There is a lot of unpredicatality in life but one thing is for sure – everyone ages. Genetic predispositions can lead to premature aging for some, while other factors such as lifestyle and environment can contribute to the body’s slow degeneration.
Thankfully, though we may not be able to control time, we can control the way our bodies age and react to the aging process. In fact, science proves that a sensible diet, such as one that is rich in nutrient dense superfoods, may help to slow down the aging process.
Four Main Causes of Aging
1. Free Radicals
One of the most notable and well known causes of aging is free radicals. Free radicals are a result of our environment – things like stress and lifestyle.
According to theory, these free radicals slowly damage and degrade your DNA over time until eventually, your body can no longer fight back.
This can be seen demostrated best in degenerative diseases such as Alzheimers and cancer.
Production of free radicals increases in response to an unhealthy lifestyle.
Factors such as smoking, consuming large quantitiues of processed foods that contain trans fat and harmful chemicals, and coming into contact with pesticides on a regular basis, are all ways to increase the amount of dangerous free radicals in the body.
Tips to Reduce Free Radicals:
- Avoid smoking or second hand smoke
- Rid your diet of processed foods and trans fats
- Use less chemical cleaners, subsituting them for all-natural ones
- Choose organic produce to avoid chemicals
- Avoid too much UV ray exposure (UV rays are one of the biggest sources of free radicals)
Fruits & Foods That Fight Free Radicals:
1. Berries – Berries are one of the best sources of antioxidants, which ward off and prevent free radical damage in the body. For the highest antioxidant activity, choose acai berries, goji berries and mulberries.
2. Raw Cacao – That’s right – chocolate is good for you! Raw cacao is unprocessed chocolate, which means that none of the nutrients from the plant have been stripped. Raw cacao products such as raw cacao powder and raw cacao nibs, contain a higher amount of antioxidants than black tea or red wine.
3. Organic Matcha Green Tea Powder – Matcha powder contains epigallocatechin gullet, or ECG, a powerful antioxidant that’s been proven to fight cancer. It’s also known for its ability to combat the effects of free radical damage from UV rays, chemicals, and pollution.
Related: Best Matcha Tea Brands
Inflammation is your body’s attempt to protect itself from various pathogens, damaged cells and irritants. Intermittent bouts of inflammation aren’t always a bad thing, it’s simply your body protecting itself from threatening invaders. However, when inflammation persists, that’s when it can become a problem. Diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes and arthritis have all been linked to chronic inflammation.
Tips to Reduce Inflammation:
- Exercise regularly, even if it’s just light exercise, like walking
- Eliminate processed and high trans fat foods
- Stay away from soda and other sugar laden drinks
Foods That Fight Inflammation
1. Krill Oil – Animal based omega-3 fatty acids, such as krill oil, help to fight inflammation throughout the body. It is particularly important for brain health.
Research published in the Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology shows that krill oil successfully reduced the amount of inflammation and oxidative stress in the body.
2. Dark, Leafy Greens – Leafy greens such as kale, spinach and collard greens, all contain high amounts of antioxidants, flavonoids, carotenoids and vitamin C – all of which are fantastic against inflammation.
If salads aren’t your thing, try juicing fresh greens along with other fruits and vegetables for a highly nutritious drink.
3. Red/Purple/Green Grapes – Grapes contain a mixture of antioxidants and are an excellent source of flavonoids and resveratrol, both of which boast anti-inflammatory properties.
Resveratrol has shown promise in helping to combat against Alzeihmers, Parkinson’s and cancer.
Glycation is the result of sugars combining with proteins and fat in the body to form advanced glycation end-products, or AGEs.
AGEs are believed to accelerate aging in the body by producing free radicals and triggering inflammation, which thus triggers an immune system response.
The immune system releases microphages which binds to AGEs to remove them, but unfortunately, this doesn’t come without a price. This process leaves behind traces, such as plaque build up, in the arteries.
Tips to Prevent AGEs
- Reduce your cooking temperature or switch primarily to a raw food diet to avoid the AGEs that come with high temperature cooking
- Reduce your intake of fructose, which is a major cause of glycation as well as inflammation
Foods to Fight Glycation
1. Raw foods – Foods that are never heated above 40 degrees don’t trigger the creation of AGEs in the body. These foods are also high in antioxidants and essential nutrients such as vitamins and minerals that can keep the body healthy.
2. Natural Sweeteners – Try natural sweeteners such as stevia powder or stevia extract to avoid the intake of fructose. These sweeteners cause no adverse effect on the body and contain zero calories.
Stress is simply a part of life. The key to not letting it cause damage to your body however, is to keep stress to a minimal amount.
Stress produces hormones that speed up your heart rate as well as increase your blood pressure.
Your body responds to these increases by releasing the hormone cortisol, in attempt to balance your endocrine system.
If your body releases too much cortisol it can lead to inflammation, weaken immunity, increase weight gain, and raise blood pressure and cholesterol levels over time.
Tips to Prevent Stress
- Gentle exercise such as walking and yoga can help the body relax and release stress. Yoga programs focusing on fitness and strength are extremely beneficial.
- Try relaxation techniques such as meditation
- Enjoy plenty of social interactions
Related: Yoga Toes Vs Yoga Gems
Foods to Fight Stress
1. Raw Cacao – We all know a few pices of chocolate at the end of the day can make any bad day better, but by eating chocolate made from raw cacao, you are also giving your body a boost of healthy antioxidants to fight stress-caused free radicals.
2. Green Leafy Vegetables – Green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, contain folate which produces dopamine, a pleasure inducing brain chemical. A 2013 study of college students found that those who ate more green leafy vegetables tended to feel calmer, happier and more energetic.
Enjoyed Anti Wrinkle Foods to Eat? Share it with your friends so they too can follow the superfoodsliving journey.