De Mike Moreno, author of The 17 Day Plan to Stop Aging, reveals four things you can do in your 50s to slow the ageing process.
1. Combat inflammation
Chronic inflammation impacts every one of your bodily functions and can age you quickly. Smoking, being overweight, not exercising, stress and eating the wrong foods, can all lead to inflammation inside your body.
As well as improving your lifestyle, take a look at your diet. Cut right back on simple, highly processed carbohydrates (sugar, flour and all the products made from them) and eat more healthy fats. Oily fish that's high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, mackerel and herring, has anti-inflammatory properties. Eating extra-virgin olive oil, walnuts and flaxseeds can help too.
"If you're experiencing joint pain, work with your doctor to create a programme of exercises and remedies to reduce inflammation and bring more movement to your joints," advises Dr Moreno.
2. Cut back on sugar
Sugar has an impact not only on your weight, but on how your body functions. Too much can cause glycation, when sugar molecules stick to proteins, fats and amino acids in the bloodstream, hardening your arteries and causing stiff joints - and can lead to conditions including diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, strokes and cataracts. Another good reason to cut back on sweet treats like biscuits and cake, and refined carbohydrates, such as white bread, crackers and pasta.
3. Eat more fibre
Make sure you're eating enough fibre, mainly in the form of vegetables, wholegrains, and fruit. "Your digestive system starts to slow and change as your age, and keeping it moving is key to health in your later years," says Dr Moreno. Likewise, make sure you stay adequately hydrated. You need to drink plenty of water for fibre to do its job.
4. Challenge your brain
Your brain is like a muscle - challenge it and it will stay fit and strong. Dr Moreno suggests doing crossword puzzles, reading books and breaking patterns in the way you do things every day, so that your brain has to do some work, rather than going on auto-pilot. Take a different route on your normal journey, shop at a different supermarket, and make an effort to meet new people and try new things.
Three products to help you age well:
Seven Seas JointCare Active 30 Capsules, £8.99
Brain Training DS Game, £3.29
Holland & Barrett Omega Rich Oil 250ml, £10.69