Aging is a natural process and not a disease. It is something we all will experience and, it is hoped, deal with in a positive manner. Ideally, numerous benefits attend old age: wisdom; the pleasure of watching your children, grandchildren, and great- grandchildren flourish and having time to help others and to enjoy life fully. But to many people, old age is synonymous with ill health and disability. That's too bad, because most of the diseases we associate with aging-arthritis and other painful conditions, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, digestive problems, frailty, depression, sexual dysfunction, and fatigue-are riot an inevitable part of growing older. These "age-related disorders" are mainly caused by lifestyle factors, such as diet, exposure to environmental toxins, lack of exercise, and stress, along with genetic susceptibilities. If you're young or middle-aged, you can prevent many problems by changing your habits now. If you're older and are already experiencing health difficulties, it's not too late to bring balance and harmony to your bodily systems.
Normal aging occurs when old cells start dying at a faster rate than new ones are generated. Since the body's tissues have a smaller supply of cells to draw upon, they begin to degenerate and malfunction. This process happens to everyone; it's simply a natural part of life. It appears that our cells are preprogrammed to have a maximum life span. Yet the key is to prevent premature aging, where one ages faster than one's genetic programming would have ordained. In addition, most people will agree that quality of life is paramount to life span.
In recent years, we have come to understand more about the highly reactive kinds of atoms or molecules called free radicals. In many cases, free radicals assist the body by destroying invaders, producing energy, and helping to carry oxygen through the bloodstream. When they are present in overwhelming numbers, however, they attack healthy cells, sometimes destroying them or mutating their DNA. When cells die before their time or are damaged, the normal aging process is accelerated, and the body becomes vulnerable to life-threatening ailments such as cancer, arteriosclerosis, and many degenerative diseases.
It is becoming more and more difficult to keep the number of free radicals in the body down to a healthy level. Many aspects of modem living, including unwholesome diet and exposure to pollution, tobacco smoke, environmental contaminants, and even the sun, put us in contact with more free radials than any previous generation ever encountered. Luckily, nature has equipped us with the means to neutralize, free radicals in our bodies. Substances called -antioxidants accomplish the task, and they're found in many fruits and vegetables and in some herbs. A combination of healthful eating, combined with antioxidant supplements and wise living, can prevent excessive damage from free radicals
Other major causes of several age-related diseases are diet ant nutritional deficiencies.
Studies on Laboratory mice prove that a reduced-calorie extends their lives. Research is starting to show that this is true in humans as well. In addition, diets that are high in fat and sugar lack many essential nutrients, fiber and antioxidants. Poor diets can also contribute to gastrointestinal disorders which can inhibit the body's ability to absorb important vitamins and minerals. Sometimes however, a good diet is not enough to keep deficiency at bay. As a result of normal or accelerated aging, older people are simply less efficient at absorbing nutrients, even if they eat well. If you have reached old age, you will need to make special effort to take in nutrients.
Aging is accelerated by a lack of exercise. If you don't regularly exercise, you increase your risk for almost every kind of disorder, including heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and osteoporosis.
Hormone balance is a key to healthy aging. This is particularly true of the stress hormones such as cortisol and DHEA. A deficiency or an abnormal elevation of these hormones (particularly cortisol) accelerates aging and immune system breakdown. In reality, all of the hormones are important for healthy aging, Thyroid, estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone, as well as growth hormones, must be kept at balanced levels to slow the aging process. Researchers are finding that growth hormones may play a special role in slowing down the "aging clock."
It is also important to keep blood-sugar levels in the normal range. Elevated levels of glucose lead to a process known as glycosylation. This contributes to a weak immune system and speeds up aging. An example of this process is diabetes.
Finally, the effects of stress appear to play a role in aging. People who experience prolonged periods of intense stress are more likely to develop chronic diseases. One major stressor is loneliness. This has become a big problem with the elderly, who lack companionship and stimulation. Many older people cut back on social obligations, intellectual activities, and sports and exercise. Giving up these essential activities has been linked to a shorter lifespan and increased risk of disease.
SYMPTOMS: Frequent illness or chronic disease, painful conditions and stiffness, memory loss or impairment, digestive problems, weight loss, decreased sex drive, poor skin and/or muscle tone and frailty.
ROOT CAUSES: Free radical damage, poor diet and nutritional deficiencies, genetics, environmental toxins, poor digestion and detoxification, lack of exercise, hormone imbalance, elevated blood-sugar levels, stress and isolation.
Older people often have difficulty absorbing nutrients. When digestive enzymes aren't working at their optimal level, deficiencies, especial1y in the B-vitamins, can result Ti compensate, eat plenty of whole grains, leafy greens, add brewer’s yeast, wheat germ to your meals.
Make sure you get enough fiber. Whole grains, oats, flaxseeds, and raw vegetables can prevent constipation and will reduce toxins in the digestive tract
Yogurt and other fermented sour products (sauerkraut, kefir) encourage heathy bacteria in the digestive system. These bacteria fight colds and other infections.
