Why humans age (2) by Prof. Oladapo Ashiru
Factors that accelerate aging include but are not limited to:
- Nutrition: It is commonly said that you are what you eat. The need to carefully consider the types of food to be consumed cannot be over-emphasised. Certain food items encourage premature aging. Refined sugar, as well as wheat/flour-based products like bread, muffins and other pastries, can raise the blood sugar unnecessarily and provide nutrients for undesirable pathogens in the body. Trans fats that are found in many processed foods clog the arteries, stiffen blood vessels and age the skin. Trans fats also raise “bad” cholesterol and lower “good” cholesterol levels, which makes it more likely that consumers will get heart disease. Various corn-based sweeteners used in place of sugar, such as high fructose corn syrup have been known to hasten the aging process.
Eating habits: Bad eating habits can promote aging. The consumption of foods that are incompatible with our bodies age the organ systems faster as they are problematic for the body to process. For instance, when a person who is lactose, gluten or fructose-intolerant lives on a diet that is dairy, gluten and/or fructose-rich, they are likely to age faster than someone else who consumes same but is tolerant to these classes of food. Also, it is important that one only supplies the body with as much as it can metabolise per time. Eating, especially for the older population, should be a matter of expediency and not merely for the sake of eatingpleasure in itself. Overeating leads to mal-digestion. This gives room for fermentation (a process by which alcohol is being produced in the digestive tract) and putrefaction. This is a process known as intestinal Auto-Intoxification, a cascade that leads to the body poisoning itself. The alcohol produced includes ethanol, methanol, and buthanol all of which act to undermine one’s health and encourage premature aging and ugliness. Dinner should be the lightest meal of the day. It is said that one should eat breakfast like a king, share lunch with friends and eat dinner like a pauper. This sound tenet to guide on proper eating. Properly chewing food before swallowing is another important point to note.
Constipation: Improper and irregular bowel movement means that waste product meant for excretion are kept within the intestinal tract for much longer than necessary. Not only does the added volume increase abdominal girth over time, a lot of chemical processes occasioned by the action of intestinal bacteria then ensue within the system. When this vicious cycle becomes habitual, the body ages much faster and an absence of general well-being will facilitate low mood and physical ugliness.
Toxins in diet: A lot of times as individuals, we swallow poison unknowing to us. We find toxins in some of our meals. For instance, heavy metals like Mercury can be found in seafood, particularly the big fishes and stockfish used in many Nigerian homes. Arsenic can contaminate rice, which is a common staple food in Nigeria. These toxins accumulate in our bodies, causing oxidative stress to the organs and eventually predisposing to illness and acceleration of the aging process.
Environmental Toxins: Another important source of toxins in the body is from the environment. Continual pollution of the air we breathe, the soil we plant our crops, the water we drink as a result of widespread industrialisation, slowly damages health and cuts down life expectancy. Examples of common toxins that we encounter daily are lead, in paints, phthalate in our plastic containers, asbestos in roofing sheets, antimony in the linings of brakes used in cars, etc.
Cosmetics: The skin is the largest organ of the body. It can absorb drugs, chemicals, and radiation into the body over a wide surface area. Care must be taken while applying any form of product on the skin, as they may not only damage cells in place to protect you from radiation, but the skin can absorb these chemicals. These chemicals, in turn, can damage the kidneys, liver and predispose to various form of illness. Unfortunately, a lot of cosmetics are laden with heavy metals and harmful chemicals like steroids. For instance, we have lead-containing lipsticks and eyeliners, which women unknowingly apply on their skin. A lot of women also run into problems with cosmetic toxins in an effort to bleach or lighten their skins
Preventive strategy to aging
It is natural for the body to age, but the rate at which this natural process occurs can be slowed down and managed, based on the choices we make and how determined we are about maintaining great health. It is possible, indeed, for age to be “just a number”. Your face and body do not necessarily have to reflect the age on your birth certificate.
To ensure a graceful, natural aging process, we must pay deliberate attention to the care of our bodies by:
Proper nutrition: Nourish the body with the right kind of nutrients by eating foods that contain antioxidants, such as vegetables to slow the aging process. Other foods can slow aging by boosting our immune system and cleansing the body of toxic substances. It is important to be aware of individual food sensitivity and intolerances, such that one may avoid food items that are not complementary to one’s health, no matter how pleasant one finds them.
- Improve your eating habits by ensuring you chew your food slowly before swallowing. Avoid eating in excess and eat only what is necessary. Avoid snacking between meals
- Ensure free and regular bowel movement
- Participate in a regular, medically-supervise Mayr detoxification programme yearly: Detoxification is the physiological and medical removal of toxic substances from a living organism including the human body, a function mainly carried out by the liver. A medically-supervised Mayr-type detoxification program enhances the body’s natural cleansing process by resting the body through a cleansing diet, stimulating the liver to eliminate toxins from the body more efficiently, and promoting the elimination of waste and toxic products through the intestines, kidneys, and skin. Undergoing such programme helps to slow down the aging process. Mayr detoxification program is available at Mart-Life Detox Clinic.
- Regular checkup: Visit the doctors to examine your eyes, Prostate( for males > 40yrs), Breast for women, Blood sugar, Blood pressure
- Annual Check at the Anniversary of your Birthday
- Visit a doctor with any observed changes in any parts of the body, don’t delay health checks
- Nutritional supplements such as calcium, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Selenium, glutathione.