Smorgasbord – Something to think About – The R’s of Life – Survival in the Modern World – Rejuvenation!


This week a word that has now become a addictive drive to overcome the relentless march of time

Rejuvenation: The desire to recapture the vigour, appearance and lifestyle of youth.

Never before in our history has there been such a drive, and even addiction, to reclaiming all the attributes of youth, from spending massive amounts of money on non-invasive procedures to undertaking serious cosmetic surgeries. We are surrounded by images of those who according to the media are the epitome of beauty and it is not just the more mature who are being influenced.  The young who are still in their prime are being told that they are not attractive enough and lured into enhancing their faces and bodies. With long lasting consequences.

Pixabay.com Barbara Stanwyck 1907 – 1990

The press and the movie industry have a long history of promoting and celebrating the young and the beautiful, and so many of those who were approaching their 30s and 40s were encouraged by their studios or sponsors to maintain that image of youthfulness by going under the knife. Even the stunning Sophia Loren recalls being pressurised to have cosmetic surgery as a young star to adjust her nose to suit the alleged standards of beauty of the day: Sydney Morning Herald

Current publicity photographs of some of the more mature stars, clearly show the after effects of surgery, and that attitudes towards aging is still the same in Hollywood today.

They have it all don’t they? Fame, wealth, good looks, red carpet junkets, jewellery and designers falling over themselves to dress them and be showcased. Large houses with fabulous pools and people to do everything for them as they swan about in their magnificent luxury cars.

But all that comes with a price. That constant drive to stay young, bankable and in the public eye is responsible for broken marriages, displaced children, addiction, suicide and a private life that is a myth. Especially when the vultures within the paparazzi have your life on speed dial.

Imagine living in a fish bowl?

Even those who are wannabe famous, and who litter the headlines in their attempts to establish themselves, have fractured private lives that belie the external and often enhanced beauty they crave. Those who cannot afford to pay for licensed cosmetic surgery head off to even less regulated countries for cheaper procedures that lead to dangerous health complications. All so that they can whip their tops off and show their new and plastic cleavage to what they hope will be an adoring public.

Apart from high profile stories of celebrities who have had surgery to repair botched procedures, thousands of non-celebrities have become cosmetic surgery tourists in search of the star treatment at a cheap rate. Many have paid the full price as far as their health is concerned when they return home and have to undergo further surgeries to correct the damage.

The message that we are sending our young is that aging is toxic, that we all end up unattractive, on the heap and have no life after the first few wrinkles have etched themselves into our faces.

Above all else, having seen the results of plastic surgery that follows on from multiple procedures, I also have to call into question the ethical nature of some of these cosmetic surgeons who keep taking the money, despite the risks to the patients from the physical and mental consequences.

And I am not immune to the clarion call of the cosmetic industry that promises that a newly found ingredient will either smooth, eradicate or blur the signs of age on face and body. To be honest I have a couple of products that don’t do a half bad job unless I put my reading glasses on.

And we cannot blame this culture on the modern world, as women in particular have been looking for the elixir of youth from the moment they first saw their reflection in a still pond of water! In days when your existence relied on being considered attractive and desirable was not just preferable but essential, anything that enhanced your look was considered, whatever the side-effects.

The ancient Egyptians had some pretty nifty concoctions they added to the daily beauty regime. These included copper, lead and kohl for their eyes made from soot, fat and any scrap metal that was hanging around, including antimony and lead. One of the important factors that these early seekers of youth did not taken into account, is that skin is porous, and allows elements in and out. Absorb enough antimony and you are facing serious physical and mental health issues. This stuff is used industrially in a number of processes including fire retardation of cloth used in cars and in safety equipment, and in batteries.

The symptoms of antimony are numerous and include respiratory and gastrointestinal problems, skin complaints, confusion and certain compounds can cause cancer.

Over the centuries other metals that have serious side effects have been introduced to potions to whiten skin, improve texture and add fullness to lips, including lead in lipstick, mercury in mascara and arsenic in face powder.

The ancient Greeks and Romans swore blind that ‘lead’ in creams and powders was the key to youth, and it was also added to rouge and to hair colour. That fascination with this deadly metal continued well into the 18th and 19th centuries and when you look at the list of side-effects it is no wonder that certain civilisations disappeared and that mad-houses were full: The Mayo Clinic

Lead poisoning occurs when lead builds up in the body, often over months or years. Even small amounts of lead can cause serious health problems. Children younger than 6 years are especially vulnerable to lead poisoning, which can severely affect mental and physical development. At very high levels, lead poisoning can be fatal.

Lead-based paint and lead-contaminated dust in older buildings are the most common sources of lead poisoning in children. Other sources include contaminated air, water and soil. Adults who work with batteries, do home renovations or work in auto repair shops also might be exposed to lead.

  • High blood pressure
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Difficulties with memory or concentration
  • Headache
  • Abdominal pain
  • Mood disorders
  • Reduced sperm count and abnormal sperm
  • Miscarriage, stillbirth or premature birth in pregnant women

Whilst the cosmetic industry has become more regulated, it is not necessarily completely safe. Red lipstick has had a rocky ride even as recently as 2007 when a percentage of those tested under laboratory conditions were found to contain what was considered to be dangerous levels of lead. And if you think mercury is no longer in the products we buy, it is still used as a preservative.

The FDA has taken pains to reassure those of us who use substantial amounts of eye makeup on a daily basis. Cosmetics Info

There is no basis for concern by the consumer for the presence of mercury in cosmetic and personal care products purchased in the United States that comply with FDA regulations. The FDA limit of 1 part-per-million of mercury allowed in most cosmetics does not present a risk to health. The trace level of mercury that FDA allows for use some eye care preparations is too small to be of concern for health reasons but is sufficient to prevent bacterial contamination of the eye care product and serious eye infections in the users of the eye care product.

This does call for another type of clarion call – don’t just check food labels for ingredients but also cosmetics and toiletries as they both enter the body too..

Apart from the toxicity of metals in cosmetics, more and more in our modern age our drive to regain our youth has resulted in us going under the knife.

There is a temptation to absorb the marketing by cosmetic clinics in women’s magazines, and go for a little enhancement beyond the use of the magic potions we can buy over the counter (the ones without the metal elements). This however does not include the latest trend on the high street, in health and beauty salons, pharmacies and even dental surgeries; Botox and fillers in your lunch hour!

And we women are one of the driving forces behind this booming industry with estimated sales of $445 billion annually. Forbes

It’s never been a better time to be a beauty entrepreneur. Forbes estimates that there are at least 40 prominent beauty startups today founded by women, making the $445 billion (sales) industry one of the most prevalent places for women to self-start their way to big-time success.

Cosmetic Surgery.

Firstly, I do admire the cosmetic surgeons who originally developed their skills to repair the damage done to face and body in war time or accidents. My hero as a teenager and considering a career in nursing was Sir Archie Mcindoe. I read his biography and was hooked. His pioneering work on repairing the damage caused by fire to young pilots was inspirational.

There is no doubt that there are cosmetic surgeons who continue that pioneering work with patients who have suffered life changing damage to their faces and bodies, but there are also those who I feel are breaking one of the fundamental obligations of a doctor. ‘Do no harm’

We have all seen the photographs of those who have taken this obsession with youth too far. Smooth, immovable, characterless faces, puffy lips that now have their own label of ‘trout lips’, and eyes that are so distorted as to result in the label ‘Cat face’.  In this article by Sugar Surgery

Catwoman Plastic Surgery

Catwoman Plastic Surgery is an extreme case of Plastic Surgery gone Wrong. If we talk about an extreme woman, some people will guess we are talking about Jocelyn Wildenstein. She is a very famous woman for her unique and extreme changes. She has changed her appearance into a cat. No wonder she is also known as a the catwoman. Based on a story, the 70-year-old woman decided to change her look because she loved her husband and her husband loved a big cat. She wanted to look like the big cat her husband loves.

Jocelyn Wilderstein had a different obsession, but the result is one that is becoming more and more common and not in the case of women but also men, particularly those in the celluloid industry of Hollywood.

Not surprisingly you would imagine that you would find the most plastic surgeons in Los Angeles, and that was probably the case in the 20th century, but you may be surprised to know that the largest concentration of these particular surgeons is in Miami…Cosmetic Town..Which is where of course you have such a high concentration of…… retirees....

This is where I have a problem with a cosmetic surgery industry that’s sole focus is to prey on the obsession of us all to recapture our youth. USA Today

An American Society of Plastic Surgeons report found Americans spent more than $16 billion on cosmetic plastic surgeries and minimally invasive procedures in 2016, the most the U.S. has ever spent on such operations.

That is just in the United States.. in the UK it is estimated that there are over 1 million procedures each year and growing… However, there are concerns that this is under reported due to the lack of regulation on non-invasive cosmetic procedures, such as botox and fillers by unlicensed operators.

“We’ve got, largely, an unregulated industry that’s exploiting people including children, by promoting often untested and unproven products and procedures. We need better regulation of the quality and safety of these procedures, the people who carry them out, and where they are carried out.” – Jeanette Edwards, Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Manchester, who chaired the enquiry. Royds Withy King

Invasive cosmetic surgery – The Risks.

Every surgery has risks, and they should always be considered when contemplating a procedure which is cosmetic rather than life saving. – Healthline

  1. Hematoma – a pocket of blood that forms after surgery and most common complication after a facelift and may require further operations
  2. Infection that will require anti-biotics and if not treated could be serious and require the removal of implants.
  3. Loss of sensation due to nerve damage, particularly following breast augmentation
  4. Blood Clots
  5. Scarring
  6. Complications due to anaesthesia.
  7. Organ damage during liposuction
  8. Blood Loss

You might well be asking where I am going with all this….

    1. It is no good recapturing your youth on the outside if you neglect the aging process of your body on the inside.
    2. Heart disease is responsible for the most deaths worldwide for both men and women of all races. Healthline
      As of 2016, 28.2 million U.S. adults were diagnosed with heart disease. In 2015, nearly 634,000 people died of heart disease, making it the leading cause of death.According to the American Heart Association, approximately every 40 seconds an American will have a heart attack. The estimated annual incidence of heart attacks in the United States is 720,000 new attacks and 335,000 recurrent attacks.
    3. An estimated 33.9% of U.S. adults aged 18 years or older (84.1 million people) had prediabetes in 2015, based on their fasting glucose or A1C level. Nearly half (48.3%) of adults aged 65 years or older had prediabetes: CDC ( Pre-diabetes can be reversed by diet and lifestyle changes)
    4. About 100 million individuals in the United States are estimated to have nonalcoholic fatty liver disease: Liver Foundation Fatty liver disease is a result of obesity, transfats, too many sugars and lifestyle and as with pre-diabetes can be reversed – less alcohol, much less refined sugars, fewer refined carbohydrates, increased vegetables, some fruit, lean protein and good fats
    5. We are more than our bodies and looks. We have a brain which is allegedly the most advanced intelligence in nature (that is debateable). With age and experience, and before our modern lifestyles catch up with us (just kidding), we become wiser and therefore have a great deal still to offer society.
    6. We can still look amazing even with a few wrinkles, silver hair and a little more weight than when we were in our 20s and 30s.
    7. We can regenerate most of our organs and new research has identified that even the brain can do so as well. There is nothing more attractive than a quick mind and a spirited conversation.
    8. Remaining young is about our attitude, energy levels, ability to laugh, make people feel good about themselves and to inspire the younger generation. We need to make them feel valued in this shallow modern world of ours and to see their strengths not their weaknesses.
    9. We need to consider just how far we would go to hang on to our own youthful appearance and what message it sends to our children and grandchildren about what is important in this world. Making them afraid of a few wrinkles that are a badge of honour is doing them a disservice.

Thanks for dropping in today and as always your feedback is very welcome.. Sally.

 

Smorgasbord Health Column – Turning Back the Clock – Chapter Four – The Immune System


Over the next few weeks I am going to be sharing my book on anti-aging.. Turning Back the Clock. Some of the strategies have been included in other posts on the various areas of health that can accelerate the natural aging process, but in this book I bring them all together. Some of you may have already followed the series that I posts in February 2016, but I hope enough time has passed for you to find it worth another look.

This is a natural anti-aging programme. We all age but many of us are assisting the process with diet and lifestyle choices. This book takes a look at the physical, mental and emotional aspects of aging and how a little attitude adjustment goes a long way!

Chapter Four – The Key to Health and Anti-Aging is a powerful Immune System.

Over the last three chapters I have looked at the main contributory factors associated with aging. In this chapter I am going to explore the necessity of having a functioning and thriving Immune System and how we can eat food to achieve that.

Why is the Immune System so important in preventing premature aging?

In a nutshell, if your immune system is not functioning well your entire body, including the tissues, organs and systems suffer damage and cannot repair themselves. Additionally, you are wide open to bacterial, viral and toxic invaders who are looking for a nesting site. You have what they need to reproduce and thrive, but they need to make some adjustments when they arrive. They like a lovely acidic, toxic, waste filled environment without too much oxygen. They are particularly fond of a new home that does not have troublesome neighbours such as anti-oxidants and they prefer a quiet life without too much exercise so that they get on and breed. They are a “class act” and make sure that they give you something back in the form of rent. Frequent Colds and Flu, Thrush, skin complaints, fatigue and stomach problems. If you are a really up-market landlord and are offering premium accommodation they will pay you back with Arthritis, Rheumatism, Osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s and Cancer.

Not the sort of tenants one is looking for then?

No they definitely are not. The trouble is, of course, that most of them are squatters and should not be there in the first place. Most of us are very careless about our property and leave the back door and sometimes the front door wide open.

So how does a properly functioning Immune System protect us?

The immune system is not just about our internal defences. It actually has a pretty formidable array of physical barriers that are designed to keep pathogens, which are all harmful substances out of our bodies.

The skin is our main external protector. If it is not damaged it will not allow harmful toxins to enter the bloodstream. The problem is that of course it is porous and is designed to allow fluids in and out through the pores. So, any substance that touches your skin, such as chemical preparations can pass right through. For example; if you use strong household cleaners these contain highly toxic substances that will pass through the dermal layer and store in the tissues causing anything from a mild rash to a violent allergic reaction. This is why you must wear gloves when using them. Many of us react to perfume, cosmetics or even simple hand-creams that our body obviously thinks of as toxic.

If you cut yourself-then germs can pass through directly to the bloodstream and from there they have complete access to the rest of your body.

We have special hairs and mucus tissues in our nose, mouth and throat that are designed to catch anything harmful.

If toxins get as far as our stomachs, then acid and enzymes will react and cause you to get rid of the problem. Our lungs too have a very sophisticated defence system that will make you cough it up.

Should any harmful bacteria, virus or toxin get past these barriers then we have a very complex system of cells and antibodies that will rush to our defence.

The liver is of course the place where most of these toxins are going to pass through, and it has specific enzymes designed to destroy them so that they can then be evicted from the body.

What are the effects of Free-Radicals on how quickly we age?

If you cut an apple and effectively damage it, within a few minutes it will begin to turn brown. If you leave it long enough the tissue of the apple will begin to break down and you will end up with a liquid, bacteria covered, and unidentifiable lump on your cutting board.

That just about sums up what free-radical damage does to your body. Just to get a little more technical for a few seconds. We bandy about the phrase “Free-Radicals” as if they are some dissident political group or schoolyard bullies. Like most bullies they are missing something and want yours.

