Secrets To Better Ageing

Secrets To Better Ageing

Did you know that only 20% of ageing is down to your genes? The rest comes down to lifestyle choices. Whether you’re looking to boost your body on the inside or out, SL spoke to the experts about the top tips on how to combat the signs of ageing…

Take A Variety Of Vits 

“It’s no secret a diet packed with nutrients will protect against skin ageing but packing in a wide variety of vitamins on a regular basis is your best bet. Vitamins C, A and E, all known for their skin supporting nature, work synergistically and ‘recycle’ each other to boost efficacy. Eat sources of all three in one go for maximum results – think eggs (vitamin A) with parsley and kale (vitamin C) and avocado (vitamin E). Don’t forget about zinc either, it’s a key player when it comes to collagen production and immunity. If you regularly drink, smoke or take long-haul flights you are at an increased risk of deficiency. Find it in tahini, pumpkin seeds, oats, meat and seafood.” – Alice Mackintosh, Registered Nutritional Therapist and founder of Equi London

Change Your Mindset

“One of the biggest myths about ageing is that we’re all going to get dementia – this just isn’t true. The incidence of dementia has actually fallen by a fifth in the last 20 years. It’s also not all downhill from 50 – I’ve interviewed endurance cyclists in their 80s who have the immune systems and muscle mass of cyclists in their 20s. Plenty of people are starting successful businesses in their 60s and you just need to look at people like Joan Bakewell (85) and David Attenborough (90) for living proof that ageing well is a mindset.” – Camilla Cavendish, author of Extra Time: 10 Lessons for an Ageing World

Be Cautious With Caffeine

“Coffee beans contain polyphenols, which can support anti-ageing but remember coffee is also a stimulant. For some, this can lead to anxiety, jitters or poor sleep cycles that are unlikely to support the ageing process. Also don’t be tempted to drink decaf as certain varieties can be packed with chemicals.” – Alice Mackintosh

Stay Active

“Sitting really is the new smoking. Regular, consistent workouts really pay off as the years go by – one group of American septuagenarians who took up jogging when it became fashionable in the 1970’s and have kept up either running, swimming or cycling have been found to be biologically 30 years younger than their chronological age. Strength training is also vital as you get older – even people in their 90s can reduce their risk of falls and fractures with balance and strength training.” – Camilla Cavendish

Up Your Greens

“Extrinsic factors account for 80% of ageing and diet is something we have huge control over. Very few people in the western world have deficiencies in macronutrients (fats, carbs, protein) but instead many have deficiencies in micronutrients, small units of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytonutrients found in plant-based foods. Deficiencies in vitamin D, zinc, magnesium, selenium, Omega 3 and B12 are the most common. Plant-based foods have protected mankind for millennia from disease as they protect our cells from damage so eat as green and clean as you can. Processed foods, on the other hand, cause accelerated cellular damage and inflammation.” – Dr Johanna Ward, GP & Co-Founder of Zenii Skincare and author of Superfoods to Superhealth.

Have A Glass Of Wine

“Red wine contains incredible plant compounds, one of which is resveratrol, proven to have potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects as well as a positive effect on cognitive function and cardiovascular health. Don’t go overboard, however – one glass is plenty and anything in excess of this will break down into toxic metabolites in the body that can increase the risk of cancer. Bear in mind you can also get resveratrol from red grapes, blueberries, pistachios, cranberries and dark chocolate.” – Dr Johanna Ward 

Consider Supplements 

“Supplements shouldn’t be a replacement for real food but they can be useful to bridge nutritional gaps, especially when it comes to ageing. Everyone can benefit from taking vitamin D (look for vitamin D3 at a daily dose of 2000iu); Omega 3 at a dose of 500-1000mg per day; and a high-strength, multi-strain probiotic. Studies also suggest a daily dose of 10,000mg of marine collagen can reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while hyaluronic acid supplements (ideal dose of 200mg) can also support skin health from within. Always look out for the GMP logo on your supplements – this gives an indicator of the product’s quality. I wouldn’t take anything that doesn’t carry this logo.” – Dr Johanna Ward 

Think Of Your Gut 

“Gut health is the missing piece in the human health puzzle. The gut gets involved in the ageing process via inflammatory pathways so essentially the less inflammation you have the better you will age, inside and out. Inflammation is the internal fire that ‘ages’ and ‘diseases’ us so supercharge your gut health with plenty of probiotic foods – think kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut, miso and live yoghurt.” – Dr Johanna Ward

Hit The Pillow Early 

“Ignore sleep at your peril. Neuroscientist Matthew Walker puts it bluntly: ‘The shorter you sleep, the shorter you live.’ People who don’t get enough sleep often have reduced immune and cognitive function and find it harder to resist poor quality foods, alcohol and addictions. The vast majority of adults need 7-9 hours’ sleep every night so make this a priority if you don’t already.” – Dr Johanna Ward

Challenge Your Brain 

“Recent developments in neuroscience show our brains keep producing new neurons (brain cells) throughout our lives and that we can incorporate those neurons into the functional circuits of the brain if we keep challenging ourselves. Old dogs really can learn new tricks – and it turns out we need to. Experiments show the best recipe for our brains is a combination of exercise, social connection and tackling new things which are tricky to master, not just the same old puzzles.” – Camilla Cavendish

Guard Against Pollution 

“Urban living is undoubtedly taking its toll on our individual ageing process. Pollution can cause everything from lung disease and strokes to cancer and reduced fertility. While it’s impossible to totally avoid pollution, having regular saunas can really help to banish toxins from the body while eating more dietary antioxidants has been shown to reduce free radicals.” – Dr Johanna Ward

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