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August - September 2009
FIT & HEALTHY AND OVER 50
by Kiran Grover
The Baby-Boom generation, though it’s entering its 50’s and 60’s, refuses to age. Better diet, sanitation, more awareness of the benefits of exercise and medicine, means people are living a longer, healthier life. In England the average life expectancy is now 78 for men and 82 for women (Office for National Statistics). For many people turning 50 can come with many positive aspects: Children are independent and have moved out of the parental home, career peaks have been reached, mortgages nearly paid off. To help you enjoy your over 50’s even more, invest some time in keeping fit and healthy.
Many people worry about high cholesterol, but some cholesterol is good (HDL) and some is bad (LDL) for the body. Cholesterol is naturally found in the body and it helps keep every cell running smoothly, it also produces vital chemicals and some hormones, which are mostly made in the liver. However, too much saturated and/ or trans fats can increase blood cholesterol and this can block the arteries and lead to heart problem. Being over-weight, having kidney or, thyroid problems can also lead to high cholesterol as can diabetes. Your GP can measure your cholesterol and if it is over 5 mmol/L it will be diagnosed as high. You can help yourself by increasing your activity, reducing salt and fatty foods, eating more fruit, vegetables and wholegrain. Eat good fats which can be found in fish, cold pressed vegetable oils, nuts, seeds and avocados. Oats are also considered a useful food to eat if cholesterol is high, so why not have a bowl of porridge or muesli in the morning?
High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is considered one of several risk factors that can increase chances of heart disease, stroke etc. Again, if this has been diagnosed by your GP then there are life style changes that can make a lot of difference. Maintaining a healthy weight, taking part in regular physical activity, eating more fruit, vegetables and wholegrain, reducing salt and caffeine, cutting out smoking and cutting back on alcohol.
Make some Changes and Feel Healthier!
Let’s start with water, most of us don’t drink enough and as a result are dehydrated. It’s recommended that you drink 8 – 10 glasses a day. Cutting down caffeine to once or twice a day means that you will still get the benefits that some believe caffeine to have, but you will not be over-stimulating your adrenal glands nor will you be losing further water, as caffeine is known to be diuretic. Fruit juice when fresh and un-sweetened again can have benefits but should be limited to one glass a day, as it is naturally high in sugar (fructose). Carbonate drinks deplete the gut of calcium so should be avoided. Alcohol in moderation does not seem to harm the body but it is important to give the liver time to restore itself. Consider abstaining for a month or just try cutting down to having one or two units of alcohol once or twice a week.
Food-wise cut down or cut out rich and fatty or fried foods, and food high in sugar or salt, use alternatives like herbs and spices, honey and maple syrup. Give your body a week or twos rest by eating fresher, home cooked foods, and don’t forget lots of fruit, vegetable and salad. Maybe try saving the richer foods for the weekend as a treat. At each meal make sure you have a portion of carbohydrates (rice, potatoes, bread, cous cous etc), a portion of protein (lean meat, fish, dairy produce, lentils, beans etc) and at least one if not two portions of vegetables or salad or fruit. A portion is roughly the size of your hand.
Super foods have been a popular buzz-word in recent years, but what does it mean? Super Foods as a general rule are considered to have great health benefits, boosting the immune system etc. The key to getting the most out of the super foods is to have variety, freshness and to eat local produce in its season and if possible organic as well! Popular super foods include garlic, onions, ginger, berries – cherries, blue berries etc, oats, quinoa and barley.
As we know Homeopathy is a complete form of complementary medicine that treats mental, emotional, and physical complaints. It’s a holistic treatment that stimulates the body’s own healing power by identifying and addressing the cause rather than suppressing the symptoms. Homeopathy is non invasive, non-addictive and simple to use. It can be used with other types of medicines and it’s even safe to use in pregnancy and for babies and children. It is gentle and effective and does not cause any side effects.
Homeopathy can gently support the body at all stages of life in many ways. For example low potency herbal remedies such as Echinacea 3X can be used to help boost the immune system. Cheledonium 3x is used homeopathically to cleanse the liver. Crategus 3x is used to support the heart. Try low potency tinctures such as 3x and take just a few drops twice every day in water for a month.
If you have more specific complaints contact a registered professional Homeopath who can support chronic complaints such as arthritis, high blood pressure, menopause etc. Homeopathic remedies can be purchased from most Chemists and Health Food shops and from Homeopathic pharmacies. In an emergency always contact your GP or Accident and Emergency Department. Information in this article is not a substitute for professional medical advice; you should contact your own doctor about specific medical concerns.
Kiran Grover BA, MA, LCHE, RSHom runs the Healthy Homeopathy Clinic at Northwood Consulting Rooms www.healthyhomeopathy.co.uk She is a qualified, registered Homeopathic Practitioner, a Graduate of the Centre for Homeopathic Education, London and a professional member of the Society of Homeopaths. For more information or to book an appointment you may contact her during office hours on 07983 788762 or by e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org.