In this case a free-radical is a molecule. A normal molecule has an even number of electrons and is considered stable. Free-radicals on the other hand have an uneven number of electrons and are unstable. They are desperate to be like the normal molecules so they have to steal from them to get another electron. This of course means that they have created another free-radical. More and more cells become damaged and leave the body open to most diseases from cardiovascular to cancer.

Like the apple, the damage is a kind of oxidation, which is the action of adding oxygen to a substance (essentially the same as rusting!)

Aren’t some Free-radicals important for the body?

Ironically, yes. The immune system uses some free-radicals to go and steal an electron from harmful molecules that have entered the system illegally. Problem is, like everything else in the body, we need balances and checks. The Free-Radical police are anti-oxidants and if you have not got enough of them then the free-radicals become vigilantes and go after everything that moves.

Also, we create free-radicals when we exercise energetically and take in additional oxygen. These then assist with the metabolism of foods that enter the body. Again if the balance between these and anti-oxidants is not correct more free-radicals are created than are needed.

What particular part do Free-radicals play in aging?

The free-radicals cause cells to oxidise and die. The major damage is done to our DNA, which results in mutations and death of the cells. Our body does produce anti-oxidants and enzymes that can repair this damage if we eat healthily. However, as we get older so do our cells and it becomes harder to repair them and they die. This is aging! These cells that are dying are in our skin, tissues and organs such as the heart, brain and liver and every system that keeps us alive.

What other area of the Immune System is important to help with anti-aging?

We have a number of safety regulators in the body that are designed to deal with intruders, and if their health is not maintained we become very much more susceptible to disease.

Apart from our bloodstream we have another network throughout our bodies, which is called the Lymphatic system. This system runs throughout the body, and is a little like a railway network with stations along the route, which are called glands. You will often hear people say that their glands are up!

The main ones are the Lymph Nodes in your neck, under your armpits and in your groin. The lymph fluid, which is called plasma, travels along the network, reaches one of the stations and drops off any harmful bacteria in the node. The lymph system contains a number of cells that sound like something out of James Bond movies: B-cells, Killer T-cells, Helper T–Cells, Macrophages and Lymphocytes and these and all other blood cells are produced in our bone marrow; which we hear a great deal about in relation to transplants.

All these cells have specific roles to play but for example the lovely macrophages swallow bacteria and kill them.

When it comes to aging, I think we all know how it feels to be drained of energy, getting continual infections, suffering the pain of degenerative diseases like arthritis. These in themselves make us feel old. But of course all these infections are adding enormous stress and strain to the body and are damaging the tissues in our body at the same time. Although our body is programmed to regenerate over our lifetime, each cell only has a number of times that it can regenerate. If you wear out that system of regeneration when you are too young you are going to age.

In addition, when our body is stressed on a continuous basis, our glands will secrete hormones to counteract the inflammation and adrenaline to enable us to cope. This wears out the organs and they suffer damage and disease.

Where do we start when building up our Immune System?

The first place that we need to start is by gently detoxing our bodies of the accumulated waste. For anyone that has been eating more fruit and vegetables, cutting down on the processed sugary and high fat foods and drinking more natural fluids such as water, that process has already begun. Hopefully problem foods like stimulants and alcohol have been reduced so there are fewer toxins entering the body. The anti-oxidants in the diet are boosting the immune system and you should be achieving a much healthier balance.

In addition to a daily diet of fresh unprocessed foods, particularly vegetables you need to take in foods that will absorb toxins and move them through the body efficiently.

For example I recommend that all my clients start the day by having some fresh lemon juice in hot water – this is excellent for your liver to help it detox. If you add a teaspoon of honey that will help your intestines too. Have a glass of carrot juice mixed with unsweetened apple juice a day will support the detox function of your liver and bile ducts. Also a medium glass of cranberry juice can help keep your urinary tract and therefore your kidneys free of infection.

You should be eating brown rice regularly and certainly a large tablespoon every day is excellent for keeping waste moving through your system as it should. There is a plan for a gentle detox at the end of the book which is easy on the body but effective in getting rid of unwanted visitors.

Is it ever too late to start this?

The really good news is that if you are not already dead you can do something about it. Sounds awful, but even if you are already in your 70’s and 80’s you still have trillions of cells left that can be nourished and repaired and still have reproductive life in them. The real key for managing the aging process is to stop the damage right now.

You can start by embracing the healthy eating plan you will find later on in the book, which is packed full of wonderful anti-oxidants. The main anti-oxidants are Vitamins A, C, E and Beta-carotene, which is the precursor of Vitamin A. There is also Selenium, Zinc and Bioflavonoids. The more brightly coloured fruits and vegetables you consume the more anti-oxidants will be available to your immune system to fight the damage caused by free-radicals.

You should also drink plenty of fluids including water to flush any toxins out of your system and other fluids such as green tea, which are full of anti-oxidants.

You will also be eating a high percentage of your foods unprocessed and from plant sources, which is creating an alkaline environment that germs cannot survive in.

Apart from food is there anything else we can do to protect our Immune System?

Exercise will move toxins out of your body provided you are drinking sufficient fluids. If not, you will know about in the form of lactic acid and muscle cramps. Exercise also pumps oxygen into the body and although this creates free-radical activity, other harmful bacteria and viruses do not like an oxygen rich environment and die. So provided you are taking in sufficient anti-oxidants taking exercise is fantastic.

We have to learn how to relax so that our bodies can rest. Being young at heart and full of vibrant energy is exactly what we are aiming to achieve. But at the same time we have to allow time for our bodies to recover from activity and rebuild its defences. You cannot run any living system without down-time otherwise you will damage all the components.

Take a nap. Make sure you get the right amount of sleep. Take a day off and do something completely different and go out and enjoy a quiet dinner for two etc.

Avoid toxins and germs. Do not put yourself in harm’s way. Use gloves when you are cleaning, wash your hands before preparing food. Wash food if you are not going to peel it.

Do not store household chemicals under your sink in the kitchen, try and put them into an outside storage area.

Although it is wonderful to kiss our friends and shake hands, that is how germs are spread by touch more so than inhaling. So wash your hands several times a day.

Get fresh air at least once a day for 45 minutes and in a the next chapter I am going to show you how breathing and doing some very simple exercises each day can help boost your immune system and minimise damage to your cells and organs of your body.

©sallycronin Turning Back the Clock 2014

You can find the previous chapters in this directory: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/turning-back-the-clock-anti-aging-programme/

A little about me from a nutritional perspective. Although I write a lot of fiction, I actually wrote my first two books on health, the first one, Size Matters, a weight loss programme 20 years ago. I qualified as a nutritional therapist and practiced in Ireland and the UK as well as being a consultant for radio. My first centre was in Ireland, the Cronin Diet Advisory Centre and my second book, Just Food for Health was written as my client’s workbook. Here are my health books including a men’s health manual and my anti-aging book.

All available in Ebook from http://www.amazon.com/Sally-Cronin/e/B0096REZM2

And Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sally-Georgina-Cronin/e/B003B7O0T6

Comprehensive guide to the body, and the major organs and the nutrients needed to be healthy 360 pages, A4: http://www.moyhill.com/html/just_food_for_health.html

Thank you for dropping in and if you have any questions fire away.. If you would like to as a private question then my email is sally.cronin@moyhill.com. I am no longer in practice and only too pleased to help in any way I can. thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Health Column – Turning Back The Clock – Chapter Two – Anti-Aging and a healthy body requires the correct pH balance


Over the next few weeks I am going to be sharing my book on anti-aging.. Turning Back the Clock. Some of the strategies have been included in other posts on the various areas of health that can accelerate the natural aging process, but in this book I bring them all together. Some of you may have already followed the series that I posts in February 2016, but I hope enough time has passed for you to find it worth another look.

It is my 65th birthday today so I am looking to lose 10 years somewhere.. it may be my memory…however Paul Andruss has sent this that I thought I would share here… he does know how to brighten a girl’s day….

Anyway.. on with the next chapter in Turning Back the Clock.

This is a natural anti-aging programme. We all age but many of us are assisting the process with diet and lifestyle choices. This book takes a look at the physical, mental and emotional aspects of aging and how a little attitude adjustment goes a long way!

 

CHAPTER TWO – ANTI-AGING AND A HEALTHY BODY REQUIRES THE CORRECT PH BALANCE.

Health and energy and long life all begin with a correct pH balance. The pH balance refers to the acidity or alkalinity of every living organism. The scale for measuring this balance is called Potential for Hydrogen or pH balance and each system or organ has its optimum balance for health. The scale goes from 0 to 14 with 7.0 being neutral with anything above 7 as alkaline and anything below 7 being acidic. Each step up or down is ten times the previous which means that even a change of .1 will have an effect on your body.

For example human blood stays in a very narrow pH range between 7.35 and 7.45. If the balance goes either side of this there will be varying symptoms of disease. In fact if the pH level drops too much below 6.8 or above 7.8 the heart can stop.

This illustrates how critical this level of acidity and alkalinity is for our health.

If you already have a health problem

If you have a health problem you are very likely to be acidic. Some of the early symptoms are acid after eating, acne, panic attacks, cold hands and feet, food allergies, bloating, mild headaches and fatigue. Sound familiar?

More acute symptoms are cold sores, depression, migraines, asthma, hives, and urinary infections (urine pH should be between 7.0 and 7.2. Under 5.3 you cannot absorb vitamins and minerals), hair loss, fungal infections and numbness and tingling.

Advanced symptoms are the diseases such as Crohn’s disease, MS, Leukaemia, Peptic ulcers, Cancer (thrives in a balance of 4.5 to 5.0), Hodgkin’s Disease, Tuberculosis, Lupus and Rheumatoid arthritis and Osteoporosis.

For example, an aging problem that both men and women are likely to experience is osteoporosis. One of the primary causes of osteoporosis is a lifetime of eating too much daily protein and refined sugars. This is very acid forming and necessitates the body continually pulling calcium from the bones to buffer this acidity. Animal protein is somewhat worse than vegetarian protein foods, but all exert an acidic effect. Eating a diet high in processed foods that contain a high sugar content also results in an increase in high acidity.

Too much acid will decrease the energy production in the cells and the ability to repair damaged cells. The body is unable to detox heavy metals and allows tumour cells to thrive. It will also cause a depressed immune system leaving the body wide open to infections.

As we age, we gradually dry up at the cellular level. As we get older cells get thicker. As a result the amounts of vital nutrients and oxygen brought into them declines while the amount of toxins and metabolic waste products increases. The end result is loss of youthful cell function and the start of degenerative diseases and a steady aging process.

What causes too much acid in the body?

An acidic balance occurs from eating an acid forming diet, stress, toxicity in our environment and lack of absorption of alkaline forming minerals. If the body cannot get enough alkaline forming minerals such as calcium from the diet it will borrow from our reserves, namely the calcium stored in the bones which leads to osteoporosis.

All food is burned to an ash in the body. Food ash is neutral, acid or alkaline depending on the mineral content of the food. To be considered alkaline forming the minerals sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium are predominant. If it is acidic forming the ash will contain sulphur, phosphorus and chlorine.

To be healthy the body needs to be in the ratio of 4 – 1. Four parts alkaline and one part acid.

Just because a food is acid to begin with does not mean that it is acidic forming once it has gone through the digestive process. For example, a lemon is citrus and acidic but the ash it produces is alkaline.

There are some physical causes for an acid build up in the stomach that can then lead to a disruption in the acid balances in other systems of the body. Eating too much at one time can result in inadequate processing in the stomach. We are all familiar with that overstuffed feeling that we get when we have eaten too much. If you eat too fast you can compound this problem and the stomach is simply not large enough nor can it produce sufficient processing power to deal with the amount of food in a short space of time.

We have also lost the art of relaxing after a meal, rushing around trying to cope with modern life does zero for the digestive process. I am sure that we can all remember when we were children that we were never allowed to swim or run around for at least two hours after a main meal. Digestion takes a great deal of energy and if you divert that energy towards vigorous exercise, food is not processed properly leading to stomach cramps and increased acidity.

Eating plan for acidity/alkaline balance if you are already experiencing high acidity related health problems that are making you feel older than you are!

It is important that you eat regularly and moderately to provide you with the nutrients that you require and to allow your body to process those nutrients to make them as accessible as possible for your body.

Your main meals are breakfast, lunch and dinner with three snacks in between depending on your energy requirements. The older we get the less we need to snack between meals especially if they are sugary in nature. Main meals should consist of some wholegrain or vegetable carbohydrate, animal or plant protein and a small amount of healthy fats. Always chew food slowly and if you put your knife and fork down between each mouthful you should be eating at the correct pace. If there is someone in your family who always finishes their meal after you then make it a point to slow down so that they finish first.

After a heavier than normal meal always try and relax for at least half an hour before moving around and certainly leave at least two hours before rigorous exercise.

Drinking a small cup of peppermint tea after a meal will aid digestion and it is better to eat fruit as a starter rather than a dessert as it digests much quicker than any other food. If you eat fruit within half an hour of a heavy meal it can cause a disruption to the digestive process.

Intermittent Fasting is also a way to allow your digestive system to process foods thoroughly over sixteen hours whilst you eat within the other 8 hours. If you are not hugely active then eating two main meals with a small amount of fruit as a snack is quite easy to get used to and has been shown to reduce the risk for diseases such as diabetes.

Most people who follow this diet will fast on two days a week with meals adding up to 500 to 600 calories of high density nutritional foods. However, it is tempting then on the other five days to roll the boat out. I find eating two meals a day with a piece of fruit in between, within an 8 hour window every day to be easier to stick to.

Foods that should be avoided.

Foods have different acid and alkaline properties. Some are acidic in the mouth but form alkaline ash; others are so heavily processed that they will turn to acidic ash in the stomach. If you suffer already from acid reflux or peptic ulcers you should follow the following recommendations as strictly as possible. This also applies if you have some of the more common degenerative diseases such as arthritis as an acid environment is perfect.

If you would simply like to ensure the correct pH balance in your body then you can adopt a 60/40 approach and ensure that acid forming foods are only included in your diet once a day. If you suffer from any chronic diseases then for the next six weeks I suggest you follow these guidelines. Make a note in any change in symptoms and if you find that they have improved then this ratio is something you might like to stay with longer term.

Very, very acidic ash forming foods that should be totally avoided are

All soft drinks, More than a cup of coffee per day especially with cream and sugar combined, alcohol in general but particularly cheap wine and beer, refined sugars in commercially produced white flour bread, cakes, sweets and biscuits and artificial sweeteners.

Salt should be used very sparingly, as it is acid forming as well as raising blood pressure.

Very acidic forming foods that can be included 20% of your daily diet are:

Chicken, turkey, fish, shellfish, lamb, beef, pork and other lean proteins.

Oranges (nectarines are okay)

Moderately acidic forming foods that can be included up to 30% of your daily diet.

Wholegrains, brown rice, corn, oats, lentils, walnuts, rye, wholegrain pastas, sunflower seeds, Pumpkin seeds, good quality wines, organic fresh coffee, yoghurt, milk and cheese. Slightly Acidic cranberries and all the beans.

ALKALINE FOODS THAT CAN BE INCLUDED FREELY EVERY DAY. (note that although some of these fruits contain natural fruit sugar they are alkaline. If however you are pre-diabetic or diabetic then you sould limit your fruit intake to one piece per day. Also avoid high sugar juices and instead substitute vegetables.

