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Healthy Aging

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Healthy Aging

Our arsenal against aging isn’t necessarily complete without longevity-boosting nutritional supplements.

Eat less, exercise more, get enough sleep, and avoid stress. Even after all this advice, our arsenal against aging isn’t necessarily complete without longevity-boosting nutritional supplements.

Antioxidants

The oxidation theory of aging says that free radicals damage cells and disrupt their ability to function. Free radicals are created in the body as part of natural body processes and due to lifestyle and living factors such as smoking, pollution, diet, and sun exposure.

Antioxidants fight off free radicals that attack healthy cells and also help protect against diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and stroke. Look for vitamins C and E, selenium, coenzyme Q10, as well as herbs such as turmeric (curcumin), grape seed, green tea, pine bark extracts, bilberry, and Gingko biloba.

Colourful Protection

Carotenoids are a special family of antioxidants that provide fruits and vegetables with those lovely red, yellow, orange, and green shades, which is why nutritionists recommend a diet bountiful in colourful fresh foods.

Perhaps the best-known carotenoid is beta carotene, which the body converts into vitamin A and is essential for immunity and eyesight.

Lycopene is most commonly ingested in tomatoes and tomato-based products. Men, in particular, might want to take note of this prostate protector. In one study men who were given lycopene three weeks prior to prostate surgery had significantly less aggressive cancer cell growth compared to men given a placebo.

Lutein is found in leafy green vegetables such as spinach and collards. It’s also in our eyes and protects the retina against ultraviolet radiation. Together with bilberry, these two provide anti-aging vision support.

Bilberries contain the active constituent anthocyanosides, which assist in regenerating night vision and supporting the body’s blood flow.

Anti-Aging Vitamins

The hype about vitamin D is worth repeating. It stimulates calcium absorption thus slowing bone loss, increasing bone formation, and protecting against type 1 diabetes, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, and breast and prostate cancer.

In a 2007 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study explaining the vitamin’s longevity effect on chromosomal behaviour, people with higher vitamin D levels had a biological age of five years younger and were better protected from the deleterious effects of obesity, smoking, and lack of exercise.

Research has shown that B vitamins, particularly folate, are essential for maintaining brain function. People with low blood levels of folate are more likely to develop dementia and experience cognitive decline, according to a February 2008 study in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry.

Longevity Herbs

No article on anti-aging would be complete without mentioning garlic, which is something of a medicinal cure-all, known to prevent heart disease and raise good HDL cholesterol while lowering the bad LDL. It’s also a time-tested antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal herb.

Ginseng, meanwhile, is considered the root of longevity. By improving circulation, ginseng improves brain health, and as an adaptogen, it helps us balance our bodily functions. Feeling stressed? Reach for ginseng and don’t look back.

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