Waking up one morning only to look into your bathroom mirror and fine wrinkles on your face or drooping eyelids, or finding a strand of gray hair can be a very shocking reality. It is good to have great genes, but there are ways by which you can help your body age with grace. Imbibing a healthy lifestyle may result in a slow aging process and it is never too late or too early to start. It all stems down to making a decision and sticking with it.
In 1999, there was an estimated number of thirty-five million people above the age of sixty-five and older. By the year 2016, the number increased to forty-nine million. It is expected that this up-rise continues over the coming years. This calls our attention to the fact that people are living longer and we need to do everything to age in health. You might have come across an older person who is still vibrant, youthful, and smart. This should not just be attributed to good genes there are a lot of things that can be done to slow down the process of aging and ward off diseases.
Lifestyle Changes to Slow Aging
1. Omega 3s
This particular fatty acid known as omega 3 s is an essential nutrient that can be found in food substances like flaxseed and fish. They are vital components of cell membranes in the human body. Omega 3 is known to improve the function of the brain, reduces inflammation, build up cell membranes, and repair it, it also helps with managing stress. Sources of this fatty acid include seafood and fish like mackerel, salmon, sardines, herring, and tuna. They are also in seeds and like, for example, walnuts, chia seeds, and flaxseed.
2. Drink a lot of water
You probably have heard about how important it is to drink at least eight cups of water each day. There are still debates on the exact number but it is recommended that males should drink up to 15.5 cups each day while females 11.5 cups. Dehydration can lead to foggy thinking, fatigue, constipation, headaches, and other aging signs. Hydration keeps the brain healthy and the older we become the more difficult it is for our body to take in nutrients so if we stay hydrated it helps.
3. B vitamins
This family of vitamins greatly supports the cognitive functions of the body. The major members are B2, B6, and folate but all the other members are also important. The majority of the adult population gets adequate B12 from the food they eat regularly. however some older people can have some form of deficiencies of B12 vitamins. This might be the result of a poor unbalanced diet or from a decline of the acid in the stomach about age. This acid is used in the absorption of B12 from food. Absorption of B vitamins can also be blocked by heartburn medication or stress.
You can get this vitamin in food sources like:
- Folate: Whole grains, fruits, beans, vegetables, fortified grains, grain products, and breakfast cereal. It is advisable to stay away from food with a heavy amount of folic acid.
- Vitamin B12: This is found in animal products like poultry, meat, fish, dairy, or eggs. It is also in enriched soy, rice milk, and fortified cereals.
- Vitamins B6: Beans, fortified cereals, poultry, fruits, vegetables, fish, papayas, cantaloupe, and oranges.
4. Brawny brain
After age forty, an average brain would shrink each decade at an estimated five percent but engaging in aerobic exercises helps to maintain the volume significantly. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor is a chemical produced during exercise and it aids in preventing the decrease caused by age by lowering the brain’s deterioration. Some of the exercises include walking, treadmill running, and stationary cycling. Proper dieting is also needed for optimal results.
5. Active brain
Your brain should be kept active by triggering new connections and regenerating new cells. This can be done by engaging in activities that would stimulate your mentalities such as mental gymnastics, math problems, or puzzles. Try out things that need manual dexterity and mental efforts like painting, drawing, and some other crafts.
6. Accept muscle mass
By age fifty there will be about fifteen percent of body mass loss, this kind is the lean mass and in its place will be fat mass. Unfortunately, this exchange will continue over the years. The high-fat mass may lead to illnesses like heart disease and diabetes while lean mass would probably lead to falling. These issues can be curtailed by taking sufficient daily proteins like beans, seeds, wild fish, avocado, chicken, and nuts.
7. Monitor sugar and carbs
Fluctuating sugar and carbs levels affect mood and energy, it causes sugar and carbohydrate cravings, interrupted sleep, and hastens the aging process. Diabetes can also come from an imbalanced sugar level and same with other associated diseases. It is good to skip foods with high carb and sugar content and to wait hours after a meal to give room for the sugar to digest. Fibers are good in helping blood sugar so it will be beneficial to include them in your diet. You might also need to plan out a diet that will accommodate all the hints that have been given so far. This would make it easier for you to follow.
The process of aging can be a nice and exciting one if only you begin from now to prepare or make adjustments when necessary. You can also consult a doctor who can give personal guidance on ways to slow aging and be sure to follow their guide. Old age is a beautiful phase, and it’s one to look forward to. Happy aging!