What is aging? Can we do it slower?

Updated: Jul 6, 2018

Let's talk aging.....and how we can do a better job to slow this whole thing down a bit!! Many people comment on my skin, and are surprised when they find out I am almost 52!

The body ages in response to levels of oxidative stress, which has been identified as the major contributor to the aging process. (Oxidative stress is essentially an imbalance between the body’s natural ability to detoxify harmful effects vs the production of free radicals.)

Free radicals are highly reactive molecules which can interact with cell components such as DNA. (One way to fight against free radicals is to increase intake of antioxidants, which provide protection against free radical damage.)

There are a number foods that have been identified as anti-aging due to their high levels of antioxidants.

Regular exercise, meditation, and massage have also been proven beneficial when combating the aging process.

Hobbies and even love are often overlooked solutions for anti-aging as well.

Let’s delve deeper into each!

To really understand the aging process, we must discuss free radicals.

Free radicals are atoms or groups of atoms with an odd number of electrons, meaning they are missing an electron. Free radicals form when oxygen interacts with certain molecules.

Once formed, these highly reactive radicals can start a chain reaction, creating damage when they react with important cellular components such as DNA, or the cell membrane.

Excess free radicals in the body have been linked with chronic diseases including cancer, atherosclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and many others. They also have a link to aging due to a gradual accumulation or build-up of free-radical damage in the body.

Cells may function poorly or die if this occurs. To prevent free radical damage, the body has a defense system of antioxidants.

Nutrition and anti-aging are inherently linked due to the power of antioxidants, and there is an abundance of scientific literature connecting the two.

The powerful benefits of antioxidants against free radical damage cannot be denied! Antioxidants are molecules that interact with scavenge free radicals and interrupt the chain reaction which causes cellular damage.

The principle micronutrient, or vitamin, antioxidants are vitamin E, beta-carotene, and vitamin C. Additionally, selenium is sometimes included in this category because it is required for proper function of one of the body's antioxidant enzyme systems.

The body cannot manufacture these micronutrients so they must be supplied in the diet.

Thankfully, many foods naturally contain antioxidants and can be consumed daily to gain anti-aging benefits.

Vitamin E (known as d-alpha tocopherol) is a fat soluble vitamin present in nuts, seeds, vegetable and fish oils, and whole grains. Many foods today are also fortified with this powerful antioxidant.

Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid is a water soluble vitamin present in citrus fruits and juices, green peppers, cabbage, spinach, broccoli, kale, cantaloupe, kiwi, and strawberries.

Beta-carotene is a precursor to vitamin A, and is present in liver, egg yolk, milk, butter, spinach, carrots, squash, broccoli, yams, tomato, cantaloupe, peaches, and grains. Beta-carotene is converted to vitamin A by the body when needed. (NOTE: Vitamin A has no antioxidant properties and can be quite toxic when taken in excess.)

Brazil nuts, yellowfin tuna, halibut, and sardines are exceptional sources of selenium which is needed to process antioxidants within the body.

Flavonoids and polyphenols have very strong antioxidant properties that help prevent oxidative stress, and thus aging.

Polyphenols are micronutrients that we can only get through certain plant-based foods. This a class of chemical compounds naturally occurs in fruits, vegetables, teas, and cocoa. Popular sources include black currants, plums, sweet cherries, apples, blackberries, strawberries, artichokes, spinach, hazelnuts, and pecans.

Flavonoids are compounds that make up groups of polyphenols, and makeup the major source of polyphenols in the diet. Anthocyanins is one of the most abundant flavonoids in the diet.

Anthocyanins are abundant in foods with red, purple, or blue coloring (such as blueberries, blackberries, prunes, cherries, eggplant, etc.) Kidney beans, black beans, pomegranates, oranges, figs, red onions, and sweet potatoes are also great sources of Anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are powerful antioxidants which fight against free radical damage in the body and limit cellular damage.

Look for more better-aging secrets next week! All about skin health!

I am so happy you found your way to me, virtually! I am honored for the connection and the gift of sharing what we do here!

Life Coaching my way is using humor and compassion to bravely guide self-healing, self-awareness and self-care to empower women to heal autoimmune diseases, chronic pain, fatigue and negative thinking.

I am here as your coach, your mentor and guide in living a holistic lifestyle. Please reach out if you ever need questions answered, inspiration or private 1:1 life coaching, life balance, aromatherapy or navigation of eastern and western medicine.

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My favorite references for better aging......













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