- Autori: Aiello A., Caruso C., Accardi G.
- Anno di pubblicazione: 2019
- Tipologia: Capitolo o Saggio
- OA Link: http://hdl.handle.net/10447/399553
Ageing is a complex, unavoidable phenomenon than cannot be exhaustively defined. However, it has been described as a process leading to death, characterized by a gradual decrease of the ability to adapt to stress, causing a decline in functional capacity. This event, marked by a progressive loss of physiological integrity of many interrelated systems, determines an increased risk of morbidity and mortality (Avery et al. 2014). With increase of the proportion of older adults worldwide (United Nations 2017), it is necessary to carry out prevention policy for a healthy ageing (HA). Good nutrition plays a significant role in determining the well-being of older people, and in delaying and reducing the risk of age-related diseases, cancer, metabolic syndrome (MS), neurodegenerative pathologies, and cardiovascular diseases (CVD). Eating too few fruits and vegetables is, for example, responsible for close to 1.7 million deaths in the world every year (World Health Organization 2019). Nutritionally unbalanced diets are often associated with diabetes and with the risks of developing coronary heart diseases. Indeed, it was seen that children that follow a balanced diet with lots of fruits and vegetables are likely to continue eating healthily into adulthood. On the contrary, parents who eat too much processed food with high levels of salt, sugar, and fat tend to pass those habits onto their own children (Kiefte-de Jong et al. 2014). Although the complex relationship between nutrition, ageing process, and HA is not completely understood, specific dietary changes, such as the reduction of carbohydrates and protein intake or the elimination of trans and saturated fats and the increased intake of omega-3, vitamins, micronutrients, and antioxidants, can help to minimize the ageing phenotype. Similarly, appropriate intake of specific foods, the so-called functional foods, may confer health benefits, influencing the maintenance of immune homeostasis, and contributing, directly, to the reduction of inflammation and metabolic disorders.