Can We Slow Down the Ageing Process?
As a Naturopath, the question most asked is “Do I need to take supplements?” Not surprising really; as we are regularly bombarded with pills, potions and lotions that will apparently make us overnight into movie stars. If only this were true! And of course, the older we get the more conscious we become of wanting to find the magic youth elixir to stop the inevitable.
Many people believe that eating a well balanced diet provides all the vitamins and minerals necessary for good health. In ideal circumstances perhaps this would be true. Your own garden with organic fresh fruit and vegetables is a start but even then the Australian soil is deficient in zinc, magnesium and selenium so these will not be abundant in home grown produce.
A diet overly dependent in refined carbohydrates, such as sugar and white flour creates a greater demand on the B-group vitamins required to process these carbohydrates. Excess coffee can cause inflammation of the digestive lining, resulting in a drop in secretion of digestive fluids which are vital to break down the particles of food for absorption. Eating too quickly and not chewing enough will also limit the amount of vitamins and minerals absorbed. Low fat diets can create a deficiency in vitamins A, D and E; and vegetarian diets unless skilfully planned result in low B12 and Iron.
Most of us eat a breakfast cereal high in wheat, which gives a spurt of energy to start the day; rather than a protein which slowly breaks down and supplies level, longer and more sustained energy. So if you are one of the many people finding themselves ravenously hungry by 10am; needing a coffee or stimulant to help you wake up in the morning, a protein breakfast is just what you need. As you would put high quality petrol in a car before you start the engine, it is the same with our bodies; we need a high quality, protein-rich breakfast before we start the day.
Nuts; excluding peanuts for morning and afternoon with a piece of fruit is another good way to top up the tank and provide more nutrients. A salad with a good portion of protein at lunch will serve you well for the afternoon and a lighter meal at night approximately 4 hours before bed will ensure a deeper more refreshing sleep. And of course a brisk walk around the block instead of slumping in front of the television will also contribute to a better level of sleep.
Our cattle and poultry are now given hormones and antibiotics which end up being stored in our bodies. Try purchasing organic food to avoid the toxic cocktail of pesticides now being used. And guess what? An apple tastes just like it did when we were children. Purchasing from a farmers market or contacting an organic home delivery service will alleviate this exposure.
A good multi vitamin and mineral supplement will never go astray; however purchase with caution. What is the source and which country did it come from? What fillers have been used? For instance at the Clinic we only used 4 essential fatty acid formulas that are guaranteed pure and heavy metal free. Our calcium comes from organic cows and our herbal formulas from organic farms. And rather than using a large band aid we test our patient’s vitamins and minerals levels, give them the exact ones they are deficient in and advise which foods to eat more of.
There are many ways to slow down the ageing process and enjoy health and wellbeing until our use by date. Eat well, drink 1½ litres of water daily, sleep deeply, exercise regularly, surround yourself with positive people and always be grateful even for the tough stuff.