The thing about everyone living longer is that we’re all going to be ancient eventually, but what we do now will have a massive impact on what life looks like in a few decades – follow this one day’s worth of quick, practical hacks to maintain strength, health and good skin.
We caught up with London-based nutritionist Georgios Tzenichristos to find out the best anti-ageing hacks to do today:
FIRST THING: Drink Green Tea It’s easy to overplay the importance of so-called superfoods to health and active lifestyles – it all comes down to levels of the active ingredient. Kale might be a source of iron but you’d need to eat over 500g (1.1lb) of it to get your daily recommended amount. ‘Superfoods’ that combine practically and a high active ingredient have an edge – like green tea. The active ingredient is an anti-inflammatory that has been linked with lowered heart disease risk and improved liver health.
‘A cup is easy to prepare, costs next to nothing and provides you with a whooping 7% active molecules (EGCG), the most of any other drink or food. This is in contrast to to turmeric, which is a hassle to prepare and only contains 2% active (curcumin),’ says nutritionist Georgios Tzenichristos.
The ingredient that’s going to age your face and skin the most is added sugar
LUNCHTIME: Skip Sugar Whatever you eat for lunch, the ingredient that’s going to age your face and skin the most is added sugar. A recent study showed that when levels of sugar are high in your body collagen fibres in your skin are cross-linked, which makes both of them incapable of easy repair. And when you pile UV or dehydration onto that it gets even worse.
MID AFTERNOON: Snack For Your Circulation ‘There are certain blood vessel-friendly nutrients, such as cocoa, or the south asian herb centella asiatica, which boost microcirculation throughout the body and are great for your skin, with proven anti-ageing benefits,’ says Tzenichristos. He recommends (sugar-free) dark chocolate as source of cocoa flavanols, and centella tea or a supplement for centella triterpenes.
AFTER WORK: Hit The Weights Room An unavoidable part of living past 30 is that you naturally start to lose muscle mass. When you’re younger being inactive doesn’t necessarily mean losing muscle, but past 30 inactive men lose it at a rate of 3-5% per decade. Considering the weeks of focussed lifting and eating it takes to add 5% of muscle mass, that’s kind of scary. Fortunately, resistance training with weights is the ideal way to stop this slide in its tracks.
You can’t lift weights every day though, so include plenty of cardio in your regime too. ‘The benefits of cardiovascular health go far beyond a healthy heart. Good blood microcirculation means good brain function because the more oxygen, glucose and nutrients reach the brain, the smarter we are at work and at play.’
My best hack for good digestion is one tablespoon of milled flax or chia seeds
AT DINNER: Add Flax Or Chia There’s no point eating a nutritious post-workout meal if you can’t digest it properly. ‘My best hack for good digestion is having one heaped tablespoon of milled flax or chia seeds with two large glasses of water or juice,’ says Tzenichristos. These contain soluble fibres, which can be hard to get in a daily diet. ‘A good probiotic is also essential, just make sure you choose a reputable brand and a product with more than 10 billion organisms per capsule.’
EVENING: Take A Look At Your Schedule Excessive stress now will age you later. Rather than looking to add things to your day to reduce stress and boost your energy, try taking some things out instead. ‘Focus on the things that matter, instead of spreading thin. Make choices, selecting quality instead of quantity, in all areas of your life: work, personal, social. Don't try to do everything or be all things to all people,’ recommends Tzenichristos.
WHAT NEXT? Want a time-efficient route to maintaining healthier, stronger muscles? Then check out RISING’s Two-Part Workout Plan with top personal trainer and fitness model Shaun Stafford.
Comments are for information only and should not replace medical care or recommendations. Please check with your Doctor before embarking on exercise or nutrition regimes for the first time.
Georgios Tzenichristos, nutritionist, works with London skin specialists Lipotherapeia
Follow the writer @mattfitnessray