Have you ever thought about the fact that the day we are born is also the day we start to age? Our early nutrition and activity can determine how healthy we age. As babies and children we are fed and nurtured so we can grow into healthy adults. Then the teen and young adult years come. We think we can eat anything we want, or like me, and decide to not eat and become anorexic. Well these choices can influence the health of our twenties, thirties, fifties, and on. The sooner we choose to invest in ourselves and our health, the better chance of living a healthy life well into our later years. It is never too late to make healthy changes; you are worth the investment.
“The earlier in your life you start to think about how you want to age and start doing
something about it, the better.” Dr. Andrew Weil
Anti-Inflammatory Diet: Inflammation has been associated with a number of chronic diseases, including diabetes, Parkenson’s, rheumatoid arthritis, allergies, atherosclerosis, and even cancer. Inflammation is part of the body’s response to infection and tissue damage, and is crucial to the healing process. It is when inflammation becomes chronic that is can cause harm to our bodies.
The food choices we make can determine whether we are in a pro-inflammatory state (the standard American diet) or an anti-inflammatory one. Here are some guidelines to keep you in the anti-inflammatory state.
- General: Aim for variety in your diet, include as much fresh food as you can, minimize processed and fast foods, eat an abundance of fruits and vegetables.
- Caloric Intake: Your calorie intake is more about quality than quantity. Try to include carbohydrates, healthy fats, and protein at each meal in moderation.
- Phytonutrients: They can maximize against age-related diseases. Eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, and mushrooms. Eat fruits and vegetables from all parts of the color spectrum. Choose organic whenever possible. Eat from the cabbage family regularly. Drink 1 to 2 cups of green tea per day.
- Vitamins and Minerals: The best way to obtain all your daily vitamins, minerals, and micronutrients is by eating a diet high in fresh foods with an abundance of fruits and vegetables (are we seeing a pattern here??).
- Supplements: Some helpful supplements can be vitamin C, vitamin E, and selenium (organic yeast bound). Some may benefit from a daily multi-vitamin and multi-mineral supplement. Calcium (citrate form), magnesium (chelated form), and vitamin D3 can be beneficial also. When adding supplements to your diet, it is best to consult with your medical practitioner before taking any supplements.
“If you can’t fly, then run.
If you can’t run, then walk.
If you can’t walk, then crawl,
but whatever you do, keep moving.”
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
There are benefits to all types of exercise.
- Aerobic (walking and jogging) is good for preserving the heart, lungs, and brain.
- Stretching (yoga) enhances circulation, increases balance and range of motion, and provides greater body awareness.
- Weight/Strengthening improves strength, balance, and overall fitness.
Reminder: you should always consult with your medical practitioner before starting any exercise routine.
Maintain Your Brain
One in eight older adults (65+) in the US has Alzheimer’s disease, and some cognitive decline is normal. Practice a preventive lifestyle by avoiding toxins and high glutamate, avoid stress and high cortisol, get adequate sleep, quit smoking, stimulate your intellect (crossword puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, learn new things, etc.), get regular aerobic exercise, and get outside often!
It is important to maintain communication with your family and friends, especially after a significant loss or life change. Schedule regular time to meet with friends and family over tea, during a weekly shared meal, or around a common interest. Reach out to friends who might feel isolated or lonely.
It Seems So Simple, Right?
Aging is a part of life, and we should be thankful that we are able to “mature”, many people have not had the opportunity to grow old. I have shared some simple tips on health aging, most of which we all know we could do. I would like to encourage you to choose one of these tips and apply it to your life today. You are worth investing in yourself. I would love to hear which tip you started with.
Thanks again for reading. If you do not want to miss any future posts, I would love if you would subscribe to the blog.
- Bauman, E. (2015). Therapeutic nutrition textbook, part 1. Penngrove, CA: Bauman College.
- Hall, H. (2011, December 27). Inflammation: friend or foe. Retrieved from https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/inflammation-both-friend-and-foe/.
- Robbins, J (2006). Healthy at 100. New York, NY: Random House, Inc.
- Weil, A. (2005). Healthy aging. New York, NY: Random House, Inc.