I have said in a previous blog that I am often asked what my anti-aging secrets are. Of course, I have looked after my skin for most of my life but I am certain that good nutrition plays an equally, if not more important role in having great skin and a healthy body at any age.
Most of us are aware that our diets affect our waistline, but far fewer are aware that what we consume directly affects how our bodies age. Sugars, trans fats, and piles of carbohydrates do our bodies more harm than good. Eating a proper diet with balanced nutrition is the best way to rid our bodies of age-accelerating toxins and chemicals. But eating right is not always easy. It takes research, dedication and determination. However, once you get into the habit things become much easier. Here are a 5 great tips you can incorporate into your diet, to eat better foods to look great and live a long and healthy life.
Tip 1. Cut out Sugar!
Sugar has been strongly linked with the speeding up of the ageing process. Sugar molecules, in particular fructose, can be seen as the most ageing substance as it can cause a lot of permanent damage to the body and detrimentally affect your health. The main way in which sugars display such damaging effects is through their production of Advanced Glycation End products (AGE’s). These products are proteins or fats which have been oxidised by sugars. Proteins are found all throughout the body and so it is not a surprise that anything which affects proteins would have a large impact on your health as well as your physical appearance. The most vulnerable proteins to damage are collagen and elastin which are important in keeping the skin looking youthful and preserving its elasticity. AGE’s damage these proteins and causing your skin to look wrinkly, reducing its firmness and making it sag.
Glycation is the process where sugars and proteins uncontrollably react with each other and in turn, produces an inflammatory response in the body, causing the immune system to activate. Once the immune system is activated, it works to seek out these AGE’s to get rid of them. The downside to this process however is that although the immune system is removing these toxic end products, it causes a lot of damage to the body in the process. Plaque formation is one of these effects and these can be deposited on arteries and blood vessels, causing blockages and putting stress on the heart. Not only does sugar cause AGE’s but also creates free radicals which have the ability to bind to healthy cells and damage them. Another way that sugar causes premature ageing is through the spikes of insulin and leptin levels within the blood after eating sugar. This can produce damaging effects to the heart and lead to heart disease if these levels remain high for too long. Not only do AGE’s have these direct effects, but they also have indirect effects including making the body more susceptible and vulnerable to other harmful processes such as the damaging effects of excess UV light and cigarette smoke. After seeing all the damaging effects that sugar can cause, it is needless to say that sugar is the most ageing substance around and those interested in anti-aging must give it up!
Tip 2. Eat Superfoods.
Superfoods are loaded in antioxidants and nutrients. The presence of these antioxidants and nutrients in the body help to neutralize toxins and substances that may compromise overall health and well-being. Perfect for those interested in anti-aging. Superfoods include foods rich in beneficial fatty acids like: Almonds, Anchovies, Avocado, Brazil Nuts, Chia Seeds, Coconut Oil, Flax Seeds, Olive Oil, Pecans, Pine Nuts, Salmon, Sardines, Sesame Seeds, Sunflower Seeds, Tuna, Walnuts. Fruits, vegetables and spices bright in color indicate they contain plenty of antioxidants and phytonutrients. Great choices include: Apples, Asparagus, Blueberries, Bok Choy, Broccoli, Butternut Squash, Carrots, Cinnamon, Eggplant, Goji Berries, Kale, Oranges, Peppers, Pomegranate, Raspberries, Red Beets, Spinach, Sweet Potatoes, Tomatoes, Turmeric. Incorporate superfoods into every meal and enjoy their health and skin beauty boosting properties. Please see our Nutrition pages for more information.
Tip 3. Consider Food Combining.
Food combining encourages eating the right foods at the same time. Since digestion uses the most energy of any other function we take on—including strenuous exercise—we often feel tired after eating. You can offset this by taking in the right foods. Start by eating concentrated carbs and proteins at different times or at different meals. Doing so will give you more energy and help you look and feel your best! Great for an anti-aging program. For more information on Food Combining, see our Nutrition pages.
Tip 4. Try Caloric Restriction or Intermittent Fasting.
Caloric restriction is a diet in which calorie intake is strictly monitored and kept within a low range. This strategy has been linked with prevention of premature ageing, improving your general wellbeing and lifespan as well as preventing the onset of age-related disease. The caloric restriction strategy was put together on the premise that burning calories cause cells to age, therefore by restricting the amount of calories that the body has to metabolise the body ages slower. A lot of the calories that we eat are not required by the body therefore we are just adding more stress on the body by adding extra calories for it to metabolise, consequently speeding up the ageing process. Restricting your calorie intake can also help to lose weight or to maintain a healthy percentage of body fat.
Research has shown that excess fat in the body is dangerous to your health in both the short term and long term. Excess weight increases the risk of developing age-related diseases, with the risk increasing proportionally to the amount of body fat. Studies conducted on animals, show that life-span increases when a restricted caloric diet is introduced. Try your best to only eat during an 8 hour window for at least a week. Your body will then have a chance to properly digest your food and burn up fat cells. You’ll lose weight and have more energy by doing so. For more information on Intermittent Fasting follow this link. If you want to try a longer fast, ensure you get advice and supervision from a qualified healthcare practitioner. You can also contact us for more information.
Tip 5. Incorporate Bone Broth into your Regular Diet.
Bone broth is a highly nutritious liquid made by boiling bone in water. This effectively extracts the gelatin from the joints as well as amino acids such as cysteine and minerals such as calcium, magnesium and phosphorous found within the bone. Bone broth is a great food source as it is high in protein and minerals. It is especially beneficial to consume bone broth when you are suffering from a cold or flu as it can help speed up recovery. This is because chicken naturally consists of cysteine which is an amino acid which can help to thin mucus built up in the lungs so that it can be removed. The minerals that are found in bone broth are plentiful and can easily be absorbed by the body in this form. Glucosamine is also found in bone broth is also beneficial as it can reduce inflammation and maintain the health of your joints.
The health of your digestive system can be assisting by having bone broth as it helps to nourish and heal the lining of the gut. This is contributed to by glycine which can aid in digestion and promote the secretion of gastric acids. Gelatine is another substance which is readily found in bone broth as it comes from the gelatinous cartilage from bone joints. It has been found to promote healthy and youthful-looking skin. It’s a great anti-aging food. For a great bone broth recipes follow this link. Go to our Nutrition pages for more information on eating for optimal health.
By taking care of yourself by eating healthy nutritious foods it’s possible to reduce the onset of premature aging. Stay tuned for more great anti-aging tips and information.