Within one year 98 percent of all the atoms in our bodies are completely replaced: every five weeks we create all new skin cells; every three weeks, our fat cells dump the old fat and take in the new; every six weeks our liver cells regenerate themselves; and every three months our bone cells are completely rebuilt. If our bodies regenerate themselves at this pace it raises a question: if we have the power to continually renew ourselves, why do we get old and die? Perhaps due to poor lifestyle choices we fail to provide the body with everything necessary for renewal after it sheds the old constantly forcing it to make do with the substandard.
As we age we are at an increasing risk for certain major health problems like high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis, osteoporosis, dementia, cancer, etc. The good news is that we are not totally helpless against the onslaught of time. We have resources at our disposal to ensure the best quality of life – food. As Hippocrates said “let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food”. This is to let us know the foods we should consume to help counter the aging process in our bodies.
NUTS: cashew nuts, peanuts, walnuts, almonds, all kinds of nuts really. Nuts contain omega-3s, unsaturated fats (the good kind), fiber, protein, antioxidants and riboflavin necessary for preventing the onset of old age.
PAPAYA: It may surprise you to know that this simple fruit has enormous benefits. It lowers cholesterol, boosts the immunity, protects against arthritis, improves digestion, promotes hair growth, prevents cancer and reduces stress. It contains fibre, vitamin C, flavinoids, and vitamin A for good eyesight too! It is also good for diabetics because it tastes sweet yet it has low sugar content and a low glycemic index. Additionally, it helps in weight loss because it has few calories: a medium sized papaya contains just 120 calories. So please feel free to indulge in this fruit whenever you want to.
FISH: all fish contain omega 3 acids which helps prevent heart attacks by preventing cholesterol build up in the arteries and protecting against abnormal heart rhythms.
OLIVE OIL: rich in monosaturated fats and polyphenols which are powerful antioxidants that prevent age related diseases.
YOGHURT: this is rich in calcium (which prevents against osteoporosis) and good bacteria for gut health and warding off age related intestinal illnesses.
TOMATOES: tomatoes contain lycopene which protects against prostate cancer and lung cancer. Cooking tomatoes releases more lycopene so it doesn’t have to be eaten raw.
GINGER: this savory spice contains a powerful antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties called gingerol. Adding ginger to your meals helps with osteoarthritis, lowers blood sugars, treats chronic indigestion, reduces the day to day progression of muscle pain, protects against age related damage to the brain and helps fight infections by inhibiting the growth of many different types of bacteria.
GARLIC: this spice is highly nutritious yet it contains few calories. 28 grams of garlic contains 23% of the recommended daily amount (RDA) of manganese; 17% of the RDA of vitaminB6; 15% of the RDA of vitamin; 6% of the RDA of selenium as well as decent amounts of calcium, copper, potassium, phosphorus, iron and vitaminB1. Four cloves of garlic taken daily are effective in reducing blood pressure. Garlic also improves cholesterol levels, lowers the risk of heart disease, contains antioxidants that may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, and detoxifies heavy metals in the body. It is very easy to include it in your diet ant tastes delicious too.
Generally speaking, if you want to prolong your active years and slow the aging process, boost your metabolism. The best way to do this is with a balance of sound nutrition and exercise.