Stress has been found through research to promote signs of aging. When we are stressed, we release adrenaline and cortisol that creates a rise in heart rate and blood pressure that affect our physical and mental health. According to The Relaxation Response author, Herbert Benson, MD, stress related conditions such as anxiety, depression, insomnia, heart attack and high blood pressure make up between 60 and 90% of annual visits to the doctor. Dr. Benson advises using meditation with a technique involving deep breathing and repeating a mantra for 10 minutes daily to reduce stress. A Massachusetts General Hospital study from 2005 supports the use of meditation with findings that changes in the brain related to age can be reduced with meditation.
Yoga is another good de-stressing technique that can also increase your energy level, give you better posture and flexibility, and boost your mood. According to the founder of New York City's Om Yoga, Cyndi Lee, conscious yoga breathing improves the awareness of mind and body connection. It can send more oxygen to cells removing toxins, reduce health conditions, give you glowing skin, increase bone mass, and boost your digestive, reproductive and immune systems which all help with anti-aging.
Extra weight leads to a lot of problems for anyone, but especially as we age. One study in 2009 with 6583 participants followed over a 30 year period found that having extra belly fat in the middle age years leaves one at 3 times more risk for dementia. Extra weight also puts stress on bones, joints and tissues that old age has already taken a toll on. According to Dan Buettner, who wrote The Blue Zones and studies longevity, only eating until satiated or 80% full is a common characteristic shown by centenarians in Okinawa, Japan. Studies also indicate that although exercise and eating less both help in weight loss, the better way to lose weight for anti-aging according to research at St. Louis University is through diet as reducing calorie intake was related to reduction of T3 thyroid hormone which can slow aging. Studies with centenarians show they tend to eat beans, soy, and nuts rather than meat which can be part of a healthy weight loss plan.
Get the Right Fats
Omega-3 fatty acids are one of the good fats for heart and brain in particular, but that also can contribute to anti-aging. First, according to anti-aging expert, Nicholas Perricone, MD, they can help lower inflammation associated with aging signs, help balance mood, lower blood pressure, protect against heart disease, aid in skin health, and keep bone strong. They also help improve cognitive function and aid enzymes in using stored fat for energy. Experts agree that 2 grams a day by eating foods such as fatty fish, walnuts, olive oil, and AFA bluegreen algae is the optimal amount. Lisa Drayer, MA, RD, who wrote The Beauty Diet, says walnuts are one of the few nuts with lots of omega-3's. Monounsaturated fatty acids, such as found in avocados, are another good anti-aging fat as according to nutrition experts, it hydrates skin, is heart healthy, and helps keep inflammation down.
Some other good foods to add to an anti-aging diet include yogurt which according to Lisa Drayer, MA, RD, not only provides protein and calcium, but also B vitamins that are needed for growth and division of cells. Foods with zinc and selenium, such as chicken, lean beef, walnuts, chickpeas, and dried fruit, are also needed for healthy skin and according to Paula Simpson BASc, RNCP are necessary for producing collagen. And Robyn Flipse, MS, RD advises adding lots of colorful veggies to your anti-aging diet especially carrots and tomatoes that are loaded with antioxidants and phytonutrients and carotene and lycopene particularly to protect against the damage caused by free radicals, sun and that help repair cell damage. Spinach is another good addition to the diet with its lutein to aid eye health and folate for cell production. Another option for insuring you get the full spectrum of nutritional protection you need is with this wild foods supplement program that includes the powerhouse nutrients from marine and freshwater algae, tonic mushrooms, and sprouted grasses and grains as well as the basic nutrition provided by AFA, probiotics and enzymes. Another must is co-enzyme Q10 that activates cellular energy and is a critical antioxidant for cells to function. This ubiquinol and algae supplement is an easy way to get all the ubiquinol, which is the bioavailable form of Q10, necessary for every body cell.
As you can see there are ways to stay young in body and mind. With the right foods and activities you can have your own Fountain of Youth right at home.
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