Related Topics: Diet, Features, Nutrition

4 Simple Anti-Aging Changes

A few positive actions can have a dramatic positive effect on your health, and how you look.

Patrick Holford

Each one of you is unique, from your genes, what you eat, drink and breathe throughout your life and all of your life experiences both good and bad. Stress, mental attitude and habits all contribute to who you are right now. All of these are changeable, including how some of your genes are expressed.

Evidence from studies shows that the combination of A 13-year study involving over 20,000 people by Professor Kay-Tee Khaw at the University of Cambridge, found that just four factors adds 14 years to the life of those in the study.

1. Not smoking

2. Eating five servings of fruit and veg a day

3. Low alcohol consumption

4. Keeping physically active

So just imagine what might happen if you implemented a few doable anti-aging actions into your own life? Whilst there is no research into every factor that you could change, there is plenty of research to indicate that positive changes to your diet and lifestyle will change your health for the better.

Where do I start?

It takes 3 weeks to break a habit, 6 weeks to make a habit and 36 weeks to hardwire it. So your first commitment must be to set up a regime that you can stick to for 6 weeks. Focussing on the key factors that have been measured to have an impact on health, the following areas are where you can start to make improvements in your life:


The first thing you can do is follow anti-aging diet principles and cook meals that are delicious and many of which are quick and easy to prepare. Over the years, with the help of others, I have accumulated a long list of recipes that fit with the healthy-aging principles from tasty breakfasts to delicious evening meals. Plenty of which are found in The 10 Screts of 100% Health Cookbook or in The Low GL Diet Cookbook.

The core principles are:

1. Follow a low Glycemic  Load, Mediterranean–style diet that keeps your blood sugar even, keeps hunger at bay and delivers a  lower calorie intake that is key to a longer, healthier life.

2. A high intake of antioxidants; by choosing those multi-coloured fruit and vegetables, eating at least five a day.

3. Eating healthy fats from oily fish, seeds and nuts with an emphasis on the Omega-3 fats and avoiding saturated and hydrogenated fats.

4. Maximising your intake of vitamins and minerals; eat the most nutritious foods you can, fresh, raw when possible.

You will soon notice the difference in a short time, you will lose weight, gain energy and your skin will improve. If you would like to take this even further you could try my alternate day diet in my new book Burn Fat Fast.


Getting everyone on an effective regular exercise programme would probably be the single most effective and cheapest way to reduce the incidence of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stress, dementia and high blood pressure. Yet most people in western societies struggle to achieve the minimum recommended amount of 30 minutes of ‘moderate to vigorous’ physical exercise per day.

There is evidence that exercise increases your telomere length, these are the protective parts of your chromosomes and have received a lot of research recently as a possible way to slow down ageing and are a marker for good health.What are the benefits of doing the right and correct amount of exercise?

*  The effects of exercise accumulate – burning up to 300 calories three times a week  for a year equals 22,000 calories or a weight loss of around 5lbs!

*  Moderate exercise reduces appetite – exercise can actually make you less hungry. After a burst of activity, you don’t actually feel like eating much. This is particularly important if you tend to eat out of boredom.

*  Exercise boosts your metabolism – the most important factor about the food you eat is how fast your body burns it up – what’s known as your metabolic rate.  According to research, most people can generate metabolic rates that are eight to ten times higher from running, swimming or cycling than being at rest. This increased metabolic rate is one of the best ways to get your blood sugar down to a more healthy level.

*  Exercise helps to reduce stress levels and promote better sleep. The great news is you don’t have to do much. The best results happen by combining aerobic or ‘cardio’ exercise with resistance or ‘strength’ workouts. I


Homocysteine is a naturally occurring amino acid found in the blood. According to research, homocysteine seems to be a good indicator of health particularly for cardiovascular disease. The lower your homocysteine the longer you will live.

There are four well established factors that can raise homocysteine levels in your body: smoking, stress, drinking coffee and not exercising, as well as having a diet low in B vitamins, especially folic acid and B12.

  • Smoking 20 or more cigarettes increases homocysteine levels by a fifth and studies have shown that stopping smoking has an immediate effect in reducing levels
  • People who exercise regularly have lower homocysteine levels. So, join the club!
  • The most important and simplest way to keep your homocysteine level down is to supplement a high potency multivitamin providing B6 (20mg), B12 (10mcg) and folic acid (200mcg). These levels are good to maintain a healthy homocysteine level but they are not enough to lower a high level (above 10mcmol/l). See my Special Report to find out how to lower high homocysteine levels. Ideally, you want yours to be under 7mcmol/l.

The above is just a short overview of what you can do to start to reduce the aging effects of a poor diet and lifestyle.

Further reading

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