An article about staying young. I think the main thing is to reduce stress and obviously treating your body right by eating right and exercising regularly. All they are missing from the article is eating your greens!
All-Natural Ways to Stay Young
Getting older — without being doomed to wrinkle-dom and jiggly thighs — does not require a high-priced trainer and a bucket o’ Botox. We swear it. We know it. We asked top researchers to share their stay-young secrets for winding back time naturally. Their advice will help you stay young and have you looking and feeling everyday fabulous, by doing everyday smart things: exercise, eat healthy, de-stress — not so hard, right? Try it today.
Give yourself a break
Recent studies show that stress causes physical changes in the body that can accelerate aging. Surges of the hormones adrenaline and cortisol cause blood pressure to rise and the heart to beat faster. These days, when our stressors seem unrelenting (a steady stream of job pressures, traffic jams, money problems), chronic doses of adrenaline and cortisol take a heavy toll on our physical and emotional health. “Sixty to 90 percent of all doctors’ visits each year are related to anxiety, depression, obsessive anger and hostility, insomnia, high blood pressure, heart attacks — all problems caused by stress,” says Herbert Benson, MD, author of the landmark book The Relaxation Response and a founder and director emeritus of the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine in Boston.
The most effective way to halt this destructive chain of events is to meditate, using what Dr. Benson calls “the relaxation response.” The technique involves repeating a mantra — a word, sound, phrase, or prayer — for as little as 10 minutes a day. A 2005 study conducted at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston showed that meditation helped prevent age-related changes in the brain.
Try it! Once or twice daily, for 10 to 20 minutes (yes, you do have the time — you just have to make it), sit in a quiet place, close your eyes, relax your muscles, roll your head, neck, and shoulders, and breathe deeply. On each exhale, repeat your mantra. If other thoughts try to invade, says Dr. Benson, tell yourself, “Oh, well,” and return to your word or phrase. When you’re done, keep your eyes closed for an extra minute; slowly allow everyday thoughts to flow back into your mind. Still not into the idea of meditation? Do yoga, or something active and repetitive, like running, instead. Focus on your breathing and how your feet land with each stride. Get your to-do list out of your head, says Dr. Benson.
Consume more fat
The healthy kind, that is. Omega-3 fatty acids (found in salmon, walnuts, and seeds) help stabilize your mood, maintain bone strength, and help prevent visible signs of aging by reducing inflammation in the body, explains Nicholas Perricone, MD, a leading anti-aging expert and author of 7 Secrets to Beauty, Health, and Longevity. “Omega-3s also boost the ability of the body’s enzymes to pull fat out of storage — from your hips, say — and use it as energy,” he says. “Omega-3s keep you healthy and your skin radiant.”
Get off the couch
Not only does regular exercise help you lose weight, tone muscles, build healthier bones, and boost mood, it can also help you think clearly. Studies cited by the National Institute on Aging demonstrate a connection between physical exercise and better brain power. “Walking for just 10 minutes a day lowers your risk of Alzheimer’s by 40 percent,” says Gary Small, MD, director of the UCLA Center on Aging and coauthor of The Healthy Brain Kit. “Physical conditioning reduces stress and anxiety, which wipe out your memory bank.”
Try it! Make time for three 20-minute workouts a week. Run, bike, swim, dance — do whatever you enjoy most.
Drink red wine
Last fall, a groundbreaking study showed that mice on a high-fat diet supplemented with resveratrol, a substance found in the skin of grapes, had longer average lifespans than those not given the resveratrol. According to the study’s co-lead researcher Rafael de Cabo, PhD, of the National Institute on Aging, resveratrol clearly reduced the risk of diabetes and liver problems in mice, leading to a significant decline in obesity-related deaths. But here’s the catch: “You’d have to drink 180 bottles of red wine a day to get the same benefits,” says Dr. Roizen.
Researchers are working now to improve the potency of resveratrol in order to develop a pill that contains the optimum amount of the substance. In the meantime, there’s plenty of evidence that a little red wine can offset a host of health problems. A new animal study from Johns Hopkins University suggested that red wine can diminish brain damage caused by stroke by as much as 40 percent. And research released last year showed that grape-seed procyanidins, found in red wine, helps reduce arterial clogging, resulting in lower blood-cholesterol levels and a reduction in deaths from heart disease.
Try it! Until an optimally potent resveratrol pill is available, enjoy red wine, but it’s best to follow the latest alcohol guidelines from the American Medical Association and drink no more than one glass (5 ounces) a day for your health.
Bite into a superfruit
There’s a good reason we’re hearing so much about pomegranates these days. “Current studies show that they are more beneficial than other fruits,” says Dr. Oz. Pomegranate juice has been found to lower cholesterol and blood pressure, possibly delay the onset of atherosclerosis, and potentially help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease; researchers believe it may also help prevent some forms of cancer from starting or progressing. Pomegranates can also protect the skin from damage caused by UV rays, according to a study published last March.
Another promising anti-ager is the goji berry, a fruit native to Tibet that boasts 500 times more vitamin C by weight than an orange and is considered to be the most abundant source of carotenoids, a type of antioxidant, on earth. This little nutritional powerhouse — which tastes like a denser, sweeter cranberry — also contains more iron than spinach, 18 amino acids, calcium, magnesium, zinc, selenium, and vitamins B1, B2, B6 and E, according to Dr. Perricone. The goji berry stimulates the release of human growth hormone, a natural substance in the body that improves our ability to sleep, helps us look younger, reduces fat, improves memory, boosts libido, and enhances the immune system, he says.
Try it! Snack on a handful of dried goji berries (available at Whole Foods Market) throughout the day. Be sure to buy ones from Tibet, because they have high serum levels, advises Dr. Perricone. In addition, drink pomegranate juice. Not a fan of the flavor? Buy it in concentrate and add a tablespoonful daily to kefir (or plain yogurt), suggests Dr. Perricone. For dewy skin, try Rodial’s Wrinkle Smoother, a pomegranate-infused anti-aging serum with marine extracts and vitamin C created to plump wrinkles, block sun and give a youthful glow.
Sip green tea
The health buzz about this brew keeps getting stronger: Last year, green tea was found to reduce the risk of breast cancer and prevent remissions, and now it’s being tested as a way to help prevent bladder, colorectal, and lung cancer recurrence. “Green tea is an amazing compound in terms of blocking the signaling network that is linked with the progression of cancer,” says Amy Yee, PhD, a professor of biochemistry at Tufts University and principal investigator of the cancer study. It’s also an effective weight-management agent because it appears to rev up metabolism, says Dr. Roizen. Preliminary research indicates that green tea may even help prevent Alzheimer’s disease. A Japanese study published last year in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that drinking at least one cup a day can help keep your brain sharp as you get older.
Try it! Sip two or three cups daily for the ultimate health benefits, says Yee. We like Tazo China Green Tips tea.
Do mental aerobics
A study published in last December’s Journal of the American Medical Association shows that brain exercises can prevent cognitive decline, and the benefits can last for as many as five years. In his own research, Dr. Small has found that a two-week program of mental training can actually rewire the brain. “We’ve seen evidence on brain scans that memory improves,” he says.
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