Of course, who doesn’t want to age gracefully! I don’t think anyone wants to just wake up one day with sagging skin under the arms, wrinkles galore, a poochy belly and some of the other conditions we associate with growing older. The good news is you don’t have to. You can do things now that will allow you to age more gracefully and stay feeling and looking youthful as you grow into old age.
There are three major causes of aging:
- Cell and tissue damage from free radicals
- Enzyme depletion
- Reduced immune response in the body
Remember that our cells don’t really age – they are constantly being replaced by new cells. On the cell level, aging occurs because the body’s cells are under constant attack by damaging, unstable molecules called free radicals. The body’s antioxidant enzymes are supposed to help neutralize free radicals before they cause cell damage. However, many stresses of modern living often create free radicals in quantities well beyond the body’s natural ability to cope with them.
The digestive tract is a key element in our immune systems. Modern lifestyles also are really good at killing off the beneficial bacteria in our intestines that the body needs to fight off diseases. The natural solution to aging gracefully is to maintain a lifestyle that reduces these modern stresses and allows the body to take care of the free radicals and support the digestive system. Here are some ways to do just that:
1. Make sure you get plenty of antioxidants. Antioxidants, found in brightly colored fruits and vegetables, fight off the effects of free radicals and prevent oxidative damage. Diets that help slow the process of aging tend to be those that have lots of raw fruit and vegetables, have more vegetable protein than animal protein, have whole grains and healthy oils such as omega 3. Limit the amount of meat, butter, eggs and dairy you eat and eat whole, organic foods whenever possible. That doesn’t mean you can’t ever have a chocolate donut or your favorite comfort food again. But for most of the time, eating healthy, drinking plenty of pure water every day and developing healthy eating habits.
2. Supplement your diet with multivitamin and mineral supplements. Even if you are eating fresh foods not boxed and stuffed with preservatives, many of our foods still don’t have the right vitamins and nutrients. The soil many of our foods are grown in has been depleted of these making supplementation a necessary component to get all the vitamins and nutrients we need. Make sure you get high quality however and avoid cheaper supplements with fillers and dyes. This algae and sprouts supplement has powerful anti-oxidants and this coenzyme Q10 supplement with ubiquinol can help the body fight off free radicals. Adding enzymes is the simple solution to enzyme depletion and to insure enough enzymes to clean up waste in the body and cells.
3. Take probiotics to maintain digestive tract health. Probiotics such as acidophilus and bifidus create a favorable environment for the growth of beneficial flora, promote the normal movement of food through the intestine, lower the pH of the intestine, manufacture specific B vitamins, and promote immune function. You might also consider doing cleanses one or two times a year to clear toxins out of the body.
4. Ideally, we should get 30 minutes of regular exercise a day for circulation, strength and flexibility. If you can’t do that, then at least do something that involves movement every day. Moving the body filters down to creating movement on the cell level. Exercises, such as particular yoga exercises, can help keep the digestive tract in good working order, tone up the arms, flatten the stomach, improve muscle tone, increase energy, and increase flexibility. Don’t wait until you start to see signs of aging though. Start now before the signs of aging kick in.
5. Laugh and be happy (stress causes aging). People who have more enjoyment out of life tend to show less signs of aging. Having hobbies you enjoy, a spiritual practice, or work that you enjoy can go a long way to aging gracefully.
So you see you can reverse the effects of aging with very simple nutritional and lifestyle changes. Your body replaces all of its cells about once a year so you get a brand new you every year! To prevent aging, just start these 5 simple steps to support your body’s natural processes for health.