Figs, olives, apricots (dried as snack three), avocados, carrots, Spinach, Cabbage, Dates (three on salads), kiwis, limes, raspberries, strawberries, asparagus, bananas, celery, beetroot, melon, lettuce, parsley, pineapple, pomegranate (if available) nectarines, cherries, grapefruit, tomatoes, cucumber, cauliflower, lemons, string beans, peaches, mushrooms (shitake if not too expensive), watermelon, courgettes, apples and pears.

Are most fruit and vegetables alkaline forming?

Yes they are which is why I so often encourage people to move to a much higher level of vegetables and moderate fruit content in their diet. Ideally 80% of your diet should be unprocessed, fresh and preferably raw foods. However we are not going to go that far to begin with so I have set a 20% guideline for animal proteins, 30% for grains etc. and 50% for fruit and vegetables.

Some other neutral foods that you can use in moderation in the 20% field are the oils and butter and milk. These are classified, as neutral but should be used carefully if you are hoping to lose some weight.

What about sauces for foods?

It is much better to make your own sauces from natural ingredients. It is the sugars in processed sauces that cause much of the acid effect. You can use olive oil or a little butter on vegetables and make salad dressings with olive oil and herbs. I find now that sauces, unless they are very light have become very cloying and take away the natural taste of the food.

PUTTING THE PLAN INTO PRACTICE.

A really good alkaline start to the day is the juice of half a lemon in hot water. Despite being an acid fruit, lemons are alkaline forming and also get your intestines moving. It also gives you a jolt of vitamin C.. I use an enamel protecting toothpaste and that is one thing to consider when having lemon juice every day.

Rotating your foods is always a good idea as most of us can build up an intolerance to foods that we eat every day and this can have an acidic effect on the body. I have given you some guidelines for rotating certain foods such as carbohydrates to not only get the maximum benefit from them but to also minimise any intolerances you might have.

CARBOYDRATES. SHOULD BE 30% OF YOUR DAILY INTAKE.

wholegrainsThe latest word from some of the experts in the field of nutrition is that you should drastically limit your grains in your diet. There is certainly evidence to suggest that a high intake of refined grains are not beneficial and might lead to health problems. However, there is one very good reason for that. They are industrially produced and contain little nutrition, too many additives and usually a lot of added sugar. If you eat a great deal of cookies, processed white bread, certain breakfast cereals and cakes you will be ingesting sugars which are highly acidic.

A proportion of your diet should include wholegrains that have been minimally processed so that you obtain all the nutrition including B-vitamins that are stripped when refined. You also need the fibre they contain and by eating wholegrains you can reduce your protein levels and help reduce their acid content.

Suggested Carbohydrates

Whole-wheat or wholegrain bread, whole-wheat Pitta breads, shredded wheat, whole-wheat pasta, Rye Crisp breads, Pumpernickel, mashed parsnip. Cornflakes, Corn Tortillas, Porridge oats, sugar free muesli, Brown Rice, oatcakes, potatoes.

As you will see I have grouped these together in approximate wheat, corn, rice and oat days with the occasional potato thrown in. If you have a wheat intolerance only eating it every 4 to 5 days may well help you with any related allergy symptoms.   Your body is designed to remove toxins from the body efficiently provided you are only eating them every four or five days.

PROTEINS AND FATS. ROTATE THESE SO THAT YOU ARE ONLY HAVING THEM AT LEAST 3 OR 4 DAYS APART. SHOULD ONLY BE 20% OF YOUR DAILY INTAKE.

We need protein and also some acid forming foods in our diet otherwise the balance goes too far the other way. We also need healthy fat and apart from extra virgin olive oil, lean protein with a little fat is not harmful. If you do not suffer from arthritis or acid digestive problems, eating a little more lean protein should not be a problem.

salmonLean meat beef, lamb, fish both healthy fat varieties such as salmon and white fish, chicken, turkey, Feta cheese, eggs etc.

Try to have red meat only once a week.

Try to get organic if you can but good quality anyway.

Use olive oil for cooking and on bread wherever possible.

Use butter as a spread rather than hydrogenated margarine.

For snacking eat walnuts (14 per day), almonds, Seeds such as pumpkin (all unsalted).

Use avocado a couple of times a week as a vegetarian alternative. You can also use tofu but watch any fat it is mixed with.

Avoid salted processed meats such as bacon and ham except for once a week.

FRUIT AND VEGETABLES. MINIMUM 50% OF DIET. RAW WHENEVER POSSIBLE.

Eat what you like from the list of alkaline forming foods above.

If you like to drink fresh fruit juice, unsweetened are best – they are available freshly squeezed in the supermarket or make at home, but need to be drunk on the day. I do suggest especially if you are trying to lose weight that you dilute with some sparkling mineral water, halving the sugar content. Most fruit juices are made with the higher sugar variety including oranges which burns to an acid ash. I suggest going with vegetable juices such as carrot.

Drink plenty of water, herbal teas etc. and what you like from the list of alkaline forming foods above.

N.B The above guidelines are suggested to reduce your acidity especially if you are already experiencing related chronic diseases such as arthritis. After six weeks you should experience more energy, better skin tone and less of the aches and pains we associate with getting older.

Make a note of your symptoms such as joint pain, headaches, lack of energy at this point and then make a note of how you are feeling each week. I would be interested to get your feedback at the end of the six weeks.

©Sally Cronin Turning Back the Clock 2013

Next Week

CHAPTER THREE – THE HORMONE FACTOR

A little about me from a nutritional perspective. Although I write a lot of fiction, I actually wrote my first two books on health, the first one, Size Matters, a weight loss programme 20 years ago. I qualified as a nutritional therapist and practiced in Ireland and the UK as well as being a consultant for radio. My first centre was in Ireland, the Cronin Diet Advisory Centre and my second book, Just Food for Health was written as my client’s workbook. Here are my health books including a men’s health manual and my anti-aging book.

All available in Ebook fromhttp://www.amazon.com/Sally-Cronin/e/B0096REZM2

And Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sally-Georgina-Cronin/e/B003B7O0T6

Comprehensive guide to the body, and the major organs and the nutrients needed to be healthy 360 pages, A4: http://www.moyhill.com/html/just_food_for_health.html

Thank you for dropping in and if you have any questions fire away.. If you would like to as a private question then my email is sally.cronin@moyhill.com. I am no longer in practice and only too pleased to help in any way I can. thanks Sally

 

Smorgasbord Health Column – Turning Back the Clock Revisited – Anti-Aging without the Botox.


Over the next few weeks I am going to be sharing my book on anti-aging.. Turning Back the Clock. Some of the strategies have been included in other posts on the various areas of health that can accelerate the natural aging process, but in this book I bring them all together. Some of you may have already followed the series that I posted in February 2016, but I hope enough time has passed for you to find it worth another look.

This is a natural anti-aging programme. We all age but many of us are assisting the process with diet and lifestyle choices. This book takes a look at the physical, mental and emotional aspects of aging and how a little attitude adjustment goes a long way!

INTRODUCTION

A few years ago I had a series on radio called Turning Back the Clock, which I wrote in response to listeners in their 50’s and 60’s looking for rejuvenation and tips on staying young. Like me they were exasperated by the claims of the cosmetic industry that the various ingredients in their products could knock ten years off their age. I was asked to design a diet that would help reverse the signs of aging and this developed into a ten week challenge that was undertaken by nearly 100 listeners.

The answer to turning back the clock by several years is to consider and address a number of factors which include physical, emotional and mental age markers.

We have all met people in their 30’s who already seem staid and middle aged and it has nothing to do with the wrinkles on their faces. A positive attitude to life is key if you are to beat the clock and how you interact with the rest of the human race will determine your real age.

Certainly our diet plays a part in the health and fitness of our bodies but it is also about our emotional health and how we feel about ourselves that can make all the difference when looking in the mirror. A smile can knock years off as people are deflected from any lines you might have around your eyes.

CHAPTER ONE – WHY DO WE ALL WANT TO STOP THE AGING PROCESS?

It is not just about the way we look. Most of us will develop grey hair, expanding waistlines, wrinkles and a somewhat world weary appearance. Of course this is important but at the end of the day no-one is unique and everyone will face this process one day.

I don’t believe that we can stop the aging process, and unfortunately in this modern world, that aging process is accompanied in most cases with degenerative diseases of the body and the mind. Poor quality of life and a dependence on prescription drugs to get us through the last 10, 20 or even 30 years of our lives. However, I do believe that we can slow the process down and ensure that we are as pain free and as vital as possible to the very end.

I decided that I would like to grab back the last 10 years. They were great but there were many things that I could have done better. I cannot change the past but what I would like to do is have another go at it. We often say ‘If only I knew then, what I know now’. Well with a body that is 10 years younger I can go ahead with the knowledge that I have today and use that to do some things differently. I want more out of life not less and to do that I have to be fit and healthy. Now that I am 65, I realise even more, that our age is not just about wrinkles on our faces but the way we approach life and others mentally and emotionally.

I might not look like the new ’40’ but I can certainly act like it.

WHAT IS THE AGING PROCESS AND HOW IS IT ACCELERATED.

That is a much debated question and there are number of reasonable and not so reasonable explanations. The more scientific have a certain amount of merit. In the following chapters I will be covering some of these areas in more detail.

FREE RADICAL DAMAGE.

As energy is generated in one cell, waste is produced. Waste products consist of unstable molecules, which are called free radicals. Some of these free radicals are quite helpful in fighting certain infections but they can also get out of control and start damaging healthy cells around them, which leads to serious disease.

In a nutshell progressive damage by free radicals leads to aging and age related diseases. Our lifespan is dependent on the damage caused throughout our lifetime and our own efforts to repair that damage by living a healthy lifestyle, reducing stress, eating healthily etc.

Anti-oxidants are the vacuum cleaners of the human body and their job is to kill these harmful free radicals. The good news is that a diet rich in anti-oxidants (brightly coloured vegetables) is part of the solution.

TOXICITY DAMAGE TO ORGANS.

Every day we are trying to cope with the toxins in our food, that we breathe in or we touch. It is very difficult to control our environment completely and to a degree our bodies are very efficient in dealing with low to moderate levels of toxicity. Organs and systems will either react very quickly as in Anaphylactic shock for example or slower such as with a daily ingestion of a food that we react intolerantly to.

Toxicity builds up when we eat high fat, sugar and stimulants to excess and the organs are in overload and are unable to cope. They become damaged and worn out, the cells die and so do we.

HORMONAL IMBALANCES

Our hormones govern many of the aspects of aging. There is some genetic connection with hormone profiles within families; particularly mother to daughters but research is showing that hormone stimulation and their effect on our bodies can be managed with diet and natural supplementation. I am not an advocate of artificial hormonal replacement although for some people it alleviates very distressing symptoms. In some cases it is necessary to ensure the wellbeing of a woman. I am very lucky in as much as I managed my own menopause with diet and nutrient supplementation and I found that to be perfect for me. Hair loss, menopause, lack of testosterone are all age related but although levels do drop this should not mean that we become old before our time.

ALKALINE AND ACID BALANCE

This is one of the areas that we are going to be focusing on in the first chapter as the more I have researched this particular area, and the more I have applied the principles to my own diet, the more impressed I have become.

This theory has worldwide recognition. Doctors and scientists in the US, Japan, China and Europe are beginning to appreciate the damage that acid has on our bodies. It is also one of the few theories of aging that is definitely manageable with healthy eating and some everyday normal supplementation of vitamins and minerals. One of the most caustic acids that we consume daily is sugar.

BEING OVERWEIGHT

This book is not a weight loss guide although if you follow the food guidelines at the back of the book and eat unprocessed fresh produce and prepare from scratch, the reduction in refined sugars will help you regain a healthy weight. This does not mean skinny. Research is indicating that if you are carrying a few pounds more than the weight charts recommend it is no bad thing! Thank goodness for that. However, carrying two stone or more of additional weight is going to put a strain on your skeleton, muscle strength and the accumulated fat will also be surrounding your major organs.

There is a lot of information now on anti-aging being weight related – is that true?

This is obviously an area very close to my heart. I had so many age related illnesses at 43 when I suffered from obesity. I had Rheumatoid Arthritis rheumatoid and Osteoarthritis. High blood pressure, High Cholesterol, menopausal symptoms, thin hair, fatigue etc.

It is now 20 years later and because I made some lifestyle and diet changes in my overall health is considerably better now than it was then.

There is bound to be general wear and tear but it will help enormously if you can get down to a reasonable weight that enables you to eat healthily, exercise comfortably, put less stress on the infrastructure and makes you feel more confident about yourself.

We do not need as many calories when we get older but we certainly need to take in far more nutrients which is why if you consume a diet that is high in a wide variety of vegetables, lean protein, fruits, nuts and seeds that will give you a really healthy boost of nutrients in a smaller package.

There is a great deal of information about ideal weights, but some of it is confusing – What is an easy way to calculate where you should be?

One of the easiest ways to calculate your optimum weight I have come across is this.

  • For medium framed women as a base use 100lbs up to 5 foot and then 5lbs for every inch over that height. Modify by 5% either way if you have a light frame or heavy frame.
  • For medium framed men as a base use 106lbs up to 5 foot and then 6lbs for every inch over that height. Modify either way if you have a light frame or heavy frame.
  • For example a woman who is a heavy frame and 5foot 6 inches would have an optimal weight of 100lbs + 30lbs = 130lbs x 5% = 6.5lbs giving an optimum weight of 136.5lbs or 60.2Kilos
  • A light framed man of 5foot 10 inches would be 106lbs + 60lbs = 166lbs less 5% = 8lbs = 158lbs or 72Kilos.
  • This is not exact but it gives you an approximate idea of where you should be. To be honest I have met people who are fantastically healthy, fit and full of energy who are a stone or even two stone heavier. But there is no doubt that if we are talking about anti-aging, being a healthy weight for your age and size is important.

Intermittent Fasting to lose weight and increase health.

For the last four years I have been following the Intermittent Fasting eating programme. I eat within an 8 hour window each day and have found that I have more energy. I also follow my own advice and eat at least 80% of my food from natural and unprocessed sources. I regular test for blood sugar levels and LDL cholesterol (the unhealthy kind of cholesterol) which are within in normal range. I am also not on any medication for elevated blood pressure.

Next week:

CHAPTER TWO – ANTI-AGING AND A HEALTHY BODY REQUIRES THE CORRECT PH BALANCE.

A little about me from a nutritional perspective. Although I write a lot of fiction, I actually wrote my first two books on health, the first one, Size Matters, a weight loss programme 20 years ago. I qualified as a nutritional therapist and practiced in Ireland and the UK as well as being a consultant for radio. My first centre was in Ireland, the Cronin Diet Advisory Centre and my second book, Just Food for Health was written as my client’s workbook. Here are my health books including a men’s health manual and my anti-aging book.

All available in Ebook fromhttp://www.amazon.com/Sally-Cronin/e/B0096REZM2

And Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sally-Georgina-Cronin/e/B003B7O0T6

Comprehensive guide to the body, the major organs and the nutrients needed to be healthy 360 pages, A4: http://www.moyhill.com/html/just_food_for_health.html

Thank you for dropping in and if you have any questions fire away.. If you would like to as a private question then my email is sally.cronin@moyhill.com. I am no longer in practice and only too pleased to help in any way I can. thanks Sally

 

 

Smorgasbord Guest Writer – Part 5 – A Question of Immortality by Horatio Grin


Today my guest Horatio Grin explores the subject of immortality. Since the dawn of man the search for everlasting life has fascinated humans and is considered to be the Holy Grail by certain scientists. Today Horatio looks at the possibility that there are already certain humans who might carry the answer to this fascinating possibility.

