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Youthful Longevity

Ageing with Grace

Youthful Longevity

Ageing gracefully is an ‘art’. In world where stress, poor food choices and toxins run high, it’s no wonder so many of us turn to cosmetics and other products which contain potentially harmful chemicals, as we seek out the fountain of youth. But what if there was a way to age naturally, with grace and elegance without slathering our bodies in creams and chemicals? Fortunately there is! There are methods which may be undertaken to achieve a balanced and youthful life. Regardless of your age or your current health, these methods can be utilized to capture and maintain youthful longevity. Youthful longevity is the key to living gracefully into advanced years, and we show you some of the ways you can build a better foundation for your future.

Spinach and Beetroot Salad

Eating for Youthful Longevity

Most of us are aware that our diets effect 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 few tips you can incorporate into your diet to eat better foods 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. 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. 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 super foods 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! 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. 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. Go to our Nutrition pages for more information on eating for optimal health.

Exercise

Exercise is one of the most critical components to staying healthy and youthful. Sedentary lifestyles produce mediocre bodies, and fast-forward the ageing process. To achieve greater health and feel your best, exercise is a must. Of course, there are virtually thousands of ways to exercise but each one of us have different needs and health concerns. How you choose to exercise isn’t as important as simply being active. In other words, whether you choose to run 5 miles every morning or shoot for a quick 20 minute walk around the neighborhood, as long as you are moving you can attain physical fitness. Physical fitness is important but some can overlook the importance of strength and flexibility. Here are a few helpful tips for proper exercise no matter what condition your body is in right now.

1. Go for a walk.

Experts recommend up to 45 minutes of brisk exercise every day. Going for a walk is one of the best ways to achieve some form of exercise every single day. Make it your goal to walk around 4 miles per hour which will help you cover roughly 1 mile every 15 minutes, or around 3 miles for a 45 minute walk. That’s enough to have you breathing deeply and maybe even breaking a sweat.

2. Practice Yoga

Yoga has many anti ageing benefits, from helping to keep you physically fit, to helping relax the mind and washing away feelings of stress and anxiety. With our busy lifestyles, it is common for people to forget to take a little bit of time out for themselves to de-stress and recuperate after a hard day of work, and yoga has the potential to achieve this. Yoga is a low-impact exercise and therefore can be done by people of all physical levels and of all ages. It helps to improve your balance, flexibility and strength thereby gradually slowing the ageing process. As we get older we experience pains and aches all throughout our bodies, in particular our joints and muscles. These problems can be targeted by incorporating yoga into our daily lives. It helps to ease the feeling of stiffness in our arms and legs, hips and shoulder, through gentle poses helping to improve our flexibility. Balance is a very important component of health as we age, as the elderly are at a higher risk of having falls. Practising yoga can help to minimise this risk by exposing our bodies to different balancing poses and in turn, strengthening the muscles involved in keeping us upright. Yoga is also be very beneficial in helping to encourage good posture. Yoga is helps our bodies to strengthen slowly over time and does not put excess stress on our bodies as all the movements and poses are gentle and slow. One of the most important techniques in yoga is regulating your breathing. Proper breathing has many benefits and the importance of your breathing is commonly overlooked by those embarking on a fitness program. Yoga promotes then inhalation of  deep breaths,  increasing the amount of air that you take up into your lungs, allowing more oxygen to nourish our cells. This is particularly important as we get older. Proper breathing can also help to relax the body and release tension as slow, large breaths can help slow down the mind and the body. This is important in relieving the body of stress as well as helping to make you feel and look younger and more energised. For more information on Yoga and some suggested poses, please see our Yoga pages.

