stem cells

Ageing, Anti-Ageing and its connection with our Stem Cells

It is a common perception that we want to live longer and healthier lives.

On the other hand, the world population is ageing much faster than in the past. The World Health Organization predicted that by the year of 2050 the number of people over 60 will have nearly doubled.

The elder years can be a beautiful time of life, but today many in our older generation are not enjoying the health, vitality and vibrancy that they naturally could be. It is common to believe that once we have reached a certain age that our health will start to decline, and we accept the aches, pains and loss of vitality as just a normal part of the ageing process. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

So how can we support ourselves to avoid the health-related issues that we can see come with ageing.

Let’s start with food and its connection with our stem cells:

Eating foods that activate our stem cells can support the regeneration of our body so therefore are linked to slowing down the effects of aging.

What are the foods that are known to support stem cells:

Top of the list are our favourites – Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, broccolini, kale, cabbage, bok choy, asian greens, spinach, silverbeet, garden cress and brussels sprouts, as well as food high in antioxidants such as blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, nuts, ginger, apricots, kiwi, and other vegetables and fruits.

So, if you want to keep your stem cells healthy and activated, a well-balanced, light and healthy diet incorporating vegetables, beans, seeds, gf grains and low sugary fruit is one of the ways to activate stem cells outside of medical intervention.

Also eating foods that support with lowering and not feeding inflammation can assist with preventing diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and dementia. Some of these foods could include blackberries, raspberries, decaffeinated green tea, broccoli, extra virgin olive oil, cherry tomatoes, tree nuts, and more.

As Vitamins C and D are beneficial, consuming food high in Vitamin C can support our bone marrow stem cells by promoting their growth. Getting Vitamin D3 through supplementation or when possible, from responsible sun exposure, has been shown to reduce the ageing of our stem cells, making them healthier and helping them differentiate or turn into other types of cells.

Resveratrol is part of a group of compounds called polyphenols which have been known to act like antioxidants, protecting the body against damage. Resveratrol is not only found in the skin of grapes but also in raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, huckleberries, cacao, pomegranate, alfalfa, and pistachio nuts. Turmeric and resveratrol are two more nutrients that science has linked to stem cell health.

But there is more than food which influences ageing as our lifestyle always plays a role. Deeply restful sleep and the way we deal with emotions is crucial for any age when it comes to health.

Besides what you eat, when you eat can play a role with aging and health as well.

Skipping breakfast or lunch (known as intermittent fasting) once or a few times a week can speed up your metabolism and support with slowing down aging.

Although it has been long known in science that a lower caloric diet can contribute to longevity in humans, it is now understood that fasting can switch the metabolism from using glucose as fuel to using fatty acids. This change seems to trigger our stem cells to become more active and regenerative.

Exercise is another factor that research is linking to our stem cell health. Adult stem cells in our muscles respond to exercise. This discovery may provide a link between exercise and muscle health and could possibly lead to new therapies in the future using these cells to rehabilitate injured muscles and prevent or restore muscle loss with age. But for now, as we know gentle and purposeful exercise supports our overall health, adding resistance exercise (weight training) and gentle cardio exercise (like walking) are just part of our lifestyle and important, not only when it comes to aging.

So far, we’ve talked a lot about how to keep our stem cells happy and healthy and their importance with ageing, but let’s look at what stem cells actually are?

Stem cells are our body’s master cells, the body’s raw materials, meaning that they are cells from which all other cells with specialized functions are made. They are the building blocks of all organs, tissues, blood, and the immune system. They serve as an internal repair system in many tissues, regenerating to replace lost or damaged cells.

Science shows that with the right conditions in the body, our stem cells divide to form more cells called daughter cells. This has also been researched in laboratories.

These daughter stem cells become either new stem cells or cells with a specific function, like blood cells, brain cells, cartilage cells, connective tissue cells, fat cells, skin cells, muscle cells, heart muscle cells or bone cells. The stem cells are unique as there is no other cell in the body that has the ability to generate new cell types. Once turned into specific cells, they remain as this indefinitely.

There are three characteristics that differentiate stem cells from other cells:

  1. They can divide themselves over a long time.
  2. They are unspecific, meaning they do not have any specific function in the body.
  3. They have the potential to become specialized cells.

Other ways to support stem cell production and therefore promote health and vitality are factors we associate with any health issue or just general health.

  • Reducing sugar and processed food
  • Reducing high cholesterol (reducing omega-6, saturated and trans fats)
  • Reducing salt consumption
  • Reducing alcohol consumption
  • Reducing smoking and drug use
  • Reducing excess animal protein especially processed animal products (like bacon, ham and sausages)
  • Reducing long term pharmaceutical use where possible
  • Increasing vegetables, fruit, legumes, seeds, and fibre
  • Hydrating with filtered water and reduce fruit juices, soft drinks, and energy drinks
  • Reducing Inflammation in the body

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Senior and Elderly support with Total Health