Delaying signs of aging; the natural way

Nothing can stop time, nor can anyone stop you from getting older.  However, it is not the ageing that you should focus on, but the way in which you age.  Diet, exercise, getting enough sleep and getting rid of stress, all have an important role to play.  In this week’s blog post, I want to explore what are some of the natural ways that will help you to delay the signs.

Eating a lot of fruits and vegetables, not only combats dullness, but also wrinkles.  In the Dermato-Endocrinology Journal, researchers discovered that fruits and veggies are the best, easiest way to achieve a healthy, glowing complexion.  How come?  Fruits and vegetables are high in essential nutrients, vitamins and antioxidants, which help to combat free-radical damage, often caused by the environment (for example pollution).  Smoking, exposure to chemicals and too much sun, can also play havoc on your skin and overall health.  The study also found that essential fatty acids, works wonders to reduce skin damage and inflammation due to regular sun exposure.  Essential fatty acids can be found in oily fish, flaxseeds, leafy greens, sesame seeds and avocado.  It is also found in vitamin C, vitamin E and evening primrose oil.

A smoothie, packed with different fruits, a bit of honey and yoghurt, is an easy meal and will also give you the energy boost you need to start the day.  There are many different recipes on the internet.  Some recipes add flaxseed, almond milk or other milk instead of yoghurt and/or whey (protein) powder.  Veggie-juices are another easy-to-make meal, either to have for breakfast or lunch.  Adding anything from beetroot, to celery, spinach broccoli, carrot, ginger and an apple or banana, can be whipped up.  Watermelon, red peppers, Bok Choy, strawberries, blueberries, cauliflower and zucchini, are great to add as they contain over 90% water!  And drinking enough water, as we know, is vital!

The key to stay younger looking and healthy, is to stay clear of food that causes inflammation.  Inflammation not only speeds-up the ageing process, but it also puts unnecessary stress on our vital organs.  High inflammatory foods include:  processed meat, alcohol, refined carbohydrates, take-out meals like hamburgers and chips, sugary soft drinks (even those that says it is “sugar free”), caffeinated drinks and sweets, and too much salt.  Today, unfortunately, many foods produced lack the necessary vitamins and minerals, due to farming methods, GMO’s, added pesticides, antibiotics, and so forth.  I believe in eating more natural, organic produce and try to stay clear of GMO food and food containing hormones, etc.  Another important factor is the soil.  The more nutrient-rich the soil is, the better. 

Supplements are good to use, but it should never be used to replace your food.   When it comes to living a balanced lifestyle, supplements are not there to replace food; it should be used to supplement your diet.  There are a huge variety of brands to choose from today.  It is best to always read the label.  Some brands don’t have added sugars, gluten, colouring, etc, in.  If you are sensitive to certain chemicals, make sure to read the label before you buy the supplement.  Solgar, Solal, NRF, Biogen and Vital are all well-known brands and personally I believe, can be trusted. 

When it comes to helping to keep ageing at bay, make sure to add collagen, curcumin and Coenzyme Q10 to your list.  Collagen is a natural protein that is beneficial to our skin, nails, bone and hair.  It also enhances skin elasticity and helps to regenerate skin cells = less wrinkles!

Curcumin, a substance found in turmeric, is not just an anti-inflammatory agent, but it has incredible anti-ageing benefits too!  Turmeric helps to prevent DNA damage and speed up DNA repair as well.

Coenzyme Q10 is a vitamin-like antioxidant substance that is stored in the fat tissues of your body.  It gets depleted quickly, thus adding a supplement helps protect the skin from oxidative stress, as well as delaying visible signs of ageing on the skin.  Other vitamins and antioxidants that are beneficial for your skin are vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin D, polyphenols and flavonoids (found in fruit, vegetables and green tea extract).

Sleep and exercise go hand-in-hand.  Sleep also boost our immune system, it provides energy to the body and brain, sleep helps to regulate our hormones, it helps to eliminate toxins from the body, it calms the nervous system, and sleep also repair and regenerates the body’s cells. 

Exercise is important for both mental and physical health.  The human body was not made to sit / lie still all day, every day.  Without movement our internal organs stop working optimally, and the lymphatic system cannot work.  The lymph plays an extremely important role in getting rid of toxins and waste in the body.  If there is no movement, the lymphatic system cannot function.  Pilates, Yoga, Light resistance training and Rebounding are some of the best restorative exercises to do.  Not only are these different exercise forms a great way to strengthen your muscles and joints (instead of breaking it down), but it also boosts the intake of oxygen to your organs, muscles and cells. 

Not many people like the idea of getting older.  But instead of complaining about it, why not embrace it!  By looking after ourselves from an early age, by sticking to healthy eating patterns, not smoking, drinking moderately or not at all, and doing some form of exercise, will not only help us physically.  It will play a huge role in our emotional- and mental health as well.  Ageing can be something to look forward to.  When our mindset is one of positivity, of embracing things we cannot change or stop, then we can live a full, long, happy and healthy life!

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