What to do when your body is feeling old and sluggish.

What to do when your body is feeling old and sluggish.

I am happy to say I have never felt more free and young than I feel now, yet I am going to be one year older soon. In the past, I wanted to be older. Then, I thought, people would take me seriously and stop telling me what I should or shouldn't do. But all I care about these days is how can I have more fun, how can I love more, and what can I do to reach my full potential? I want to celebrate every day and feel free and young. However my body is not responding; my body is not acting young any more. Why?

I am so lucky to have an active lifestyle, I am educated about nutrition and I eat a Mediterranean diet, yet my body is not responding as well as it used to. This made me think about how hard it must be for someone who is not cycling all day in the sunshine to stay as young as possible.

My body is acting middle-aged, so I have decided to love my body more and help my body as best I can to feel young again. I am going to keep fighting and researching, to help everyone to stay as young as possible.

One thing I can't do for you, I can't go to see a specialist with you. But if you want to fix your body, first you need to know what is not working properly. You can ask your GP to check your thyroid, liver, sugar levels, blood pressure, minerals levels and hormonal balance. Then, once you know what needs to be fixed, you can help your body to feel young again. I hope all your results will be good and fixable. Even if they are not, sometimes supplements like vitamin B12 or D can change your life and alleviate some of the symptoms of ageing., especially middle-aged weight gain.

As we age, our metabolism slows down and our muscle mass decreases, so it becomes increasingly difficult for us to burn fat and stay fit. But there is hope for all of us struggling with middle-aged spread. According to a new study published by the BMJ ( British Medical Journal) a better diet can actually help keep you lean long after your 40th birthday. Researchers analysed data collected on a group of women for 24 years and after adjustment for variables such as smoking and exercise, they found that those who ate more flavonoid-rich foods maintained their weight or even lost weight as they aged.

What are Flavonoids?

Flavonoids are natural substances found in plants. They perform a number of important tasks, for example they are responsible for effective communication between plant cells, as well as creating the bright colours that attract bees and butterflies (thus helping in pollination). But that's not all they can do.

Flavonoids appear to prevent unwanted weight gain in humans. According to the results of the study, most adults aged between 18 and 49 years tended to gain weight at the rate of 1 or 2lbs per year, yet those who ate flavonoid-rich foods averaged between 0.16 and 0.23 lbs less every four years.

So where can I find them?

Foods rich in flavonoids include: strawberries, bananas, grapes, pears, onions, dried plums, peppers, green tea - even chocolate and wine. However, berries showed the best results, especially goji berries. This is because different foods contain different types of flavonoids and the flavonoids that showed the best results in relation to weight gain were anthocyanins. These are found in goji berries, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, cherries, grapes, radishes and blackcurrants. (Flavonoid polymers found in apples and green tea also showed promising results.)

Flavonoids have even more benefits. Earlier studies have shown that foods rich in flavonoids increase energy expenditure and thus reduce fat absorption while also working as effective anti-inflammatory agents. The intake of flavonoids has therefore been associated with a reduced risk of contractng some cancers, as well as being linked to the support of the cardiovascular and nervous systems. I don't know about you, but I will take anything what can help me to stay young for longer.

It doesn't even have to be complicated; just add colours to your plate and put a smile on your face. Stay positive, curious and excited abut the future.

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