Date of the last update: 30.12.2021
Ageing leads to both physical and psychological changes. The youth elixir has not yet been invented, but it is known that certain factors have an impact on delaying the ageing process. According to scientific studies human choices influence the speed of the ageing process in 70%, while our genes only in 30%. Thus, changing your lifestyle and making wise choices is all worth the effort.
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Population ageing is felt on many levels: medical, psychological and sociological. It is a natural process that occurs in all highly developed economies.
Ageing – definition
Old age is mostly defined as the period of an organism’s life after the middle age, which is characterised by a deterioration of vital functions and a number of morphological changes in individual systems and organs.
Old age is perceived as the greatest enemy of man, and even of life. The progress of civilisation has resulted in a significant increase in the length of human life. The development of medical science along with social, anthropological and philosophical sciences is of great importance here. The achievements of medicine have influenced the extension of human lifespan. World Health Organisation (WHO) conventionally sets the old age threshold at 65. The ageing timeline is as follows:
- middle adulthood, middle age – between 45 and 59
- early old age, the so called “young old” – between 60 and 74
- old age, the so called “old-old”, late old age – between 75 and 89
- longevity, the so called long-lived, very old age – 90 and more.
Old age means changes not only in outward appearance and behaviour, but also in self-perception.
As we grow older, the incidence of various diseases, such as atherosclerosis, diabetes, as well as other civilisation diseases, increases. Oftentimes people ask how to stop the ageing of both the skin and the whole body. It is possible to delay the ageing process by making wise and informed choices. Factors that affect our health include:
- lifestyle – daily physical activity, relaxation, involvement in social and cultural life, sleep – its quality and quantity
- diet – proper eating, a menu rich in antioxidant products,
- attitude to life – caring for your wellbeing, staying young at heart, enjoying life and maintaining mental health.
Everyone ages differently and at different rates. It depends on the factors mentioned above.
You may also be interested in: Ecotherapy as a form of support for activation of seniors
Ageing is induced by processes occurring inside our cells. Diet is paramount in preventing the harmful effects of free radicals. Our diet should be rich in vitamins A, C, E and D as well as unsaturated fatty acids.
Moreover, we should choose products containing:
- folic acid,
and minerals such as:
Vitamins C and E are among the strongest antioxidants and have gained the name of “youth vitamins”. They delay the ageing process while protecting tissues from damage.
The best sources of antioxidants are vegetables and fruits, especially those dark coloured ones:
- legumes and nuts.
You should eat a well-balanced diet to protect your body from the negative effects of ageing. Consider reaching for wholesome meals that will provide the body with necessary nutrients. Sugar, processed foods and fast food rich in trans-fats should be excluded from the diet.
Proper diet can slow down the ageing process, but let’s not forget about physical activity and mental health.
Repeating after Maria Skłodowska-Curie: “The older one gets the more one feels that the present moment must be enjoyed: it is a precious gift, comparable to a state of grace. Let us therefore do everything in our power to make it our own”.
- Ciborowska H., Rudnicka A., Dietetyka. Żywienie zdrowego i chorego człowieka, PZWL, Warszawa 2014.
- Szarota Z. Starzenie się i starość w wymiarze instytucjonalnego wsparcia. Wyd. Naukowe UP, Kraków 2010.
- Czynniki warunkujące proces starzenia Narodowe Centrum Edukacji Żywieniowej (ncez.pl)