3. Practice Pilates

Pilates was originally created in order to improve the posture and flexibility of dancers and performers however over time pilates began to prove itself a great anti-ageing exercise. This form of exercise is gentle physical activity therefore can be taken up by people of all ages. Pilates can accommodate every fitness level.  The best thing about it is that it can be done anywhere and at anytime, whether that be in a class led by an instructor or in the comfort of your own home. Pilates involves building the body’s core strength by practising proper breathing techniques, through stretching and through balance. All of these components assists in combating the ageing process as it helps you to feel younger, more vitalised and reduce the feeling of stiffness which becomes common as we age. Stress is also a major factor in the ageing process and can speed it up rapidly. Pilates has the ability to help relieve the feelings of stress and tension in the body as well as the mind. By focusing on the pilates positions during a session, and by being mindful of your breathing, it paves the way for your mind to reach a state of tranquility and peace and the stress just melts away. Overall, pilates is a great way to build up your body’s strength, flexibility and balance through non-strenuous physical activity as well as helping to relieve stress. It is due to this that pilates has become recognized as a great anti-ageing practice.

4. Strength Training

Strength training is a great method of developing definition and helping to sculpt your body into a great shape but it is also a powerful way to slow down the ageing process. It involves the maintenance and promotion of muscle strength, which is especially important as we age. Not only does it build your strength but also helps to maintain a healthy weight which is a major factor in the ageing process. Up until around the age of thirty, our bodies and muscles are continually growing. Past this time point however the ability for our cells to divide begins to slow down. A muscle wasting condition that older people are at risk of developing  is sarcopenia, which is the decrease in skeletal muscle mass resulting in frailty and weakness. The speed at which our bodies age and the progression of sarcopenia can be slowed by eating healthy protein, necessary for muscle growth, and by participating in regular strength training.  This is why this form of training is so important. Strength training has the ability to use up the body’s glucose therefore normalising blood glucose levels in the body assisting with the maintenance of heart health. It is also great for promoting bone health. You don’t need to use heavy weights. Light weights or even your body weight is fine.

5. Rebounding

Rebounding a fun and simple exercise which can help to slow down the ageing process due to its great health benefits. It is an easy exercise suited to people of all ages, which requires simply bouncing on a trampoline and even just five minutes of this a day can be beneficial. Not only does it promote physical activity and burning the body’s fat stores but it can also build up your muscle strength, promote bone health, help relieve body pains and feelings of stiffness in the arms, legs and joints through light physical movement, help you feel energized and also decreasing feelings of stress and anxiety. The way that rebounding can achieve its health benefits is due to it being able to help the flow of lymph through the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is the cleansing system of the body, ridding it from toxins. This exercise stimulates the lymph system due to one of the same principles of inversion. Rebounding works against gravity which is an ageing force and helps blood to flow in the opposite direction. It helps to relieve the pressure on the body caused by gravity resulting in all of its health benefits.

6. Inversion Therapy Inversion is a method that has become known to produce anti-ageing properties. It involves physically doing what the name suggests, which is to be upside down. Inversion therapy aims to fight the ageing process by acting against the force of gravity which is partly responsible for sagging skin. The force of gravity is constantly acting on your body and forcing it down however by inverting yourself you are able to produce an opposite effect of what your body is used to, thereby producing its anti-ageing effects. Holding yourself up while being upside down can be a hard feat for most therefore inversion tables are available to assist you. This has become helpful as people of all ages are able to be involved in inversion therapy. An alternative to an inversion table is to simply sit with your legs up a wall. This has a similar effect as the blood is brought towards the heart. The benefit of inversion therapy is that the blood moves more towards the upper half of the body, nourishing the cells of areas including the brain, face and scalp. This is advantageous as gravity normally drains blood towards the legs and by being inverted, the blood can move freely to other areas. Inversion therapy can also help to stretch muscles and in particular the spine. In the normal upright position, gravity pulls the vertebrae in your spine downwards therefore there is a constant pressure in the areas where they touch. Inversion therapy will have the opposite effect, stretching the spine and relieving this pressure. This helps you to feel more relaxed and less tense, consequently having a positive impact on your mental health also and slowing the ageing process. For more information on inversion therapy click here!