Part 5: A Question of Immortality by Horatio Grin

There is a popular legend, told in many forms. It concerns a young man who meets and falls in love with a beautiful fairy maid. She is reluctant to return his affection because of the heartache it will bring. When he persists in his wooing, she weakens and marries him. Their life is blessed. They prosper. She bears him children, handsome strong sons and clever beautiful daughters. And they are happily… for a time.

As the years pass, the children grow up and the husband grows old. The fairy wife remains unchanged. Resentful and bitter at life’s unfairness, the husband treats her badly; even though he once promised, years ago, he never would. Early one morning, or late one evening, with great sadness in her heart she takes her leave of the man she once loved, and the children and grandchildren, she still does.

Often the story does not end there, for the fairy wife is seen again and again over the coming years. Grandchildren and even great grandchildren, now old men themselves, remember having seen her long ago when they were but infants. Seeing her once more these many decades later, they are struck by how time has left her untouched.

The tale is typical among the Celts with variations found in Ireland, Scotland and Wales as well as among the Cornish, the Manx and the Breton. Further afield, it is also found in the stories of Chinese fairies or in the Middle East (where fairies are called Peri) and in the traditional tales of Africans and North American Indians.

Belief in the immortality, or at least the very long life, of fairies may have its roots in a simple explanation. In early societies, girls were often married with the onset of puberty. As shocking as it is today this could be as young as 11, with motherhood soon following.

It is not hard to do the sums and see women would be grandmothers at 24, great grandmothers at 36 and great, great grandmothers at 48. While, at the age of 60, they would be matriarch of a dynasty of 5 generations.

The average life expectancy for a male child born in medieval times, or earlier, was 30 years of age. Many died before the end of their teens, but if a young man reached the age of 20, he had a good chance of surviving into his mid-fifties. Less than 10% of the whole population reached 60.

Although women can expect to live longer than men today, in the past they fared less well. Studies of the medieval population of Europe show men often outnumbered women by as much as two to one. A significant contributing factor was death in childbirth. Due to the risks associated with being constantly pregnant from such a young age, reaching 60 would be a huge achievement for a woman.

With such a low life expectancy in the general population, and high mortality during childbirth, a woman over 60 would seem ancient to her contemporaries. If she looked young for her years – and everybody ages differently – or if she were able to cast the illusion of glamour so as to appear young, she would seem almost immortal.

Or perhaps the fairy race is indeed immortal. Immortality need not be forever and ever. With our short span a few more decades of life and youth is be a gift none would refuse.

The idea of immortality has been with humanity all through recorded history. It was first written of in the epic of Gilgamesh, at least 5,000 years ago. The gods and goddesses, and the fairy races of every culture in the world were all considered immortal.

One of the aims of alchemy was to discover the elixir of life. Both Nicholas Flamel and the Comte de Saint Germain were said to have gained immortality in this way. In the 20th century, Theosophists, and even the Nazis, claimed immortals called ascended masters were overseeing our world’s progress and development. So perhaps it is true and fairies do actually live a long, long time.

Genetics is revolutionising our understanding of why we age and die. It was once thought death was an evolutionary oversight. Now we understand ageing, and even death, is programmed into every individual. It is controlled by our genetic inheritance in exactly the same way as our hair or eye colour.

However it is not quite as simple as some other traits, which are controlled by one set of genes. According to new research there are about 1,800 genes that may alter our expected lifespan.

Life-expectancy is influenced by many factors, such as predispositions to cancer, heart disease or high blood pressure. These factors in turn may be determined by genes controlling the width of arteries or perhaps the ability to digest fats, or even eliminate waste. Such predispositions may well be influenced by how we live our lives: exercise, smoking, drinking alcohol and eating.

Laboratory rats kept on a reduced calorie intake live almost twice as long as others not having their food intake restricted. A study is currently underway looking at the effects on non-human primates. With the expected lifespan of the monkey subjects being around 50 years it will not deliver results for another 15.

Some researchers believe many cancers are linked to lifestyle and environment. The discovery of genetic markers indicating a predisposition to certain cancers, make others think lifestyle factors are irrelevant. Cancer, like obesity and heart disease they claim, is simply down to your genetic inheritance. Admittedly the science is in its infancy.

It is currently a highly complex process to analyse an individual’s genetic makeup. Yet doctors believe in the future, it will be possible to diagnose each and every human being at the genetic level during gestation and by introducing modified genes inside virus type organisms, fix any defects before the foetus has left the womb.

At one time it was thought old age happened through biological neglect. Animals breed when they are young and pass on their genes. Once they have bred and successively reared offspring there is no need for the organism to stay alive. To put it bluntly, once the selfish genes are passed to the next generation, and offspring are successfully reared, the parent is of no further biological use.

Recent studies show the truth of aging to be very different. Every cell in the human body is capable of replacing itself between 40 and 60 times, called the Hayflick limit. With each replication of the cell, part of the DNA, called the telomere, breaks off. When there is no telomere left, cell division stops. At this point the cell starts to wear out. When the accumulated damage to the cells of the body becomes too great, we die by default.

This is why cloning has proved a disappointment. When adult genes are introduced into an empty egg, the telomere is short – for it is the same length as all the other cells in the adult donor. Even though the new animal is an infant, it has the same remaining cellular lifespan as the donor; with the same number of cell divisions left before it reaches the hayflick limit and dies.

Experiments to artificially increase the telomere have proved equally disastrous. In some cells the end of the telomere never breaks off. These cells are truly immortal; able to divide eternally. They are called cancer.

Knowing how genes control aging gives a mechanism to understand why each and every person ages at different rates. Most human beings cluster in the middle of any characteristic: think of a traffic snarl up over a humped backed bridge. The majority of us are neither too tall nor too short: too dark nor too fair. But there are always minorities at the extremes.

At one extreme of ageing there is the disease, called progeria that gives young children all the symptoms of extreme old age. But what lies at the other extreme?

Immortality?

Eternal youth?

Recently the oldest person alive on the planet celebrated his 146th birthday. There are villages in Japan, where people in their 80s and 90s look as young and are robust as others decades their junior.

Thirty years ago, most reputable scientists put a maximum limit of 250 years on the human life span. Today scientists speak in terms of 2,000 years, baring accident. Some are already making the claim that within the next few decades, given expected advances in gene therapy, doctors will be able to prevent or at least delay aging, and perhaps even, eventually, cure death.

Now we are aware of the doctors’ current understanding and their expectation of a cure for ageing at the genetic level, all that remains is to ask, has this already happened naturally?

From the origin of life on this planet some 3.7 billion years ago, tiny random changes to the genetic code called mutations took life from undifferentiated single celled organisms to well… us. And we are by no means the pinnacle of creation.

The changes doctors will make to increase our lifespan are nothing more than directed mutations: the human equivalent of GM (genetically modified) crops. Knowing that, it is perfectly possible such random changes have already occurred in the gene pool.

While it is true they may not have all occurred in one individual or even in our own species, bear in mind our direct ancestors have been on this planet for some seven million years, interbreeding with each other. In the past, humans did not travel as freely as today. This produced small isolated populations that interbred over generations. When this happens in nature, it consolidates genes within the population and results in a new species. As the numbers in a species increase, it travels further afield. It is how we left Africa and colonised the world.

When the incomers meet another species living in a new part of the world, the tendency is for the two groups to interbreed, passing on both sets of genetic advantages to the resulting offspring. This is why Western Europeans have 4-6% of their genes from the Neanderthals.

If mutations favouring immortality exist, they will eventually succeed in coming together. When they do, they will confer a genetic advantage on their longer lived progeny. This means more surviving offspring who in turn pass on their advantageous genes to their children. If people had mutations favouring immunity from illness or granting longer life, natural selection meant they flourished over their weaker brethren.

It may surprise you to know that in the short time HIV has been devastating the world there is already a mutation in a small number of the human population that makes them immune to the virus. In the past a disease like HIV might have killed the majority of mankind, but the small immune group would have survived and repopulated the earth, leaving the virus no more deadly than its ancestor the Simian Immunodeficiency Virus is to monkeys.

We are all aware of our species’ exponential population growth. Despite 2 world wars, myriad other wars, plagues and genocides the world population grew from 1.65 billion to 3 billion between 1900 and 1970. Since then it has doubled to 6 billion. What we forget is that although the world population before the 20th century was low, the birth rate was much higher than today. What kept the numbers down was the high mortality rate. What has allowed today’s world population to boom is better medicine.

Therefore, given a higher birth-rate spreading favourable mutations and isolated populations consolidating any genetic advantage, it is not inconceivable that immortals, or at least those living significantly longer than we dare expect, walk among us today.

©HoratioGrin 2017

Previous posts

You can find out more about the author here: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/06/19/smorgasbord-guest-writer-19th-june-to-27th-june-author-horatio-grin-biography/

Part one – Lost Beginnings of the Fairy Races

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/06/20/smorgasbord-guest-writer-part-1-lost-beginnings-of-the-fairy-races-by-horatio-grin/

Part Two – Tales of the Old Gods

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/06/21/smorgasbord-guest-writer-part-2-tales-of-the-old-gods-by-horatio-grin/

Part 3: Twilight of the Gods by Horatio Grin

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/06/22/smorgasbord-guest-writer-part-3-twilight-of-the-gods-by-horatio-grin/

Part 4: The Problem with Erlkings by Horatio Grin

Thank you for dropping and Horatio would love to receive your feedback. Thanks Sally

Turning Back the Clock – Anti-Aging – The Nutritional guide and Shopping List


Turning Back the Clock


Rather than split this I have kept as a longer post but you are more than welcome to cut and paste to print out for your own use.  I would ask however that if you want to share with friends and family that you do add the link to the book http://moyhill.com/tbtc/

INTRODUCTION

If you are reading this book the chances are that you are over 21 years old, which is actually the perfect time to think about anti-aging! Taking care of your body through your childhood and teens is of course very important as how well you eat and exercise during those years will have an impact on your health as you get into your forties and fifties and certainly after that. Anyway, my point is that I am not aiming this at children but adults who are quite capable of putting together an eating plan for themselves. However, you might find the following useful. I have drawn up a list of the basic nutrients that the body requires to be healthy and to maintain as much of your youthful energy and body as possible. Following that is a basic shopping list and you will find foods that are particularly good for combating aging in bold. However, you need to include as many of the others as possible to ensure that your body is getting a broad spectrum of nutrients. Your body is a chemical soup that requires a precise formula for the efficient operation of your organs and systems. Give it what it needs and it will sustain you and keep you healthy to the best of its ability.

BASIC NUTRIENTS FOR A HEALTHY AND YOUTHFUL BODY AND APPEARANCE.

BEST FOOD SOURCE FOR ESSENTIAL NUTRIENTS.

Our individual biochemical makeup will determine our health throughout our lifetime. Everyday life in this modern world puts stress on our bodies and with an inadequate diet, our bodies are unable to maintain health and well- being and we can develop diseases that harm and age us. Our bodies have used food as a fuel and to sustain our health throughout our evolution. There is an abundance of nutrient packed food right on our doorstep and if we follow a largely fresh, unprocessed diet we can obtain the majority of the nutrients we require for good health and long life. In certain circumstances then it may be advisable to take additional nutrients in the form of supplements, but always the first place to start is ensuring that you are taking in the maximum amount of nutrients through food sources.

Below I have listed the main nutrients that we require every day. The list is not exhaustive but is designed to show you just how much nutrition you can obtain from a healthy diet of readily available food.

VITAMIN A: RETINOL; Essential for healthy sight especially at night. It helps cells re-produce normally. It is needed for healthy skin, mucous membranes of the respiratory system, digestive and urinary tracts also bones and tissues. In reproduction it is required for the normal growth and development of the embryo and foetus. It has been shown to influence the function and development of sperm, ovaries and the placenta. As an Anti-oxidant it boosts the Immune System. It is a fat-soluble vitamin mainly found in Liver, Fish Liver oils, Butter, Cheese, Free Range Eggs, Oily Fish.

BETACAROTENE; Best sources are carrots, Green leafy vegetables, Orange and Red coloured Vegetables. Particularly apricots, asparagus, broccoli, butter, cantaloupe melon, carrots, cashews, cheese, nectarines, peaches, peppers and spinach.

VITAMIN B1: THIAMINE; This vitamin is essential in the metabolism of carbohydrates and for the strength of the nervous system. Every cell in the body requires this vitamin to form the fuel that the body runs on ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate). It is a water soluble vitamin found in Whole grains, Seeds, Peas, enriched flour, Beans and Nuts.

VITAMIN B2: RIBOFLAVIN; Also essential for metabolising carbohydrates to produce ATP, and also fats, amino acids and proteins too. It is necessary to activate Vitamin B6 and Folic Acid. It works with enzymes in the liver to eliminate toxins. It is water-soluble and is found in Kidney, Liver, Fish, Milk, Wheat germ, Broccoli and all green leafy vegetables.

VITAMIN B3: NIACIN; Also needed for the metabolism of carbohydrates (ATP), fats and proteins. Needed to process Alcohol. Niacin form of B3 helps regulate Cholesterol. In addition it is essential for the formation or red blood cells and the hormones. It works with Tryptophan in protein to form Serotonin and Melatonin in the brain. It is water soluble and found in Liver, Brewer’s Yeast, Chicken, Turkey, Fish, Meat, Peanuts, Wholegrains, Eggs and Milk.

VITAMIN B5: PANTOTHENIC ACID; Essential for producing Glycogen (energy) and fatty acids in the body. Also activates the Adrenal Glands and assists in the management of Cholesterol. Needed in the manufacture of Neurotransmitter chemicals that transfer nerve impulses from one nerve to the next. Also essential for the production of steroid hormones (sex hormones) testosterone and oestrogen. It is water soluble and found in Liver, yeast, Salmon, dairy, eggs, grains, meat and vegetables.

VITAMIN B6: PYRIDOXINE; The Master Vitamin for processing Amino Acids – the building blocks of all proteins and some hormones. It assists in the formation of several Neurotransmitters and can therefore help regulate mood. It has been shown to help lower Homocysteine levels in the blood linked to heart disease, osteoporosis and Alzheimer’s disease. It produces Haemoglobin the Oxygen carrying pigment in the blood. It helps the release of carbohydrates stored in the liver and muscles for energy. It is involved in the production of antibodies and it helps balance female hormones. It is needed for the production of serotonin along with tryptophan and B12. It is water-soluble and found in Potatoes, Bananas, Cereals, Lentils, Liver, Turkey, Chicken, Lamb, Fish, Liver, Avocados, Soybeans, Walnuts and Oats.

VITAMIN B12: CYANOCOLBALAMIN; Essential for the efficient working of every cell in the body especially those with a rapid turnover rate and it prevents their degeneration. It works with B6 and Folic Acid to control Homocysteine levels in the blood. It is involved in the synthesis of DNA and the proper functioning of the Nervous system by maintaining myelin surrounding the nerves. It is involved in the production of melatonin, the hormone responsible for resetting our biological clock’s rhythm when we change to a new time zone and aiding sleep patterns.   It is used in the treatment of diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis, Anaemia, Low Blood Pressure, hearing disorders, asthma and allergies, infertility and cancer. It is water soluble and found in all animal source produce including dairy, eggs, meat, poultry and fish. For vegetarians it is found in Miso and Tempeh both fermented Soybean products.

FOLATE: FOLIC ACID; Folic acid is a B vitamin essential for cell replication and growth. It helps form the building blocks of DNA the body’s genetic information which is why it is recommended prior to conception and during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy to ensure the rapidly growing and replicating cells of the foetus are normal. This helps prevent low birth weight and abnormalities such as Heart defects or lip and palate malformations.

