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Aging is inevitable, and these days there are lots of things that cause us to get wrinkles earlier, gain weight, lose hair, and have dull skin or brittle nails.
Causes of premature aging
- Poor diet: Processed foods with excessive amounts of sugar, sweeteners, and preservatives… accelerate cellular aging. According to studies like this one, they shorten telomeres, which are the end fragments of chromosomes, and cellular age markers that reflect aging.
- Too much food: In general, people eat more than they should. Reducing caloric intake is a good anti-aging tactic, since sirtuins, life-extending molecules, are triggered by moderate food shortages. Many experts recommend reducing our daily food intake by 20% to live longer.
- Stress: Excessive tension alters physiological functions over time: tachycardia, palpitations, stomach ulcers, hypertension, asthma, arthritis, rheumatism, and obesity to name a few.
- Sedentary lifestyle: this affects circulation, bone health, muscle tone, and your mood.
- Pollution: Living in polluted environments causes skin blemishes, dryness, and wrinkles.
- Alcohol, drugs, tobacco, medicines, and pesticides: these are toxic substances that poison the body and accelerate cellular aging. The most visible results are dry skin and premature wrinkles.
- Poor Sleep: A study from Brigham and Women’s Hospital(EE.UU.) found that older adults who have trouble falling asleep or don’t get enough quality sleep are at higher risk of developing dementia and even dying.
There are things we can do to prevent premature again. There are many countries and cultures that show us that another way of aging is possible. They are called Blue Zones and they are areas in the world where people live the longest. In these areas, people often live to 100 but more importantly, they live to an older age with a good quality of life.
Countries in the Blue Zone share a series of anti-aging lifestyle habits: a diet based mostly on plant-based foods, and they consume just 1900 calories per day, without eating 5 meals a day.
“A person’s longevity does not depend so much on their genetics but rather on their good living habits.”
A food that helps slow aging must be an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and activator of sirtuins– key enzymes in the cellular aging process. Let’s take a look at some of our best allies:
Matcha: a green tea with the highest amount of catechins, acts as an antioxidant bomb that not only prevents aging but also protects against inflammation, and ultraviolet rays and is anticarcinogenic.
Camu-Camu: this fruit is the most vitamin C-rich food on the planet which makes it the perfect defender against inflammation. Inflammation is one of the most critical factors in the aging of cells, oxidative stress, and chronic pain.
Cacao, the elixir of youth
A dream come true. Natural cacao is one of the most delicious foods in the world and has anti-aging, antioxidant, and anti-stress properties. Could you ask for more?
Chia: These seeds are rich in protein, antioxidants, fiber, and saturated fatty acids. They’re great at maintaining healthy cell membranes of the skin and keeping the damaging effects of free radicals at bay.
Turmeric: Curcumin helps protect the skin from oxidative stress and protects our skin from pollution. One of the most delicious ways to enjoy this spice is with this Golden Milk recipe.
Olive Oil: is one of the most anti-inflammatory foods in existence. It’s also rich in vitamins E and K that help the body stay young and strengthen the immune system. It also prevents cardiovascular diseases and improves bone health.
Kale: the most sought-after cabbage on the market and for a reason. It has more calcium than milk, and a large quantity of iron, vitamins C, K, and A. This combo makes it a detoxifying and anti-inflammatory powerhouse. A few months ago I discovered a delicious and convenient way to eat this daily: Kale Chips.
Berries (strawberries, cherries, blueberries, blackberries..): rich in vitamin C, but especially anthocyanins. Anti-everything! Antioxidant, anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic… Plus, they reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases!
More ways to keep feeling young:
Buy organic: avoid pesticides and fertilizers that reduce the nutritional quality of the food you eat.
Eat raw, or bake and steam your food: by doing this we keep all the nutrients of our food intact, maximizing vital energy.
Stay active EVERYday: moving is an essential pillar of anti-aging. Physical exercise gives us energy, balances hormones avoids stress, delays muscle, joint and bone problems, and prevents diseases such as diabetes, obesity, and hypertension. According to a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, moderate or intense physical exercise 22 minutes a day clearly reduces early mortality rates.
Sleep: a good night’s rest is a time for the body to regenerate and reset itself. You can physically see the results of a lack of sleep (surely we have all experienced waking up one day with dark circles, bags under our eyes, and dull skin after a sleepless night) so imagine what it is doing to the rest of the body internally!
Cold baths: showering with cold water improves blood circulation, helps eliminate toxins, improves mood, increases vital energy, improves the immune system, prevents hair loss and dry skin… Don’t miss this post where we go over all these benefits in detail.
Meditation: or anything that helps lower stress levels. Adrenaline and cortisol, the two stress hormones, attack collagen, activate the nervous system, and acidify our PH levels, causing illness and infections.
Avoid constipation: We have seen the importance of eating well, but eliminating waste from the body is just as important. Did you know that constipation can be the cause of some types of cancer, anemia, colic, irritability, depression, insomnia, and hemorrhoids…?
Fasting- a scientifically proven technique for anti-aging.
The power of fasting in delaying aging has been scientifically proven. Experimenting with fasting and calorie restrictions could be a great solution to avoid premature aging.
Anti-aging benefits of fasting:
- Reduces inflammation and oxidative stress: inflammation is behind many ailments and premature aging is no exception.
- Boosts the immune system: The process of autophagy, in which the body regenerates itself and begins to eliminate damaged cells and anything else that is no longer useful, also boosts the immune system, according to many studies.
- Helps with weight loss and weight control: One of the effects of intermittent fasting is that it increases metabolism, which is great for maintaining an optimal weight.
- Lowers blood glucose and insulin resistance: This effect especially benefits people with insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.
- Increases longevity: Studies on rats have concluded that rats who fast live longer and healthier lives.
- Helps fight degenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s: At the moment there are only studies on animals, but they are very encouraging. It seems that fasting protects the brain, increases nerve cell regeneration, and improves cognitive abilities.
- Activates the metabolism and helps muscle mass gain, increasing growth hormone production: There are various studies that have found that fasting can naturally increase levels of growth hormone, the key hormone for speeding up the metabolism, helping us gain muscle mass and strength.