The transition from our 20s to our 30s, 40s and beyond is a big one… especially for our metabolism! Jieun Wrigley, a nutritionist at The Integrative Medical Centre by The Iron Suites, writes about ageing and how we can aid metabolism increase. (Hint: you might want to load up on those micronutrients.)
Age and metabolism
In our 20s, coffee, alcohol and late-night takeaways were almost a rite of passage. You wouldn’t think twice about these indulgences and would still operate at full speed for weeks on end. Fast forward to today, and the same habits of our invincible 20s would leave most of us feeling totally spent. Why does every extra birthday candle seem to correlate with longer recovery times?
Figuring out your “ageotype” might help to increase your metabolism
New studies from Stanford University School of Medicine have determined that people (and their metabolisms) age along four different “ageotypes” – you’re either a metabolic ager, an immune ager, a hepatic (liver) ager, or a nephrotic (kidney) ager. Metabolic agers might be at a higher risk for diabetes, while immune agers might have more inflammation. The four types are not mutually exclusive. Do you know which one you are?
This perspective reminds us of the cellular nature of our bodies. We often forget that beneath the skin is a massive complex network of chemical reactions happening every second of our lives. We also forget that the food we eat is a huge variable that impacts our wellbeing – and not all foods are created equal. Forget about calorie counting; let’s take an alternative perspective and value food for its micronutrient and antioxidant content – the vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients.
Macros vs micros – what are they?
Macronutrients include proteins, carbs and fats, while micronutrients encompass vitamins (such as A, Bs, C, Ds, and Ks), minerals (such as Ca and K), and phytonutrients. Both are essential for supporting overall health and bodily functions.
Metabolism increase with micronutrition and your ageotype
Food and drinks don’t bypass our organs untouched. Micronutrient depleted foods require energy for processing and often leave an oxidative wake of wear and tear. Take alcohol, for example; in our 20s, our livers are relatively unmarred but the wear and tear builds up as microscopic scar tissue. Hangovers last longer, scar tissue doesn’t function as optimally and this impacts our metabolic functions. For the hepatic (liver) ageotype, cholesterol regulation is important. The build-up of cholesterol over time leads to sluggish pathway functions. All things consumed, even over-the-counter medication, will have an impact on our body systems.
Fortunately, our bodies are inclined towards survival and work tirelessly to self-repair. But for this to happen, supporting our systems with micronutrient-rich foods is essential. It’s possible to maintain or reverse our ageing rate. It’s also possible to reverse insulin sensitivity, high cholesterol, weight gain, or other inflammatory diseases. The sooner you start supporting your system, the better your chances of using micronutrient-rich foods as a viable long-term strategy.
Part of the process is understanding what type of ageotype category you are. That’s why, as a nutritionist, I prioritise diagnostics. Symptoms are signs of disruption or imbalances. Diagnostics are critical to discovering where the imbalances lie. Checking in with a nutritionist who can understand and apply the diagnostics into a cohesive strategy should be part of the anti-ageing protocol.
When it comes to metabolism and ageing, it is not a one-way road. You can revive the metabolism of your 20s but with all the wisdom and knowledge of the years after. Find out more about your ageotype category and optimising your micronutritional health by booking an appointment at The Integrative Medical Centre by The Iron Suites.
This article on metabolism increase first appeared in the November 2023 edition of Expat Living. You can purchase the latest issue or subscribe, so you never miss a copy!
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