It’s no secret that fresh veg is better for you than fatty burgers – but The People today shows the incredible boost you can get from the right food.
We reveal how simple attention to diet can ward off disease and even add YEARS to your life.
The right food at every age from eight to 80 is vital for health and happiness.
Humble blueberries help keep cancer away – and a traditional English breakfast may even help men keep their hair.
Vitamin supplements have their uses but natural products such as milk, cheese and fruit are often the key to keeping health problems at bay.
We asked medical experts to highlight the risks each age group faces – and how they can be avoided by simple changes to diet or lifestyle.
Coping with bone trouble, the menopause and fertility problems is challenging – there are no magic cures but there are often ways diet can work wonders.
So before tucking into one more takeaway just remember: You really ARE what you eat.
Incredibly, a poor diet and too much strenuous exercise when a girl is as young as eight can harm her chances of having children later in life. Both can lower levels of the hormone progesterone and affect eventual fertility, says consultant obstetrician Peter Bowen Simpkin.
Action: Keep the child on a balanced diet rich in fruit and veg and make sure exercise is at a sensible level.
Girls now reach puberty an average two years earlier than their grandmothers did. The reasons include a rise in obesity and a lack of exercise, says a report by Dr Aric Sigman, a member of the Institute of Biology.
Action: Keep up calcium levels. It is vital for supporting the growth spurt that comes with the onset of puberty. Good sources include milk, yoghurt and cheese.
It’s the age when wisdom teeth arrive – though some people never develop them. Gums often get sore as the teeth break through.
Action: A mouthwash of salt in warm water eases soreness. But seek a doctor’s advice if pain persists.
The skeleton is now as big as it is going to get – what medics call peak bone mass – and it is important those bones are kept in good nick.
Action: Calcium and vitamin D are crucial. The recommended daily calcium intake for adults is 700mg. You can get 700 to 1,000mg from a pint of milk.
A 125g pot of yoghurt, 60g of sardines or 60g of hard cheese such as Cheddar are just as good.
Most people get enough vitamin D from the sun.
But if you don’t get outdoors much, then soya milk, breakfast cereals and vitamin supplements made from yeast will help.
But don’t overdo it. Too much of the vitamin can cause nausea and other health problems.
Baldness starts to develop in some men by their late 20s. Hair falls out as changes in testosterone levels cause follicles – tiny pouches under the skin’s surface – to shrink.
Action: Keeping up protein intake might help, says expert Philip Kingsley. Hair is made up of protein.
At least it’s an excuse for a full English breakfast – eggs and bacon are good protein sources.
By now the effect of all those fast-food treats is probably beginning to show. At 30 it starts to get more difficult to shed weight as your metabolism – the rate at which the body gets its energy from food – slows. Extra calories are more likely to be stored as fat.
Action: Easy – as long as you have the will-power. Slash your daily intake by 200 calories, advises GP Dr Dawn Harper. This will offset a slowing metabolism.
This is the prime age to become a mum, according to a report from the University of Texas. Its authors reckon mothers at this age enjoy better health, live longer and have healthier babies. But act fast – it’s also the age when a woman’s fertility begins to decline.
Action: Taking multivitamins improves fertility, according to a study of 18,000 women. Folic acid, which helps guard against defects such as spina bifida, is particularly recommended.
Women taking a regular supplement showed a 40 per cent lower risk of problems while ovulating.
Grey hairs may be creeping in. Hair colour is powered by cells called melanocytes, which become less active as we grow older.
Action: Vitamin B helps with hair health and is depleted by stress. Avoid worry if possible.. it really can help turn you grey.
A man’s fertility may be on the decline.. and a partner’s chances of a miscarriage rise.
Action: Keep the testicles cool and eat foods rich in vitamins C and E.
Bone loss sets in by the early 40s – and the problem is usually worse for women than men. They face a greater risk from osteoporosis, the “porous bones” condition which can lead to broken wrists, hips and spinal bones.
Action: Build up a robust frame with regular exercise such as brisk walking, aerobics and dancing.
Memory loss sets in as brain cells are lost.
Action: Use it! Read, play board games or learn an instrument to keep dementia at bay.
This is the average age at which women have a hysterectomy. Up to 100,000 patients in the UK face the op each year in the UK.
Action: There is less need than before for radical surgery for gynaecological complaints. Discuss possible alternatives with your doctor.
People who have never worn specs will probably need them now. From the mid-40s presbyopia sets in, spoiling the eye’s ability to focus at various ranges.
Action: There’s nothing you can do, says Dr Kevin Lewis, president of the College of Optometrists. But you CAN ensure your eyes stay healthy by avoiding smoking. Toxins in cigarette smoke have been linked to poor eyesight and even blindness.
Symptoms of Parkinson’s disease usually appear after the age of 50 – with the risk increasing as you get older.
Action: Foods rich in vitamin E, such as olive oil, sunflower seeds and almonds, should help. US and Canadian experts writing in the medical journal The Lancet said even moderate levels may help protect the brain from disease.
Most women begin the menopause at this point – and for some it spells misery.
Action: Nutritionist Jane Clarke suggests giving up caffeine to make flushes “cooler”.
Also keep up calcium intake to protect bones – because they may be weakened during the menopause because of reductions in the hormone oestrogen.
You are most likely to become a victim of skin cancer in your late 50s, says experts at specialist clinic The Mole Centre.
Action: Cover up with thick fabrics such as woven denim or wool to protect your skin when the sun is out.
A review by the Triemli Hospital in Zurich found it was better protection than sunscreen.
It is the time of life when your hips are most likely to give up on you. More than 50,000 replacement ops are carried out in Britain each year and a surgical robot has made it a simple procedure.
Action: It’s best to avoid the need for an op. Keeping your weight down takes the pressure off the joints. And swimming is a great form of exercise to help you maintain mobility.
Danger age for bowel cancer.
Action: Eat blueberries. They contain pterostilbene, a compound said to protect against cancer.
Half of all people over 75 have high blood pressure and so risk a stroke.
Action: Get a check regularly and take advice.
Life expectancy for British men is 76 – and 81 for women.
Action: Experts reckon you can do a lot to win extra years simply by cutting down on portions of food. Just six months of dieting is reckoned to help fend off diseases associated with old age.
And copying the diet of Mediterranean nations is another way to a longer life. Researchers examined 74,000 healthy adults aged over 60 from nine countries.
The secret of lasting health seemed to be lots of vegetables, fruit and cereals, a moderate amount of fish and the odd tipple of wine. Olive oil, not saturated fats is a must.
Source: The Mirror
Ezee Radio’s Knowledge Bank segment is sponsored by Q-Care Pharmacy