When your birthday rolls around each year are you excited about the prospect, are you quietly panicking or have you completely forgotten the date and how old you will be turning?
If you’re in the midst of celebrating and have to run into the kitchen to get a lighter to light the candles and then return and back track again because you’ve forgotten what it was you went in for, then this is a completely normal part of aging.
A report in the 2012 British Medical Journal suggests that our capacity for memory and reasoning can start to deteriorate from the age of just 45.
Aging occurs every day all throughout our bodies and there are a number of factors involved such as oxidative stress, glycation, telomere shortening, chronological age, genetics and lifestyle. From daily wear and tear, to damage to the skin and organs aging is an inevitable part of living. Aging happens deep in your cells in small structures called telomeres which are like the plastic tips on shoe laces that prevent chromosome ends from fraying and sticking to one another. Telomeres are sequences of DNA - chains of chemical code. Like other DNA, they are made of four nucleic acid bases: G for guanine, A for adenine, T for thymine and C for cytosine.
Geneticist Richard Cawthon and colleagues at the University of Utah discovered that shorter telomeres are associated with shorter lives. Among people older than 60, those with shorter telomeres were three times more likely to die from heart disease and eight times more likely to die from infectious diseases.
Research is emerging that shows that we can to a certain extent have control over aging.
A study which involved a group of people with coronary artery disease saw that those with the most Omega-3 EPA and DHA fatty acids in their bodies also had the slowest rate of telomere shortening over 5 years.
We are probably all aware by now that fat has been the target of much scorn, but it is absolutely necessary for graceful aging and lowering inflammation in our bodies which is a key to aging successfully. Consuming the right fats and oils supplies the essential fatty acids (EFA’s) that our bodies are incapable of producing on their own, and these are highly important for preventing aging. The right kinds of fats will also ferry fat soluble vitamins such as A, D, E & K around the body; delivering these much needed nutrients to your skin cells, resulting in a healthy complexion.
Including the following fats and oils in your diet regularly will prevent premature aging and give you boundless energy for life.
Omega-3 fats help reduce inflammation in the body, which researchers have touted as being a driving force behind chronic disease. Their studies reveal that Omega 3 fatty acids promote healthy levels of cholesterol and triglycerides, support normal blood pressure and help maintain healthy circulation and blood vessels. Sources of omega-3s include fish oil from wild caught salmon, tuna, halibut, mackerel, sardines, herring and other cold-water species. Flaxseed oil will also give your diet an omega-3 boost in the form of alpha-linolenic acid.
The cold pressed, raw, organic oil that comes from coconut is one of the healthiest oils that can be consumed. Although it’s been feared in the past due to its high concentration of saturated fats, the unique medium chain structure of these fats, as well as the fact that they are a plant based and in a raw state means that extra virgin coconut oil contains significant antiviral, antifungal and antimicrobial actions. Coconut oil is easily metabolized by the liver, and has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that prevent aging.
Olive oil has been long recognized for its amazing health and beauty benefits. Olive oil contains high levels of monounsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants that have an anti-inflammatory effect on the body. It’s an excellent source of vitamin E; one of the most powerful antioxidants to neutralize free radicals and prevent premature aging. The best olive oil to consume is extra virgin cold pressed.
Mother-nature’s gorgeous green fruits are abundant in vitamins and minerals that are crucial to the health of your entire body. Particularly high in beta-carotene, lutein, vitamins B6, C, E, K, selenium, zinc, folate, potassium, glutathione, avocados are rich in healthy monounsaturated fats and omega 3 fatty acids, offering remarkable benefits. They’re high in carotenoid antioxidants, and contain the perfect amount and balance of dietary fats required for these antioxidants to be optimally absorbed. Included in this perfect balance is the presence of oleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid that helps the digestive tract to transport molecules that can carry carotenoids around the body. When combining an avocado with your salad, you are also maximizing the uptake of these fat soluble antioxidants into your skin cells, which are proven to fight against the free radicals that can cause aging.
Why not try incorporating some of these fats into your diet and you’ll be very happy with the results!
(use organic ingredients where possible)
- 320 g (111/4 oz/2 cups) almonds
- 2 x 45 g (11/2 oz) fresh or tinned sardines (in spring water), chopped
- 8 garlic cloves, sliced
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
- 6 drops stevia liquid or other natural sweeteners
- 2 tablespoons grated lime zest, plus extra for serving (optional)
- Soak the almonds in 750 ml (26 fl oz/3 cups) filtered warm water overnight. (This step is optional.)
- Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F/Gas 6).
- Place all the ingredients, except the lime zest, in a bowl and stir to combine.
- Place the almond mixture on a baking tray and sprinkle with the lime zest.
- Cook in the oven for 25 minutes, stirring after 15 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, transfer to a bowl and serve sprinkled with additional lime zest, if desired.
- The seanuts will keep for 5–7 days in an airtight container.
If you’re using tinned sardines in extra virgin olive oil you don’t need to add the additional oil.
For delicious recipes visit www.superchargedfood.com
Lee Holmes is a mum on a mission, author of Supercharged Food and Supercharged Food for Kids and founder of www.superchargedfood.com an altruistic website to help people expand their range of healthy food choices and plan ahead to create and maintain a satisfying, wholesome and nourishing diet. Lee is a Certified Health Coach (Institute of Integrative Nutrition) and Whole Foods Chef. She created a petition to improve food in hospitals in Australia and as a result a healthier menu has been introduced by the Minister for Health. In addition to passionately creating change at government and policy level, Lee recently won the title of Health Influencer Blog of the Year. Lee’s favorite recipe is Smashed Sardines and Avocado on Chia and Flaxseed Loaf.