The Importance of a Detox

Detoxing is not a new development. For thousands of years individuals have used detox diets to transform their health and rejuvenate their bodies. It is also well known to promote a youthful, and longer lifespan. There are several detox’s available, but some of the most beneficial include: Apple Detox (Eat nothing but apples for 48 hours. Eliminates toxins and replenishes the skin’s natural youthful glow.) Fasting (Fasting by taking in only water and organic herbal tea helps get rid of toxins and removes dangerous chemicals from our blood and organs.) By adding a detox to your healthy lifestyle once every 3 months, you can restore your body to a more youthful vigor that you may have thought was long since gone. Additionally, by adding a few wholefoods multivitamins & minerals into the mix such as: Vitamins A, C, D3, E, and K1 Minerals: Calcium, Iodine, Magnesium, Selenium, Manganese You can effectively restore your body’s health and live a longer, healthier life looking and feeling your best. By taking care of our bodies first we can better serve our families and communities, all while experiencing a youthful longevity thought to be impossible before. Go to our Detox page for more information on healthy detoxing.

Supplements for Youthful Longevity

Many people are searching for the fountain of youth or the magic pill that will slow down the ageing process. While the so-called anti- ageing supplements will not turn back the clock, or reverse the signs of ageing, there are supplements that can help maintain healthy youthfulness when combined with a good self-care routine, a diet and lifestyle designed for optimal wellness. Here’s some of our favorite supplements which will help you in your quest for youthful longevity: Adaptogens Adaptogens are herbs which support the adrenal system when the body is subject to stressors such as anxiety, fatigue or environmental toxins. When the body is under stress, these special herbs help the body to adapt and to cope with the stress. Studies have shown that adaptogens can decrease the incidence of infection, improve physical and mental stamina and performance. Such adaptogens include ginseng, maca, and rhodiola. – Ginseng Ginseng has been widely used in skin care products due to it being able to preserve the skins elasticity and the regeneration of skin cells promoting blood circulation. Studies have shown that ginseng may have the ability to delay ageing by acting as an antioxidant. It is thought that oxidative stress is one of the main causes of ageing and toxins from the environment can help speed up the ageing process. Therefore substances such as ginseng can be used to slow down ageing as its naturally occurring antioxidants protect the body from dangerous free radicals and makes the skin appear youthful. Ginseng consists of a high level of active ginsenosides which have shown anti-inflammatory effects. It is used in society to combat stress and to support the immune, cardiovascular and central nervous system. – Maca Anti-ageing effects may be promoted by a plant called Maca. It is a Peruvian root which dates back 5000 years when it was used exclusively by the Spanish royalty as the high value of Maca for promoting health became known. It has been linked to increasing energy as well as balancing the bodys hormones. As discussed above, plants which have this property of balancing and normalising processes of the body are termed adaptogens. This is beneficial for the body as it helps to correct any deviations from the normal way that the body works. This plant is full of nutrition, consisting of minerals essential fatty acids and amino acids, phyto-chemicals and protein. – Rhodiola Rhodiola Rosea is a herb which has been used for many years and has even been termed “the golden root” due to its powerful medicinal properties. Rhodiola is traditionally brewed as a tea and has been used throughout history to help restore health and vitality to those suffering from ailments. Today, Rhodiola has been used for people suffering from stress, low mood, difficulties concentrating, mild anxiety and also in those lacking vitality and energy. It can also improve mental and physical stamina. It is these properties which led to its use by Russian astronauts, soldiers, athletes and politicians where they need to be at the top of their game and cannot afford to be feeling fatigued and their mind not alert. This herb is also beneficial for these types of people as it helps to protect the heart after exercise by assisting the circulation of blood in the body including the brain and muscles. Flavonoids and organic acids are present in Rhodiola and is what gives this herb its energising ability. Rhodiola is also an adaptogen much like Maca, which means that this herb can assist in restoring the bodys balance during times of stress. It supports the activity of the immune system by helping the body to produce natural killer cells and T-cells which are important in fighting off toxins and infection. This extract has also been used on the skin to assist in the production of elastin which is an essential protein found in the skin. It helps to give the skin its elasticity and helps to reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Collagen is found in the skin and is also important in preserving the skins elasticity.   