If you weren’t able to catch me talking to medical herbalist, Katherine Bellchambers, about the many ways in which herbal medicine can support the body to help us age healthily, you can watch the video here.
We talked about how oxidation and chronic inflammation can age us prematurely – and by that, I don’t just mean the ageing of the skin on our face, but the ageing of the systems of the body and organs – and what can we do to slow down these processes to help us reach a good age without succumbing to some chronic disease at an earlier age.
We discussed a broad range of topics, lots about the power of herbs and just as much about the far-reaching influence these simple, natural plants and their compounds can have on our overall health and wellbeing. Here’s a taster of some of what we covered:
- How herbs can help slow down the ageing process thanks to their various compounds, including antioxidants and phytonutrients.
- How medications, such as proton pump inhibitors, can block the uptake of certain nutrients, increasing the risk of women getting osteoporosis and iron-deficiency anaemia, and also how a lack of protein in the diet can lead to sarcopenia – muscle loss.
- The influence of our diet on ageing – how research has shown that a diet high in refined carbohydrates may be increasing the risk of dementia. Consuming high levels of refined carbs, sugar and processed grains can lead to chronically elevated blood sugar levels and insulin resistance. These metabolic changes have been linked to an increased risk of cognitive decline and dementia. (The rise of dementia in most western countries has led to the coining of the unofficial term ‘Type 3 diabetes’ which occurs when neurons in the brain become unable to respond to insulin, which is essential for basic tasks, including memory and learning.)
- The need to eat more protein, healthy fats, fruits and vegetables – and drink more water!
- The importance of sleep and exercise for physical and mental health.
I asked Katherine to share her top three herbs to help maintain good health into our more senior years. One of them is my favourite, echinacea, due to how it can influence the immune system. As for the other two, you will have to watch the video to find out! It’s right at the end!
I hope you enjoy watching the video and can learn a thing or two from it. If you have any questions about the topics that we covered or about a digestive and gut health issue, please get in touch.