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Mark & I have done several talks in the last few weeks to the Baby Boomers - 55 years and over - on "Aging Gracefully" I have always been fascinated at how some people age gracefully and others don't, so I am listing the things that appear to contribute to graceful aging naturally.
I find the areas of the body that trouble people most as they get older (and many who are younger) are:
1. The Bowels
2. The Bladder
3. The Brain
4. The Bones
When you focus on living a life that helps each of these systems work optimally you will find that all the other areas that age noticeably, such as your skin, muscles, weight and energy improve dramatically.
1. The Bowels -
Foods that improve bowel function are those containing water soluble fibre (the gentle soothing fibre) and this is found particularly in fresh ripe fruit. I encourage every one to add at least 3 portions of fresh fruit daily to their diet and they may do this by adding fruit to smoothies and or just eating them as they are.
Recently I had a woman who is type 1 diabetes, tell me she could not eat fruit or any fruit juices. So I made her a smoothie with frozen - you can use fresh and just add extra ice - mango and strawberries, organic apple juice, a scoop of Propeas. Her blood sugar was 7.6 before she had the smoothie, within 15 minutes it was down to 7.2 and after an hour it was down to 5.4 - she could not believe what she was seeing and became almost tearful because she had been avoiding fruit for years and so badly wanted to eat it. Remember, fresh fruit contains the right fibre, sugar and nutrients to regulate blood sugar - and I have seen this in every diabetic we test. I do insist that they add the Propeas and or eat a handful of nuts or seeds as the plant protein also helps regulate blood sugar.
Natural fats found in plant foods are essential for bowel function so make sure you have 1 portion of either one or the other of the following - Avocado, olives, raw nuts or seeds. Over and above that have 1 portion of flax oil (and the best I have ever used is Aimega from The Aim Companies) We take 2-4 a day.
Don't over do the fats as too much of even good fat has now been shown to reduce the energy production centers in the cells (mitochondria) and this will slow down the metabolism causing weight gain. Cooking in fat - any fat - even organic coconut oil is too much fat - so try not to add fat to food or cook in it.
Legumes like lentils, beans and chickpeas also contain very valuable fibre that helps digestive tract movement, stabilizes blood sugar and lower cholesterol levels. It may take your digestive tract a few weeks to adjust to the fibre in these foods so add small quantities to start with and then add as your comfort improves.
2. The Bladder -
Foods that improve bladder function are whole plant foods and ideally your diet should contain at least 75% fresh, raw fruit and vegetables. Green leafy vegetables in particularly are extremely alkaline and contribute to a healthy bladder. Make sure to include the most nutritious of all green plants - barley grass juice (we use BarleyLife and find the nutritional profile still the best of all other green juices)
Plants that help bladder function, Slippery elm and Shave grass or horsetail grass and our found in Composure - a combination of natural plants and herbs from the same company that makes BarleyLife and also contains Irish Moss , which strengths and thickens the skin in older people, making fine lines and wrinkles appear a LOT less. Irish Moss also helps regulate body weight and will contribute to getting rid of that spare tire around the waist.
Composure also helps improve sleep, keep you calm and your mind clear and focused.
Foods that contribute to bladder problems are ; - animal protein - limit this to not more than 3 times a week and never bigger than the size of the palm of your hand. Remember you don't need to eat flesh to make human flesh and that all plant foods contains protein in varying amounts. Nuts and seeds can contain more than animal flesh - up to 30% and if you feel you need extra protein in a supplement - Propeas contains 70% complete protein from peas with a great vanilla flavor.
3. The Brain -
Foods that help the brain function optimally are fresh fruit, nuts, seeds, vegetables, grains and legumes. All these foods contain the right fibre and nutrients that help the body regulate blood sugar and regulated blood sugar is essential for optimal brain function.
The right plant fats are needed to transport cholesterol from the liver, where it is made to the brain for optimum brain health. Cholesterol lowering drugs can cause memory loss and brain issues as the brain requires large quantities of cholesterol, but without natural plant fats, especially omega 3's found in flax oil (Aimega I find best) the cholesterol cannot be transported to the brain where it is needed and to several other places like the skin, where it is converted into Vitamin D , which is needed for healthy strong bones.which gets me to the next issue
Then you need to have a sense of purpose - Rabbi Jonathan Sacks (Now been knighted for his work in the UK) believes that we have been created for the very specific purpose of healing and helping the the people in world, known as "Tikun Olam". I have seen that people that are focused on helping others rather than focusing on their own needs are younger in mind, body and soul and a lot nicer to be with as they seldom complain!
Start by healing yourself with a healthy diet and lifestyle and then you will find it easier to help others get well. Our mission is to get the whole world well.
4. Healthy Bones -
Bones stay healthy when your diet is 75%-80% alkaline forming (which means that much of your diet should be fresh fruit and vegetables) and the www.100daystohealth.com free online program will help you do just that in 3 months. Bones need natural light on the skin to make the essential Vit D you need, but wont do this efficiently if you take cholesterol lowering meds. Sunlight on the skin lowers cholesterol natural as long as you take flax oil daily.
Bones also need at least 20-30 minutes of outdoor exercise daily - as muscles pull on the bones, so they become stronger. Bones need natural minerals including calcium in the right ratio and barley grass juice has the best calcium to phosphorous ratio - another reason we take BarleyLife daily.
So to age gracefully we suggest that you
1. Eat 75%-80% fresh fruit and veggies
2. Exercise outdoors daily for 20-30 minutes making sure you get
natural light on the skin
3. Get well so you can help get the whole world well..
Mark & Mary-Ann