Promoting Healthy Aging by Confronting AgeismThis article talks about different ways in which the changes associated with aging/old age can be counteracted.
Some of the factors that influence the aging of the body’s cells work from within. These are genetically determined properties, hormonal influences, and free radical production. Negative outside influences mainly damage the free radical damage. Smoking, sunlight, alcohol, intoxications, but also food can play a role in this. The energy management, the condition of the cell membranes and the immune system are vulnerable systems.
In order to slow down aging processes, it is important to optimize the cellular energy processes. Free radicals are created during incineration processes and energy production. These free radicals must be made harmless immediately by the so-called anti-oxidants that must also be included in the diet.
Thus, a restriction on the intake of calories will reduce the occurrence of aging processes. Eating a lot of fruit and vegetables is beneficial because these products contain a limited number of calories and relatively many antioxidants.A good intestinal flora is of great importance for the quality of our resistance and immunity. About ten percent of the food we consume is consumed by the intestinal flora. Moreover, a number of substances are produced to a lesser extent by the body at an advanced age than in the younger years. This applies, for example, to DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone), an adrenal cortex hormone that can inhibit aging processes and is a precursor to many other hormones. Also, production of glucosamine, a substance that increases the quality of the cartilage, choline, and of melatonin, the ‘sleep hormone’ decrease.Older people need fewer calories and therefore often eat less.
When less food is taken, fewer vitamins and minerals are also ingested. This often leads to shortages. The food that is prepared in the kitchens of homes and hospitals is often poor in vitamins and minerals, which aggravates the situation. Another factor that plays a role in aging is that the efficiency of digestion decreases because the stomach acid production decreases and the pancreas make fewer digestive enzymes. A good diet with the support of supplements is of great importance (Nelson, 2016).