It is essential for transporting co-enzymes needed for amino acid metabolism in the body and is necessary for a functioning nervous system. It is water soluble and found in Beans, dark leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, wheat germ and whole wheat, lamb’s liver and salmon.

BIOTIN: Necessary for assisting enzymes to manufacture Glycogen and fatty acids and also in the production of prostaglandins (communicators involved in hormones and the immune system). It is essential for normal growth and health of skin, hair, nerves and bone marrow where blood cells are produced. It is water soluble and found in Liver, sardines, egg yolks, soy products, whole grains, nuts and beans.

VITAMIN C: ASCORBIC ACID; An antioxidant that protects LDL cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein) from oxidative damage, leading to hardening of the arteries. May also protect against heart disease reducing the hardening of arteries and the tendency of platelets to clump together blocking them. Vitamin C is necessary to form collagen, which acts like glue strengthening parts of the body such as muscles and blood vessels. It aids with healing and is a natural anti-histamine.

It is essential for the action of the Immune system and plays a part in the actions of the white blood cells and anti-bodies. It protects other antioxidants A and E from free radical damage and is involved in the production of some adrenal hormones. It is water soluble and found in all fruit and vegetables with best sources being Blackcurrants, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, cherries, grapefruits, guavas, kiwi fruit, lemons, parsley, peppers, rosehips, potatoes, tomatoes and watercress.

VITAMIN D: CHOLECALCIFEROL; Essential for maintaining blood levels of calcium by increasing absorption from food and decreasing loss from urine. This maintains a balance preventing calcium from being removed from the stores in the bones. It also plays a role in maintaining a healthy immune system and blood cell formation. It may protect against prostate cancer. It is needed for adequate levels of insulin and may protect the body from Multiple Sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and juvenile diabetes. It is a fat-soluble vitamin and is mainly synthesised by the body during exposure to sunlight although it is also found in Cod liver oil, oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, tuna and free-range eggs.

VITAMIN E: TOCOPHEROL; As an antioxidant it protects cell membranes and other fat-soluble parts of the body such as LDL cholesterol from oxidative damage and blood vessels. It can be used topically for skin health and is involved in the reproductive system. It may help prevent circulatory problems that lead to heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease by preventing clots from forming. It improves the pulmonary function of the lungs and enhances the white blood cells ability to resist infection. It is fat soluble and found in nuts such as almonds and walnuts, sunflower seeds and their oil, whole grains like maize, egg yolks and leafy green vegetables like spinach. Also found in apples, bananas, broccoli, brown rice, carrots, lamb’s liver, onions, Sunflower oil, oily fish and shellfish.

VITAMIN K: PHYLLOQUINONE; Necessary for proper bone formation and blood clotting. It is a fat-soluble vitamin mainly found in leafy green vegetables such as spinach and dark lettuce, raw cauliflower, broccoli, tomatoes, and olive oil. It is also produced by the body from bacteria in the intestines.

VITAMIN RELATED NUTRIENTS

CHOLINE: One of the few substances that can penetrate the brain membranes, raising levels of acetylcholine a neurotransmitter that may improve focus and memory. Acetylcholine is also necessary for stimulating the contraction of all muscles including the facial muscles. This may help maintain a youthful appearance. Choline also seems to help with controlling cholesterol, keeping arteries clear. It is found in egg yolks, liver, whole grains, green leafy vegetables such as spinach and fish.

INOSITOL: Required for proper formation of cell membranes. It affects nerve transmission and helps in transporting fats within the body. It is also necessary for the normal metabolism of insulin and calcium. It is found in nuts, beans, milk, whole grains, lecithin, wheat and wheat bran, cantaloupe melon, egg yolks, liver, fish and oranges.

BIOFLAVANOIDS: SOMETIMES KNOWN AS VITAMIN P; There are over 500 different types of Bioflavonoids with some of the more common ones being hesperidin, myrecetin, nobilitin, rutin, tangeritin and quercitin. They maintain the health of cell membranes and collagen and they increase the effectiveness of antioxidants, most notably Vitamin C, which is the vitamin that they are found alongside with in food. It is water-soluble and the best sources are apricots, cherries, cantaloupe melon, papaya and the skin and pith of citrus fruit.

CO-ENZYME Q10: UBIQUINONE; It has a widespread distribution throughout the body and is used by the body to metabolise food into the fuel ATP (adenosine triphosphate) that the body needs for energy. It is a powerful antioxidant that protects the body from free radicals and also acts as a bodyguard for Vitamin E, which is vital for cell membranes and keeping blood cholesterol at a healthy balance. Some research has indicated it might help increase sperm count in men and it has been shown to help in the healing process, particularly in the mouth and gums. It is essential for the immune system and heart function. Best sources are fish and meat particularly the heart and organ meats, egg yolk, milk fat, wheat germ and wholegrains, but usually needed in supplementation form.

MACROMINERALS

CALCIUM: The most abundant and essential mineral in the body. There are approximately two to three pounds mainly found in the teeth and bones. Apart from its role in the formation of teeth and bones it is also required for blood clotting, transmission of signals in nerve cells and muscle contractions. There is some indication that higher calcium intake protects against cardiovascular disease particularly in women. If you are at risk of kidney stones consult your doctor before taking in additional calcium supplements. This also applies if you are suffering from prostate cancer where there may be a link between increased levels of dietary calcium in dairy products and this form of cancer. It is thought it is thought that excess calcium causes lower levels of Vitamin D, which helps protect against prostate cancer. The best dietary sources are dairy (moderate intake) sardines, canned salmon (the bones), and green leafy vegetables such as spinach and soy products such as tofu.

MAGNESIUM: It is essential mineral needed for bone, protein and fatty acid formation, forming new cells, activating the B vitamins, relaxing muscles, clotting blood and forming ATP the fuel the body runs on. The secretion and action of insulin also needs magnesium. It is needed to balance calcium in the body and too much can result in very low levels of calcium. The best food sources are whole grains, beans, seeds, wheat germ, dried apricots, dark green vegetables, soybeans and fish.

PHOSPHORUS: Essential for bone formation and production of red blood cells.   Also needed for the production of ATP fuel for energy. Small amounts are involved in most of the chemical reactions throughout the body. It is found in protein rich foods such as meat, fish and also whole grains. It can be taken to excess if the diet contains mainly processed foods.

SODIUM: This is an electrolyte (cation), which is a positively electrically charged atom that performs essential tasks within each cell. It is very easy to have too much sodium in your diet as it is added in too large quantities in cooking and in processed foods. It is naturally occurring in vegetables, more than sufficiently for normal needs. Excess sodium is related to elevated blood pressure levels when combined with chloride as common salt and should be reduced significantly in the diet. Sodium contents should be multiplied by 2.5 to identify the actual amount of salt being consumed and an area to look closely at if you have high blood pressure is the amount of sodium in any mineral water that you are consuming daily in quantity.

CHLORIDE: Another electrolyte (anion), which is a negatively charged atom in the extra-cellular fluid. Consumed as common salt with sodium in excess in most people’s diet. There is sufficient chloride in a balanced diet to supply the necessary amount needed by the body.

POTASSIUM: This is the main cation (positively charged electrolyte). It reacts with sodium and chloride to maintain a perfect working environment in and around each cell. It allows the transmission of nerve impulses and helps maintain the correct fluid balance in the body. It also regulates levels of acidity and alkalinity in the body. It is also required for carbohydrate and protein metabolism. It is connected to normal heart rhythms. The best food sources are dried apricots, figs, bananas, pumpkinseeds, almonds, potatoes, green leafy vegetables, fish, avocados, beans, milk and most fruit and other vegetables.

TRACE ELEMENTS

BORON: Found in trace amounts in food and the human body and there is some debate as to its usefulness as a nutrient. However, there may be a link to bone health and density but there does seem to be some merit in its ability to reduce the loss of calcium in urine. This might lead to a lower risk of osteoporosis. It is found in dried fruit such as raisins, prunes and nuts. Non citrus fruit, vegetables and legumes.

COPPER: Copper is an essential trace element needed to absorb and utilise Iron. It is needed to make ATP and is also to synthesise some hormones and blood cells. Collagen needs copper, as does the enzyme tyrosinase, which plays a role in the production of skin pigment. Too much copper in the diet can depress levels of zinc and effect wound healing. Best sources are seafood like oysters, cashews and other nuts, cherries, cereals, potatoes, cherries, vegetables and most organ meats.

CHROMIUM: Needed for maintaining normal blood sugar levels and glucose tolerance. It may help increase the healthy cholesterol in the blood (HDL) and is necessary for fatty acid and protein metabolism. The best food source is brewer’s yeast, whole grains, shellfish, liver and molasses.

IRON: The main function of iron is in haemoglobin, which is the oxygen-carrying component of blood. When someone is iron deficient they suffer extreme fatigue because they are being starved of oxygen. Iron is also part of myoglobin which helps muscle cells store oxygen and it is also essential for the formation of ATP. Best food sources are shellfish such as cockles and mussels, liver, meat, poultry and fish.

IODINE: Iodine is a trace mineral that is needed to make thyroid hormones that maintain metabolism in all the cells of the body. Best sources are in seafood, iodised salt and sea vegetables such as kelp. Also in fish such as cod, mackerel and haddock and also live yoghurt.

MANGANESE: Needed for healthy skin, bone and cartilage formation as well as glucose tolerance. Also forms part of the antioxidant superoxide dismutase, which helps prevent free radical damage. Best sources are nuts, seeds, wholegrains, leafy green vegetables, tea and pineapple.

SELENIUM: A very important trace mineral that activates an antioxidant enzyme called glutathione peroxidase, which may help protect the body from cancer. It is vital for immune system function and may help prevent prostate cancer. The best dietary sources are Brazil nuts, cashews, soybeans, tuna, seafood, meat and whole grains. It is also found in yeast.

ZINC: A trace mineral that is a component in the body’s ability to repair wounds, maintain fertility, synthesis protein, cell reproduction, maintain eyesight, act as an antioxidant and boost immunity. It can be used topically for skin conditions. It is essential for a functioning metabolism and hormone production such as testosterone. It is also needed for the production of stomach acid. Too much zinc will depress the copper levels in the body. The best food sources are seafood particularly oysters, pumpkinseeds, sesame seeds, wheat germ, egg yolks, black-eyed peas and tofu.

AMINO ACIDS

Amino acids are the building blocks that make up proteins, which of course is what we are made of. Vitamins and minerals can’t perform their specific functions effectively if the necessary amino acids are not present. Amino acids are either classified as essential or non-essential. The non-essential ones can be manufactured in our bodies but the essential amino acids have to be obtained from food.

All hormones require amino acids for their production. For example L-Arginine encourages growth hormones and constitutes 80% of semen, which is why a deficiency causes sterility and it also helps with prostate problems. L-Tryptophan (my favourite) helps in the production of Serotonin and Melatonin and helps to control emotional behaviour. L-Glutamine is helpful for Thyroid gland function. Taurine is used for hyperactivity and poor brain function. Some of the two types of Amino acid are detailed below.

ARGININE: Arginine is an essential amino acid that aids in liver detoxification and is helpful in liver disorders. It may help to reduce tumours and cancer. It may also assist in elevating the sperm count in males. The body uses Arginine during periods of growth and protein synthesis. It is helpful during trauma or with kidney conditions. It can stimulate growth hormones and detoxifies ammonia from the body. Arginine is required during the manufacturing of substances such as haemoglobin and insulin. This is an amino acid produced by the liver.

CYSTEINE: Cysteine is an amino acid made in the body. It is important because it maintains the proper configuration of both structural proteins and enzymes. It contains sulphur that is formed in the liver and is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect the body from chemicals, heavy metals, and smoke pollution. It has been shown that it may stimulate the immune system, help burn fat, aid in tissue healing, and aid muscle growth. Another Liver amino acid.

GLUTAMINE: Glutamine is found in high concentrations in the human brain where it is converted to glutamic acid. Taken in modest amounts, Glutamine can substantially increase your production of growth hormone. It may help with mental alertness and clarity, decrease sugar cravings. Is being studied in connection with mental disorders such as senility and schizophrenia. It maintains a healthy digestive tract and may help with people suffering from alcoholism. Produced by the liver.

CARNITINE: Carnitine is made in the body from the amino acids lysine and methionine and is needed to release energy from fat. It transports fatty acids into mitochondria, the powerhouses of cells.

It may promote normal growth and development and treat some forms of cardiovascular problems. Studies have been carried out with athletes and there are some indications that it protects against muscle problems and helps build muscle. It may also protect against liver disorders and diabetes. It is manufactured in the liver.

LYSINE: Lysine is an essential amino acid that helps maintain nitrogen levels and calcium absorption. It is often taken during a breakout of the herpes virus, either oral or genital. It helps produce enzymes, antibodies and hormones and helps repair tissue. This amino acid also is important when recovering from an operation. It also helps build strong muscles, collagen, bone and cartilage. This amino acid comes from dietary sources are high proteins such as beef, cheese, chicken, lamb, milk, and beans.

PHENYLALINE: Phenylalanine is an essential amino acid and is the precursor of tyrosine. This is an important amino acid. It produces neurotransmitters in the brain to produce norepinephrine and it assists in learning, memory, clarity and elevates the mood. Therefore, it may aid in the treatment of depression.

It should not be taken by anyone suffering from high blood pressure, anxiety attacks, panic attacks, cancer or anyone taking MAO inhibitors. Women who are pregnant or lactating should also avoid using Phenylalanine. Taken from dietary sources and found in most foods but it is highest in those that are high in protein such as dairy products and meats.

TAURINE: Taurine is an essential amino acid that is found in the body, but mainly in the skeletal muscle, heart muscle, brain and central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord). Taurine also aids in the digestive processes including bile. A liver produced Amino Acid.

TRYPTOPHAN: Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that is the lowest in terms of levels needed by the body. It is responsible for normal sleep patterns. Vitamin B6 is needed for the formation of tryptophan, which affects serotonin levels. These serotonin levels influence sleep and mood. Best food sources are Turkey, Chicken, fish, bananas, yoghurt, pineapple and cheese.·

TYROSINE: Tyrosine is used by the thyroid gland to produce thyroxin. Thyroxin is a hormone that helps regulate growth, healthy skin, our metabolic rate and our mental health. Low levels of tyrosine have been connected with hypothyroidism. Tyrosine is used in our body to make epinephrine and dopamine. It reduces body fat and is an appetite suppressant.

People with high blood pressure, skin cancer and those who are using MAO inhibitors should not take it in supplement form. Manufactured in the liver.

ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS (EFAs)

Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) are necessary fats that humans cannot synthesise and must be obtained through diet. There are two families of EFAs Omega-3 and Omega-6. Omega-9 is necessary but non-essential as it can be made by the body if the other two fatty acids are present.

EFAs are essential because they support our cardiovascular, reproductive, immune and nervous systems. We need these fats to manufacture and repair cells, maintain hormone levels and expel waste from the body. They are part of the process that regulates blood pressure, blood clotting, fertility and conception – and they also help regulate inflammation and stimulate the body to fight infection.

Omega-3 (Linolenic Acid) is the principal Omega-3 fatty acid and is used in the formation of cell walls, improving circulation and oxygen. A deficiency can lead to decreased immune system function, elevated levels of LDL (bad cholesterol) high blood pressure and irregular heartbeat. It is found in flaxseed, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, avocados, spinach and other dark green leafy vegetables, sardines, tuna and salmon.

