Why is it so important to age healthy?
The world population is aging rapidly and life expectancy is increasing but not necessarily quality of life. There are many factors in one's control that can help them age healthy so that life can be enjoyable at any age.
Does nutrition play a role in aging healthy?
Good nutrition can help prevent age-related diseases and improve overall well-being. It is important to eat real food that is not full of chemicals, preservatives, or refined sugars, and to eat organic when possible. Here are 10 super foods to help you age healthy.
• Berries. Rich in antioxidants.
• Leafy Greens. Support bone, cognitive, and heart health.
• Tomatoes. Lycopene is great for heart, eye, and skin health. Also has anti-cancer benefits.
• Nuts. Almonds and walnuts support heart and brain function.
• Red Grapes. Resveratrol, an antioxidant in red grapes, is anti-inflammatory and supports heart health. Animal studies have shown resveratrol to actually extend lifespan.
• Fish. Omega-3 fatty acids keep the heart and brain healthy.
• Legumes. Nutrient dense, high in fiber, and heart healthy.
• Herbs and Spices. Turmeric and ginger contain anti-inflammatory compounds that might reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease and cancer.
• Cruciferous vegetables. Anti-cancer properties.
• Vitamin D rich foods- Supports bone and immune health. Also possesses anti-cancer properties.
What lifestyle habits can affect the way we age?
Three lifestyle habits that can greatly impact how well one ages are: sleep, stress, and exercise. Sleep plays a critical role in immune function, memory, metabolism, and cardiovascular health. Excess stress can lead to impaired immunity, increased risk of heart disease, and diminished hormone production. Exercise lowers risk of heart disease, boosts energy, and promotes enhanced mental function and mood.
In addition to the standard recommended tests and screenings, what other testing can be done to promote healthy aging?
There are many additional tests that can help promote healthy aging and disease prevention. Here are a few examples.
• Estrogen Metabolism. Assesses how a woman metabolizes her estrogen. Estrogen can either be broken down in to protective or aggressive metabolites.If a defect is found there are natural ways to correct this.
• Micronutrient. Comprehensive measurement of nutrient levels.
• Food Intolerance. Determines what foods the body has an intolerance to and what foods are acceptable.
• Lipoprotein Particle Testing. Advanced cholesterol profile that measures cholesterol particle size and cardiac markers of inflammation.
• Telomere. Measures telomere length in relation to one's age and can tell you one's age within.
Allison Cochran PA-C, MPAS
Natural Health Atlanta
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Allison Cochran is a Physician Assistant specializing in Anti-Aging/Preventive Medicine, Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy, and nutritional analysis. She is Board Certified in Anti-Aging Medicine by the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine and has a Master's Degree in Physician Assistant Studies.
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