Slow Aging From the Inside OutPrint
The summer sun is shining, and as nice as it feels on your face, chances are it makes you think twice about aging, or rather how to prevent (or slow!) the signs of it. While year-round, daily sun protection is an essential step to maintaining youthful skin, the most effective way to fight aging is from the inside out.
Antioxidants have generated a lot of buzz in the past decade for their free-radical fighting properties. In recent years, you’ve likely heard chatter about “super” foods like oily fish and pomegranate – and for good reason. Foods that fall into this category are clinically recognized for health gains that include anti-aging benefits.
Açai berry, for example, scores very high on the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity or ORAC scale. Developed by the National Institute on Aging and the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, this scale measures how well a food or drink renders free radicals inactive. It is believed foods higher on the ORAC scale more effectively eliminate free radicals. Left unchecked, these molecules create cellular damage which leads to the outward signs of aging, as well as to many internal diseases common in an aging population. Other foods high on the ORAC scale include pomegranate, green tea and grapes. Many anti-aging supplements include these ingredients.
As for fish, two highly-researched omega-3 fatty acids found in oily fish – eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and DHA docosahexeanoic acid (DHA) – have been proven time and again to fight inflammation, high blood pressure, high triglycerides and joint pain and stiffness, as well as to promote cognitive function, vision, and bone health, when paired with proper diet and exercise. These health issues all tend to be exacerbated by the aging process. As an aside, many people who use high-quality omega-3 supplements rich in EPA and DHA report smoother skin, in addition to more significant health benefits.
On a more scientific level, research shows omega-3s help slow the rate of telomere shortening. Telomeres are the protective caps on the ends of chromosomes. Cell death results once they get too short. An increase in telomere shortening has been associated with several aging-associated conditions, including heart disease and memory disorders.
While supplements are great to have in your anti-aging tool kit, taking care of yourself goes a long way when it comes to fighting the hands of time – and prevention is far easier than reversing the signs of aging once they start. Invest in yourself today for a more youthful tomorrow!