Now you are 30 and hurrayyyy, you may grow old sooner than you expect if you don’t do anything about it!!!

You see, aging starts reflecting on you when free radicals (free radicals are molecules, usually oxygen, that have lost an electron and thereby unstable) exceed your body’s ability to defend itself resulting in oxidative stress and cellular damage.  The risk of this happening increases with age leading to the development of chronic diseases in adulthood. So here is the trick: slow down the rate at which you grow old and bingo! You just may live forever young.

So how do you slow down the process of aging? It’s simple, decrease free radicals in your body by:

Cutting down on your carbohydrate

This is not the time of have a full plate of rice, spaghetti, pounded yam, amala, eba and all the starchy foods you are so used to…cut it down! Notice, I am not saying you should not take them (that will definitely make you feel miserable); I am saying you should reduce their intake to the minimum level. Why? Because you are more likely to get big during this period, every excess food taken above what you need to perform your daily activities will be stored as fat in your body, and this may not only contribute to free radical damage but may put you at risk of type 2 diabetes, cancer and heart diseases.

 Decreasing your fat intake, or if possible, avoid fatty foods

Limit your intake of red meats such as beef. You may substitute that with chicken, turkey, fish or bush meat (if you can get). These ones are rich in good fat and are good source of protein which help to prevent muscle wasting and optimize bone mass. You can also reduce the number of times you go to fast food joints to once in a month. This will help you avoid foods that are high in fats. Reduce your palm oil intake; it doesn’t have to flow on top of your stew and soup. This will help you stay off the line of some diseases.

 Increasing your fruits and vegetable intake

Antioxidants in fruits and vegetables help to slow the aging process. So the next time, you are planning your meal, plan deliberately for fruits and vegetables as part of your diet. Fruits and vegetables also give vitamins that are very vital in your body function.

Exercising for at least 150 minutes in a week

Through adequate exercise of at least 20 minutes per day, you can improve your bone density and immune and digestive function. Research studies show that moderate exercise reduces free radicals/oxidative stress thereby improving cardiac function and maintaining a healthy blood pressure.

 Ensuring adequate water intake

Take at least 6 cups of water in a day (1 cup is about 240ml). Intake of water helps in maintaining body’s fluid balance, enhance the process of digestion and improving heart and kidney function. Taking adequate water can also increase your skin thickness and helps to improve cognitive function.

 Take foods rich calcium

This will help in preventing loss of bone mass which is usually common between ages 30 and 65. Foods rich in calcium include leafy vegetables, fortified cereals, fish and milk. In shopping for milk, do make sure you choose milk that is low in fat.

 By avoiding intake of alcohol and cigarette

Alcohol and cigarette are potent generators of free radicals, so you will do well to avoid them. Apart from speeding the aging process, these two substances may affect the function of your lung, heart, liver, brain, pancreas and kidney putting you at risk of some chronic diseases. If you are struggling with addiction, consult a psychologist.

 Avoid unnecessary emotional and physical stress

Stress, especially emotional stress can throw your body off balance. Stress will not only make you feel older, it speeds up aging by weakening your immune system. You can prevent and overcome stress though moderate exercise, relaxation techniques, enjoying the company of families and friends and also maintaining a positive outlook towards life.

So yes, you can start the journey of staying forever young! Do you need a dietitian/nutritionist to help in monitoring your daily food intake, visit ‘Our Services

Further resources

Consult a Dietitian

Dietary Counselling, Meal Plan, Medical Nutrition Therapy, And many more.

How do you know the best diet for weight loss?

Get this free ebook to find out!

Why is it so Hard to Lose Weight? by Osunsanya Olajumoke RDN, MPH