How To Fight Aging:
Look And Feel Years Younger Than Your Age
Aging is the natural biological process as we get older.
For many people, aging is associated with getting more wrinkles and a deteriorating health. Some health conditions that are common to increase with age are joint pain, less energy, fatigue, cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, brain fog, vision and hearing loss.
However, it doesn’t have to be this way.
Getting older doesn’t have to be synonymous with lots of health issues and physical aging.
There are lifestyle choices you can make today to reduce the risk of certain health issues and even to slow the aging process.
Your lifestyle, environment, what you eat and drink, it all play a significant role in how well you age.
What causes aging?
The process of biological aging is not the result of any one thing, but rather the accumulation of several things.
Scientists have different theories about what the exact cause(s) of aging is, however, most of them agree that progressive accumulation of damage to your cells, tissues and organs, cause aging, leads to various diseases and eventually death.
The following biochemical processes in our systems are considered to contribute to and speed up the aging process: inflammation, oxidation and glycation.
Besides contributing to aging, these processes are also contributing factors to several diseases many people suffer from today.
At the same time though, inflammation, oxidation and glycation are natural and necessary processes in our bodies, we can’t function without them.
Therefore, many scientists and anti-aging experts support the idea that an important strategy to promote good health and to slow down the aging process is to keep these processes “normal, stable and in balance”.
- So what function do these biochemical processes have in our bodies?
- What makes them become harmful – cause diseases, aging and pre-mature aging?
- And what can we do to limit the harmful impact inflammation, oxidation and glycation can have on the aging process and our health?
Let’s dive into this, starting with inflammation.
Inflammation is our body’s immune response to foreign invaders, like e.g. harmful bacteria and virus. It’s also the body’s response to repair and heal itself after an injury.
This response is necessary and occurs when you e.g. cut yourself, sprain your ankle or have a soar throat. Infections, wounds, and any damage to tissue would not be able to heal without an inflammatory response. (1
This kind of inflammation is called acute inflammation and it’s – simply put – short-term and the effects subside after a few days. Acute inflammation is often characterized by redness, swelling, warmth, and sometimes pain and some immobility.
What makes inflammation become harmful?
Sometimes, for no apparent reason, the immune system starts to overreact and also attacks “good” and useful bacteria, nutrients etc.
If this continues and your body is struggling all the time with inflammation it becomes chronic.
Chronic inflammation is a major cause to auto-immune diseases such as lupus, arthritis, allergies and Crohn’s disease. It can also lead to diseases such as alzheimer’s, cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
Moreover, chronic, low-grade inflammation is considered to be a major contributor to aging and pre-mature aging.
The chronic inflammation involved in aging can be painless and undetectable.
Factors that are known to cause chronic inflammation include: excess weight, poor diet, lack of exercise, stress, smoking, pollution, poor oral health, toxic chemicals and excessive alcohol consumption. (2
What you can do to limit the dangerous sides of inflammation:
1) Support a healthy gut
Your gut and your immune system are very closely linked, as much as 60-80 percent of your immune tissue is situated in your digestive tract.
Certain strains of gut flora boost the action of the immune cells, preventing pathogens from being absorbed. This is why it’s so important to have colonies of “good” bacteria in the gut, because without the right balance of gut flora your body can’t maintain good health. (17
You can support a healthy microbiome environment in your stomach by consuming probiotic containing foods such as yogurt, kefir, and fermented vegetables – or by taking a probiotic supplement. (18
Seaweed is also very beneficial for the digestive system as well as the immune system. Particular sugars found in seaweed called sulfated polysaccharides have been shown to increase the growth of “good” gut bacteria. (19
2) Eat more of anti-inflammatory foods
Anti-inflammatory foods are e.g.: ginger, turmeric, dark chocolate, tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, olive oil, avocados, green leafy vegetables – such as spinach, kale, and collards, nuts like almonds and walnuts, fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines, berries and fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, cherries, oranges – and green tea. (3
Foods that can trigger inflammation are e.g.: processed foods (white bread, pastries and pasta), soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages, red meat (burgers, sausage, bacon, ham, smoked meat and beef jerky), processed meat (hot dogs, sausage), French fries, artificial trans fats, vegetable and seed oils. (4
The recommended foods for an anti-inflammatory diet are – more or less – those typical of a Mediterranean diet, which means basically eating more fish, fresh fruits, vegetables and healthy fats, a moderate portion of unsalted nuts, very little red meat and drinking moderate amounts of red wine.
3) Eat foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids or take an Omega-3s supplement
Omega-3s are considered to protect the body against the possible damage caused by inflammation. On a cellular level, Omega-3s inhibit an enzyme that produces prostaglandins, which triggers inflammation.
Your body doesn’t have the enzymes to produce Omega-3s, so you must get them from your diet or take an Omega-3s supplement. You can get Omega-3s from eating fatty fish like salmon, sardines and mackarel. Preferably the fish should be wild-caught, not farmed.
