Introduction to Vitality

Vitality – secrets to feeling young again

Would you like to feel like you were 19 again? From the moment we are born, the body is constantly repairing and regenerating damaged and worn out tissues, organs and cells; bringing life and vitality back to our bodies. So why does this stop and why do we age. There are many reasons that make the body age and if we make the right choices in our diet and lifestyle we can certainly increase the bodies regenerative abilities.

Below is a short synopsis of the main factors that can affect the ageing process (click titles for the extrapolated version)

Factors involved in the ageing process:

  1. Decline in hormone production-Human Growth Hormone, Testosterone and DHEA.
  2. Weakened stress response and lowered immune strength.
  3. Exposure to toxins and decreased detoxification processes.
  4. The GUT and detoxification
  5. Oxidation and inflammation.

Enhance Hormones

Rejuvenating hormones that, build, strengthen and invigorate the body in your youth, decrease as you age. This decline is one of the major contributors to the ageing process, the effects of which are usually noticed around the age of forty.
Decreases in hormone production lead to decreases in:

  • muscle mass
  • metabolism (middle age spread)
  • energy
  • memory
  • libido
  • skin elasticity
  • vision

Hormones are chemical messengers that enhance cellular activity, tissue regeneration and general vitality. The two most powerful youth promoting hormones are Human Growth Hormone and Testosterone. Both decrease markedly as you age and further through stress, poor sleep and high carbohydrate diets. Maintaining good levels of these hormones is essential supporting general health and well being.

 

Enhancing hormones

Fats and proteins
Hormones are made in the body from fats and proteins, so a healthy source of these on a daily basis is essential for optimum hormonal production. Foods include—nuts, seeds, green leafy veggies, fish, eggs and animal products.

This is one of the reasons that people find the Paleo diet so effective for energy and weight loss.

Quality sleep
Testosterone and HGH are produced primarily at night.

Alcohol and caffeine
As they affect sleep patterns they should be used in moderation.

Exercise
Resistance training (particularly with the legs) stimulates both testosterone and HGH.

Sugar
High carbohydrate diets can suppress production of these hormones.

Replenish Kidney Chi – Supporting Adrenals

Ancient oriental traditions believe longevity and vitality come from promoting Kidney Chi energy. This energy vitalizes and invigorates your body; alleviating fatigue, increasing immune function, creating strength and enhancing resilience.

Kidney Chi increases the bodies “adaptogenic processes” which, is simply, your defensive response to stressors in life, whether they be mental, emotional, physical, viral or bacterial. Kidney chi maintains your body’s strength, integrity and balance when under stress, and repairs and builds the body, after stress.

The oriental regime for enhancing Kidney chi:

  • Minimize stimulants—caffeine, alcohol
  • Decrease sugars and sweet foods.
  • Manage stress—time out, meditation, yoga etc…
  • Warm nourishing foods—like soups and stews. Warming herbs and veggies —ginger, pepper, garlic and onions.
  • Herbs and foods that specifically increase kid- ney Chi—adaptogenic herbs—astragalus, ginseng, licorice, mushrooms (especially— Maitake, shitake, cordycepts, reishi), bee pollen, Withania, nuts, eggs, butter.

The modern equivalent to Kidney chi energy would be the adrenals.

Adrenal stress response
The adrenals are hormone producing glands that sit on top of the kidneys and, among other things, produce hormones that aid in our bodies adaptation to stress.

Poor adrenal function can lead to:

  • fatigue
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • lowered immunity
  • sugar cravings
  • weight gain

This is due mostly to elevatation of the hormone cortisol.

The adrenals increase production of cortisol during times of stress and long term elevated corti- sol, breaks down tissues of the body, accelerating the ageing process.

Controlling this stress response and the cortisol levels that go with it, is essential for maintaining health, vitality and longevity.

Cortisol is controlled by supporting adrenal function through adaptogenic herbs (as mentioned in Kidney Chi), B vitamins, vitamin C and magnesium. One of the best way of controlling cortisol is to increase DHEA.

DHEA

A steroidal hormone produced in the adrenal glands.

Elevated DHEA has been linked to:

  • Increased energy
  • Improved immune function
  • Increased metabolism
  • Longevity
  • Stress recovery
  • Improved moods
  • General defense against disease

People with high DHEA levels have a tendency to live longer with less disease.
(Note: Excessive DHEA may increase risk of heart disease)

Whether your stress is from, mental fatigue, over work, from exercise or from emotional traumas strong kidney Chi and adrenal function will allow you to bounce back from, endure and even benefit from times of stress.

Cleansing Toxins

Toxins are substances that negatively affect your cellular functions, increasing the risk of disease, blocking energy production and accelerating the ageing process.