Omega-6 (Linoleic Acid) is the primary Omega-6 fatty acid. Omega-6 can improve rheumatoid arthritis, PMS, skin problems such as eczema and psoriasis. Found in flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, olive oil, evening primrose oil, chicken and poultry, salmon.

There is growing evidence that the non-essential Oleic acid, Omega 9, may help to lower cholesterol by decreasing the unhealthy cholesterol, LDL (low-density lipoprotein), while at the same time raising the level of healthy cholesterol, HDL (high density lipoprotein).

Oleic acid is also emerging as a regulator of blood-sugar levels and as a possible protection against breast and prostate cancer. So, including half an avocado in your diet every day may well protect you from the harmful long-term effects of a number of diseases. Found in olive oil, olives, avocados, almonds, and walnuts.

YOUR BASIC SHOPPING LIST FOR FOODS TO EAT REGULARLY THROUGH THE WEEK. Highlighted foods are regarded as excellent source of nutrients for anti-aging.

 The list is not exhaustive but will give you the basics for a healthy diet. It is important that you eat sufficient to fuel your body and never delete one particular food group without considering the impact on your health. I work on the 80/20 rule when considering processed versus cooking from scratch and if you are going to use processed foods do read the labels and consider quality over price and quantity. If you are not accustomed to cooking then do invest in an all-round basic cook book – these wonderful ingredients need to be treated with respect when prepared. Enjoy.

vegetables

Vegetables – carrots, red peppers, broccoli, spinach, cauliflower, corn on the cob- any dark cabbage or Brussel sprouts, onions, garlic, mushrooms, tomatoes, watercress, dark lettuce leaves, cucumbers, celery, avocados and potatoes. (Any other fresh seasonal produce you enjoy) At least five or six portions a day – use a cupped handful as an estimated portion size.

bananas

Lower Fructose Fruit – Bananas, kiwi, strawberries and any dark berries such as blueberries that are reasonably priced – try frozen. Enjoy all fruit in season at least three portions a day.

Hot lemon and water first thing in the morning will not only give you a Vitamin C hit, start your digestive process off but will also help with sugar cravings.

wholegrains

Wholegrainsbrown rice– wholegrain bread – whole wheat pasta – Weetabix – shredded wheat – porridge oats. Please do not buy sugar or chocolate covered cereals – more sugar than goodness. Carbohydrates are an important food group. However, as we get older and less active you really only need a large spoonful of rice or potatoes on a daily basis. If you suffer from a Candida overgrowth be aware that it may not be the yeast in bread that causes a problem but the sugar or its substitute.

salmon

FishSalmon fresh and tinned- cod – haddock (again frozen can be a good option) any white fish on offer – shellfish once a week such as mussels. Tinned sardines, Tuna and herrings – great for lighter meals. (Any fish that is available fresh not from farmed sources)

turkey stuffed two

Meat and poultry –chicken or turkey – lamb, beef and pork. Lean ham for sandwiches, (processed meats should be used sparingly) Venison if you enjoy it. Liver provides a wonderful array of nutrients served with onions and vegetables is delicious. Tofu for vegetarians has become more accessible and can be used by non-vegetarians once a week to provide the other benefits of soya it offers. Bacon once a week is fine but do bear in mind that most processed meats contain a lot of salt. (Any unprocessed meat or poultry is good but be aware of the sauces you put on them and your cooking method – grill or roast and drain off excess fats)

pumpkin seeds

Nuts, beans and seeds – to put on your cereal in the mornings or as snacks – check prices out in your health food shop as well as supermarket. Almonds, Brazil nuts, pumpkin seeds, flaxseeds, walnuts. All beans as an alternative source of protein including chick peas. Sprouted seeds are a wonderful food source and a handful on your salads will add that extra punch of nutrients.

eggs

Dairy and Eggs- Milk, butter and cheese (better to have the real stuff than whipped margarine) – yoghurt and kefir. Free Range Eggs – have at least three or four a week.

olives

OilsExtra virgin Olive Oil (least processed) – great drizzled on vegetables with some seasoning and also eaten the Spanish way with balsamic vinegar on salads and also drizzled over toasted fresh bread. If you do not like the taste of Olive Oil then use Sunflower oil – do not use the light version of any oil as it has been processed heavily – use the good stuff. Recent research has identified that it is safe to use olive oil for frying but do not burn the oil.

Honey and extras You really do need to avoid sugars refined and in cakes, sweets and biscuits but honey is a sweetener that the body has been utilising since the first time we found a bee hive and a teaspoon in your porridge is okay. Try and find a local honey to you. Dark chocolate – over 70% a one or two squares per day particularly with a lovely cup of Americano coffee is a delicious way to get your antioxidants.

Sauces – If you buy your sauces in jars and packets they will have a great many more ingredients than you bargained for. One of the worst is sugar or its substitutes. The greatest cooking skill you can develop is to be able to make a wide variety of sauces from scratch. If you do this you will be not only using fresh produce with its nutritional punch but also taking hundreds of pounds of sugar out of your diet over a lifetime.

green tea

Fluids- Green Tea and other herbal teas, tap and mineral water, coffee (not instant but ground coffee) Good quality alcohol in moderation especially good quality red wine. Black tea also has antioxidants so drink a couple of cups a day. Try with sliced lemon and get some Vitamin C. (depending on the climate and altitude at which you live you will need to experiment to find out how much fluid you need. If you have very low humidity you will need considerably more. Average is around the 2 litres per day of combined fluids).

©Sally Cronin – Turning Back the Clock

 I hope that you have enjoyed the book and I will leave all the chapters available for the next few weeks so that you can catch up on previous chapters.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/turning-back-the-clock-serialisation-anti-aging/

As I mentioned earlier please feel free to share but I would ask that you link to this post or the book.

Many thanks Sally

 

 

 

Turning Back the Clock Serialisation – Anti-Aging – Chapter Five – Are you getting enough oxygen?


Turning Back the Clock

CHAPTER FIVE – ARE YOU GETTING ENOUGH OXYGEN?

Isn’t breathing something that we all do naturally without thinking about it?

One of the reasons that I have left the art of breathing to this fairly late stage is that I assumed that most people were actually doing it – at least sufficiently enough to sit reading this book. The sad fact is though that most of us only use a small proportion of our lung capacity. Which is also a bit of a waste when you think that a few minutes spent each day completing a deep breathing exercise and learning to use the lungs to full capacity is as free as the air you breath.

It is well worth remembering that only the fittest athletes can survive for more than 6 minutes without air – we all need water within 6 days and we can live without food for 6 weeks. I know what should be on our priority list.

As we get older we find we become more and more breathless as we undertake activity but this need not be inevitable and in this chapter I am going to provide you with the tools you need to improve this absolutely vital function. These very simple exercises are a definite weapon against aging and health problems.

What sort of benefits will people begin to see in the short term?

Breathing correctly and taking in the right amount of oxygen for the body can help you relax and reduce stress. It will improve your skin tone, which is part of any anti-aging programme. You will sleep better and in some cases lose weight.

More importantly many functions of the body, including the essential elimination of waste and toxins is dependent on our breathing. 70% of our elimination is through breathing, yet most people only use 20% of their lung capacity. This causes a build-up of toxins which lead to disease and chronic illnesses associated with old age. Most bacteria and viruses do not thrive in an oxygen rich environment so certainly health should benefit almost immediately.

How can it help to lose weight?

As far as losing weight is concerned, achieving an aerobic state means getting enough oxygen into the bloodstream to convert fuel to burn fat. This does not necessarily mean racing around breathing as hard as you can manage. What it does mean is achieving optimum breathing in gentle but effective exercises.

Breathing correctly can also release endorphins into the brain. Anything from panic attacks to migraine headaches can be improved by increasing oxygen into the system.

It may take some practice but after a few days you will be amazed at the sort of power you can achieve working with your body’s own capabilities.

What are some of the benefits to the whole body by breathing correctly?

THE RESPIRATORY SYSTEM

  • Gives you more energy.
  • Reduces mental and physical fatigue.
  • Reduces chest pains caused by tight muscles, the tension causing anxiety of “heart attack potential” is reduced.
  • Aids in relief of many long-term respiratory difficulties such as asthma and bronchitis.
  • Reduces need for artificial stimulants and many harmful prescription drugs.
  • Helps eliminate waste from the body

CIRCULATORY SYSTEM

  • Improves blood circulation and relieves congestion.
  • Increases supply of oxygen and nutrients to cells throughout the body. Major organs such as brain and eyes need plenty of oxygen.
  • Eases the strain on the heart by increasing oxygen to the heart.
  • Helps increase the supply of blood and nutrients to muscle blood and bones.

THE NERVOUS SYSTEM

  • Better breathing can calm or stimulate the nervous system, balance or unbalance brain hemispheres, depending on the technique.

THE DIGESTIVE SYSTEM

  • Diaphragmatic action acts as a pump to massage the internal organs, aiding their function.

ENDOCRINE SYSTEM

  • Helps push the movement of lymph throughout the body, which helps eliminate toxic wastes and strengthen the immune system.

THE URINARY SYSTEM

  • Shallow breathing puts stress on other organs of elimination.
  • Better breathing can reduce oedema, (swelling of the body) by eliminating fluids thorough the breath.

THE SKIN

  • CO2 waste is eliminated more directly through breath.
  • Wrinkles can be lessened due to improved circulation and blood oxygen flow.
  • Radiant skin is a sign of good oxygenation

MOVEMENT

  • Relaxes muscle spasm and relieves tension.
  • Releases and reduces muscular tension that eventually may cause structural problems.
  • Helps increase flexibility and strength of joints; when you breathe easier you move easier.
  • Facilitates stretching of connective tissue, which prevents formation of adhesions and reduces the danger of fibrosis.
  • Can partially compensate for lack of exercise and inactivity due to habit, illness or injury.

BREATHING EXERCISES FOR MORNING AND EVENING.

BREATHING

Our breath is much more than just an intake of oxygen. It is our connection to life itself as without air we would die. There are 4 parts to every breath,

The inhale, a moment’s pause, the exhale and another natural moment’s pause before the next inhale. Exhale usually longer than the inhale.

Morning exercise

Stand with arms loose by your side, the whole body relaxed and still. The posture straight but not held taut. The shoulders rolling back and down to open the chest and release neck/shoulder tension.

As you inhale slowly lift the arms out and up above your head with palms parallel. As you exhale, release the arms back down gently to your sides.

So not only do you receive a gentle stretch to wake you up, but also there is more space in the body to take a deeper inhalation. It is very simple but very effective. The most important thing is to unite the length of the inhale with the rise of the arms so that when the arms reach the furthest point above the head you have completed the inhale; there is a tiny pause, then the exhale down, slowly lowering the arms. When they reach your side the exhale is finished.

Generally the exhale is longer than the inhale as you are ridding the body of impurities with it. Then a little pause. The movements follow the breath, like surfing a wave. Don’t rush the moves or you will get tense, better to do them slowly and relaxed with total concentration, better still outside (on a beach) or in front of an open window to receive all that free energy!

Practice for several minutes or at least 12 times. Better to do 12 focused breaths then 25 rushed ones. Quality versus quantity.

If you suffer with high blood pressure and or restrictive shoulder/ arm movements, better to take the arms up only as far as the shoulder height.

Evening exercise –

Lie down on your back on the floor. If you suffer with lower back pain, better to have your knees resting up over on sofa or chair. If your head doesn’t relax onto the ground easily, use a cushion.

Start with hands on lower belly, fingers pointing down to groin. Notice how you are breathing. The breath reflects our mental, physical and emotional state.

After several minutes consciously encourage the beginning of the breath into the belly to feel the hands rise with the inhale and relax down with the exhale. So you are using the abdomen to breath. This in good health should happen spontaneously, but all too often with stress many people breath only using the upper chest.

Do this for several minutes, then place the arms out in a cross, shoulder height with palms up. Now there is more room to take the breath up into the middle lungs, feel the movement of the ribcage outwards and upwards. But you still begin each breath down deep in the belly. Do this for several minutes, relaxing the body on the exhale.

Last of all, slide the arms higher up above your head relaxing on the floor, if you cannot do this due to tension or injury, leave them where they were in a cross. The purpose of this move is to now bring more space and awareness to the upper chest towards the base of the throat. There is little movement here compared to the ribs, but you can feel the rising of the chest and clavicular bones to the throat and chin at the peak of the inhale, just before you exhale.

So you now have 3 places to breathe into, the abdomen, the ribs and the upper chest to make one long, deep, satisfying breath. Feel each of the 3 places as the breath flows up the trunk as one long wave. As you exhale the wave retreats back down to the lower abdomen. Remember to feel the slight pause between inhales and exhales, but don’t hold your breath.

Try and practise this for at least 5 minutes, but 10 is better. It also helps improve your posture with the back flat and the arms out.

The previous chapters are in the directory.Turning Back the Clock

©sallycronin- Turning Back the Clock 2013

Thank you for dropping by and please feel free to share the chapter or print off to use as a guide when you are completing the exercises.

Keep breathing… Sally

 

 

Turning Back the Clock Serialisation – Chapter Four – The Immune System


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Chapter Four – The Key to Health and Anti-Aging is a powerful Immune System.

Over the last three chapters I have looked at the main contributory factors associated with aging. In this chapter I am going to explore the necessity of having a functioning and thriving Immune System and how we can eat food to achieve that.

Why is the Immune System so important in preventing premature aging?

In a nutshell, if your immune system is not functioning well your entire body, including the tissues, organs and systems suffer damage and cannot repair themselves. Additionally, you are wide open to bacterial, viral and toxic invaders who are looking for a nesting site. You have what they need to reproduce and thrive, but they need to make some adjustments when they arrive. They like a lovely acidic, toxic, waste filled environment without too much oxygen. They are particularly fond of a new home that does not have troublesome neighbours such as anti-oxidants and they prefer a quiet life without too much exercise so that they get on and breed. They are a “class act” and make sure that they give you something back in the form of rent. Frequent Colds and Flu, Thrush, skin complaints, fatigue and stomach problems. If you are a really up-market landlord and are offering premium accommodation they will pay you back with Arthritis, Rheumatism, Osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s and Cancer.

Not the sort of tenants one is looking for then?

No they definitely are not. The trouble is, of course, that most of them are squatters and should not be there in the first place. Most of us are very careless about our property and leave the back door and sometimes the front door wide open.

So how does a properly functioning Immune System protect us?

The immune system is not just about our internal defences. It actually has a pretty formidable array of physical barriers that are designed to keep pathogens, which are all harmful substances out of our bodies.

The skin is our main external protector. If it is not damaged it will not allow harmful toxins to enter the bloodstream. The problem is that of course it is porous and is designed to allow fluids in and out through the pores. So, any substance that touches your skin, such as chemical preparations can pass right through. For example; if you use strong household cleaners these contain highly toxic substances that will pass through the dermal layer and store in the tissues causing anything from a mild rash to a violent allergic reaction. This is why you must wear gloves when using them. Many of us react to perfume, cosmetics or even simple hand-creams that our body obviously thinks of as toxic.

If you cut yourself-then germs can pass through directly to the bloodstream and from there they have complete access to the rest of your body.

We have special hairs and mucus tissues in our nose, mouth and throat that are designed to catch anything harmful.

If toxins get as far as our stomachs, then acid and enzymes will react and cause you to get rid of the problem. Our lungs too have a very sophisticated defence system that will make you cough it up.