There is also interesting research that suggests taking Omega-3 supplements could slow a key biological process linked to aging, namely the shortening of the telomeres. (5-7
You should know though, that all fish oil is NOT created equal and in many fish oil supplements on the market, the benefits of the Omega-3s will not be absorbed into your system. Therefore, it’s crucial that you choose your Omega-3s supplement carefully.
Oxidation happens when our bodies metabolize the oxygen that we breathe. Our cells need oxygen to survive, and produce energy from it.
When the oxygen molecules split into single atoms that have unpaired electrons, they become unstable molecules called free radicals.
Even though free radicals are formed naturally in the body and play an important role in many normal cellular processes (they act i.a. as signal substances and assist the white blood cells to reduce infection) they can be really harmful to the body if they become too many. (8
What makes oxidation become harmful?
Oxidation and the number of free radicals in the blood can become greatly increased by stress, sugar, high-intensity exercise, exposure to pollutants, pesticides, smoking and other toxins in our home environment etc.
If the free radicals become too many and out of control, they can – over time – seriously damage our health by attacking our cells or tissues or other substances in our body, and damage our DNA and mitochondria.
“Eventually the damage becomes so extensive that our cells begin to malfunction, which could explain many of the changes associated with aging. Free radicals and the damage they produce have been implicated in aging, malignancy, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, certain muscle diseases, cataracts, deafness and cardiovascular disease.” (9 Mark E. Williams, MD, www.psychologytoday.com
The process when free radicals run havoc and damage or “oxidize” cells throughout the body is also called oxidative stress.
According to Dr. Doni Wilson, typical signs of oxidative stress are: fatigue, memory loss and/or brain fog, muscle and/or joint pain, wrinkles and grey hair, decreased eye sight, headaches and sensitivity to noise and susceptibility to infections. (10
What you can do to reduce oxidation and prevent oxidative stress:
1) Increase your levels of anti-oxidants
To prevent the number of free radicals from becoming out of control and cause serious problems – we need antioxidants.
Antioxidants are compounds that help the body’s natural defense system combat the attacks from free radicals. They can block oxidation and make it non-harmful. But the function of antioxidants is not to remove oxidants entirely – because free radicals are needed in many normal cellular processes – but to keep them at an optimum level.
You can increase the anti-oxidants in your system by consuming them in food, drinks or supplements.
Foods that are full of antioxidants include:
- Berries – strawberries, blueberries blackberries, raspberries – you can’t really have too many!!!
- Fruits – great antioxidant sources include kiwi, orange, lemon, grapefruits, apples and grapes. You’d probably better limit your fruit intake to 1-3 per day though, because of the high fructose levels in many fruits. Fructose contributes to high blood sugar and inflammation.
Additionally, by eating foods such as broccoli, spinach, tomatoes, eggs, garlic and onions, you support your body’s production of glutathione – our most powerful antioxidant.
For even stronger antioxidant support – take a supplement.
2) Avoid unnecessary exposure to oxidation in your environment
You can avoid unnecessary exposure to oxidation and limit the amount of free radicals in your body by lifestyle and product choices.
Since oxidation and the number of free radicals in the blood can increase by: stress, sugar, high-intensity exercise, pollutants, pesticides, smoking and other toxins in our home environment etc. – you want to minimize your exposure to those things.
Therefore, choose organic fruits, berries, and other foods as well (to avoid toxic pesticides etc.), don’t smoke, stress less, use non-toxic products for your garden, non-toxic cleaning products and non-toxic personal care products, such as shampoo, skin care, makeup etc. (11
Glycation is a process that occurs when we consume sugar. This may be sugar in processed foods, other high-sugar foods, fruits (fructose), sodas, juices etc. When sugar molecules attach themselves to proteins or fats in the bloodstream, new harmful molecules are formed.
These new molecules are non-enzymatic modifications of proteins or lipids, and they are called AGEs (Advanced Glycation End products).
In addition to AGEs that form from glycation within the body, AGEs also exist in foods and can increase to high levels if you cook certain foods at a high temperature.
While glycation is a normal process of everyday metabolism, the rate of glycation and thus aging is increased by the Standard American Diet (SAD) and lifestyle.
What makes glycation and AGEs become harmful?
Glycation is bad for you because it accelerates the aging process. Hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) and tissue oxidative stress accelerate the glycation reaction.
The glycation process leads to a loss of protein function and impaired elasticity of tissues such as blood vessels, tendons and skin.
In the skin, the collagen becomes less flexible and that causes wrinkles and loss of skin suppleness.
The fact that there are no enzymes to remove glycated products from the human body, supports the theory that it’s the accumulation of metabolic waste that promotes aging.
Low levels of AGEs are normal and not a problem, but high AGE levels are harmful. They cause oxidative stress and inflammation in the body and are linked to diabetes, liver disease, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and premature aging. (12
What you can do to limit glycation and the AGEs:
1) Eat less sugar, fructose and processed foods
Too much sugar and processed foods, combined with insufficient exercise, cause increased insulin and leptin receptor sensitivity, a leading candidate for premature death. (13
According to Dr Mercola, controlling insulin and leptin receptor sensitivity, could likely eliminate more than 90 percent of:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
2) Avoid ingesting foods high in AGEs and turn down the heat when you cook
To avoid ingesting too much of foods high in AGEs, eat more of low-glycemic foods and choose healthier cooking methods.
