9 everyday habits to make you look and feel younger
Ageing is a natural process of growing older. Unfortunately, it can’t be stopped. However, it can be slowed down, preventing accelerated ageing from occurring.
The ageing process is heavily influenced by dietary and lifestyle factors, and the daily choices you make affects how your body ages.
Good nutrition is essential for healthy ageing. It boosts energy and vitality, supports memory and brain function, improves skin tone and appearance, and ultimately – how you look and feel.
Discover the secret to healthy ageing and 9 everyday habits and must-eat foods to make you look and feel younger. Find out how celebrities like Jennifer Anniston and J-Lo have never looked better in their late forties/fifties.
Dietary and lifestyle habits that accelerate ageing
There are a number of dietary and lifestyle habits that negatively impact health and accelerate ageing. These include:
- Processed food and junk food as they are loaded with sugar, damaged oils and an array of additives that trigger inflammation and damage cells. The toxins in junk food hinder the building of new cells and can speed up the ageing process.
- Poor water intake can contribute to unhealthy ageing. The body is made up of 70% water and cells need water to survive and thrive. Dehydration can cause premature cell death.
- Lack of exercise can impact immune function, muscle mass, weight, hormones and cardiovascular function. Exercise is known to be highly beneficial for keeping the body and mind healthy and young.
- Inadequate sleep leads to sleep deprivation which is known to accelerate the ageing process. Growth and cell repair happens when you’re asleep. If you don’t get sufficient sleep, this healing process is impacted which can lead to poor skin health, visible signs of ageing, lowered immune function and poor blood sugar regulation.
- Drinking coffee and alcohol, smoking and taking drugs are detrimental for health and are known ageing accelerators.
- Stress, having a negative outlook or lack of purpose can all contribute to ageing.
- Poor detoxification channels – if you’re not eliminating toxins efficiently, they will build up which is incredibly damaging to cells.
- Commercial skincare and personal care products are full of chemicals and harmful ingredients that can stress the skin and cause damage.
9 ways to slow down ageing
The secret to slowing down the ageing process and keeping your body (and mind) in tip-top condition is really very simple – it’s all about the choices you make in regards to the food you eat and the way you live your life. This includes mindset, sleep and positive daily practices. High-profile celebrities adopt these same 9 principles to help them stay in peak condition.
- Feed your body with a nutrient-rich diet – only healthy foods can create healthy cells. Eat organic meals consisting mainly of vegetables, fruit, good quality plant-based protein such as nuts, seeds and legumes (limit meat and fish intake) and healthy fats like avocado, flaxseed oils and olive oil. Learn more about the CNM Naturopathic Diet.
- Ditch sugar, sweeteners and table salt (only use sea salt or Himalayan salt) and don’t consume microwaved foods or drinks.
- Drink plenty of filtered water to keep cells hydrated and skin supple. This is how celebrities like Jennifer Anniston maintain healthy glowing skin – the actress claims to drink 3 litres of water daily including hot lemon water upon rising to support fluid balance. Avoid cordials, juices and soft drinks as they are loaded with sugar and additives.
- Move daily and do regular exercise to improve your strength and cognitive function, and prevent disease. Superstar Jennifer Lopez, 48, puts her amazing body down to working out for an hour at a time, four to five times per week. She does a mixture of cardio, plyometrics and strength training where she works on different body parts during each session. Learn how to exercise properly as you age.
- Get plenty of good quality sleep as it keeps you looking and feeling younger. Not sleeping enough can wreak havoc with your skin and contribute to skin-related conditions. Singer Christina Aguilera says sleeping a minimum of 8 hours per day makes all the difference to her skin tone and appearance. Sleep hygiene and having a sleep routine are key for promoting sleep.
- Manage stress by addressing the issues causing you stress and adopting relaxation techniques – breathing exercises, acupuncture and essential oils such as lavender and bergamot are great for alleviating stress and anxiety. Actress Gabrielle Union claims her absence of wrinkles at aged 44 is due to not allowing stress consume her and not running herself ragged by saying yes to everything. Continual stress is incredibly damaging for the body and decreases the body’s ability to function efficiently. Learn how to relieve stress naturally.
- Maintain a positive attitude and always aim to have a purpose and goal in life. Having a positive outlook has shown to contribute to healthier mental and physical outcomes, especially in older adults.
7 anti-ageing foods to eat everyday
- Organic cruciferous vegetables and leafy greens especially spinach, cauliflower, broccoli and parsley which provide a good source of minerals and antioxidants (a substance that protects cells), especially CoQ10 which helps with energy production in body cells, reduce heart disease risk and protects cells from damage. Other foods that provide CoQ10 are oranges, strawberries, grapefruit, apples, sesame seeds, pistachios, walnuts, sweet potato, oily fish and egg yolk.
- Sweet potatoes are high in vitamin C, vitamin E and beta-carotene – important nutrients for protecting cells from damage and carcinogenesis (the process where healthy cells transform into cancerous cells). These nutrients are also vital for skin health, particularly protecting the skin from sun damage which breaks down collagen (the protein responsible for skin elasticity).
- Avocados contain natural oils including omega fatty acids that nourish, hydrate and soften the skin. They provide a source of vitamin E and vitamin C – vitamins that double up as antioxidants to shield cells from damage.
- Coconut oil has antioxidant properties and contains medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) that have been linked to improving memory, promoting fat burning and reducing inflammation. When applied topically, coconut oil moisturises skin and hair, speeds up wound healing and helps relieve dermatitis.
- Turmeric contains plant compounds called curcuminoids that have powerful antioxidant activity. Turmeric is known to reduce inflammation in the body, promote liver detoxification, protect against free radicals and support cells to heal and repair.
- Reishi mushroom is known as the ‘mushroom of immortality’ due to its numerous health benefits. Reishi is fantastic for skin health and protecting against UV-induced damage to skin cells by reducing free radicals and inflammation. Reishi has also shown to increase longevity, boost immune function, reduce stress, promote sleep and exert an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant action, therefore protecting against disease.
- Matcha is powdered green tea leaves that can be added to smoothies or dissolved in hot water to make tea. It provides the same benefits as green tea but in a more concentrated form because the whole leaf is ingested. Matcha is high in chlorophyll (the pigment that makes plants green) and provides nutrients to alkalise the body, neutralise toxins, increase metabolism to assist with fat burning, boost cognition and energy, and reduce cellular damage and ageing.
Healthy Ageing Smoothie Recipe
Enjoy this nutrient-rich smoothie to supercharge our day. Ideally use organic produce.
- ½ cucumber
- 1 apple chopped
- 1 cup spinach
- 3 tbsp walnuts
- ½ inch piece ginger root grated
- 1 level tsp matcha powder
- 1 cup coconut water or filtered water
- 1 cup ice
Combine and blend until smooth.
Good nutrition for healthy ageing
Good nutrition and positive lifestyle practices are key for healthy ageing. Eating nutritious, organic food, minimising stress, exercising daily, sleeping well and adopting a positive attitude are fundamental for slowing down the ageing process and allowing the body to flourish.