“A realist is an idealist who has gone through the fire and been purified. A sceptic is an idealist who has gone through the fire and been burned.” Warren Wiersbe
Wrinkles, memory loss and degenerative disease don’t have to happen. By making healthy changes to your diet and lifestyle you reduce the unnecessary stress on your body and slow the ageing process – whether you’re in your 20s or 80s.
Try these tips:
- Increase nutrient-dense foods in your diet, such as fruit, vegetables, whole-grains, beans, lentils, seeds, nuts, eggs and oily fish. As you age, your body becomes less efficient at processing and absorbing nutrients – it is important to base your diet on nutrient rich foods and chew your food thoroughly.
- Avoid refined and sugary food and drinks and replace with alternatives such as oatcakes, rye bread, fruit and nuts, natural yoghurt with berries, and fresh fruit and vegetable juice (dilute with 50% water if just using fruit juice). Excess sugar damages proteins in the body through a process known as glycosylation, which directly contributes to premature wrinkles, as well as health problems such as diabetes and heart disease.
- Eat antioxidant-rich foods; aim for 2-4 portions of vegetables at every meal and 2 portions of fruit a day. Look for brightly coloured foods which ‘advertise’ antioxidants.
- Increase beneficial omega-3 fat from fish in the diet, which is critical for skin, hormone and heart health, as well as reducing inflammation and helping to prevent disease. Aim for 3 portions of oily fish per week (eg. sardines, mackerel, salmon), and take fish oil supplements. Avoid all margarines, flaxseed oil, grape seed & sunflower oils in any form.
- Drink at least 1.5 litres of distilled water per day and keep tea and coffee to a minimum.
- Eat organic food wherever possible and opt for organic cosmetics and detergents too.
- Exercise regularly. Do whatever you enjoy, but do something for 15 minutes a day.
- Having fun is also essential to stay looking and feeling young and healthy!
Beware.. Fructose is more likely to cause diabetes than glucose. Sugared drinks are fattening because the human brain does not recognize liquid sugar as calories to make you eat less food. We get our sugar in drinks in three forms: glucose, fructose and sucrose (glucose and fructose bound together in a single molecule). Now a report from the University of California Davis shows that taking in too much fructose increases your risk for diabetes and heart attacks (Journal of Clinical Investigation, May 2009). 32 overweight men and women drank 25% of their daily energy requirements in either fructose or glucose- sweetened drinks. In 12 weeks, both groups gained similar amounts of weight, but the people taking fructose-sweetened drinks had higher triglycerides and more abdominal fat, and were more resistant to insulin. All three facts precede diabetes, which markedly increases risk for heart attacks.
Virtually all sweetened beverages contain both fructose and glucose. Soft drinks sweetened with high fructose corn syrup have 55-58% fructose (some much more)! All sugar-sweetened beverages increase risk for insulin resistance (Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, April 2009). Contracting muscles are exquisitely sensitive to insulin and therefore help protect you from the high rise in blood sugar that causes the liver to make triglycerides that block insulin receptors that cause the pancreas to release huge amounts of insulin that causes fat to be deposited in the belly.
Sally-Ann Creed (Grad. Dip. Clin. Nutr. Australia) is a clinical nutritionalist. She has been the health writer for several magazines for many years including contributing monthly to the South African Journal of Natural Medicine, Christian Living Today, Joy! Magazine, Showcook and dozens of other e-magazines and national publications.