In the everlasting quest for youth more and more people are searching for ways in which to look younger, function younger and stay alive longer. Tied in to age prevention is adequate nutrition, youthful appearance, increased energy levels and a well functioning body. Each of these things requires specific tactics and strategies that will continue to initiate a functioning cellular structure.
However, the quest for age prevention also requires that an individual not only uses appropriate products, but also avoids inappropriate lifestyle choices. Let’s start with what we should be doing and finish with what we should not be doing.
In order to prevent early aging at our cellular structure and ultimately the function of our body, we must provide our body with appropriate nutrition. This means doing all of the things that we’ve heard about before, but do not necessarily practice. For instance, we should be eating between six and eight servings of fruits and vegetables each day with a combination of raw fruits and nuts and drinking at least 96 ounces of water each day. Both men and women should be taking a multivitamin supplement to augment any holes in their dietary structure.
Concerning our nutrition, we should also eliminate processed foods, carbohydrates and sugars all of which impact the way in which college and is formed, cells are developed and ultimately age. By providing ourselves with adequate nutrition we are giving them the building blocks necessary in order to give back to us a long and healthy life. Researchers have linked dietary habits and a lack of specific vitamins or minerals with certain types of cancer and even with birth defects. (1,2,3,4)
One key factor in early aging is smoking. A combination of over 250 chemicals which are known to have carcinogenic effects in the body as well as the addictive properties of nicotine combined to decrease the amount of collagen available in the skin which decreases elasticity and youthful appearance. Individuals who smoke will find that over the years cigarettes and tobacco deposits chemicals within the lung tissue and does irreversible damage to collagen. (5)
Research has also shown that when individuals stop smoking lung tissue is able to regenerate over a period of seven to 10 years and the effects of smoking can be erased. However, this is simply not true of other organ systems, especially the skin. Damage which is done to the skin over years of smoking is irreversible and will continue to cause difficulties for individual throughout their life span.
Another factor in age prevention is exercise. Our bodies were originally designed to work and exercise throughout the day. In our current lifestyle in most industrialized nations many people work behind a desk and must make time to exercise in a way that our ancestors did naturally throughout the day. Exercise will increase bone density, especially in the early formative years of the bone structure. This helps to decrease the risk factors for osteoporosis as an individual ages.
Exercise also helps to improve cardiovascular health and will help to increase the amount of lean muscle mass in the body. A combination of both of these things helps to burn more calories and decrease problems with obesity. Improvements in cardiovascular health and lean muscle mass also increases the probability that as we age we will remain independent, not needing the assistance of nursing homes.
Research has also found that exercise increases circulatory ability of the peripheral vascular system and central cardiac system. Through improved respiratory systems and cardiovascular systems as well as weight management, individuals who exercise also have decreased risk for diseases which are problematic for those who are sedentary, such as cardiovascular disease, peripheral vascular disease, diabetes, stroke and other immune mediated illnesses.
For centuries people have looked for the fountain of youth, believing that there is some magic pill or water which will allow us to live indefinitely and in a state of perpetual youth. While scientists have come to realize that there is no fountain of youth, no one pill or one lifestyle choice or one vitamin that will give us the energy and youthful appearance we so desire, they also have come to realize and understand that with a combination of good choices, adequate nutrition and great hydration we are able to make vast changes in the way that we live. These changes include increased energy levels, maintaining appropriate weight management and longer healthier lives.
(1) National Cancer Institute: Overview of Nutrition in Cancer Care
(2) The New England Journal of Medicine: Teratogenicity of High Vitamin A Intake
(3) New York State Department of Health: Folic Acid: the Vitamin That Helps Prevent Birth Defects
(4) National Cancer Institute: Vitamin and Cancer Prevention
(5) MayoClinic.com: Is it True that Smoking Causes Wrinkles?