Should any harmful bacteria, virus or toxin get past these barriers then we have a very complex system of cells and antibodies that will rush to our defence.

The liver is of course the place where most of these toxins are going to pass through, and it has specific enzymes designed to destroy them so that they can then be evicted from the body.

What are the effects of Free-Radicals on how quickly we age?

If you cut an apple and effectively damage it, within a few minutes it will begin to turn brown. If you leave it long enough the tissue of the apple will begin to break down and you will end up with a liquid, bacteria covered, and unidentifiable lump on your cutting board.

That just about sums up what free-radical damage does to your body. Just to get a little more technical for a few seconds. We bandy about the phrase “Free-Radicals” as if they are some dissident political group or schoolyard bullies. Like most bullies they are missing something and want yours.

In this case a free-radical is a molecule. A normal molecule has an even number of electrons and is considered stable. Free-radicals on the other hand have an uneven number of electrons and are unstable. They are desperate to be like the normal molecules so they have to steal from them to get another electron. This of course means that they have created another free-radical. More and more cells become damaged and leave the body open to most diseases from cardiovascular to cancer.

Like the apple, the damage is a kind of oxidation, which is the action of adding oxygen to a substance (essentially the same as rusting!)

Aren’t some Free-radicals important for the body?

Ironically, yes. The immune system uses some free-radicals to go and steal an electron from harmful molecules that have entered the system illegally. Problem is, like everything else in the body, we need balances and checks. The Free-Radical police are anti-oxidants and if you have not got enough of them then the free-radicals become vigilantes and go after everything that moves.

Also, we create free-radicals when we exercise energetically and take in additional oxygen. These then assist with the metabolism of foods that enter the body. Again if the balance between these and anti-oxidants is not correct more free-radicals are created than are needed.

What particular part do Free-radicals play in aging?

The free-radicals cause cells to oxidise and die. The major damage is done to our DNA, which results in mutations and death of the cells. Our body does produce anti-oxidants and enzymes that can repair this damage if we eat healthily. However, as we get older so do our cells and it becomes harder to repair them and they die. This is aging! These cells that are dying are in our skin, tissues and organs such as the heart, brain and liver and every system that keeps us alive.

What other area of the Immune System is important to help with anti-aging?

We have a number of safety regulators in the body that are designed to deal with intruders, and if their health is not maintained we become very much more susceptible to disease.

Apart from our bloodstream we have another network throughout our bodies, which is called the Lymphatic system. This system runs throughout the body, and is a little like a railway network with stations along the route, which are called glands. You will often hear people say that their glands are up!

The main ones are the Lymph Nodes in your neck, under your armpits and in your groin. The lymph fluid, which is called plasma, travels along the network, reaches one of the stations and drops off any harmful bacteria in the node. The lymph system contains a number of cells that sound like something out of James Bond movies: B-cells, Killer T-cells, Helper T–Cells, Macrophages and Lymphocytes and these and all other blood cells are produced in our bone marrow; which we hear a great deal about in relation to transplants.

All these cells have specific roles to play but for example the lovely macrophages swallow bacteria and kill them.

When it comes to aging, I think we all know how it feels to be drained of energy, getting continual infections, suffering the pain of degenerative diseases like arthritis. These in themselves make us feel old. But of course all these infections are adding enormous stress and strain to the body and are damaging the tissues in our body at the same time. Although our body is programmed to regenerate over our lifetime, each cell only has a number of times that it can regenerate. If you wear out that system of regeneration when you are too young you are going to age.

In addition, when our body is stressed on a continuous basis, our glands will secrete hormones to counteract the inflammation and adrenaline to enable us to cope. This wears out the organs and they suffer damage and disease.

Where do we start when building up our Immune System?

The first place that we need to start is by gently detoxing our bodies of the accumulated waste. For anyone that has been eating more fruit and vegetables, cutting down on the processed sugary and high fat foods and drinking more natural fluids such as water, that process has already begun. Hopefully problem foods like stimulants and alcohol have been reduced so there are fewer toxins entering the body. The anti-oxidants in the diet are boosting the immune system and you should be achieving a much healthier balance.

In addition to a daily diet of fresh unprocessed foods, particularly vegetables you need to take in foods that will absorb toxins and move them through the body efficiently.

For example I recommend that all my clients start the day by having some fresh lemon juice in hot water – this is excellent for your liver to help it detox. If you add a teaspoon of honey that will help your intestines too. Have a glass of carrot juice mixed with unsweetened apple juice a day will support the detox function of your liver and bile ducts. Also a medium glass of cranberry juice can help keep your urinary tract and therefore your kidneys free of infection.

You should be eating brown rice regularly and certainly a large tablespoon every day is excellent for keeping waste moving through your system as it should. There is a plan for a gentle detox at the end of the book which is easy on the body but effective in getting rid of unwanted visitors.

Is it ever too late to start this?

The really good news is that if you are not already dead you can do something about it. Sounds awful, but even if you are already in your 70’s and 80’s you still have trillions of cells left that can be nourished and repaired and still have reproductive life in them. The real key for managing the aging process is to stop the damage right now.

You can start by embracing the healthy eating plan you will find later on in the book, which is packed full of wonderful anti-oxidants. The main anti-oxidants are Vitamins A, C, E and Beta-carotene, which is the precursor of Vitamin A. There is also Selenium, Zinc and Bioflavonoids. The more brightly coloured fruits and vegetables you consume the more anti-oxidants will be available to your immune system to fight the damage caused by free-radicals.

You should also drink plenty of fluids including water to flush any toxins out of your system and other fluids such as green tea, which are full of anti-oxidants.

You will also be eating a high percentage of your foods unprocessed and from plant sources, which is creating an alkaline environment that germs cannot survive in.

Apart from food is there anything else we can do to protect our Immune System?

Exercise will move toxins out of your body provided you are drinking sufficient fluids. If not, you will know about in the form of lactic acid and muscle cramps. Exercise also pumps oxygen into the body and although this creates free-radical activity, other harmful bacteria and viruses do not like an oxygen rich environment and die. So provided you are taking in sufficient anti-oxidants taking exercise is fantastic.

We have to learn how to relax so that our bodies can rest. Being young at heart and full of vibrant energy is exactly what we are aiming to achieve. But at the same time we have to allow time for our bodies to recover from activity and rebuild its defences. You cannot run any living system without down-time otherwise you will damage all the components.

Take a nap. Make sure you get the right amount of sleep. Take a day off and do something completely different and go out and enjoy a quiet dinner for two etc.

Avoid toxins and germs. Do not put yourself in harm’s way. Use gloves when you are cleaning, wash your hands before preparing food. Wash food if you are not going to peel it.

Do not store household chemicals under your sink in the kitchen, try and put them into an outside storage area.

Although it is wonderful to kiss our friends and shake hands, that is how germs are spread by touch more so than inhaling. So wash your hands several times a day.

Get fresh air at least once a day for 45 minutes and in a the next chapter I am going to show you how breathing and doing some very simple exercises each day can help boost your immune system and minimise damage to your cells and organs of your body.

©sallycronin Turning Back the Clock 2014

You will find the other Chapters in the the book here:

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/turning-back-the-clock-serialisation-anti-aging/

Full details of the book can be found here. http://moyhill.com/tbtc/

Please feel free to share the post and would of course love your feedback. thanks Sally

Turning Back The Clock Serialisation – Chapter Three – The Hormone Factor


This week’s chapter is very relevant as during the week I have been looking at Vitamin B3 and cholesterol. Cholesterol is essential for the production of hormones as well as our brain health and other important functions. Whilst having too much of one kind of cholesterol is not healthy for our arteries or heart a balance of all kinds is essential B3 and cholesterol

As we age our reproductive hormones naturally decrease but they do not disappear and they still need the ingredients necessary to produce them. This requires that we maintain a diet that provides those nutrients. I know that this chapter is quite lengthy but please feel free to save to read later.

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CHAPTER THREE – THE HORMONE FACTOR

Isn’t it inevitable that all hormone levels are going to drop as we get older, and will we all be affected?

Most of us, when we talk about hormones, are usually referring to the reproductive ones such as testosterone, progesterone and oestrogen.

We all know that as we get older our reproductive hormones decrease and both men and women go through a menopause. Women are more affected by this, obviously, but men too experience a decrease in testosterone levels and the changes that this brings about.

However, our sex hormones are just three of the many hormones that are produced in our bodies and even though our reproductive abilities may decrease as we get older, the hormones involved are still active within our body. If they, and our other hormones, are looked after they will contribute to a healthy, energetic and youthful appearance. Sex does not stop when we get middle aged it just gets more creative and interesting.

I am not going to cover every form of hormone but it is important to remember that all hormones produced by the body are for a specific reason. They ensure that the complex processes within our bodies are working efficiently. When these processes are not working at an optimum level there is a breakdown in function over time, and damage and aging will take place.

What are hormones exactly?

Hormones are some of the most powerful chemicals to be found in the body. They are bio-chemicals produced in special glands and then carried in the bloodstream to other glands, or cells, where they give instructions that activate certain processes.

They are secreted by a number of different glands such as the Pituitary, Adrenal, Thyroid, Pancreas, Ovaries, Testes and Pineal. Each gland may produce one or more different hormone to affect a process in the body. For example; the Pancreas secretes Insulin, Glucagon and Stomostatin. Insulin and glucagon are secreted according to the level of blood sugar and Stomostatin is the referee to ensure that not too much of either is secreted and that blood sugar levels remain balanced as a result.

Hormones are manufactured from components of food, which means that the type of diet you follow has a major impact on keeping hormone levels in balance! Hormones are either protein-like as in insulin, or fat-like as in steroid hormones.

Since our primary focus is on maintaining our health; through eating an optimum diet, we need to concentrate on providing the body with the most perfect environment for hormone balance and therefore lack of stress; which leads to damage and disease.

The hormone functions I am going to cover are Metabolism, Blood Sugar Levels and Stress Response because these, combined with low levels of the sex hormones Testosterone, Progesterone and Oestrogen, are some of the leading causes of aging.

Whatever the level of hormones produced by particular glands, if they are not communicating when they get to their destinations (such as the Thyroid Gland, Kidneys or Ovaries, they will not be effective – and the on-going functions they are supposed to stimulate will be disrupted.

How do we create the perfect environment?

Well, a good start is to be following a diet which is primarily sourced from all natural ingredients, is low in refined sugars and contains healthy fats. Being near a healthy weight will also help. There are certain foods that are very nutrient dense which are very important in creating the right atmosphere for hormones to work efficiently in balance.

One of the most important food sources is Essential Fatty Acids which are Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids (polyunsaturated fatty acids). The body must have these essential fatty acids, yet cannot make them itself.

One of the main functions of essential fatty acids is the production of prostaglandins which are hormone-like substances that regulate many body functions. Basically, they control every cell of the body on a second-by-second basis by acting as interpreters between the hormones and the cells they are being delivered to. As far as aging is concerned they are required for energy production, increasing oxidation and metabolic rates. Energy levels go up with high stamina with decreased recovery time from fatigue.

Prostaglandins are particularly important in the way that they balance all hormones including the reproductive ones. You also need to note that the brain does not function without essential fatty acids.

Monounsaturated fats are also important, as both these types of fats protect brain cells and the membranes and ensure effective passing of nutrients within the brain.

This last point is particularly important, because when we talk about hormones we tend to ignore the power behind the throne, which is the Hypothalamus. The other name of the Hypothalamus is actually the word Homeostasis, which means balance, which is very appropriate. It is located in the middle of the base of the brain and is connected to the Pituitary lobes, which form the most important gland in the body.

The Hypothalamus regulates body temperature, blood sugar, water balance, fat metabolism, appetite, body weight, sensory inputs – such as taste and smell and sight, sleep, sexual behaviour, emotions, hormone productions, menstrual cycle regulation and the automatic nervous system that controls functions such as breathing and the heart muscle.

So, when we talk about hormones we need to talk about brain health as a priority.

Apart from essential fatty acids – what else does the brain need to function?

I am sure that it is no surprise that I am going to say FLUIDS are essential for adequate brain function. Dehydration causes to cells to dry up and die but also prevents the nutrients and oxygen reaching the brain, uphill through the carotid artery.

Headaches, nervousness, dizziness and nausea are all symptoms that the brain is dehydrated. That’s what you get when you drink too much coffee and alcohol and get a hangover. They are mild diuretics that can drain the body including organs such as the brain, of fluid. Additionally, every organ in the body, including the brain, has a pH balance that needs to be maintained. Without fluid the brain can become too acidic and damage occurs as I explained in the previous chapter on acidity and alkalinity.

B vitamins are critical for the brain.

B1 (Thiamine) essential for the nervous system.

B2 (Riboflavin) works with Vitamin C to help the Adrenal glands and therefore energy levels.

B3, (Niacin) assists Tryptophan in making Serotonin and the formation of the steroid hormones and for warding off senility.

B5 (Pantothenic acid) is required for making neurotransmitter chemicals and for steroid hormones Testosterone and Oestrogen, B6 (Pyridoxine) Serotonin manufacture, sleep patterns,

B12 (Cyanocolbalamin) essential for proper functioning of the nervous system.

Vitamin C a powerful antioxidant that protects the brain from free-radical damage but also works with other vitamins and minerals in a number of vital processes.

Vitamin E which helps increase circulation of oxygen and glucose rich blood to the brain. As an antioxidant it also protects brain cells from damage and destruction. It also protects the essential fatty acids and the Prostaglandins from oxidising (more next week)

Tryptophan that works with B3 and B6 particularly to manufacture Serotonin and Melatonin in the brain.

Calcium which calms the brain and assists in sleeping (hot milk at night). Magnesium to help Calcium work and to help calm panic attacks.

Phenylalanine an antidepressant nutrient that also stimulates memory.

Zinc, which has a calming effect on the brain function and with vitamin C, protects the membranes.

What part do amino acids play in hormone production?

Amino acids are the building blocks that make up proteins, which of course is what we are made of. Vitamins and minerals can’t perform their specific functions effectively if the necessary amino acids are not present. Amino acids are either classified as essential or non-essential. The non-essential ones can be manufactured in our bodies but the essential amino acids have to be obtained from food.

All hormones require amino acids for their production. For example L-Arginine encourages growth hormones and constitutes 80% of semen, which is why a deficiency causes sterility and is also essential for prostate health. L-Tryptophan helps in the production of Serotonin and Melatonin and helps to control emotional behaviour. L-Glutamine is helpful for Thyroid gland function. Taurine is used for hyperactivity and poor brain function.

What about the health of the other hormone producing glands?

Most of the above applies throughout the body. A diet rich in antioxidants such as Vitamin A, C and E and essential fatty acids and amino acids will promote health everywhere. Having created a near perfect working environment for the bosses (the Hypothalamus and the Pituitary), we can turn our attention to the health of the Thyroid (metabolism, energy and growth) Adrenal Gland (sex drive, stress response and metabolism) and Pancreas (Blood sugar levels). If these organs are producing the hormones they are supposed to in the right quantities many of the problems we associate with old age would be much more manageable. Including energy and the ability to process our nutrients efficiently keeping us away from degenerative disease such as arthritis.

How can we take care of the thyroid?

The Thyroid needs Iodine and Selenium to produce an enzyme, which converts the amino acid Tyrosine into Thyroxine. If Thyroxine is at a less than optimum level there will be weight gain, fatigue, intestinal problems and thickening skin. This gland also produces a hormone that is responsible for calcium balance between blood and bones. If this is not working then too much calcium is leached from the bones leaving, them vulnerable to osteoporosis.

