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Ageing and nutrition

All Areas > Health & Beauty > Looking Good, Feeling Great

Author: Will Mbanga, Posted: Thursday, 23rd November 2023, 09:00

I’m not a fan of ‘crash diets’ or extreme conditioning programs; I prefer to promote sustainable, healthy principles that align with our bioenergetic requirements, take into account individual specific needs, and are biomechanically and physiologically safe and appropriate.

That said, I’m also an advocate for experimenting (safely!) and trying things that make sense to people, given individual circumstance and objectives.

This doesn’t contradict my stand on unhealthy, unsustainable fad diets or exercise regimens, but makes allowances for more ‘extreme’ nutrition and exercise that may be logical for some people at specific junctures. Of course, these cases should be overseen by a qualified professional who can monitor the health and safety of the participant.

The list of age-related concerns can seem endless

An interesting conversation with a friend recently got me thinking around the challenges of ageing and weight gain. Beginning with the end in mind, I’m sure we all wish to ‘age gracefully’, and what that looks like will differ based on individual tastes. From maintaining radiant, smooth skin, thick (albeit greying) hair, to functional strength and vitality, and minimising weight gain, the list of age-related concerns can seem endless!

They say youth is wasted on the young and when it comes to our bodies, this is so true. Many of us have had regrets about not doing more exercise, not taking more care over what we ate, or how much sun we exposed ourselves to, and so on. While the past is the past and we can’t change it, there are things we can do in the present to slow the damage we may have started, as well as minimise the inevitable passage of time and the changes to our bodies that come with this.

While ageing is a natural product of the passing of time, its more deleterious effects are a result of a continuous assault from both internal and external stressors such as illness, stress, infection, poor nutrition, low activity and a sedentary lifestyle.

Consuming nutrient-dense whole foods

Thankfully, we can tackle ageing at a cellular level by targeting our nutrition, specifically around the macronutrients we ingest. We can do this primarily through consuming nutrient-dense whole foods and, where necessary and affordably, by supplementation.

There may be an argument for the use of supplements high in antioxidants, depending on the individual, to help slow the ageing process at a cellular level. A quality multivitamin supplement is always a good idea for general health and vitality, however, in addition, some other supplements are worth considering to support sustainable long-term health as we get older.

Electrolytes: especially important if you are on a low-calorie/low-carb diet.

Omega-3-6-9s: to improve cardiovascular and brain function.

Bone broth/collagen: for joint, skin and bone support.

Adding more fresh fruit and vegetables to our diets will naturally increase our anti-oxidant intake, and these are best eaten lightly steamed or raw. Antioxidants are important for supporting cellular tissue building and repair, making the chemicals and proteins needed by the body, and supporting immune system function.

Examples of foods high in antioxidants are prunes, apples, raisins, plums, alfalfa sprouts, red grapes, onions, aubergine and a variety of beans. Nutritious and delicious!

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