Do you want to become rusty, crusty, fat and inflamed or try slowing the aging process and live being slim, sharp, sexy and supercharged? Aging is inevitable but how quickly you age and the quality of your life as you age is largely dependent on the choices you make. Understanding the hormonal and metabolic processes that accelerate aging can enable you to intervene and by implementing them you will be slowing the aging process. The secret is to eat, drink and be merry and rest and recover.
What you eat can age you or anti-age you. Eat a variety of foods rich in every color of the rainbow that are rich in anti oxidants and are anti-inflammatory. There’s no deprivation here. Artichokes, beans, beets, berries, dark chocolate, espresso, fish, green tea, herbs, nuts, seeds, and spices are great at slowing the aging process. Eat fresh or frozen and organic as much as possible to extract the most nutrients. Avoid BPA, herbicides or pesticides that may disrupt hormones. Some foods are both anti oxidant and anti inflammatory and here are your top ten to eat or avoid.
- Top 10 anti oxidant foods: red beans, blackberries, walnuts, cranberries, dark green leafy vegetables, artichoke hearts, strawberries (eat organic), raspberries, coffee, pecans, cloves.
- Top 10 anti inflammatory food: Wild salmon, kelp, extra virgin olive oil, cruciferous vegetables, blueberries, turmeric, ginger, garlic, green tea, sweet potato
- Top 10 inflammatory food to AVOID: sugar, trans fats, dairy, processed oils such as corn, soy and sunflower oil, grain fed meats and poultry (choose grass fed, hormone and antibiotic free), alcohol, refined grains and artificial sweeteners and food additives.
If you are not getting a boost of energy from food, you may be nutritionally deficient. Even people with a healthy diet may have some nutritional deficiencies. Find out by having a nutritional analysis and getting a micronutrient test to determine levels of nutrients and their effectiveness inside cells.
The good news is that coffee, tea and red wine are rich in anti oxidants and in moderation are great for slowing the aging process. These beverages can be dehydrating. Sufficient water is key to counter dehydration and to keep cellular metabolism running smoothly as well as to flush out waste through your kidneys. Drink plenty of purified, filtered water to avoid contamination with lead, chemicals or drugs found in the water supply. Avoid sweetened beverages, artificial flavors, colorings or sweeteners that can wreak havoc on your metabolism. Try a protein drink as a meal or a snack. Here’s some important information that will help you use these for slowing the aging process.
- Black and green tea have equal anti oxidant activity, they differ in their tannin content.
- Be sure to drink tea well before or after a meal. Some teas, such as black tea, peppermint tea, cocoa, and chamomile tea, have been shown to reduce the absorption of iron.
- The anti oxidant content of coffee differs based on the preparation with filtered greater than espresso then freeze dried. Adding milk reduced the antioxidant capacity.
- Although coffee has some beneficial effects, too much can lead to anxiety, irritability, palpitations, and sleeplessness. Coffee by itself has almost no calories, however what you add to it may turn a healthy beverage to a heart stopping, calorie laden, health inhibiting drink. Stick to 2 cups a day without any sugars, syrups, cream or other additives.
- Another good choice for slowing the aging process is a protein drink. Protein drinks can provide a lot of nutrition and serve as a healthy meal or snack. They are especially good after a workout to rebuild and repair muscle and diminish muscle soreness. Get advice on a quality brand to avoid products that may be contaminated with lead or cause food sensitivities
Attitude is everything and laughter is the best medicine. Approach each day with feelings of gratitude and find something to laugh at.
- Laughter is good medicine. It decreases stress, depression, anxiety and pain, improves mood, health and the quality of life.
- It also lowers the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol breaks down muscle and bone, raises blood pressure and pulse and stores fat so by lowering it you are slowing the aging process.
- There are no side effects to a good belly laugh and there are physiological, psychological, social, spiritual, and quality-of-life benefits.
- In the book, “Aging Well: Surprising Guideposts to a Happier Life, Harvard professor George Valiant stated that gratitude is more fun than spite or anger. He said, “Aging well: it can be done.” Dr. Valiant suggests that successful aging means giving to others joyously whenever one is able; receiving from others, gratefully, whenever one needs it; and being capable of personal development in between.”
- Kick back and have some fun, love and be loved and share with a sense of gratitude so you can slow the aging process.
Rest and Rejuvenate
Rest and sleep are critical to your health and quality of life. When you don’t rest or sleep enough, you are more likely to have accidents, make poor decisions, damage relationships due to irritability and gain weight.
- Sleep raises growth hormone, which is fundamental to slowing the aging process.
- Resting while you are awake can help balance the sympathetic (fight or flight) and parasympathetic (cool and calm) nervous system. Being able to get into a clear, alert and calm state takes practice. This reaps huge rewards for your physical and mental health. Get some help with how to achieve this state. Through practice it becomes easy.
- Practice deep belly breathing with slow even breaths or try yoga, tai chi, meditation or focusing on your heart feeling love and gratitude. The benefits are less stress and tension and the damaging effects they produce. Thereby slowing the aging process.
If you can’t sleep, try some melatonin or calming herbs and read some tips on how to sleep soundly. When they don’t work or you can’t relax, get an evaluation so you can determine if hormone, neurotransmitter or nutritional imbalances are factors.
Slowing the aging process can be as simple as eating, drinking and being merry as well as getting a good night’s sleep and some relaxation. So make a resolution to follow these simple tips and you will look and feel your best.