What function does the adrenal gland have?

The Adrenal gland is actually in two parts the cortex (male characteristics, sex drive, stress response, metabolism and the excretion of Sodium and Potassium from the kidneys). The Medulla, which produces the Adrenaline for metabolism and the fight or flight stress response.

If your stress levels remain high for long periods of time there will be an effect on the rest of your body. The body slows down digestion, maintenance and repair so that it is ready to run at any moment. It definitely speeds up the aging process because, like anything that is not maintained and is under stress, it slowly deteriorates. It will have a very big impact on all the rest of the hormones in the body including your sex drive – which is why stress plays a very important role in problems such as impotence.

A note here that if you have food intolerances you will be in a constant state of stress as the body deals with the invader. It will put a great deal of strain on the entire body, contributing to aging, which is why following a rotational eating plan (healthy eating programme) will help.

All the B vitamins, as well as Vitamin C, are necessary for the Adrenal glands as these are the nutrients that the body uses up most when in a stress reaction. Therefore they need to be replaced.

The Pancreas – Insulin production and blood sugar levels. What nutrients are needed for that to function healthily?

Like any of the hormonal glands, all of the nutrients that we have already mentioned are going to help the pancreas function better. In addition, it is important to follow some guidelines about eating certain foods that are going to stress the gland and put excess sugar into the bloodstream in addition to that made by the body.

So it is important to avoid too much refined carbohydrates and sugar (follow the healthy eating programme)

You should not eat too much saturated fat. Do not drink too many stimulants such as coffee and alcohol; be at a reasonable weight.

How about the food sources for the essential nutrients that are required to balance the hormones?

Essential Fatty acids

olives

Omega 3. Flaxseed oil, walnuts, pumpkinseeds, Brazil nuts, sesame seeds, avocados, dark green vegetables such as spinach, salmon, mackerel, sardines, anchovies, tuna.

Omega 6. Flaxseed oil, pumpkin seeds, pine nuts, pistachios, sunflower seeds, olive oil, evening primrose oil, chicken.

Omega 9. Olive oil, olives, avocado, almonds, sesame oil, pecans, pistachio, cashews.

Heat and oxygen destroy essential fatty acids so keep oils in dark glass containers.

vegetables

Antioxidants are found in all fresh fruit and vegetables and if you are eating 50% to 60% you will be doing great.

salmon

B vitamins. Apricots, avocado, brown rice, carrots, chicken, eggs, whole grains, lambs kidney and liver, melon, nuts, oats, oily fish, potatoes, pumpkin, carrots, spinach, all salad vegetables and yoghurt.

Amino acids are found in proteins either animal or vegetable. Main sources are Soya beans, peas, beans, whole grains like brown rice, dairy products, poultry, lean meats and eggs.

At the moment I am working through the B vitamins in my weekly posts in more detail and you can find these here.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/vitamins-and-minerals-of-the-week/

©SallyGeorginaCronin Turning Back the Clock 2013

I hope you are finding the serialisation of my book interesting and helpful and I would be delighted to have your feedback and also grateful if you could share.

 

Turning Back the Clock serialisation – Chapter Two – Acid Balance in the body


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CHAPTER TWO – ANTI-AGING AND A HEALTHY BODY REQUIRES THE CORRECT PH BALANCE.

Health and energy and long life all begin with a correct pH balance. The pH balance refers to the acidity or alkalinity of every living organism. The scale for measuring this balance is called Potential for Hydrogen or pH balance and each system or organ has its optimum balance for health. The scale goes from 0 to 14 with 7.0 being neutral with anything above 7 as alkaline and anything below 7 being acidic. Each step up or down is ten times the previous which means that even a change of .1 will have an effect on your body.

For example human blood stays in a very narrow pH range between 7.35 and 7.45. If the balance goes either side of this there will be varying symptoms of disease. In fact if the pH level drops too much below 6.8 or above 7.8 the heart can stop.

This illustrates how critical this level of acidity and alkalinity is for our health.

If you already have a health problem

If you have a health problem you are very likely to be acidic. Some of the early symptoms are acid after eating, acne, panic attacks, cold hands and feet, food allergies, bloating, mild headaches and fatigue. Sound familiar?

More acute symptoms are cold sores, depression, migraines, asthma, hives, and urinary infections (urine pH should be between 7.0 and 7.2. Under 5.3 you cannot absorb vitamins and minerals), hair loss, fungal infections and numbness and tingling.

Advanced symptoms are the diseases such as Crohn’s disease, MS, Leukaemia, Peptic ulcers, Cancer (thrives in a balance of 4.5 to 5.0), Hodgkin’s Disease, Tuberculosis, Lupus and Rheumatoid arthritis and Osteoporosis.

For example, an aging problem that both men and women are likely to experience is osteoporosis. One of the primary causes of osteoporosis is a lifetime of eating too much daily protein and refined sugars. This is very acid forming and necessitates the body continually pulling calcium from the bones to buffer this acidity. Animal protein is somewhat worse than vegetarian protein foods, but all exert an acidic effect. Eating a diet high in processed foods that contain a high sugar content also results in an increase in high acidity.

Too much acid will decrease the energy production in the cells and the ability to repair damaged cells. The body is unable to detox heavy metals and allows tumour cells to thrive. It will also cause a depressed immune system leaving the body wide open to infections.

As we age, we gradually dry up at the cellular level. As we get older cells get thicker. As a result the amounts of vital nutrients and oxygen brought into them declines while the amount of toxins and metabolic waste products increases. The end result is loss of youthful cell function and the start of degenerative diseases and a steady aging process.

What causes too much acid in the body?

An acidic balance occurs from eating an acid forming diet, stress, toxicity in our environment and lack of absorption of alkaline forming minerals. If the body cannot get enough alkaline forming minerals such as calcium from the diet it will borrow from our reserves, namely the calcium stored in the bones which leads to osteoporosis.

All food is burned to an ash in the body. Food ash is neutral, acid or alkaline depending on the mineral content of the food. To be considered alkaline forming the minerals sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium are predominant. If it is acidic forming the ash will contain sulphur, phosphorus and chlorine.

To be healthy the body needs to be in the ratio of 4 – 1. Four parts alkaline and one part acid.

Just because a food is acid to begin with does not mean that it is acidic forming once it has gone through the digestive process. For example, a lemon is citrus and acidic but the ash it produces is alkaline.

There are some physical causes for an acid build up in the stomach that can then lead to a disruption in the acid balances in other systems of the body. Eating too much at one time can result in inadequate processing in the stomach. We are all familiar with that overstuffed feeling that we get when we have eaten too much. If you eat too fast you can compound this problem and the stomach is simply not large enough nor can it produce sufficient processing power to deal with the amount of food in a short space of time.

We have also lost the art of relaxing after a meal, rushing around trying to cope with modern life does zero for the digestive process. I am sure that we can all remember when we were children that we were never allowed to swim or run around for at least two hours after a main meal. Digestion takes a great deal of energy and if you divert that energy towards vigorous exercise, food is not processed properly leading to stomach cramps and increased acidity.

Eating plan for acidity/alkaline balance if you are already experiencing high acidity related health problems that are making you feel older than you are!

It is important that you eat regularly and moderately to provide you with the nutrients that you require and to allow your body to process those nutrients to make them as accessible as possible for your body.

Your main meals are breakfast, lunch and dinner with three snacks in between depending on your energy requirements. The older we get the less we need to snack between meals especially if they are sugary in nature. Main meals should consist of some wholegrain or vegetable carbohydrate, animal or plant protein and a small amount of healthy fats. Always chew food slowly and if you put your knife and fork down between each mouthful you should be eating at the correct pace. If there is someone in your family who always finishes their meal after you then make it a point to slow down so that they finish first.

After a heavier than normal meal always try and relax for at least half an hour before moving around and certainly leave at least two hours before rigorous exercise.

Drinking a small cup of peppermint tea after a meal will aid digestion and it is better to eat fruit as a starter rather than a dessert as it digests much quicker than any other food. If you eat fruit within half an hour of a heavy meal it can cause a disruption to the digestive process.

Intermittent Fasting is also a way to allow your digestive system to process foods thoroughly over sixteen hours whilst you eat within the other 8 hours. If you are not hugely active then eating two main meals with a small amount of fruit as a snack is quite easy to get used to and has been shown to reduce the risk for diseases such as diabetes.

Foods that should be avoided.

Foods have different acid and alkaline properties. Some are acidic in the mouth but form alkaline ash; others are so heavily processed that they will turn to acidic ash in the stomach. If you suffer already from acid reflux or peptic ulcers you should follow the following recommendations as strictly as possible. This also applies if you have some of the more common degenerative diseases such as arthritis as an acid environment is perfect.

If you would simply like to ensure the correct pH balance in your body then you can adopt a 60/40 approach and ensure that acid forming foods are only included in your diet once a day. If you suffer from any chronic diseases then for the next six weeks I suggest you follow these guidelines. Make a note in any change in symptoms and if you find that they have improved then this ratio is something you might like to stay with longer term.

Very, very acidic ash forming foods that should be totally avoided are

All soft drinks, More than a cup of coffee per day especially with cream and sugar combined, alcohol in general but particularly cheap wine and beer, refined sugars in commercially produced white flour bread, cakes, sweets and biscuits and artificial sweeteners.

Salt should be used very sparingly, as it is acid forming as well as raising blood pressure.

Very acidic forming foods that can be included 20% of your daily diet are:

Chicken, turkey, fish, shellfish, lamb, beef, pork and other lean proteins.

Oranges (nectarines are okay)

Moderately acidic forming foods that can be included up to 30% of your daily diet.

Wholegrains, brown rice, corn, oats, lentils, walnuts, rye, wholegrain pastas, sunflower seeds, Pumpkin seeds, good quality wines, organic fresh coffee, yoghurt, milk and cheese. Slightly Acidic cranberries and all the beans.

ALKALINE FOODS THAT CAN BE INCLUDED FREELY EVERY DAY. (note that although some of these fruits contain natural fruit sugar they are alkaline. If however you are pre-diabetic or diabetic then you sould limit your fruit intake to one piece per day. Also avoid high sugar juices and instead substitute vegetables.

Figs, olives, apricots (dried as snack three), avocados, carrots, Spinach, Cabbage, Dates (three on salads), kiwis, limes, raspberries, strawberries, asparagus, bananas, celery, beetroot, melon, lettuce, parsley, pineapple, pomegranate (if available) nectarines, cherries, grapefruit, tomatoes, cucumber, cauliflower, lemons, string beans, peaches, mushrooms (shitake if not too expensive), watermelon, courgettes, apples and pears.

Are most fruit and vegetables alkaline forming?

Yes they are which is why I so often encourage people to move to a much higher level of vegetables and moderate fruit content in their diet. Ideally 80% of your diet should be unprocessed, fresh and preferably raw foods. However we are not going to go that far to begin with so I have set a 20% guideline for animal proteins, 30% for grains etc. and 50% for fruit and vegetables.

Some other neutral foods that you can use in moderation in the 20% field are the oils and butter and milk. These are classified, as neutral but should be used carefully if you are hoping to lose some weight.

What about sauces for foods? It is much better to make your own sauces from natural ingredients. It is the sugars in processed sauces that cause much of the acid effect. You can use olive oil or a little butter on vegetables and make salad dressings with olive oil and herbs. I find now that sauces, unless they are very light have become very cloying and take away the natural taste of the food.

PUTTING THE PLAN INTO PRACTICE.

lemons

A really good alkaline start to the day is the juice of half a lemon in hot water. Despite being an acid fruit, lemons are alkaline forming and also get your intestines moving.

Rotating your foods is always a good idea as most of us can build up an intolerance to foods that we eat every day and this can have an acidic effect on the body. I have given you some guidelines for rotating certain foods such as carbohydrates to not only get the maximum benefit from them but to also minimise any intolerances you might have.

CARBOYDRATES. SHOULD BE 30% OF YOUR DAILY INTAKE.

wholegrainsThe latest word from some of the experts in the field of nutrition is that you should drastically limit your grains in your diet. There is certainly evidence to suggest that a high intake of refined grains are not beneficial and lead to health problems. However, there is one very good reason for that. They are industrially produced and contain little nutrition, too many additives and usually a lot of added sugar. If you eat a great deal of cookies, processed white bread, certain breakfast cereals and cakes you will be ingesting sugars which are highly acidic.

A proportion of your diet should include wholegrains that have been minimally processed so that you obtain all the nutrition including B-vitamins that are stripped when refined. You also need the fibre they contain and by eating wholegrains you can reduce your protein levels and help reduce their acid content.

Suggested Carbohydrates

Whole-wheat or wholegrain bread, whole-wheat Pitta breads, shredded wheat, whole-wheat pasta, Rye Crisp breads, Pumpernickel, mashed parsnip. Cornflakes, Corn Tortillas, Porridge oats, sugar free muesli, Brown Rice, oatcakes, potatoes.

As you will see I have grouped these together in approximate wheat, corn, rice and oat days with the occasional potato thrown in. If you have a wheat intolerance only eating it every 4 to 5 days may well help you with any related allergy symptoms.   Your body is designed to remove toxins from the body efficiently provided you are only eating them every four or five days.

PROTEINS AND FATS. ROTATE THESE SO THAT YOU ARE ONLY HAVING THEM AT LEAST 3 OR 4 DAYS APART. SHOULD ONLY BE 20% OF YOUR DAILY INTAKE. We need protein and also some acid forming foods in our diet otherwise the balance goes too far the other way. We also need healthy fat and apart from extra virgin olive oil, lean protein with a little fat is not harmful. If you do not suffer from arthritis or acid digestive problems, eating a little more lean protein should not be a problem.

salmon

Lean meat beef, lamb, fish both healthy fat varieties such as salmon and white fish, chicken, turkey, Feta cheese, eggs etc.

Try to have red meat only once a week.

Try to get organic if you can but good quality anyway.

Use olive oil for cooking and on bread wherever possible.

Use butter as a spread rather than hydrogenated margarine.

For snacking eat walnuts (14 per day), almonds, Seeds such as pumpkin (all unsalted).

Use avocado a couple of times a week as a vegetarian alternative. You can also use tofu but watch any fat it is mixed with.

Avoid salted processed meats such as bacon and ham except for once a week.

FRUIT AND VEGETABLES. MINIMUM 50% OF DIET. RAW WHENEVER POSSIBLE.

Eat what you like from the list of alkaline forming foods above.

If you like to drink fresh fruit juice, unsweetened are best – they are available freshly squeezed in the supermarket or make at home, but need to be drunk on the day. I do suggest especially if you are trying to lose weight that you dilute with some sparkling mineral water, halving the sugar content. Most fruit juices are made with the higher sugar variety including oranges which burns to an acid ash. I suggest going with vegetable juices such as carrot.

Drink plenty of water, herbal teas etc. and what you like from the list of alkaline forming foods above.

N.B The above guidelines are suggested to reduce your acidity especially if you are already experiencing related chronic diseases such as arthritis. After six weeks you should experience more energy, better skin tone and less of the aches and pains we associate with getting older.

Make a note of your symptoms such as joint pain, headaches, lack of energy at this point and then make a note of how you are feeling each week. I would be interested to get your feedback at the end of the six weeks.

Thanks for dropping by and sorry for the long Chapter.. Chapter One can be found here.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/turning-back-the-clock-serialisation-anti-aging/

©sallygeorginacronin Turning Back the Clock 2016.

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