So why then, do we suffer from disease and illness? To be honest, in most cases it’s not a design fault of the body but much more likely a result of our environment – that is things such as diet, lifestyle, daily habits, increased stress, poor sleep, pollution, suboptimal nutrients in modern foods and lack of regular physical activity.
Over the decades since the industrial revolution (18th – 19th centuries) many things in our lives have become processed and manufactured. Daily chores such as washing used to be much more labour intensive, the food we ate never used to come in a packet from a factory and our access to the amount of food was also much less.
While some of these modern inventions and processes are fantastic (washing machines amongst them!) the reality is that we are eating foods lacking in nutrients and difficult for the body to digest. We’re also not moving anywhere near as much as we used to. Remember our bodies are designed to move regularly. Ah, but you say you eat a diet based mainly on fresh, healthy food. While that is great, the sad truth is that intensive farming practices, natural soil variations, long storage and abundant use of pesticides means that you’re getting fewer nutrients from your vegetables than your grandparents did, plus a big serve of questionable anti-nutrients.
Our bodies, being the wondrous organisms they are, can continue on quite well in spite of these challenges – to a point. What that means is that many of us will continue providing sub-optimal nutrition and activity to our body until one day we get sick, and not just the niggly short term sickness we’ve experienced on and off throughout our lives; but possibly something more serious.
While a healthy diet and lifestyle is a big part of staying well, because we are exposed to so many factors that are damaging to our health we need to consider supplying our body with additional nutrients.
Nutrients, such as antioxidants, actually provide protection from the damaging forces upon our cells (free radicals). They also play a role in slowing the shortening of Telomeres. Without getting into too much detail, Telomeres are molecular caps found at the end of our chromosomes (that make up our DNA).
As our cells continually divide and replicate, the tips (Telomeres) become a little bit shorter and this shows in our body as the ageing process. When we run out of Telomeres on our chromosomes, our cells can no longer divide and replicate and, to be quite blunt, we die. You cannot stop this process but you can ensure you don’t accelerate it. That’s where healthy diet and lifestyle comes in. This helps to re-calibrate the body back to the way it should function, at a normal rate of ageing, rather than at an accelerated one.
Rather than hobbling through life with adequate health or worse, you can take action now to optimise your health and minimise premature ageing and increase your longevity. Simply put, you can do much more to add years to your life as well as life to your years.