Bee Products Honey is a potent source of health-promoting substances, in particular raw honey with its pollen-rich waste matter lying at the bottom of the honey containers. It was  found in research by famed scientist Nicolai Tsitsin that a large number of people in Russia over the age of 100 years were bee-keepers, all of whom claimed that their principle food was honey. Honey and other bee products are well known and revered for their ability to preserve youthfulness. – Raw Honey Raw honey is honey that has not been processed or heated therefore all the natural vitamins and nutrients remain. It makes a nutritious food source but more importantly, it is great for the skin when used both internally and externally. Raw honey has a pH level of 4.5 which matches the skins optimal pH range as well as having natural antimicrobial and antiseptic properties. Gluconic acid is also found in raw honey and this substance can promote healthier looking skin and produce a lighter and brighter complexion. Raw honey can be used as an additive in moisturising face masks to hydrate and clarify the skin. It can prevent the build up of bacteria in the skin due to its antibacterial effects. Not only is raw honey used for the skin but can also be used as a hair conditioner or shampoo to improve the look of dry hair and to give the hair a subtle shine. – Royal Jelly Royal jelly is the nutritious secretion produced by worker honey bees which is reserved mainly for the Queen bee and the newly hatched larvae to promote growth and development. It is full of nutrients, amino acids, minerals, enzymes and consists of all of the B vitamins particularly a high amount of vitamins B5 and B6. Royal Jelly also has vitamins A, C, D and E. All of these vitamins and nutrients contributes to Royal Jelly being great for the skin. The great property that Royal Jelly has is that it contains gelatine which is used to produce collagen. Collagen plays an important role in skin health and preserving the skins elasticity and youthful appearance. Royal jelly has also been used for many conditions including, mild skin conditions and also to support the immune system. CAUTION: Do not use royal jelly or other bee products if you suffer from asthma or an allergy to bee products.  Carnosine Carnosine has been viewed as an anti-ageing substance for quite some time with its popularity fluctuating over the years. Carnosine is an amino acid mainly found in regions of the body that require large amounts of energy and are high in metabolic activity. Its purpose is to act as a protective agent for these highly active areas where oxidation, DNA damage and glycation is likely to occur. Carnosine also works by protecting proteins within cells, mainly through binding with potentially harmful substances so that they do not cause damage to proteins as well as working as an antioxidant and stopping the Advanced Glycation End products process. The issue with carnosine is that as the body ages, the levels of carnosine decline therefore losing this protection. It is beneficial to supplement carnosine into your diet particularly as you get older in order to keep carnosine at optimal levels to produce its anti-ageing effects. Coenzyme Q10 Free radicals and damages to DNA strands are common to occur and increase as you age. Coenzyme Q10 however has been shown to reduce the amount of free radicals present due to its antioxidant activity and protecting DNA from damage. This is beneficial for the skin as it protects from free radical damage thereby promoting healthier looking skin. The amount of Coenzyme Q10 also tends to decline as you age, and so the skin has a reduced ability to make collagen and elastin which are two vital components of healthy and supple skin. Coenzyme Q10 is also very beneficial for muscle. It has the ability to improve the endurance of muscle by helping it to efficiently utilise carbohydrates and lipids as energy sources as well as reducing damage during periods of high activity. This decrease in stress of the muscle is due to coenzyme Q10’s antioxidant property and preventing oxidative damage. Supplementation of Coenzyme Q10 into your diet could therefore prove to beneficial as you get older in order to maintain skin and muscle health. Green Tea Green tea has been found to have anti-ageing effects. Studies have shown that green tea may prevent the effects of sun damage. Green tea is full of polyphenols such as catechins and flavonoids which give green tea its antioxidant effects. These properties promote graceful ageing as it protects against cell damage. Another health benefit of green tea is that it can assist in weight management. Green tea contains a component called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) which has been found to be an antioxidant. Studies have shown that green tea has thermogenic properties and can assist in the oxidation of fat. It can also improve physical performance. This is particularly important as maintaining a healthy weight throughout your life can prevent many health issues. Vitamin C Vitamin C can be seen as an anti-ageing substance because of its involvement in supporting skin health. It plays an important role in the production of collagen in the skin and also in wound healing. Skin that has the right nutrients and vitamins looks and feels healthy and can often make a person look younger than they are. It also provides great protection of the skin due to its antioxidant properties as it prevents damage of the skin from environmental toxins. The amount of vitamin C found in the skin reduces as you age, therefore the skin loses its elasticity. This can be overcome by supplementing with vitamin C to correct the level of vitamin C in the skin. Please see our Nutrition pages for more information on supplements.
anti-aging benefits of meditation

