Aging should be something that is celebrated, not feared! Getting older means getting to know yourself better, so you can live your happiest life. But aging also comes with its fair share of aches and pain – sore muscles and joints, low energy levels, worsening memory, and to top it off, there is the pressure to look forever young. While there is no magical elixir of youth, there are some evidence-based, natural therapies that you can use to slow down the aging process. Read on to see my top 4 recommendations to prevent and treat the signs of aging, naturally and sustainably.
Tip 1: What can you eat to prevent aging?
The Mediterranean-DASH intervention for neurogenerative delay (aka the MIND diet) is a dietary pattern that’s been shown in the research to protect against cognitive decline (such as dementia) (PMID: 26086182). This dietary patten how been shown to prevent atherosclerosis in the brain (the build-up of plaque on the inside of our arteries that can lead to impaired brain function). It also protects against atherosclerosis all over the body that can lead to heart attacks and strokes.
My favourite part about the MIND diet is that it is a sustainable, long-term dietary pattern that is easy to follow, and isn’t restrictive. The MIND pattern focuses on adding 10 brain healthy foods to your diet, and the limiting your intake of 5 unhealthy foods (PMID: 26086182)
|Foods to include in the MIND diet||MIND diet foods to limit|
|Leafy greens (6+ servings/w)||Butter/margarine (>1TBSP/d)|
|Other vegetables (7+ servings/w)||Cheese (≥ once/w)|
|Berries (2+ servings/w)||Red meat (≥ 3 servings/w)|
|Nuts/seeds (5+ servings/w)||Fried foods (≥ 1 serving/w)|
|Olive oil (as your main cooking oil)||Pastries and sweets (≥ 4 servings/w)|
|Whole grains (3 servings/d)|
|Fish (1+ servings/w)|
|Beans/soy (4+ servings/w)|
|Poultry (2+ servings/w)|
|Red wine (no more than 1 glass/d)|
Tip 2: How can I feel younger in my body?
Exercise has many benefits, and keeping you feeling young is just one of them. Training your muscles and cardiovascular system on a regular basis improves your stamina and strength (so that you can keep up with your job, hobbies, kids, or grandkids). It also improves sleep quality, which adds to your overall energy levels.
Exercise is also an excellent treatment for osteoarthritis, a joint pain condition that is common with aging (PMID: 26405113). Movement increases production of synovial fluid – a liquid found in our joints that helps to cushion and lubricate them. There is no preferred type of exercise, my recommendation is to just do whatever you enjoy (so that you're more likely to do it on a regular basis).
Other benefits of exercising as we age include reducing your risk for diabetes and heart disease, improving bone density, improving balance and preventing falls, and improving mood and protecting against depression.
Tip 3: How can I slow the aging of my skin?
Even though I think our society's obsession with looking forever 20 years old is a bit over the top, I do understand the desire to want to preserve and present your best face. Which is where the next tip comes in, and that is protecting yourself from the sun. While there are many fancy cosmetic services you can have done to reverse wrinkles, ultimately wrinkles are a lot easier to prevent than they are to treat.
A majority of skin aging comes from sun damage – UV rays damage the elastic fibers that keep our skin firm (leading to wrinkles). UV rays can also damage our cell's DNA, i potentially causing skin cancer. The easiest way to protect yourself from this damage is to wear sunscreen daily (reapplying in the summer), or wear hats and long sleeves.
Tip 4: Is there a natural, injection-free way to treat wrinkles?
If you are unhappy with stubborn wrinkles, custom cosmetic acupuncture treatments (coming to the clinic soon) are a natural alternative to firm, lift, and tighten the skin.
Cosmetic acupuncture treatments consist of the insertion of tiny stainless steel needles in the face, which manipulates the collagen in your skin. This causes micro-damage to the skin, triggering the body's healing response and accelerating cell regeneration. The result is a plumping effect of the skin.
For more information on naturopathic medicine, or my approach, book in a free 15 min meet and greet.