Our organs continuously renew themselves, and if we lead a healthy lifestyle to help this process along, it means that in terms of your ‘Vitality age’, your body may actually be younger than your biological age.
Find out how long each major organ takes to regenerate and how you can help encourage this ‘overhaul’.
- The Brain : We are born with about 100 billion brain cells and these reduce over time. There are only two parts of our grey matter that regenerate : the part that is responsible for our sense of smell and the hippocampus, which we need for learning.
Revival Strategy : Use it or lose it – anything that stimulate brain activity will keep your grey matter in tip top shape, such as crossword puzzles, Sudoku, Scrabble, reading or socialising. Exercising, eating well as well as avoiding smoking and too much alcohol, help preserve brain function, too.
- The Skin : Our body’s largest organ sheds its top layer every two or three months, replacing it with a new one. So why don’t we have baby-soft skin when we’re 40?
The reason for this is that the collagen and elastic tissue in the deeper layers of the skin deplete and aren’t renewed.
Revival Strategy : Use adequate broad-spectrum sun protection and up the ante on your intake of fresh fruit and vegetables as these are packed with antioxidants to help protect your skin and prevent premature ageing. Keep it as organic as possible or grow your own produce – the antioxidant content is up to 40 percent higher.
- The Liver : This incredible organ is crucial for helping the body cope with, and shed, toxins. It renews itself every two months.
Revival Strategy : Excess booze can lead to cirrhosis, which can cause the liver to shut down. So don’t have more than one or two tipples a day, with at least three alcohol-free days per week.
- The Intestines : The lining of our small intestines and large intestines (which include the colon) absorb nutrients from the food we eat. Too much stomach acid and digestive disorders like irritable bowel syndrome can damage this lining and prevent it from working properly, which is why it has to renew itself every two to three days.
Revival Strategy : Drink plenty of filtered water and eat a diet that’s high in vegetables and fruit as well as fibre-rich wholegrains.
- The Bones : Our skeleton renews itself once a decade, and a tenth of our bone mass is replaced every year. Bone is a living tissue that needs to be nourished and exercised to stay healthy.
Revival Strategy : Eat a balanced diet that’s rich in calcium and magnesium. Do weight-bearing exercise like power walking, running up stairs and skipping.