The Anti-aging Benefits of Meditation

Meditation is one of the most ancient forms of spiritual practice. Buddhists have used it to connect with self-awareness and as a form of prayer. In the modern world, meditation has become one of the most popular ways to combat stress, anxiety and depression. Recent research has even revealed that meditation can be used to prevent premature aging. Medical research shows that consistent meditation balances the body’s hormones and helps the brain maintain proper function. Over time, this can translate into a more youthful vigor that shines through for many years to come. Below we have listed the most powerful anti-aging benefits of meditation that you can except from your practice. It Strengthens the Pre-frontal Cortex The pre-frontal cortex is responsible for planning our life and focusing our attention on important areas of it. As we age, the lining of the pre-frontal cortex becomes thinner and affects our ability to think and focus. However, Sara Lazar, PhD at Harvard’s psychiatry department revealed that the pre-frontal cortex of meditators was thicker than that of non-meditators. This means that meditation helps you stay youthful from the inside out! It Increases Melatonin Melatonin regulates the sleep cycle and hormones throughout our body. It has also been proven to slow down the aging process, amp up the immune system, and help prevent cell damage. Increased amounts of Melatonin correspond to better sleep patterns and more energy, which also contribute to anti-aging throughout the body. During meditation, vast amounts of this hormone are released, providing all of the benefits listed above. It Reduces Stress Modern medicine has revealed that stress is just as bad for our health and aging as obesity and smoking. Meditation helps us counteract the stress we all face on a daily basis. By cleansing the mind and letting go of thoughts and feelings that don’t serve us, meditation helps us reduce stress and all of its negative effects. This in turn prevents fine lines and premature cell damage. It Helps Eliminates Wear & Tear on the Body By spending just an hour a day (or even just 20 minutes) in a meditative state, you can effectively prevent the premature aging of your body. We spend so much of our time in a hyperactive stress out state that we often forget that it isn’t our natural state. Relaxation through meditation gives us a chance to reconnect with our calmer self, and helps us ward off unnecessary after-effects of stress, which ultimately put a strain on our bodies. It Helps with Anxiety The neural pathways of the brain are tightened and weakened when we suffer from persistent anxiety. This causes us to think unclearly and illogically. This in turn increases anxiety and causes us to age much more quickly than we would otherwise. Meditation reverses this trend. It loosens the neural pathways and increases our brain’s ability to make rational connections. As your brain and body align in near perfect balance, it begins to relax and age much more slowly than it would otherwise. By taking up a relaxing and consistent meditation, you can turn back the clock and reconnect your body’s ability to fight off cell damage caused by stressors and environmental factors. The best part of meditation is that anyone can practice it right from their very own home! Start your meditation practice today and reap the numerous anti-aging benefits in the future. For information on how to practice meditation, mindfulness or creative visualization click here! 

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