We are exposed to toxins from:

  • Metabolic byproducts (made in the body)
  • The environment
  • Manmade chemicals and pollutants
  • The air we breathe
  • The food we eat
  • The water we drink

Artificial toxins
Modern unnatural toxins are more potent and much harder for the body to neutralize and remove than natural toxins. Manmade toxins can severely disrupt metabolism and create – fatigue, weight gain and depression. They have been linked to many illnesses; including the biggest killers-cancer and heart disease.

It is more important now than ever before to support the body to cleanse itself from toxins.

Good functioning detoxification

  • Increases energy
  • Boosts metabolism
  • Increases well being

The liver is the centre for detoxification, our primary defense against toxins.

The liver filters the blood: Isolating, transforming, binding and removing toxins from the body.

The liver also nourishes the blood: It sorts, converts packages and distributes nutrients to the entire body, feeding every cell the nutrients it needs for vitality.

The liver is directly responsible for the health and longevity of the entire body. If you want to maintain your vitality and support longevity, it is essential, in our modern polluted world, to have a good functioning liver.

Substances that slow down/disrupt liver function

  • Toxins from the environment
  • Red meat
  • Dairy(especially cheese)
  • Excess fats
  • Over eating 
  • Processed foods
  • Alcohol
  • Artificial additives

Substances that enhance liver function

  • Fresh veggie juices
  • Green powders – barley greens, wheat grass.
  • Sulphur amino acids found in onions, garlic, chives, etc…
  • Turmeric
  • Bracilli family – broccoli , brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower
  • Onion family – garlic, chives , shal- lots , leeks
  • Beet root, beetroot leaves
  • Dandelion tea
  • Brown rice
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Spirulina

The GUT and detoxification

Limiting absorbtion and build up of toxins in the digestive system.

The intestinal tract
The mucous membranes of the digestive system are a thin sensitive membrane which is the barrier and carrier between our foods and our body. It is a vastly complex system that involves the immune, nervous and vascular systems as well symbiotic bacterial colonies; it is of all these factors coming together in the one place that creates the grounds for huge potentials in both health and disease.

Maintaining healthy mucous membranes and gut flora
There are more bacteria in our body than we have cells. These bacteria are maintained, under normal circumstances, in healthy proportions and are our first defense against foreign invaders as well as providing us with added nutrition. Once out of balance we can become more easily exposed to negative bacteria which can colonize the digestive tract triggering inflammation, which degrades the mucous membranes exposing us to toxins and oxidants. This triggers further inflammation and tissue degeneration.

Factors that can negatively affect gut mining (mucosa)

  • Low fibre diet
  • Excess sugar
  • Alcohol
  • Coffee
  • Dairy
  • Gluten
  • Red Meat
  • Excess chillies
  • Over eating

Supporting mucous membranes

Prebiotics – prepare the ground for good bacteria to flourish.
Soft vegetable fiber (Chia seeds, flax seeds, slippery elm, vegetables and vegetable gums )

Probiotics – fermented foods – as well as having live bacteria that are beneficial for our digestive health.
Miso, Kim chi, yogurt. (sauerkraut is best) are high in enzymes that aid in and stimulate digestion.

Protection from Oxidation and Inflammation

Oxidants (or free radicals) are one of the main drivers in the ageing process and a major promoter of chronic diseases. Oxidants are molecules missing an electron, in seeking balance they then rip electrons from other molecules, a process that is highly destructive on our tissues: promoting ageing and affecting all bodily functions.

Anti oxidants
Particles that neutralize free radicals and restore function to our damaged tissues are called “anti oxidants”. The most potent anti oxidants come from plants in the form of Bio Flavonoids these Bio Flavonoids can help protect and regenerate all the tissues in your body.

Inflammation
Long term low grade chronic inflammation usually has little or no symptoms, it increases as we age, is destructive to tissues and can contribute to the development of serious diseases. Inflammation is a component of 97% of disease states– it can lead to deterioration of tissues, impaired organ function, weight gain, disruption of hormones, high blood pressure, increased cholesterol and fast track the ageing process.

Inflammatory mediators –

chemicals/enzymes that promote inflammation are increased:

  • As we age
  • From toxins and oxidants
  • With stress
  • In diets containing processed foods and sugars.

Inflammation produces oxidant free radicals. So to control oxidation effectively, you also must control inflammation, and to control inflammation effectively, you also must subdue oxidation.

Plant based enzymes and flavinoids, that are potent anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant agents, when eaten together can form a strong shield against these destructive, disease promoting processes.
protection
Anti oxidant and enzyme rich foods

  • Acai
  • Goji
  • Blueberry
  • Raspberry
  • Pomegranate
  • Raw Cacao
  • Veggies especially raw Tumeric
  • Grape seeds
  • Lemons and limes
  • Pineapple
  • Ginger
  • Rose hip

Taking care of these fundamental processes in your body –
Enhancing hormones, replenishing the adrenals, cleansing the liver and protecting against oxidation and inflammation
may be the most important steps you take to maintaining vital health.