When I see older people slowly, carefully, and with evident pain and distress feeling their way with a cane or walker, I say to myself, is this necessary? When I see older people arising from a chair slowly and carefully, with obvious pain and distress, I say to myself, is this necessary? If I asked a fellow observer why these people are suffering, she or he might answer, “It is because they are old”. This explanation, while true, so often obscures another very real cause. Let me explain.
Each of us have two ages, chronological (years since birth) and ‘real’ age (how old our bodies and brains feel). People of the same chronological age can have a much younger ‘real’ age; they feel great. Others suffer a far older real age. Why do they feel more aged? You may already guess where I am going with this explanation of real age: ‘How our bodies and brains feel’. It is equivalent to to saying ‘how our nervous systems make us feel’. Or, stated another way, how much our nervous systems are punishing us. Why do they punish us? Because we have punished them for years, daily, and sometimes at every meal we eat during the day.
I know that no peer-reviewed study shows that our foods and beverages cause the tiredness, weakness, falling, body pains and all the other symptoms associated with the aging body. I do not think this can be studied, too many confounding variables. But my patients who followed the diet described in my book, Retaining the Mind often remarked on how much better they felt, how their pains subsided, how their walking strengthened, how they felt less aged with a diet that avoided the foods and beverages that injure nerves.
You also may find relief from pain and discomfort by changing your diet.
It makes sense that changing the diet quiets many of the symptoms I mentioned above. Symptoms attributed to aging instead of the more important reason, damage to our nervous system through years of consuming the “aging chemicals”. Will everyone feel younger if they avoid the foods and beverages that contain high levels of these chemicals? No, that’s too much to hope for. But I firmly believe that many women and men, some older and some younger, will find increased joy and comfort with the diet changes I advocate. After all, does it make sense, as I point out in Retaining the Mind, to keep feeding people who suffer symptoms of nerve damage (such the debilities that accompany aging) a diet with high levels of nerve-damaging foods and beverages?
Perhaps the best way to summarize this message is to relate an experience. I had finished presenting my book to an audience that had received it well. As the room was already pledged to another group, a few of the audience and I recessed to the hall where we continued to talk about the foods that cause such great trouble. One man in our group, a man not old and in obvious great shape remarked, “When I eat sugary foods my whole body aches”. If sugar, one of the aging chemicals, causes a man in the prime of life such pain and discomfort, what is it doing to the aged?
Next time you see a person using a cane or walker, think to your self, “Is this necessary”? Next time you indulge in that sweet treat, think to yourself, “Is this necessary?”