Deeply colored fruits and vegetables are packed with antioxidants such as carotenoids, the substances that neutralize free radical. They can also discourage the buildup of arterial, plaque, so it's important to eat several servings with each meal.
Vitamin E and selenium work together to prevent many different diseases. To lower your risk of cancer, heart diseases, and arthritis, eat plenty of seeds, nuts, and vegetable oils.
Be sure to incorporate sufficient quality protein into your diet. Beans, soy products, fish, and lean chicken and turkey will give you energy.
Vitamin C helps fight free radical damage, reduces cancer risk, and strengthens the immune system. Good dietary sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables, red peppers, strawberries, tomatoes, asparagus, and avocados.
Garlic and onions have antioxidant properties and improve circulation.
Whether you're thirsty or not, drink a glass of purified water every two waking hours.
Dehydration is linked to kidney malfunction, malabsorption of nutrients, chronic constipation, weight gain, high cholesterol, fatigue, and headaches. It can also cause disorientation and memory loss; many people who are thought to be senile are actually just severely dehydrated.
The skins of red grapes reduce plaque in the walls of arteries. They also have antioxidant properties, so drink a glass of red grape juice or an occasional glass of red wine.
Foods to Avoid
Reduce your total caloric intake, while maintaining good nutrition. As you get older, your metabolism slows down, and you require fewer calories to support your activities. Also, studies on laboratory mice have shown that a reduced-calorie diet significantly extended their lives. You can reduce calories by cutting out processed and junk foods, alcohol, sugar, and white flour-but don't skimp on nutritious foods that will keep you healthy.
In addition to the previous suggestions, avoid red meat and processed foods, as well as any food made with additives and preservatives. These foods are all high in free radicals. What's more, they clog up your digestive tract and inhibit proper functioning
If you have trouble steeping, don't consume alcohol, caffeine, and simple sugars in the evening. These substances keep you alert. Instead, eat complex carbohydrates, which can promote relaxation and a good night's rest.
Keeping the digestive tract clean is essential for preventing disease, especially if you've spent a lifetime consuming and breathing toxins. Fresh juices and “super green foods” such as chlorella and spirulina, are excellent. Supplements such as milk thistle (Silybum marianum) and many of the antioxidants support proper detoxification.
ANTI-AGING SUPER REMEDY
Enzymes aid in the digestion of food and are essential for all the metabolic activity I to 2 capsules with each meal.
Royal jelly, the substance produced by worker bee for the queen bee contains a wide range of nutrients. Take as directed on the container.
Alpha lipoic acid is one of the most important antioxidants in the body. Take 50mg twice daily.
CoQ10 is a potent antioxidant and a nutrient involved in many aspects of cardiovascular function. Take 50 to 300 mg daily.
Ashwagandha, known as “Indian ginseng” is a revered herb in Ayurvedic medicine and is used as tonic for people with chronic disease. Take 1000 to 3000 mg.
Penax ginseng is popular in Chinese medicine as an ant-aging herbal therapy. Take a standardized product containing 4-7% ginsenosides at 100 to 250mg twice daily. Do not use if you have blood pressure.
DHEA is a hormone that has been shown to be a marker of aging in research. If your level is low consult with your doctor about starting at a 15mg dosage.
Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is excellent for digestion, prevents blood clotting and has anti-inflammatory properties. Instead of drinking sugary ginger ale, try ginger tea, made by boiling water over fresh ginger. You can also to 2 grams of a powdered capsule or a tablet, divided over the course of a day.
If you feel tense or irritable or have trouble sleeping, lavender can help you relax. Try it in a bath or as an inhalant, or slip a lavender-filled sachet your pillow. If you are depressed, bergamot, clary sage, geranium or rosemary can be uplifting. A few drops of jasmine, ylang ylang, sandalwood, or patchouli in a bath will reignite sexual desire.
Exercise, prayer, reading, yoga, positive mental imagery, and many other techniques should be used to reduce the effects of stress and aging.
BACH FLOWER REMEDIES
Find the appropriate flower remedy for your particular personality and tendencies. Once you’ve found the right remedies place 10 drops under your tongue. Hold the drops in place for thirty seconds and swallow. Use as often as needed.
If you have experienced a loss and feel sorrowful and depressed, try Mustard. Hombeam will help if you feel too fatigued to participate in everyday activities. If you are unhappy with present times and tend to dwell on the pastas a period of perfect happiness, Honeysuckle will help you cultivate a more positive attitude toward the here and now.
Keep moving. Regular exercise plays a significant role in preventing heart disease, arthritis, osteoporosis, diabetes, and many other disorders. For maximum benefits, your exercise plan should include aerobic exercise (for your heart and lungs), weight lifting (to keep your bones strong) and stretching. It is never too late to start. People who begin exercise and weightlifting programs as late as their nineties show marked improvement in their general health. If you're older, ill, or overweight, consult with your doctor before beginning an exercise plan. If you're having problems digesting your food, your body may not be producing sufficient enzymes. Take an enzyme supplement daily.