This article is written by Dr. Steven Cannon, Chiropractor – Neurohealth Chiropractic
Avoid or minimise sugar. There is a growing amount of research that is supporting the theory that the consumption of sugar is a poison and that it is definitely responsible for obesity along with an array of other chronic and lethal diseases. The most recent research is showing that fructose increases taste cells in your pancreas, leading to an increase in insulin secretion and increasing your risk of type 2 diabetes. Fructose is a powerful pro-inflammatory agent that speeds up the aging process and has been shown to promote the dangerous growth of fat cells around your organs that can be a major cause of heart disease or liver toxicity.
Sugar, fructose, or corn syrup, call it what you want, is in abundance in today’s modern society. Our ancestors could only get natural sugars from fruit and raw honey and that was only at specific times/seasons of the year. Now it is in every processed food or drink you will pick up in the store. It has become too accessible and has become an epidemic causing more diseases than any communicable disease. We should try and keep our daily fructose intake consumption to below 25grams per day
Go nuts. So eating walnuts won’t make you look like a fashion magazine cover model. But it will make your heart young. Eating walnuts has been shown to lower cholesterol levels by reducing the blood concentrations of lipids that are associated with heart disease.
Almonds are also are a great source of protein and also contain the necessity omega-3 and 6’s. Good for helping weight loss and keeping your heart feeling young.
Embrace exercise. Resistance exercises, such as walking uphill or resistance training can help with slowing the aging process. This can increase your metabolism, improve cardiovascular function, and slow the decline of bone density and muscle mass, which have been linked with osteoporosis.
Try and always learn something new. Many of us are lead to believe the old adage that ‘you can’t teach an old dog new tricks’. Always try and learn something new. Yes, it might take a little longer to grasp the new ideas, but doing this keeps the neural connections in the brain active and firing. Which can help reduce dementia and memory loss. ‘If you don’t use it, you lose it’ adage applies here.
So some good exercises to keep the brain active are crosswords, suduko, scrabble, memory games, jigsaw puzzles, and make a list and then try to remember it at a later date, are just an example of a few that keep the mind active. Also take up a new hobby or try and master new skills.
Value vitamins. After the age of thirty, our body has trouble replenishing the stores of certain minerals and vitamins in our body, which help us with restoration of damaged cells. The synthesis of Co-Enzyme Q10 declines as we age. It is vital in the repair of cell membranes and works as an antioxidant. Supplement with approximately 150mg/day has shown positive effects on the nervous system, reducing the severity of migraines. It can also help with the prevention of periodontal disease and there are studies that show that it might even be helpful in Parkinson’s progression.
Vitamin D, as I have spoken before, is vital to our bodies. We can synthesis vitamin D from sunlight, but strangely enough, in summer approximately there are 60% of Australians who are vitamin D deficient, and this figure jumps to 80% over the winter months. Vitamin D deficiency leads to weakening of the bone matrix (osteomalacia), which can account for the generalised aches and pains that we sometime suffer. It has been linked with type 2 diabetes, certain cancers (prostate, colorectal, and breast) and it is also great for boosting the immune system and helping keep away or at least reduce the severity of colds and flus. During winter months it is recommended that we should consume 4000IU to help maintain healthy vitamin D levels
Take joint supplements. Unless you are going to eat all your meat right down to the bone or boil the bones of chicken, turkey or lean red meats to make a broth, you just aren’t going to get the cartilage in your diet maintain healthy joints and will be more susceptible to affects of aging, degeneration of joints and osteoarthritis. We should supplement our diets with approximately 1500mg of glucosamine sulfate and 500mg chondroitin.
Glucosamine sulfate has been shown to be effective as a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAIDs) for osteoarthritis without the nasty side effects of pharmaceutical based NSAID’s such as nurofen or other ibuprofens.
Chondroitin sulfate acts like a liquid magnet, drawing the proteoglycans that sit inside the space of the cartilage inside joints. This is important as this fluid acts as a shock absorber and helps bath the cartilage in nutrients. Joint cartilage has no blood supply, thus all its nourishment and lubrication comes from the fluid that ebbs and flows as pressure is applied and then released into the joint. Without the fluid, the cartilage would become malnourished, drier, thinner and more fragile.
Trade coffee for tea. Coffee taxes the kidneys and promotes changes in blood flow associated with several types of headaches, such as migraines and tension headaches. According to scientific studies, coffee will boost the blood flow to the brain by dilating the arteries. These arteries become accustomed to caffeine-induced fluctuations and will adjust for them in advance.
When a regular coffee drinker skips their daily caffeine fix, the arteries continue to adjust to the expected caffeine rush, restricting the blood flow and triggering a headache. This headache is called a drug rebound headache (the drug being caffeine). These drug rebound headaches are one of the several factors that make coffee so addictive and make kicking the habit so nerve wracking.
In contrast, tea – especially the caffeine-free green varieties – is a powerful antioxidant, working to keep the body disease-free and the skin smooth and youthful.
Consult your chiropractor. Aging is inevitable but aging poorly isn’t. Your chiropractor at Neurohealth can help you establish a lifestyle plan that includes strategies for healthy aging.
The saying that beauty is on the inside is true. If you are healthy on the inside, it will definitely be showing on the outside. Start by choosing the right foods, exercising and reducing stress. And most importantly, schedule an appointment with your chiropractor. After all if the spine is not healthy, the rest of the body will suffer proportionately.