash, sweet potatoes, oranges, papaya, corn, melon, peppers, pumpkin and turmeric. Carotenoids improve the immune system, joint health and vision.
They are red and pink and are in tomatoes, guava and watermelon. Lycopene reduces inflammation, is high in vitamin C and supports prostate health in men.
Is green and is in kale, spinach, collard, broccoli, brussel sprouts, parsley, lettuce, avocado, watercress and cucumber. Chlorophyll supports liver detoxification, which removes toxins in the body.
These are white and brown and are in garlic, onions, leeks, ginger, white cabbage, mushrooms and parsnips. These phytonutrients support the liver, heart and circulation.
The problem with Free Radicals
Free radicals are unstable molecules that steal electrons from healthy cells to stabilise themselves. They can cause damage to cell walls and cell structures and the DNA within cells.
Pollution, radiation, smoking, too much alcohol and processed foods all cause free radicals. Even too much exercise will cause free radicals.
Free radicals can cause premature ageing and chronic disease such as cardiovascular, inflammatory diseases, and cancer.
So what do we do about them?
Upping the antioxidants
An antioxidant is a substance that reduces damage caused by free radicals. Some antioxidants are made by the body and others come from fruits, vegetables, herbs and teas.
These nutrients play a role in antioxidant defence, vitamins A, C, and E, beta-carotene, zinc, selenium and Co-enzyme Q10.
The benefits of antioxidant foods that I mentioned earlier are that they protect against degenerative diseases like arthritis and heart disease.
Some powerful antioxidants
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)
CoQ10 is an enzyme that helps with energy production in body cells. It protects the cells from damage. It is produced by the body and comes from the diet.
The Benefits of CoQ10 include:
- Enhanced immune system
- Reduced rick of atherosclerosis
- Improved energy
- Useful for heart problems such as coronary artery disease, high blood pressure and angina
CoQ10 production decreases with age and statin drugs decreases body production.
Good sources of CoQ10 include spinach, broccoli, avocado, parsley, cauliflower, oranges, strawberries, apples, sesame seeds, pistachios, walnuts, sweet potatoes, oily fish and egg yolk.
Sometimes where there is a deficiency, you can take a CoQ10 supplement.
Matcha is powdered green tea leaves which you dissolve into hot water to make tea. It has the same benefits as green tea but is more concentrated because the whole leaf is ingested not just the brewed water.
Matcha is a powerful antioxidant that reduces cellular damage and ageing.
It also assists with liver detoxification, boots energy levels, is rich in chlorophyll and increases metabolism to assist in fat burning.
Coconut oil contains fatty acids with anti-fungal and antimicrobial effects. It also contains medium- chained fatty acids (MCFAs) which have been linked to memory improvement, promoting fat burning and reducing inflammation.
This wonderful oil also:
- Moisturises the hair and skin, it can be used as a moisturizer and is great for removing makeup.
- Speeds up healing of wounds.
- Helps with dermatitis.
Turmeric contains plant compounds – curcuminoids that have a powerful antioxidant activity.
- Reduces inflammation in the body.
- Promotes liver detoxification
- Keeps cells healthy by protecting against free radicals.
Reishi mushrooms are considered to be “mushrooms of immortality”. They are highly supportive of skin health and protect against UV-induced damage to the skin cells. They also increase longevity, boost immune function and are anti-inflammatory
Vegetable juices are a great way of getting lots of nutrients and minerals into your body and straight to the cells. They are also easy to digest, so perfect for people who have digestive issues. Ideally, you want to consume them as soon as they are juiced.
Organic skin care products
I have to be honest I use rather harsh products on my skin as I had acne in the past, and I have never had the best of skin. However, I always encourage women to use natural products where they can.
I make my own body scrub which is sea salt mixed with almond oil and and rosemary oil which is good for the circulation.
Salt scrub recipe
- 1 cup of dead sea salt
- 1/4 cup of carrier oil, you can use almond oil or coconut oil
- 20 drops of an essential oil of your choice. I use rosemary as it’s good for the circulation.
Did you this article on healthy ageing useful and inspiring? I love working with women 40 plus who want to improve their energy levels, mental and physical health and feel fabulous from the inside out. If you have any questions or want to find out how to work with me then please get in touch.