Throughout the ages, people have been searching for the elusive “Fountain of Youth.” And this desire for a magical place, pill, or tonic that can prevent or reverse the effects of ageing has generated a new, and growing, field of “Anti-ageing Medicine”.
These days, there is a plethora of alternative treatments touted as anti-ageing remedies from “magical” fruits, wrinkle-erasers, memory enhancers, transcendental meditations, special diets, and physiologic purification to remove toxins from the body.
Let us see what the experts have to say about this.
By temporarily paralysing the muscles that cause wrinkles, Botox has been shown to dramatically reduce the appearance of moderate to severe frown lines, or furrows, between the eyebrows. However, some research suggests that people having blueberries regularly in their diets, have the similar effects. Blueberries, strawberries, cranberries, and raspberries are all loaded with antioxidants, which save cells from premature ageing. Antioxidants are things, like vitamin C or vitamin E, which can prevent or minimise damage to your cells, and thus delay the ageing process.
Miracle of Magnesium
This mineral is so important for our energy system, nervous system, heart, and blood sugar control and all diagnoses and symptoms we get as we get older, that it should be an integral part of a longevity programme. The recommended daily allowance is about 300 to 400mg for men and women. Magnesium-rich foods include brown rice, wheat bran, wheat germ, almonds, and peanuts.
Certain ways of eating cause a subclinical inflammation that leads to all types of problems from accelerated wrinkling and heart disease to Alzheimer’s disease and certain cancers. But fruits, vegetables, and lots of cold-water fish like salmon reduce inflammation on a cellular level, and thus, either prevent, revert or decrease the occurrence of these kinds of disorders.
Try the three-day nutritional facelift. Here’s how:
For lunch and dinner, eat a green salad (making a dressing out of olive oil and lemon juice), 85g of broiled salmon or tuna and mackerel, and strawberries, raspberries, or blueberries for dessert. Also, drink 8-10 glasses of water a day to keep skin hydrated and supple.
Chill without a Pill
Transcendental meditation helps lower blood pressure and reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke.Transcendental meditation involves sitting with eyes closed and thinking of “a meaningless sound” (mantra) for 20 minutes a day.
The best thing you can do to delay ageing, is, to adopt healthy food, low stress lifestyle, and to keep your body weight at a normal level. Here are some basic and practical ways to live a healthier, happier and longer life:
Protect Your DNA
As you age, the ends of your chromosomes become shorter. This makes you more likely to get sick. But lifestyle changes can boost an enzyme that makes them longer. Plus, studies show diet and exercise can protect them. The bottom line: Healthy habits may slow ageing at the cellular level.
Play to Win
An 80-year study found people who are conscientious — meaning they pay attention to detail, think things through, and try to do what’s right — live longer.
Although this seems a general advice, but making good friends might help you live longer. Studies show a clear link between strong social ties and a longer life.
A 50-year British study shows that quitting at age 30 could give you an entire decade. Kicking the habit at age 40, 50, or 60 can add 9, 6, or 3 years to your life, respectively.
Those who have a regular snooze are 37% less likely to die from heart disease than those who rarely steal a few winks. Researchers believe naps might help your heart by keeping stress hormones down.
It’s rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, olive oil, and fish. The plan can also put a serious dent in your chances of getting of metabolic syndrome — a mix of obesity, high blood sugar, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, that make you more likely to get heart disease and diabetes.
Shed some Kilos
If you’re overweight, slimming down can protect against diabetes, heart disease, and other conditions that take years off your life. Belly fat is bad for you, so focus on deflating that spare tyre. Eat more fibre and exercise regularly.
People who exercise live longer on average than those who don’t. Regular physical activity lowers your chances of getting heart disease, stroke, diabetes, some forms of cancer, and depression. It may even help you stay mentally sharp into old age. Ten-minute spurts are fine, as long as they add up to about 2.5 hours of moderate exercise per week.
People who attend religious services tend to live longer than those who don’t. The strong social network that develops among people who worship together may boost your health.
Letting go of grudges has surprising physical health benefits. Chronic anger is linked to high stress levels, heart disease, stroke, and poor lung health. Forgiveness will reduce anxiety, lower blood pressure, and help you breathe more easily.
Make Sleep a Priority
Getting enough quality sleep can lower your risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and mood disorders. It’ll also help you recover from illness faster. Snooze for less than 5 hours a night and you might boost your chances of dying early.
You’ll never completely avoid stress, but you can learn ways to control it. Try yoga, meditation, or deep breathing. Even a few minutes a day can make a difference.
Keep a Sense of Purpose
Hobbies and activities that have meaning for you may lengthen your life. Being clear about what you’re doing and why can also lower your chances of getting Alzheimer’s disease.
Last But not the Least, Water
Not a food, you say? Think of it as one. Many older people simply don’t drink enough water because they don’t feel as thirsty as they used to, and because of fear to get frequent urination.Water is so under appreciated. Our bodies are mostly water. If you’re chronically dehydrated, just think of what your cells look like. You can’t think as clearly, you get fatigued more easily, you don’t tolerate heat as well, and you don’t digest well. People who complain of things like fatigue, mild headaches and constipation, most often they’re just dehydrated and nothing else. Minimum 8 to 10 glasses of water per day especially after getting up in morning, will clearly improve your vital organ functions, digestion and energy levels.
Dr Jitendra Motavar, is a Specialist – Internal Medicine, at Burjeel Medical Center.