What difference does age make to metabolism and how should I change my diet as I age?
Age is one of the vital factors in the body’s energy metabolism. Research has shown that the decrease in muscle mass, relative to the total body, may be responsible for age-related reduction in the basal metabolic rate. As we grow older. muscles shrink and there is less demand for energy. In cases where your energy requirement reduces, yet your intake of food remains high, fat accumulates in the body. Accumulation of abdominal fat is directly linked to the liver by portal veins, and this influences hormonal (thyroid, glucose, etc.) functions.
As we age, we need to strike a balance between diet and activity. The most critical step is to watch your portions. Quantity is what creates trouble. Foods that are high in calories need to be avoided. Always chew your meals well and in smaller amounts.
Remember that a healthy meal promotes a healthy appetite. Regular exercise too is key to graceful ageing.
Is it true that certain foods have anti-ageing properties and if so, what are the foods?
Yes, there are foods that have properties such as rejuvenation, energising and tissue repair. Rasayana (rejuvenating) and Vayasthapana (age stabilising) are the properties known in Ayurvedic treatises. According to Ayurveda, such foods keep the body channels clear, smooth flowing and rejuvenated by proper tissue building and repair. Some examples of such foods are Indian gooseberry, wood apple, cherry plum, beleric fruit, pomegranate, apple, dates, garlic, asparagus, lotus, dry ginger, tender wild meat, milk, nuts and legumes.