A tall order you may think, but in reality there are numerous studies that highlight just how well the human body responds to simple interventions from the point of improving health and slowing down the aging process.
3 interventions to beat accelerated aging and ill health
Know your numbers
There are numerous ‘modifiable risk factors’ for chronic degenerative disease that we can identify and that are, once identified, usually modifiable. It is, obviously though, necessary to objectively identify these so that we can target them with the appropriate nutrition and supplementation.
- Know your blood pressure – it used to be thought that 100 + your age was the ideal BP. This is no longer accepted as appropriate. Blood pressure should be maintained at or below 130 / 80 and no more.
- Know your full lipogram details – just knowing your cholesterol is not enough. The optimum HDL, LDL and Triglyceride levels are crucial to ensuring ideal cardiovascular management.
- Know your homocysteine level – homocysteine is a recognized marker for cardiovascular risk, but more than that it gives us a good indication of liver function as well
- Know your inflammatory status. All of the chronic degenerative diseases have inflammation as an underlying state
- Know your insulin level – high blood insulin is a diagnostic marker for insulin resistance, a risk factor for many of the chronic degenerative diseases, as well as diabetes
- Know your Vitamin D status – Vitamin D deficiency is becoming more and more of a routine finding today, in spite of our sunny climate in S Africa. Vitamin D deficiency is well recognized as a risk factor for many of the chronic degenerative diseases
- Know your cortisol and DHEA levels. These are very good indicators of how badly your body is being affected by the ravages of stress
- Know your BMI (body mass index) – there is a direct correlation with increasing BMI and the chronic degenerative diseases
- Know your fat to lean (muscle weight) ratio. Again, as with all of the above numbers, an increasing fat weight vs lean weight ratio correlates directly with accelerated aging and ill health
Convert your diet from the typical SAD diet (that stands for the South Africa Diet) to the Mediterranean Diet
The Mediterranean diet simply says that EVERY plate of food should look like this:
The type of carbohydrate/starch is extremely important – complex, unrefined carbs are the rule, definitely not the exception. Avoid the refined, sugary types of carbohydrates as much a possible.
The type of protein is also important – plant protein (nuts, seeds, soya, legumes, pulses) first, then fish, then chicken and only small amounts of red meat.
When it comes to the veg and salad part – go for variation and as many different colours as you can fit on your plate.
You’ll note that dairy products are not mentioned and this is not by mistake. Reduce dairy to the bare minimum.
Manage your stress levels at all costs
Stress really is a killer. I don’t go along with this ‘there’s nothing I can do about my stress’ story. There is ALWAYS something that you can do about your stress. Even if it’s only changing the way you think about your stress – there is something you can do about it.
It may not always be easy, and more often than not, really managing your stress and making ‘healthy’ choices about managing your stress may well create an initial feeling of ‘dis – ease’, but think more long term.
Chronic stress is a serious contributor to accelerated aging and ill health.
At the end of the day, maintaining heath, as opposed to managing sickness, is really all about making healthy choices. It’s not rocket science, but it still amazes me how many people suffer needlessly from day to day, just because they refuse to ‘re-calibrate their mind set’!!
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