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How to slow down ageing

How to slow down ageing
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Yes, it is possible to take steps that will help you look younger, feel younger, and keep yourself in tip-top shape. What’s more, these steps may slow down the negative affects of ageing and even potentially add years to your life. Here are the expert secrets you need to know.

Check out these anti-ageing treatments doctors actually use.

Deep-six the sugar

Deep-six the sugar
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Sugar is public health enemy No. 1 when it comes to ageing, says plastic surgeon, Dr Anthony Youn. “One study attributed 184,000 deaths each year to sugary drinks like soft drinks and cordial,” he says. “Not only do they increase your risk of [type 2] diabetes and being overweight, but the sugar in the drinks also can make you look older.”

Give up gluten, if you have a sensitivity

Give up gluten, if you have a sensitivity
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Gluten-free diets are trendy, Dr Youn says, and for some people they make sense. About one per cent of the population has coeliac disease, a serious autoimmune condition in which gluten – a type of protein found in wheat and other grains – triggers an immune attack on the intestines. For those people, a gluten-free diet is essential to avoid malnutrition, fertility problems, osteoporosis and a host of other health problems. Other people can have a gluten sensitivity, “which can cause [gastrointestinal] distress, brain fog, weight gain and generalised inflammation,” he says. Inflammation is the smoking gun in a long list of diseases that can shave years off your life. That said, most experts do not recommend going gluten free unless you have to. Gluten-free diets can be expensive and also make it more challenging to get the nutrients that you need.

Eat the rainbow

Eat the rainbow
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Colourful fruits and vegetables are chock-full of anti-ageing antioxidants – the valuable substances are in the actual pigments that make up the colour of these foods, Dr Youn says. “Eat a wide array of colours to improve your health and slow down the ageing process.”

Try these baby steps to ease into a plant-based diet.

Floss your teeth

Floss your teeth
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Flossing your teeth daily will decrease inflammation in your gums, says author, Dr Michael Roizen. “Inflammation is one of the greatest causes of ageing; it’s linked to heart disease and stroke and impedes the immune system, which increases the risk of infection, cancer and brain dysfunction,” he says. “Gum disease is one of the biggest causes of inflammation that we have, but we can prevent it by flossing and seeing a dentist twice a year.”

De-stress

De-stress
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Stress and stressors are everywhere. While that’s tough to change, you can shift the way you react. That’s key because not coping well with stress can take its toll on health and longevity, Dr Roizen says. “Learning how to manage stress with guided imagery, meditation, deep breathing, or another practice can add years to your life,” says Dr Roizen, who puts a finger on his belly button to feel it going in and out – and confirm that he’s taking deep breaths – when he’s combating the effects of stress.

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Consider joining the D team

Consider joining the D team

Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to a host of age-related diseases, many of which can shorten your life, according to 2018 research published in Aging and Disease. “Get your blood levels tested and supplement accordingly,” Dr Roizen says.

Read on to find out how to make vitamins and minerals work better for you.

Ask about aspirin

Ask about aspirin
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Taking low-dose aspirin every day may reduce your risk of stroke or heart attack, but discuss with your doctor whether this therapy makes sense for you (it can also increase the risk of uncontrolled bleeds, or stroke). “We also know that daily baby aspirin reduces the risk of nine major cancers,” Dr Roizen says. While routinely recommended, you never start taking low-dose aspirin without consulting with your doctor first – the risks sometimes outweigh the benefits.

Take a coffee break

Take a coffee break
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Drinking coffee or tea daily is associated with a lower risk of developing cancer, type 2 diabetes, dementia and Parkinson’s disease. “Decaf has half of the effect, so caffeinated is better, especially if you are a fast caffeine metaboliser and don’t get headaches, gastric distress or heart palpitations from caffeine,” Dr Roizen says. “The more you drink without side effects, the greater the benefits.”

Jump!

Jump!
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Jumping 40 times a day on a hard surface will strengthen your bones and spinal discs and decrease your risk of breaking a bone, Dr Roizen says.

Check out these beginner-friendly exercises you can do at home right now.

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