(NaturalNews) Most of us would all like to live longer and have a better quality of life. To have the gift of good health in your later years, it makes sense to take care of yourself in your youth. Here are some common-sense lifestyle tips and natural remedies to help grow old youthfully.
Drink More Water
Water makes up approximately 60% of the human body, and there is water in every cell of the body. We cannot survive without water for longer than a few days. With age our sense of thirst gradually diminishes, and the water content of body decreases so many elderly people are somewhat dehydrated. Dehydration is linked to allergies, hypertension, general aches and pains and of course bad digestion.
Easier said than done for some, but a healthy diet is essential to your well-being. The old saying "You are what you eat" rings true when we see the rise in dietary related diseases. Don't be caught digging your grave with your teeth. A balanced diet of fresh, whole (non-processed), organic and preferably raw food should be a large part of your diet.
Basic Guidelines For A Simplified Balanced Diet
Avoid white flour products
Eat whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa, millet etc.
Avoid sugar - rather use honey, agave, xylitol or stevia.
Eat a variety of legumes (beans, lentils etc.)
Avoid all hydrogenated fats (margarine etc.)
Avoid fried foods
Include low-starch vegetables preferably eaten raw.
Include foods rich in omega-3 fats.
Include low-fat, organic protein sources (fish, spirulina, organic whey protein, quinoa)
Include fresh organic fruit (especially from the super food range) and raw nuts.
Avoid colourants, flavourants, preservatives and artificial sweeteners.
Whole foods are better than processed. Refined foods result in both a measurable loss of nutrients and an unbalanced food, which creates imbalance in the body when eaten. Living food (such as fresh fruit and vegetables) are more nutritious and better than "dead food" (such as canned foods). Foods grown in "live soil" (organic food) is better than food grown in "sterile soil". This has largely depleted trace minerals in foods.
How Does Eating Sugar Make You Old?
Eating sugar causes your body to secrete high levels of insulin. Insulin and the stress hormone, cortisol, are two hormones that can dramatically speed up the ageing process. Sugar depresses the immune system; it contributes to atherosclerosis, and it causes oxidative stress by creating AGEs (advanced glycosylated end-products). These accumulate in body tissues such as the skin (causing age spots), arteries, kidneys and brain. In other words, eating sugar makes you old.
Exercise is one of your key weapons in the fight against premature aging. Medical studies prove time and time again that physical exercise is a key factor in the prevention of chronic disease as well as beneficial for mental function. The main benefit of exercise is the increased oxygen to the brain, heart and other organs which in turn increases their well-being and functioning. Bouncing on a mini-trampoline is a well recommended form of exercise that can be done in the comfort of your own home and at a time that suits your schedule.
The body detoxifies itself naturally through the skin and other organs of elimination. Assist your body with its cleansing ability by making some lifestyle changes. You need to minimize your exposure to external toxins: changes like drinking pure water, eating organic food, avoiding sources of air pollution and exposure to tobacco, and limiting consumption of alcohol, preservatives, caffeine, sugar and processed foods. Simple measures like bathing daily, dry brushing, exercising, keeping hydrated, supplementing with herbal remedies that support the organs (like milk thistle for the liver), deep breathing and eating healthily are good routines to follow.
Get Some Sunshine
Natural Vitamin D is another key weapon in the pursuit of good health and longevity. Sunlight is the best form of Vitamin D and its levels in the body affects the entire body. Modern science is now realizing that vitamin D does more than just aid the absorption of calcium and bone formation. It is also involved in multiple repair and maintenance functions, touches hundreds of different genes, and helps to fight infection by regulating the immune system. Vitamin D deficiency is a growing epidemic across the world and contributes to many chronic debilitating diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, osteoporosis, cancer, inflammatory bowel disease and depression, as well as cognitive impairment in older people. Avoid synthetic Vitamin D2 in supplements like fortified foods as high doses have been found to be toxic.
Get More Sleep
Good quality sleep is essential, in fact some say that it's the best anti-aging tool. While we sleep,the body "recharges" and repairs. The 24-hour circadian rhythm is our internal clock and governs the body's functions.. This clock helps the body to adapt to the time of day and to environmental changes. Studies have shown a co-dependency between the circadian clock and the body's metabolism and cellular performance. Disrupted sleep patterns can adversely affect health especially mental health. Some effects include short-term memory loss and impaired creativity as well as weight gain or loss and an increased risk of diabetes and heart disease. Lack of sleep weakens the immune system and may cause decreased production of melatonin, which is produced by the brain during sleep.
Take pleasure in living healthily and make good choices in nutrition, exercise, weight management, mental attitude, work and relationships. This will stand you in good stead for your later years.
References: 1. Science Daily March 19, 2009: How Your Body Clock Regulates Your Metabolism.
4. Bland JS. Improving Genetic Expression in the Prevention of the Disease of Aging - A Functional Medicine Approach to Anti-aging Medicine. Gig Harbour, WA: HealthComm Intl, 1998
5. Grossman T. The Baby Boomer's Guide to Living Forever. Golden, CO: Hubristic Press, 2000:127
About the author
Katherine Oosthuis is completing a Diploma in Nutritional Therapy. She researches and writes for a health and nutrition website Detox For Life . Her passion is to make research available to those who are looking to improve their well-being and revolutionise their health through better nutrition and alternative medicines.