Important for a healthy heart, brain function, a balanced mood, and disease prevention; Omega 3s reduce inflammation and are one of the most important supplements that everyone should take for their overall health and disease prevention. Now research is also showing that omega 3’s can offer powerful anti-aging benefits. Studies have shown that people with the highest blood level concentrations of Omega 3s have longer telomeres. Telomeres are found at the end of a strand of DNA, and serve to protect the chromosome from deterioration. Longer telomeres are associated with longevity and anti-aging. Interested in finding out what your blood levels of omega 3s are? You can take an inexpensive Omega 3 home test offered by Barleans. I recommend Barleans’ Wild and Whole Salmon, because it contains a full range of omegas, 1,000 IU of vitamin D, and also 500 mg. of Astaxanthin, a very powerful free radical scavenger.
Free radicals are molecules that can cause damage of cells – which can lead to disease as well as the physical signs of aging on our skin. Antioxidants help to fight free radical damage, which are plentiful in plant-based foods. Eating a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables can add up to more beautiful skin, and slow the signs of aging. But one of the most potent and powerful of all the antioxidants is found in marine algae – Astaxanthin. The most powerful free radical scavenger, there is evidence that astaxanthin not only prevents UV sun damage from occurring, but may actually help to reverse external signs of aging from the inside out. Anti-aging expert Dr. Nicholas Perricone recommends astaxanthin for reducing wrinkles, fading age spots, and for improving moisture levels, elasticity and smoothness in the skin. Astaxanthin can be found in supplements as well as salmon, trout, shrimp, and algae.
Collagen is a part of the connective tissue in the skin that helps provide density, firmness, suppleness; and is involved in the renewal of skin cells and is vital for skin elasticity. In nature, collagen is found in the flesh and connective tissues of mammals, which is why slow cooked bone broths can be a rich source of collagen. With age, our collagen production slows and the cells structures weaken – this can cause the skin to get thinner and more prone to damage, sagging and wrinkles, also hair can get more dull, and skin tendons and ligaments become less elastic, joints get stiff. Many of us are aware of putting skin creams that contain collagen on our skin, or having it injected into the skin – but we can also take collagen supplements, or eat collagen rich foods – like bone broths. These will not only improve the density and structure of our skin, but also our hair, nails, and even our joints and other connective tissues. So collagen is a helpful anti-aging supplement, but because of the joint health benefits, also good for athletes too. Eating collagen is a big trend in Japan, where you will find collagen rich foods on restaurant menus – like pig trotters, chicken skin, and collagen “hot pots”.
Most everyone is familiar with Omega 3s, but there is another lesser known Omega that you should know about if you want to look beautiful from the inside out – Omega 7. Omega 7 fatty acid is found in animal and plant sources, including macadamia nuts, cold-water fish and sea buckthorn berries. Sea buckthorn is the richest source of omega 7s, containing up to 40% omega 7s (whereas macadamia nuts contain approximately 17% ). While this omega has numerous skin and health benefits, it is also known for its ability to support a healthy weight, cardiovascular health, and gastro-intestinal health. Omega 7 provides key building blocks for skin, hair and nails. It helps combat wrinkles, dryness, loss of skin elasticity, and other symptoms of aging skin. It also seems to be helpful in the treatment of rosesea and skin redness, as well as boosting collagen production, protecting against oxidative damage, restoring plumpness, enhancing the skin’s ability to retain moisture, and repairing and protecting against sun-damage, toxins and environmental stress. You can use skin care products with sea buckthorne, as well as take supplements. There are even chocolates with sea buckthorn in them!!!
Also known as Chinese wolfberries, goji berries are powerful superfoods for anti-aging. Goji berries are alkalizing adaptogens, and are high in vitam ins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals. Goji berries have all 18 amino acids as well as mega doses of vitamin A (beta carotene), B1, B2, B6 and vitamin E. Goji berries contain more vitamin C by weight than any other food on Earth. Goji berries also contain more iron than spinach and 21 other key trace minerals. Goji’s are extremely rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, which are some of the most important antioxidants for healthy eyes and our nervous system. Another unique thing about Goji berries – is that they boost our bodies own natural production of Human Growth Hormone (HGH) – one of the keys to anti-aging, because it is involved in the creation and regeneration of cells. Human growth hormone peaks when we are young and growing rapidly, and slowly begins to decline as we get older. Getting sufficient sleep and exercise also helps to boost ourproduction of HGH.
Enzymes break down the foods we eat. As we age, our production of enzymes decreases, also diets high in processed, cooked, or sugary foods also lowers our digestive enzymes – both of which can weaken our digestion. When we are not properly breaking down and digesting our foods, there will be more toxins and waste building up in the body, overtime this can lead to inflammation and other signs of aging. Enzymes fight the aging process by improving the breakdown and absorption of nutrients in foods, carrying away waste products, and improving the delivery of nutrients to the cells. Eating plenty of raw plant based foods, will create more enzymes in our bodies. Certain skin care products may contain fruit enzymes, when applied to the skin topically – they can speed up exfoliation to reveal new fresh skin. Enzyme supplement pills can do something similar as well – when taken away from food, they can act outside the digestive tract – these are considered systemic enzymes. They often contain protelytic enzymes which can help to break down and sweep away old tissues, so they could have an exfoliation effect with dead skin cells as well. Systemic enzymes may also support the breakdown of scar tissue, fibroids, and more.
Can you guess what is the worst thing we can eat if we want to look young?
I’ll give you a hint, we eat over 150 pounds of it a year….
Sugar creates something called Advanced Glycation End products (AGEs) – which contribute to the physical signs of aging by breaking down the collagen and elastin in our skin. As we know, collagen and elastin are part of what gives our skin it’s youthful appearance. So avoiding sweetened foods and drinks, as well as those that quickly convert to sugar (like breads, crackers and such) are one of the best things we can do to fight aging. Boy, do I wish someone told me this when I was in my 20s and 30s!! Read 20 Reasons to Break up with Sugar to learn 19 more reasons sugar is harmful to our health.
Article written by Nutritionist Sara Vance, author of the book The Perfect Metabolism Plan A regular guest on Fox 5 San Diego, you can see many of Sara’s segments on her media page. She also offers corporate nutrition, school programs, consultations, and affordable online eCourses. Download her free 40+ page Metabolism Jumpstart eBook here.
©2015, all rights reserved. Sara Vance.
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