Reset the ageing clock

Role Reversal Slow down, prioritise and take one step at a time to reverse ageing and bid adieu to what you do not deserve, writes Anupama Menon

Reverse ageing

Lord Indra, the king of Indian Gods, the one most mentioned in the stories of wars between the gods and demons, was said to have been immortal and retained his youth forever by drinking copious amounts of the drink soma, extracted from a plant, the whereabouts of which are lost in the pages of our secret mythological stories. The drink has even found its way into Wikipedia, just as the immortal jellyfish, Turritopsis dohrnii.

The interesting science of the jellyfish will leave your brain cells staggering as you wonder how nature can send a creature back to childhood just as it reproduces the next gen, thus, never having to open the doors to heaven or old age.

Whether a myth or a fact, the knowledge of reverse ageing is thought-provoking. It’s an elixir that doesn’t just glorify aesthetics but stimulates longevity through curbing inflammation and reducing the risk of degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinsons, autoimmune disorders, osteoporosis, diabetes and the like.

The consequence of maintaining the body at an alkaline state, free from inflammation, contributes to mental well-being, glorious hair and skin, and the most welcoming remark, “60? Don’t look a day older than 40!”

Master this art

To walk straight at 80 and not heave a sigh at 90 would be a dream come true for many! But what it takes besides purposeful intent is the will to close the doors on desirous foods and the determination to tactfully choose promising foods that can replenish your deficiencies and address your potential health risks.

Chronic inflammation ages you, slowly but surely, evading your eye the whole time, except when it is at its peak, bringing on consequences that affect your heart, your brain, your liver and more. That’s when you know and it strikes you like a bolt. But it has started digging in its tentacles making room for the roots of many potential diseases, four, five and sometimes even 10 years prior.

Signs of inflammation, coupled with genetic history, can nudge you in the right direction to assess your own health risks. Never ignore the signs. Constant headaches, tiredness, fatigue, brain fog, eczema or other recurrent skin problems, joint pain, redness on the skin are all undisputable red flags. Four blood markers that are persistent signs of inflammation are — insulin, homocysteine, ESR and CRP — make these a part of your routine medical checks.

Set the ball rolling

Minimise the use of sugar. Jaggery and honey are counterparts, but, consuming these in large amounts aren’t justified either. Excessive sugar can mess with your gut, your digestion and skin, so beware. Controlling sugar cravings is a habit, sometimes impossible only because there could be a hidden reason — rising insulin levels, lack of sleep and unregulated stress. Check, mark the boxes, and have them fixed.

Alcohol, especially for those with a genetic history of breast cancer, needs to be monitored. Not more than two to four servings a week is a rule that may be difficult for the socially active, but a safe and worthy one!

Smoking is a big no! Cigarette smoke is the number one external cause of cancer and oxidative stress. It has far-reaching effects on your immunity and can snare your health with chronic lung, vascular and oral diseases. And yet smoking with all its detrimental abilities to enrich the level of toxins in your body, is highly prevalent, sadly, in the urban socially-achieved sections of society as well as those below poverty line.

Lack of sleep & stress

Lack of sleep can be one of the most underrated and yet most significant contributors to ageing. Sleep debt is a real thing and making up for long hours of work by sacrificing sleep is the most inefficient practice. Stress hinders health, pushes you over the edge for adrenal stress, makes your hormones wage a war against each other and kills your brain cells in a breeze.

Vitamin D deficiency

This is common and needs to be treated “yesterday”. Research on Vitamin D is proliferating and the benefits and indispensability of the vitamin surfaces anew each day. It has a positive effect on the absorption of calcium and can help prevent degeneration of bones. Vit D sufficiency could help prevent cancers of the colon, prostrate and the breast. And Vit D is not enough at the reference range of 30ng/ml, it needs to be maintained much higher at 55ng/ml or more.

Exercise for happy hormones

Exercise your brain, your bones and your organs. Exercise helps in nurturing happy hormones — serotonin, dopamine and endorphins — creating a feeling of wellness and joy. Mental well-being is a strong musketeer for reversing ageing.

Healthy and regular sex promotes heart health and reduces the risk of strokes, improves mental and physical health, releases endorphins, and drastically reduces anxiety. A good sex life can add years to your life.

Diet to slow ageing

Cold pressed vegetable juices — for their enzymes & micronutrients.

Vit D supplementation.

Ashwagandha — for its magic of adaptability in regulating stress hormones like cortisol and DHEA.

Magnesium & Vit B6 — for its positive benefits on period health.

Amla shots — for its richness in Vit C and consequent antioxidant benefits.

Curcumin/Turmeric — for its anti-inflammatory & healing benefits.

Ceylon Cinnamon — for its benefits on regulating insulin.

Cloves — for its antioxidant nature and ability to scavenge free harmful radicals in the body. Show your back to cancer!

Lemon shots — for its alkaline boosting nature.

Beet Kvass, kimchi, yoghurt, sauerkraut, pickles — as probiotics and for their ability to keep the gut healthy! 

Ageing is a process that is accelerated in this day and age of inorganic farming, hormone-induced dairy, genetically modified crop, stress and an ‘ambition above all else’ attitude. Nothing is worth the unwanted accompaniments that a stress-induced poor lifestyle can bring in. 

(The author is a nutritionist
& food coach)

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