Ageing: How You Can Slow it Down Through Diet and Lifestyle Changes
As we get older our body becomes more vulnerable to diseases and our appearance becomes an external manifestation of the internal impact of our lifestyles. Contrary to what people think, many of the degenerative disorders we associate with ageing such as cancer, arthritis and other bodily conditions are not the inevitable results of getting old. Rather, it’s the result of a breakdown of complex nucleic acids, proteins and cell structures. This sounds like it’s outside of our control, but it’s not.
Using naturopathic methods such as diet and lifestyle changes, you can slow down the ageing process and help prolong your good health. Naturopathy is a method of treating conditions caused by ageing, using only natural methods. It focuses on supporting the body’s innate capacity to heal itself through nutrition, exercise and changes to your lifestyle. Here are some ways you can slow down ageing through diet and lifestyle changes.
Ensure Your Diet Comprises of Healthy Natural Food
Many of the problems faced by people over the age of sixty can be attributed to nutritional deficiencies as a result of a bad diet. As you get older, your functioning and restorative systems become less efficient so you have to ensure that the body has the nutritional ammunition to be able to support the reparation and regeneration of cells. This is why it’s so important to ensure the body is given food that’s steeped in nutritional value. You must ensure that your diet is full of vitamins, minerals, calcium and iron; this can be done by eating a diet high in fruit, vegetables, grains, seeds and nuts. Maximise your intake of plant based proteins e.g. quinoa, buckwheat, beans & pulses but minimise your intake of animal proteins, fried foods, red meat, salt and sugar.
Reduce Wrinkles By Looking After Your Skin
Often the first signs of ageing appear on your skin. Rather than using chemical cleansers, use natural products such as olive oil, avocado and almond oil. Opt for a non-toxic moisturiser that comprises of natural ingredients to ensure your skin is given all the nutrients it needs to remain hydrated. This is an effective way of reducing age spots and slowing down the appearance of wrinkles. And of course drink plenty of water, this will help to keep the cells in the skin firmly plumped up.
It is common knowledge how bad smoking is for you and its role in speeding up the ageing process. Cigarette smoke prevents oxygen from reaching your skin, leaving it dry, discoloured and wrinkled. By not smoking you’ll be doing your skin a whole lot of good and this will help to repair any skin damage.
UV rays from the sun are one of the most influential factors in causing wrinkles, sun spots and reducing skin elasticity leading to wrinkles. It’s important to limit the time you spend in the sun and ensure that you’re applying sun cream on a daily basis. This will give your skin the degree of protection it needs to keep its firm texture, and of course to help to prevent skin cancer.
Managing Stress Levels
Chronic stress accelerates premature ageing, therefore it is important to take steps to manage your stress levels. There are many ways that you can manage your stress levels; exercising is just one way. The right exercise plan can help ward off conditions associated with ageing such as arthritis, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and osteoporosis. Exercise has a direct impact on your stress levels and overall health & wellbeing. It boosts your endorphins which are responsible for your happiness, serving as an effective way of de-stressing when life becomes overwhelming. Incorporate some brisk walking, a run or some breathing exercises into your daily routine to boost the health of your respiratory system and provide an outlet for your stress.
Finding the time to relax each day is as equally important as exercising. Methods such as meditation, mindfulness, progressive muscle relaxation, visual imagery, deep breathing, hypnosis and yoga can all help to bring on the relaxation response and help slow down the ageing process. Why not check out these ideas to see which one works for you?
You can read more about stress and how it affects the body and causes premature ageing by reading my blog post “Stress: How it affects the body and what you can do about it”.
There’s so much more a Naturopath can do to ease your ageing process and improve your quality of life. Get in touch with me here to arrange a full consultation or enquire more about what I can do to help slow down the effects of ageing, using only natural methods.