Common Sense Strategies for Healthy Aging, Plus a Healthy Rhyme

Last Spring I read an article in Amazing Wellness that could have easily been posted in my series on this subject, but for some reason, I did not include it. Since Healthy Aging is now an ongoing topic for my mid-life women and beyond website, today is a perfect time as any to post this information. Because the the first strategy is about food, the article immediately caught my eye. Here is the synopsis:

Three key strategies for health aging are:

1. Eat a Rainbow– The article suggests that we increase our consumption of brightly colored fruits and vegetables which provide us with phytochemicals and antioxidants, with both categories providing us with nourishing health benefits. (Def. in my Glossary; just click on Glossary on my Home Page.) Additionally, dark green vegetables, while not bright, are also important in the rainbow because they have another other important nutrients we need. What the article does not point out is that preparing these foods is also important. Most fruits and salad items can be eaten in their uncooked, organic state, while dark greens can be steamed or sauteed. So not only are fruits and veggies of the different colors of the rainbow important, but also eating them as close to nature as possible. The article also notes the importance of supplements. Dr. Raymond Francis notes in the article that our compromised, processed food supply, “a primary cause of accelerated aging,” makes supplements necessary. (If you Google Eat a Rainbow, you will find a great number of photos displaying fruits and veggies of different colors in charts and pictures.)

2. Catch more ZZZs – Getting enough sleep is more important than many people think. According to the article, not only is sleep deprivation linked to obesity, cancer, diabetes and immune deficiency, it can also lead to visible signs of aging on our skin. (I guess all the magical creams and lotions do not compensate for lack of sleep.) Personally, I like to nap briefly almost every day, and because I work at home, that’s possible. When you sleep, your body repairs itself, and to enjoy a good night’s sleep means eating lightly in the evening, and easing up on foods such as wine, aged cheese dark chocolate and beer. According to anti-aging specialist Dr. Gregory Vassilev (quoted in the article), these foods are high in tyramine, which has stimulating properties. (Maybe chocolate for breakfast instead???)

3.  Reduce Stress in Healthy Ways  –   One of the new facts I learned in this article is that chronic (negative) stress has been linked to a wide ranges of ailments as well as causing damage to our DNAs. Keep in mind that we also can also allow ourselves to succumb to stress eating when we are stressed—- greasy take-out, highly processed goods, too much sugar and too much caffeine. They may hit the spot for the moment, but these foods do take a toll on our bodies because they do not nourish our bodies in the long run. According to Dr. Bradley Nelson’s advice in this article, he suggests that stress eaters reach for foods such as almonds (Vit. E) , blueberries (antioxidants), coconut (anti-fungal properties), spinach (magnesium), and other nuts & avocados  (good fats & potassium). And don’t forget non-stimulating herbal teas such as chamomile, lemon balm, and rosehips, each of which contain ingredients that help with stress.

Finally, the article ends on  a high note of going easy on yourself with this advice: Channel your stress into more productive outlets because the energy you spend focusing on negativity and fear is directly proportional to your stress level (p. 46).


P.S. I would add a fourth strategy: Exercise 5 or 6 times each week for 30 minutes. It can be as simple as taking or walk or something more vigorous like tennis. Find two or three ways to exercise that will keep you from becoming bored. I work out in our condo’s mini-gym 2 or 3 times each week, walk whenever the weather allows with my neighbor Marilyn, do yoga once each week, and stay as active as I can to keep me flexible and toned, mixing non-aerobic with aerobic routines and strength training. I also meditate for only a few minutes in the a.m. and p.m., not only for stress levels, but because even though thoughts keep running through my mind, my Ayurvedic health practitioner says that thoughts will always run by me, just come back to your mantra and you will become calmer.

Healthy Aging is a topic that continues to keep me curious and seeking answers, so look for more such articles as I find them.  Comments welcome.


Note: I am moving The Rainbow Effect here from Tuesday, Jan. 27th, because I wanted  the book review, Paper Love, to be the focus for International Holocaust Memorial Day.

The Rainbow Effect

The foods I list would probably fit nicely into this rainbow category:

The Rainbow Effect

Fronds of fennel
Stalks of leek,
Juice of onion—
taste we seek!

Hearts of Palm
Leaves of kale
Flesh of apple—
Savory we regale!

Sweetness of berries
The pucker from limes
and even tart cherries
are perfect for rhymes!

Fresh fruits & veggies:
A daily treat
will keep you healthier
the more you eat.

Avoid fried foods
and those in a can.
pick from the earth—
A whole foods plan.

Beans & greens 
from the garden deep
Eat from the rainbow
and health you will reap!

4 thoughts on “Common Sense Strategies for Healthy Aging, Plus a Healthy Rhyme

  1. Good advice at any age. I also feel that becoming a participant in our society either actively
    playing a role in groups that are improving the lives of others, or one-to-one for someone
    who needs your help or your company. Be an “awakener” who seem lost. Be an initiator
    or write in a way that other people may be moved to do the right thing.

  2. Think young. I challenge newspapers that write—The elderly 62 year old woman crossed the road… I have written to the papers telling them that it is not necessary to label people with
    elderly. To some extent it is true, you’re as young as you feel. We are fortunate to be able to do
    what we do. You have a great plan and good access.

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