Ageing gracefully. You would have heard the phrase before but what does it actually mean?
Maybe different things to different people.
To me, ageing gracefully simply means being as healthy as you can be for as long as you possibly can.
The thing is, ageing gracefully is very much in your own hands; apart from hereditary factors it is all about the choices you make along the way……..your lifestyle plays a huge role which in the end comes down to diet, exercise and minimizing your stress levels.
Even though you make a concerted effort to engage in regular exercise and eat well, you should always be looking for ways to fight aging through eating anti-inflammatory foods. You will be amazed at the effect this can have over time…….and that’s why we don’t tend to notice it.
All of the anti-aging philosophies, wild promises, and “too good to be true” products can be daunting and usually offer dubious results at best.
You may wonder whether or not eating anti-inflammatory foods is helpful to you. It turns out, your body’s ageing process can be accelerated by inflammation in aging so you need to talk to your doctor, dietitian, or nutritionist to find out more and how it may affect your body.
1. What is inflammation and how can it affect your body?
The immune system responds to injury and diseases by providing you with inflammation. This is a normal process that is important for healing. On the other hand, not all inflammation is healthy for you.
When inflammation gets out of hand, it can attack the normal cells of your body and the process that is supposed to heal you becomes self-destructive.
It is now well known that chronic inflammation is the root cause of many serious illnesses, especially those related to the ageing process.
Persistent stress, over-exposure to environmental toxins, and poor diet can all contribute to this type of inflammatory process.
2. Can something be done about inflammation?
The good news is that there are some lifestyle choices that certainly can help this process. Following an anti-inflammatory diet is one way to control the aging process. While it sounds like a good idea, be wary.
The anti-inflammatory diet is an eating plan you follow through on throughout your life in order to combat the aging process.
It isn’t technically geared for weight loss (although it will help) but rather helps improve your overall long-term health.
3. The Anti-Inflammatory Diet
The anti-inflammatory diet places a focus on whole foods that are whole and unrefined, high in anti-inflammatory spices, high in healthy fats, and high in omega 3 fatty acids.
Here’s some good foods to include in an anti-inflammatory diet:
• Soy products, such as tofu, soy milk, tempeh, and edamame
• Healthy fats found in cold pressed extra virgin olive oil, beans, avocados, seeds, and nuts
• Vegetables and foods that are brightly colored, such as dark berries, fruits, and vegetables
• Clean water and green tea as a beverage
• Spices that are anti-inflammatory, such as Ceylon cinnamon, turmeric, and ginger.
4. Inflammatory Foods to Avoid
It is also important to decrease your intake of foods that cause inflammation. Highly processed foods are inflammatory as are carbohydrates that are quickly digested, such as sugar and sugary snacks.
You need to stay away from foods containing vegetable shortening, partially hydrogenated oils, and polyunsaturated oils, such as soy, corn, safflower, and sunflower oils.
It may be difficult to know if you are eating many of these foods so this is why you need to read the food labels to see if any of these inflammatory foods are contained in them.
When you’re not sure, you should buy raw unprocessed foods and cook them yourself. Foods labeled “raw” or “organic” can be seen as good foods to choose in an anti-inflammatory diet.
5. Does an anti-inflammatory diet work?
According to the expert dietitians, there is good evidence to show monounsaturated oils and omega 3 oils can fight inflammation. On the other hand, some of the information is off when it comes to taking anti-inflammatory foods to combat aging. One study indicated that heredity can play a role in who gets the disease and who doesn’t.
While diet is important, genetics also plays a role in the aging process. You can decrease the effects of chronic diseases by eating an anti-inflammatory food diet. Don’t make big changes all at once.
Start introducing anti-inflammatory foods gradually into your diet and take away inflammatory foods so that eventually your diet represents an anti-inflammatory diet as much as is possible.
6. Are there any risks to an anti-inflammatory diet?
According to experts, there are no known risks to having an anti-inflammatory diet.
You should, however, take precautions if you have any food allergies. Make sure talk to your doctor about finding ways to use this type of diet to your advantage.
As your Active Ageing Coach, I suggest you have a look at this article…..it offers some great ideas that you might like to take on board as well: Why Age and Physical Fitness are taking on a Whole New Meaning in Modern Society.
Cheers – John – your Active Ageing Coach and Activist.
P.S. Don’t forget to spread the word among your friends…..like and share. Thanks.