Sunday, February 19, 2017

Ayurveda Explains Why We Need To Eat Less As We Age

Some people might be thinking that they didn't hear about this eating less thing as they age.  And they may not be too happy about it. Grey hair and wrinkles aren't bad enough...now we have to eat less?

Our bodies are made up of cells.  All living things, large or small, plant or animal, are made up of cells. Cells are very small usually only being able to be seen through a microscope. Cells are the smallest living units that are capable of reproducing themselves, and each cell in the body was made from an already existing cell. All parts of  the body are made up of cells, which can vary depending on their location and function.  Like all living things, cells die, but they can be replaced by new cells.  As we age, this process of replicating slows down.  No single process can explain all the changes in a cell due to aging but we can minimize the aging process with lifestyle habits.

The activity of proteins within a cell is a key factor in the health and lifespan of cells and therefore living creatures. Ribosomes are structures in the cells that synthesize proteins.  As we age ribosomes slow down thereby allowing protein synthesis to slow as well.  This is actually a mechanism to help slow down aging, as it allows time for cellular repair and processes that recycle old or dead cells.

If protein synthesis is slowing down, this means cells can get overwhelmed and stressed if there is too much protein and nutrition going in the cell.  It becomes a burden to process, which then interrupts this special time allowing for cellular repair.  Instead the ribosomes are forced to rev up which contradicts the natural process.  Recent scientific research has shown calorie restriction to slow down the ribosomes and allow more time for cellular regeneration.

In Ayurveda, the older years, which start in our mid-fifties, begins vata time.  Winter is also vata time.  Think of winter when growth and greenery look like they are shut down.  Yet, in winter, the vegetation is getting ready for a new time of growth by resting.  There is little nourishment in terms of sunlight, but the inner workings of a tree or flower exist and will manifest at the appropriate time.  In the vata time of aging, we can assist the process by eating less (calorie restriction like the research shows) and resting more.  We don't have to starve, rather we choose nutrient dense foods that are warm and nourishing, choosing to eat less often.

Rather than being disappointed by the change in diet, we can look forward to some of the other benefits of the vata body type.  Things like communication, thinking, creativity and social activity are all awesome gifts of a balanced vata type.  We can choose resiliency with the cycles of life as it changes, bringing us growth and happiness.

Stay healthy & well,
Lisa

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