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Our health can be negatively impacted in a variety of ways, but when it comes to treatment and prevention (living a longer life), the answer for many conditions is always a healthy, balanced diet. Clarissa Berry, Nutritionist for DIRTEA, thorazine used to treat schizophrenia explained: “A diet that supports healthy ageing, inside and out, should optimise nutrient intake to provide an abundance of nutrients for all bodily functions.”
She continued: “It should also contain plenty of antioxidants to slow the effects of ageing and fibre to support digestive and cardiovascular health. Lastly, there are several unique active compounds in natural herbs and supplements that provide additional support to brain, skin and cellular health.”
Clarissa listed six action tips to age well using your diet.
1. Eat sufficient protein
Protein provides the building blocks for all the body’s processes.
Clarissa said: “It provides amino acids that make up our hormones, enzymes, immune system and structural tissues. After the age of 40, muscle mass begins to decline, and loss of muscle mass is directly correlated with a decline in health and wellbeing later in life.
“Keep up your protein intake to maintain muscle mass by eating high-quality, grass-fed, organic meat, fish, eggs and dairy products, or soaked or sprouted beans and lentils and a variety of nuts and seeds, including a portion of protein with every meal. You can also try supplementing with collagen, which provides specific amino acids that support skin elasticity, bone health and gut integrity.”
2. Eat a diet rich in colourful, whole foods
Clarissa said: “Antioxidants are nutrients that protect both the skin and internal organs from the damaging effects of ageing.
“Foods rich in antioxidants include colourful fruits and vegetables, especially berries, pomegranate, apple and red onions, green tea, dark chocolate, cruciferous vegetables, beans and the king of all, DIRTEA’s Chaga mushroom extract powder (£39.99), which contains more antioxidants in 1tsp than 600 blueberries! I also like turmeric and other spices for their antioxidants and other protective compounds.”
3. Focus on nutrients for skin health
Clarissa advised: “We all want to age gracefully on the outside as well as the inside. Nutrients that particularly help to promote healthy, glowing skin include vitamins A, C and E, biotin, zinc, selenium, omega 3 fats and collagen. Colourful fruits, peppers and tomatoes are rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, while vitamin E is best obtained from nuts, seeds, avocados and olive oil. The best sources of vitamin A and beautifying amino acids are animal foods, such as organic dairy products, pasture-raised eggs, grass-fed meats, organ meats and bone broth.
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“Egg yolks are also rich in biotin, as are certain nuts and seeds, mushrooms, sweet potatoes and liver. Fatty fish like wild salmon and mackerel are the most optimal sources of omega 3 fats, while oysters are the richest source of zinc. Without overthinking it, try to incorporate a variety of plant and animal foods daily and aim for a broad diversity of foods and nutrients throughout the week.”
4. Balance your blood sugar
Carbohydrates, including bread, pasta, potatoes, fruit and sweets, break down into sugar in the digestive system, which swiftly enters the blood.
Clarissa said: “Eating too much sugar or carbohydrates at one time causes the blood sugar to spike, which temporarily boosts your energy levels but is soon followed by a crash. This up-and-down of blood sugar wreaks havoc with your energy levels and hormones: blood sugar dysregulation is linked to metabolic, cardiovascular, neurological and hormonal disorders.
“Eating too much refined sugar can also damage both digestive and skin health. Aim to reduce overall sugar consumption and balance carbohydrates in meals with sources of protein, fat and fibre, which help to slow the release of sugar into the blood.”
5. Hydrate properly
Your skin, brain and internal organs all require sufficient hydration to function properly.
Clarissa said: “It’s important to drink plenty of pure water throughout the day, and it’s also crucial to make sure that you’re getting enough electrolytes to help your body retain that water. Electrolytes include minerals like sodium, potassium, magnesium and chloride. Try adding a pinch of sea salt to your water or electrolyte drops and feel the difference in your energy levels, skin and brain function.”
6. Try a beauty supplement for skin health
Clarissa said: “One supplement that I take daily is DIRTEA’s Tremella mushroom extract powder (£49.99), which has been used for centuries for its beauty-enhancing properties. Tremella contains unique compounds that have been shown to behave similarly to hyaluronic acid. These compounds enhance skin hydration and promote collagen production, while other compounds in tremella reduce inflammation, regulate blood sugar, support digestive health and boost immunity.
“Tremella also supports brain health and longevity, so I consider it to be an excellent supplement for healthy ageing across the board.”
7. Get plenty of natural sunlight
The sun is a huge source of energy and nutrients for our bodies.
Clarissa said: “Sunlight entering our eyes helps the body determine our circadian rhythm, affecting sleep quality, energy levels and digestion. It’s recommended to spend 10-30 minutes outside viewing sunlight (not looking directly at the sun) each morning and evening to set our circadian rhythm.
“Sunlight on the skin is also important, particularly in the middle of the day, which is when the skin can make vitamin D in the presence of sunlight.
“Vitamin D is crucial for immunity, bone and muscle health, brain function and longevity, so the more time you can spend outside the better, while always avoiding getting sunburned.”
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