She suggests that the five ageing accelerators are:
- Sluggish digestion
- Hormone imbalance
Signs of inflammation are digestive gas, bloating, loose stools, runny nose or eyes. As we age our natural inflammatory response - the response that helps us heal and fight off infection - can become overactive, leaving activated immune cells circulating in the body. Foods that can trigger inflammation are: red meat, sugar, white flour and some dairy products. The best anti-inflammatory suggested in the article is turmeric: "Aim for one teaspoon of dried turmeric or a thumb-sized piece of fresh root every day". But watch out as it can stain hands and clothes.
Oxidation is another process which accelerates ageing. Increasing the level of anti-oxidents which reduce the level of free radicals has been heavily emphasised over the past few years as a way to protect against cancer. There are indications that this may have been over-emphasised, but anti-oxidents are still important to robust health. Elizabeth Peyton-Jones suggests that the best antioxidant are red beans: kidney, pinto or aduki beans.
Hormone imbalances can have a dramatic effect on ageing including: weight gain, wrinkles, headaches, muscle weakness, fatigue, dry skin, thinning hair, brittle nails, cellulite, sagging skin, poor memory. The article suggests that key hormone balancers are: pumpkin seeds, asparagus, unrefined whole grains, nuts (especially brazil nuts) and the best of them all if garlic - aim to eat one clove a day.
Acidification is chronic acidity of the body and can lead to premature ageing. Acid producing foods include: red mean, coffee, cheese, cereal,and sugary drinks and snacks. Too much acid and the body pulls calcium and magnesium from bones, and iodine from soft tissue: this can lead to osteoporosis, fatigue and depression, weight gain and diabetes. But acid foods may not be acid forming, for example, citrus fruits are acidic, but have an alkalising effect on the body. Elizabeth Payton-Jones suggests that the best alkaliser is lemon and we should start our day with a drink of lemon juice in warm water - but use a straw, so acid doesn't harm tooth enamel.
And she suggests that the five most ageing foods are:
- Cow's milk
- Bad fats
No surprise there then!
Well, Reflexology might not make you younger, but I'd like to suggest that the gentle rebalancing and detox that seems to accompany a Reflexology treatment would be a perfect supplement to a nutritional approach to ageing well.
Vouchers are available, so why not treat your mother for Mother's Day!