Low-glycemic foods are e.g.: dark leafy greens and other non-starchy vegetables, most fruits, nuts, beans, seeds, legumes and whole grains.
Cooking with moist heat at a lower temperature for a shorter period of time, helps to keep AGE production low. (14
Therefore, stewing, poaching, boiling, steaming, pressure- and slow-cooking are examples of healthier cooking methods, whereas barbecuing, grilling, frying, broiling and roasting at very high temperatures form a lot of AGEs.
Animal foods tend to be higher in AGEs, including meat, certain cheeses and fried eggs – also margarine and some cooking oils.
Worth knowing is that cooking or marinating meat with an acidic ingredient such as vinegar, tomato juice, Greek yogurt or lemon juice can reduce AGE production by up to 50%.
Marinating meat with herbs like Rosmarine, Turmeric and Garlic also helps to reduce the AGE production.
3) Inhibit the production of AGEs
There are herbs, plants and foods that actually can inhibit the production of AGEs. Natural antioxidants, such as vitamin C and quercetin, have been shown to hinder AGE formation.
Moreover, several animal studies have shown that some natural plant phenols can prevent the negative health effects of AGEs.
- Curcumin – which is found in turmeric, is one of these compounds.
- Resveratrol – which can be found in the skins of dark fruits like grapes, blueberries and raspberries, may also help.
Catechin (or epicatechin) is an other useful antioxidant flavonoid, occurring in especially woody plants. It has been found to destroy preformed glycated protein in blood plasma and decrease AGE accumulation in retinal tissues. Dark chocolate and green tea have lots of catechins. (15
Some herbs that are found to inhibit the production of AGEs include cinnamon, cloves, balm, mint, black pepper, sage, common verbena, ground Jamaican allspice, ginger, marjoram, rosemary and tarragon. (16
Therefore, make sure you add a mix of colorful fruits, berries, vegetables, herbs and spices to your everyday diet – this may help to protect against the damaging effects of AGEs.
Carnosine: Carnosine is a dipeptide, an organic compound derived from two amino acids. Carnosine helps reduce damaging protein glycation in the body, and it’s a potent inhibitor of glycation. In test tube studies, carnosine has even been able to reverse aging damage to cells.
You get carnosine mainly from meat, you can also supplement with carnosine. (20
4) Exercise and stress less
Physical exercise improves systemic antioxidant activity, and can decrease oxidative stress.
An inactive lifestyle on the other hand can cause AGE levels to skyrocket, whereas regular exercise and an active lifestyle have been shown to reduce the AGEs in the body.
How you can fight aging, support optimal health, look and feel years younger
Aging is a normal process that no one can avoid – but it’s possible to slow aging and to age well – by choosing a healthier lifestyle and a healthier diet.
Things like excessive sugar, stress and toxicity increase the rate of glycation, oxidative stress and inflammation. These are factors that accelerate the aging process and contribute to several diseases.
You want to avoid chronic inflammation, oxidative stress and you want to limit the rate of glycation and the level of AGEs in your body.
Here is a summary of some important factors how you can fight aging and support optimal health:
- eat healthy and nutritious foods (eat more berries, vegetables, herbs – increase your intake of antioxidants, probiotics and Omega-3s)
- eat more of anti-inflammatory foods and avoid foods and drinks that accelerate aging (especially those high in sugar, fructose, other sweeteners and processed foods)
- avoid unnecessary toxins and chemicals in your home and garden
- don’t smoke
- avoid too much stress
- have a healthy weight
- exercise moderately 2-4 times per week
- turn down the heat when you cook and alternate your cooking methods
- marinate your meat in a mix of an acidic ingredient like lemon juice or Greek yogurt and herbs to reduce high levels of AGE production
It’s never too late – or too early – to promote healthy aging by living healthier!
Share this post with those you care about, and share in the comment section your best anti-aging tips, I’d love to hear them!!
Here are some powerful anti-aging and health supplements mentioned in this blog post, that can help fight chronic inflammation, oxidative stress and reduce harmful effects of glycation and AGEs:
- Fight aging and inflammation, support heart health, brain health and overall health: Omega-3 supplement
- Fight inflammation and keep blood sugar level at a healthy level: Healthy Blood Sugar Level
- Prevent negative health effects of AGEs (glycation): Curcumin
- Boost your immune system and gut health: Fucoidan
- Probiotic supplement to strengthen the immune system: Probiotics
- Resveratrol and antioxidant formula – slows down aging and boosts energy: Resveratrol
- Unique anti-glycation and anti-aging formula with i.a. L-Carnosine: Anti-Aging Formula
Inflammation is the hidden root cause of many diseases. Here’s a free report about inflammation and how you can erase it from your body.
FREE Report => Inflammation Erased
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