Food for Thought

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Enjoying the golden years
We are living longer. In fact, if you are a baby boomer or younger, chances are you will make it to the 100 mark if you are in generally good health. The real question is how are you going to get there? Will your ‘golden years’ be active and healthy ones? Or will they involve debilitating pain and chronic disease such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, stroke and arthritis.

We have come to accept that these diseases are an inevitable part of aging. They aren’t. It is possible to reduce your risk of the chronic diseases associated with growing older by making some lifestyle changes. This is because we now know that the basis for accelerated aging and disease is low grade systemic inflammation caused by a number of lifestyle factors including being overweight, having high blood glucose, high cholesterol or high blood pressure. Chronic inflammation also plays a part as an underlying cause of excess body fat, and could explain why some people just can’t lose weight.

Throughout human history, inflammation has been both our saviour and executioner. As saviour, it plays a central role in our immune system by killing bacteria and invading pathogens, thereby protecting us. However, when this inflammation process is chronic, our body turns on itself, attacks its own blood vessels, nerves and organs causing accelerated aging and precipitating disease.

Our lifestyle (diet, lack of exercise, lack of sleep, stress etc) has become our mortal adversary. But we can do something about it. Decreasing inflammation in the body today is the most prudent measure to resisting tomorrow’s ailments.

10 really rejuvenating tips

  • Don’t smoke – it’s never too late to quit.
  • If you drink alcohol, be moderate.
  • Get 7–8 hours of sleep a day.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Make healthy food choices.
  • Reduce stress, stay in touch with friends and family, and maintain a positive attitude to life.
  • Get 10–20 minutes of sunlight a day.
  • Reduce insulin resistance.
  • Drink water to quench your thirst.
  • Exercise regularly.

Giselle Brand

For more information on ‘adding years to your life and life to your years’, check out Giselle’s website.