Researchers now agree that destructive molecules known as free-radicals are responsible for many of the age-related degenerative diseases conditions in the human body – for example, wrinkles, memory loss, arthritis, atherosclerosis (which causes heart disease) and cancer-causing mutation in cells. The good news is that you can limit the damage inflicted by free-radicals and therefore affect the rate at which you age by making changes to your diet and lifestyle to reduce the levels of free radicals in your bloodstream.
What are free radicals?
Free radicals are electrochemically unstable molecules, generated within our bodies by normal metabolic functions such breathing, digesting foods and fighting infections, as well as factors such as certain foods (for example, heated fats), overeating, smoking, stress, sunburn and pollution. In large quantities, free radicals can damage DNA, accelerate aging and contribute to a wide range of disorders.
Anti-ageing regenerative plan!
Arm yourself with antioxidants
Antioxidants are nutrients that seek our and neutralise the cell-damaging free radicals, blocking their path of destruction. In this way they help ward of cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, alzeimers disease, cataracts and other age-related illnesses and conditions, hence their renown as anti-aging nutrients.
The key antioxidants are beta-cartotene (which the body converts to vitamin A), vitamins C and E and the minerals selenium and zinc. Manganese and copper, some B complex vitamins, certain enzymes and amino acids also have antioxidant properties. Many antioxidants work together, enhancing each other’s action, which is why a varies diet that includes different antioxidants is so important.
In order to slow down the signs of aging you need to include plenty of antioxidant foods in your diet. Since nutrients can be destroyed in cooking, uncooked fresh fruit and vegetables are the best sources of antioxidants. Particularly good ones include: apples, avocadoes, bananas, all berries, brazil nuts, papaya, broccoli, carrots, cherries, citrus fruits, garlic, kiwifruit, peas, plums, prunes, red grapes, tomatoes, watermelon, and many more delicious fresh foods.
Feed up on Fiber
Dietary fiber is the part of the fruit, vegetables and whole grains that our bodies cannot digest but that is essential as it ensures a speedy passages of digested food through the bowel. Waste that builds up in the bowel not only causes constipation but also brings the risk of cancer and bowel disease like diverticulosis. Fiber also helps to lower bloody cholesterol levels and helps with weight control, and plays a role in steadying blood sugar, which is important for energy levels.
Fiber is particularly important as we get older as the digestive system functions less efficiently. Try to eat 20-35 g (about 1 oz) of fiber a day.
Good sources include wholegrain cereal foods, vegetables, chickpeas, beans and lentils, seeds and fruit. Make sure you drink plenty of water to help this indigestible nutrient through your digestive system.
Check your cholesterol
The body needs cholesterol to function, but too much of it in the bloodstream results in clogged and narrowed arteries, which can lead to heart disease. Blood cholesterol tends to rise with age, through high saturated fat diet and stress. Lowering your blood cholesterol levels is paramount for good health.