Natural anti-ageing tips include key nutritional supplements, herbs, lifestyle, skincare and other other therapies to assist us ageing gracefully! Let’s take a look in more detail.
Food and anti-ageing healthy eating tips
Food and anti-ageing need to go hand-in-hand, since, really, “we are what we eat'”.
While you cannot completely avoid free radicals, as they are produced in the body as part of normal everyday metabolism, you can help protect your cells against their effects by ‘mopping’ them up with antioxidant nutrients. A healthy diet combined with supplements, plenty of filtered water and a balanced lifestyle will contribute to your cellular protection.
Top dietary tips for anti-ageing
There is little point in taking vitamins and supplements to combat the ageing process if your diet is unhealthy. Below are some natural anti-ageing tips you can implement on a daily basis.
- Drinking two litres of filtered water a day is of major importance in flushing damaging toxins from the body, supporting the kidneys and preventing dehydration. Dehydration is thought to contribute to senility by causing brain shrinkage. It certainly contributes to dry, unhealthy-looking skin.
- Tea, coffee and alcohol should be reduced as they can cause dehydration. An additional cup of water should be drunk for each cup of coffee, tea or alcohol taken.
- Green tea has many health attributes, benefiting conditions such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and dementia. A 2006 Japanese study (the first of its kind) found that consumption of green tea is associated with a lower prevalence of cognitive impairment (decline of brain function). No benefits were found for coffee. The researchers concluded that drinking two to three cups of green tea a day can reduce the risk of dementia by two-thirds.
- A diet high in fibre and nutrients and low in saturated fats, additives and preservatives and refined carbohydrates, such as white flour and sugar, is desirable. Eat plenty of brown rice, good quality wholemeal bread, beans, lentils, organic fruit and vegetables and nuts and seeds.
- Eating too much refined sugar speeds the ageing process and depletes the body of chromium, potassium, magnesium and zinc.
- Saturated fats, found in red meat, dairy produce and fast foods, can block the pores in the skin and accelerate ageing.
- Avoid hydrogenated fats. These harden your arteries and accelerate cell ageing.
- For beautiful skin we need essential fatty acids found in fish, fish oil, nuts, seeds and avocado.
- Blueberries and bilberries are superior antioxidants, especially benefiting our brains. Studies have found that blueberries are able to reverse the mental deficits associated with ageing. Add 50-100g of blueberries a day into your diet (frozen blueberries are just as good).
- Choose foods that have a high ORAC value. These include a variety of spices, berries, nuts, colourful fruits and vegetables (see below).
- The nervous system including the brain can be nourished by oats, lecithin and essential fatty acids, including fish oil, nuts, seeds and avocado.
What are ORAC units?
ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) units, are a unit of measurement for antioxidants developed by the National Institute on Aging in the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
While the exact relationship between the ORAC value of a food and its health benefit has not been established, it is believed that foods higher on the ORAC scale will more effectively mop up free radicals. According to the free-radical theory of ageing, this will slow the oxidative processes and free radical damage that can contribute to age-related degeneration and disease.
While you cannot completely avoid free radicals, as they are produced in the body as part of normal everyday metabolism, as part of natural anti-ageing tips you can help protect your cells against their effects by ‘mopping’ them up with antioxidant nutrients.
Natural anti-ageing tips: nutritional supplements
You may be advised to take key nutritional supplements to not only help you at a cellular levels but to help keep your skin and complexion as youthful as possible. Here are some recommendations:
- A good combined antioxidant supplement should contain beta-carotene, vitamins C, E, K, B1, B5, B6, zinc and selenium.
- Co-enzyme Q10 is a nutrient that assists with energy production and oxygen carrying capacity in our bloodstream.
- DHEA is an adrenal hormone and is known as the ‘elixir of vitality, youth and longevity’. Have your levels measured and consult a qualified practitioner for a recommended dose.
- Omega 3 fish oils are important for healthy cell function, brain health, memory and concentration.
- Sea Buckthorn oil from the berry of Hippophae rhamnoides is used in traditional Asian medicine systems (Tibetan, Mongolian and Chinese) to for dry skin and mucous membranes as well as to support healthy blood circulation. It contains a unique, natural, vegetarian blend of fatty acids including omega-7 (palmitoleic acid), omega-3 (alpha-linolenic acid), omega-6 (linoleic acid) and omega-9 (oleic acid) fatty acids. It also contains Vitamin E, Vitamin C, carotenoids, amino acids and trace minerals. This is a fabulous and effective essential fatty acid to consider rough, dry skin.
NB. For best results, try these recommended supplements for a period of three months. These supplements are best taken under the care and guidance of your healthcare practitioner.
There are various herbs that can help support the body as it approaches old age.
- Ginkgo biloba is a herb that increases circulation to the hands and feet and to the brain, enhancing memory and concentration.
- Garlic supports and helps to heart health including mild hypertension (high blood pressure). It assists in lowering cholesterol and helps to improve peripheral circulation. Garlic also helps to modify bowel flora and contribute to a healthy gut microbiome.
- Echinacea helps prevent ‘immune ageing’.
- Hawthorn is an excellent herb for heart health.
- Turmeric (an ingredient used widely in curries) is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory herb. Dietary curmunin (active ingredient in turmeric) has been shown to lower oxidative brain damage and plaque build up.
- Korean Ginseng is a herb traditionally regarded for longevity. It helps to prevent oxidative or cell damage. This herb is commonly found on menu’s in countries such as China and Korea which interestingly have lower cancer rates.
NB. You should not take any of the above herbs if you are taking the oral contraceptive pill, fertility drugs, HRT or any other hormonal treatment or other medication unless they are recommended by a registered, experienced practitioner.
Natural anti-ageing tips: lifestyle
- Get plenty of exercise but not to excess. At least 30 minutes three times a week is ideal.
- Yoga is wonderful for keeping the joints supple, and meditation reduces stress, which can age us faster than any other factor.
- Too much sun is ageing but we do need some sunshine to produce vitamin D, which helps keep bones healthy, maintain our mood health, support thyroid function and immune health. Wear a sunscreen during the summer months if you are exposed for several hours to protect the skin.
- Drink plenty of filtered water daily.
Other natural anti-ageing tips
- Homoeopathic medicines prescribed by your homeopath or naturopath can help with physical and emotional stress, which contributes to the ageing process.
- Acupuncture can help facilitate the free flow of energy through the body. Ask your acupuncturist for an ‘acupuncture face lift’.
- Lymphatic massage is great for stimulating your lymph flow and removing toxins.
Of course, everyone is different and has their own range of health problems and their own family history of possible inherited conditions. There are many factors to be considered in regards to causes of ageing.