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As we enjoy ever-increasing life expectancy, more and more people are reassessing their traditional views of ageing. What that looks like is as individual as we are; however, we don’t have to accept the view that it will automatically mean poor eyesight, sagging skin, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, or the like.

It’s possible to enjoy and live life to the fullest, in a happy and healthy state well into our 80s and beyond. It really comes down to how well we nourish our body, and whether or not our attitude to life is a healthy and positive one.

Enjoying the company of the people we love, and developing a strong sense of our own purpose and spirituality is an important component of our emotional wellbeing. Exploring our own thoughts and creativity goes a long way towards developing a positive attitude towards life and ageing.

Two of the most essential elements in sustaining a youthful body are food and water. Overeating is one of the worst accelerators of ageing. Research conducted into longevity has shown that a reduction in calories equates to an increase in lifespan. Eating less doesn’t mean skipping meals, but rather replacing high calorie, nutrient-poor foods with nourishing whole foods.

Excess weight gain is implicated in many age-related diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes and increased pressure on mobility joints, such as knees and hips. The anti-ageing diet should involve decreasing the amount of food we are eating till we are eating only about 60 percent of our original consumption. Cooking food destroys important enzymes, so a diet that contains a high component of raw foods will ensure an optimal level of nutrients.

The other essential element in running a healthy body is optimal levels or water. Water intake plays a major role in the digestive process, and is essential for the absorption of nutrients. Drinking adequate amounts of water flushes toxins from the body, plumps and hydrates the skin, and helps to maintain free-moving joints.

Toni Green is a Launceston-based naturopath, herbalist and health writer. It is her passion to pass on this knowledge of natural therapies to others so that they might live a stress-free life with health and vitality. Toni can be contacted at www.naturalhealthsolutions.net.au; toni.green57@iinet.net.au; or 0431 716 601.