aging

What causes aging? Can the process be slowed?

Posted on Posted in Medical conditions

Aging is a normal process of life. We just cannot seem to escape the discontent of aging no matter how hard we try. While we know that we can’t stay young forever or escape death, we wouldn’t mind staying young for the rest of our lives.

Why do we age?

The causes of aging have been explained by different researchers in differing ways. Scientists aren’t totally sure about why we age. According to some researchers, our genes are preprogrammed to degenerate and die, some blame amassed damage as the root cause of getting old, while others believe aging is caused by a combination of several factors working in tandem.

Graying of hair is caused by death of pigment cells in our hair follicles. As the hair grows the pigment takes on a gray or white color. Our limbs loses strength when the muscle fibers die, and we start to lose memory when neurons in our brain cells die.

How can we slow the aging process?

Dos

Don’t worry, be happy

aging

Scientists agree that mental stress causes physical damage to our body. Smile and be happy all the time. Practice stress relieving exercises such yoga. Love life and learn to appreciate joy.

Exercise

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Physical aging can be accelerated by lack of physical activity. We need to hit the gym regularly to stop aging and improve quality of life.

Antioxidants

aging

Researches have shown that food high in antioxidants can protect us from oxidative stress which causes aging. Eat a lot of vegetable and make it a part of your regular diet.

Nuts

This perfect snack food is filled with anti-aging fats, minerals and vitamins. They also suppress appetite.

Fish

aging

Omega 3 fatty acid found in fish may protect against aging. A research conducted by University of California suggested that Omega 3 fatty acids (supplemental or natural) helped cells in the body live longer. Eat a lot of Salmon or Sardines.

More sleeping, less aging

aging

We need at least eight hours of sleep every day. During the deepest stage of sleep known as delta sleep, growth hormones peak which initiate cell and tissue repair. During this process, old dead skin is replaced by fresh, new skin. Free radicals, which accelerate aging and cancerous growths, are metabolized in the body.

Vitamin D

According to some research, taking vitamin D may slow down the process of getting older.

Olive oil

aging

Olive oil is considered to be a powerful protection against aging and mortality. Researchers suggest that those who adhere to a Mediterranean diet which is rich in olive oil have a longer life expectancy and a lower risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke.

Green tea

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According to a study by Campbell University, Japanese citizens who practiced a certain type of green tea ceremony showed a slightly longer life span than the average Japanese citizen.

Don’ts

Pull out that sweet tooth

Sugar accelerates aging process. A study published in the American Journal of Public Health suggested that sugar speeds up aging process. According to the research, drinking 20-ounce of sugary soda every day increases aging by 4.6 years.

Don’t smoke

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Smoking not only shortens our life, it also makes us look older than we actually are. Quit smoking and avoid secondary smoke as well.

Don’t eat too much

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The most effective way to slow the process of getting old is to cut back on calories. So, avoid over eating but don’t starve yourself.

Avoid dairy

It may do your body good, but may not stop getting older. Studies have shown that milk and other dairy products are associated with acne.

Don’t watch too much TV

aging

Being a couch potato will not help with the wellbeing of your health and it will also make you age faster. Watch TV in moderation and try to be physically active.

Verdict

As the quest for Fountain-of-Youth continues, little headway have been made to clarify the exact causes of aging and identifying specific genetic factors which impacts the risk of developing illnesses. So, for the time being, we should follow the old saying, “You are what you eat” and try to stay healthy and live longer by concentrating on our diet.

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Salahuddin Ahmed is a freelance medical writer and blogger, who has been writing about medicine and health for more than a decade. A former New York transplant, he now lives in his native Dhaka. He received a Bachelor's degree from the University of Louisiana and a diploma on eTechnology from NIIT, Dhaka. A voracious eater, Salahuddin only dines at restaurants that offer free refills on rice.

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3 thoughts on “What causes aging? Can the process be slowed?

  1. There is no alternative to ageing but dying.The current prevaiting theory that age related muscle decline is primarily caused by loss of motor neurons.The truth is that almost all of the cells in our body have a finite lifespan. They are programmed to die one day. We can’t cure death because biology is extremely complicated.

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