Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Anti-Aging - Top Five Things Part 1

What are the top five things I can do to combat the aging process and have a more youthful look?

A youthful look, . . . well, other than your genes (and we don't mean your Levis) that will definitely depend upon how well you take care of "all" of you. Having a young face on an old body just simply does not work. The whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Serious anti-aging programs do not singularly focus on wrinkles and sagging skin, but address the very 'heart' of your health. In keeping with that thought, here are our top five things you can do to fight the age bomb . . .

There is no question that an anti-aging diet offers a 'live longer, live healthier' life. A healthy diet needs to be well thought out and balanced in concert with your body type and should include all of the food groups, preferably in variety. Fruits, veggies, green tea along with foods that are loaded with anti-oxidants are a good bet. It has been suggested that eating small amounts 3 to 5 times a day is the best way to go. Foods rich in anti-oxidants, or phytonutrients, neutralize the free radicals that are responsible age related troubles, such as memory loss, heart disease, cancer, and help win the battle against oxidative stress (too many free radicals) that are responsible for these conditions.

Dr. Perricone, a board certified clinical and research dermatologist reports that, "age related changes may be reversed by consuming foods and beverages that are rich in a variety of compounds, including antioxidants, and are anti-inflammatory, such as cold-water fish and richly colored fruits and vegetables." He goes on to say, "foods classified as pro-inflammatory can accelerate aging such as, saturated or trans fatty acids, sugars and starches, insulin levels surge and trigger a response that accelerates the aging process."

Also, your body needs 1 gram of protein for each kilogram of body weight, and preferably complete proteins (offer the 8 essential amino acids), amino acids are the building blocks for the proteins in our body, and proteins are the building blocks for most of our body tissues (collagen, elastin, fibroblasts, antibodies, skin cells included.) If you work out you may need to increase the amount of protein. The six essential nutrient constituents needed for healthy tissues are proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, and water. If the nutrient requirement is not supplied there will be cellular atrophy, which promotes free radical activity and accelerates aging.

Last, but certainly not least, drink lots and lots of water each day. A good guide for this is to remember your body needs half your body weight in ounces of water each day. For example, if you weigh 130 lbs. you will need to drink 65 ounces of water per day, which is approximately 8 full glasses, . . . and no, that does not include the water in your coffee.

Exercise is essential for healthy tissues which equals healthy bodies. Exercise triggers the body cells to regenerate, giving us healthier cells, tissues, bodies, minds. Not to mention, exercise is a great way to rid stress and improve cardio vascular, which means your cells will get more oxygen and allow for better regeneration and detoxification. Consistency is key, so once or twice a month won't cut it. A little every day is great, or at the very least, three times a week is highly recommended.

Now, about the rest of the equation. Getting enough sleep every night is very, very important. It is a sacred time when your body restores its energy levels, repairs and regenerates tissue, builds bone and muscle, and works hard at strengthening your immune system. It is a time when your mind de-stresses and emotional healing takes place. Is it any wonder why medical professionals insist that sleep deprivation poses definite health risks? Everyone must pay attention to the nurturance of sleep and ensure a solid 7 - 8 hours each and every night, . . . no more, no less.

Part 2 - Friday