Aging can be prevented!
To prevent aging there are a few things we can actively do to stay young for a little bit longer.
Every day we get a little bit older and that means our cells lose their youth too. But there is evidence out there, that biological aging can be slowed down or at some point even be reversed.
And it gets even better, you don´t need any pills or chemical support. It can be done by EATING HEALTHY and WORKING OUT regularly.
Muscle loss starts at about 30 years if you didn´t do anything to prevent the loss. How fast your body ages is influenced by the FOOD you eat and what your ACTIVITY level is. That means being active regularly and working out. Especially beneficial is weight training.
Why muscles matter
To prevent aging it is important to maintain a good muscle mass throughout your life. When your muscles age, they not only lose their size and their strength but more important is the loss of AEROBIC CAPACITY. Less muscle mass leads to a lower rate of metabolic function. On average you lose 5 pounds of muscles every decade after age 30.
In conclusion, that means, when your muscles are fading so will your health.
Think about that: fewer muscles equals
- loss of energy to move
- weight gain
- more vulnerable to get diseases like obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular problems
- faster aging process
Pay attention to your activity levels and what ends up on your plate and you can dramatically improve your health. You will see and feel the difference in the aging process.
Insulin resistance and muscle loss
More facts about how to prevent aging: Insulin plays a role when you want to stay young!
First of all, insulin is a PROTEIN. Every time you eat carbs and/or protein it gets released by the pancreas.
Compared to the other proteins, insulin isn´t a building block for muscle mass. You can think of it as a growth hormone, a functional protein.
When insulin enters the bloodstream and reaches the muscle tissue it then connects with the tissue (it´s like a docking station for the insulin). After the connection the muscle cells open to let in the nutrients (amino acids, glucose, creatine).
Now you see, why insulin plays such a huge role to prevent aging. It helps to nourish the muscles and keeps them young and strong.
As we get older insulin no longer prevents the muscle from breaking down between meals or while you are sleeping. Therefore a proper insulin sensitivity is crucial for maintaining and building mass.
If the insulin docking stations are not sensitive the whole process cannot run. As a result, the muscle will waste away.
You should also consider to include regular SUNBATHS to your lifestyle. The sun exposure boosts Vitamin D production (read more about the correlation between Vitamin D and the sun in my article). Vitamin D is important for proper muscle function. Additional it regulates the entire CALCIUM balance and supports BONE HEALTH.
Pay attention to your protein intake
If you want to prevent your body from aging take a close look at your protein intake. One of the most beneficial proteins for a healthy muscle mass building is LEUCINE.
It´s found in:
- whey protein (see my article “How to find the best protein powder!”)
Leucine is one of the 8 essential amino acids. “Essential” means it can´t be produced by the body and has to be added by food intake. The best source for leucine is WHEY PROTEIN.
To cover your leucine requirements (let’s say it is 8 gr.) from foods, you would have to consume about 0,7 kg of chicken or 0,23 kg of cheddar cheese. Whey protein provides this amount with only 85 mg!
In case you think getting more protein in will automatically stop the aging process, then you are wrong! In fact, too much protein can actually harm you. It can stress your kidney for example. You still rely on strength training to build muscle mass.
Use it or lose it
That is the mantra you have to follow when it comes to successfully fight aging. To avoid age-related muscle shrinking you have to actually WORK THEM. Stay away from processed food and get a WHOLE FOOD diet instead. All the nutrients will fuel your workouts and give your body strength.
Top 5 anti-aging vitamins
Prevent aging with the right mix of vitamins.
1. Vitamin A
Vitamin A (Retinol) is useful in many ways. First of all, it´s a great antioxidant. It helps neutralize the damaging effect of oxidation. Oxidation by free radicals is believed to be the number one reason for aging and age-related diseases.
It is also beneficial for overall bone health. Vitamin A helps to balance the effects of osteoporosis as you age.
Vitamin A rich foods:
- egg yolk
- whole milk
You will only find Vitamin A in animal sources. This is why often vegetarians are deficient in Vitamin A because they avoid anything animal based.
2. Vitamin E
Vitamin E is another vitamin with high antioxidative effects. It also prevents blood from clotting and supports an optimal blood flow. That lowers the risk of a stroke and a heart attack.
Vitamin E rich foods:
- wheat germs
- green leafy vegetables
- salmon, herring
3. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is probably the most known vitamin.
As time goes by your time will get some damage from the sun. No matter how much you protect it. Free radicals, which are produced when you digest food or are exposed to pollution, cause damage. Vitamin C works against that damages.
It is an antioxidant that also helps other antioxidants to regenerate, including Vitamin E.
Vitamin C intake supports collagen production. Collagen is the main structural protein found in your skin and other connective tissues.
Vitamin C rich foods:
- citrus fruits
- potatoes (surprising, right?!)
- soybean sprouts
4. Vitamin K
Your body produces small amounts of Vitamin K on its own. But you need more than that.
As we get older our bones lose structural strength. Vitamin K helps to maintain bone strength. Additionally, it supports a smooth blood flow and stimulates protein production in the liver.
Vitamin K can be a remedy for black circles under your eyes. It breaks up the tiny blood clots that form the circles.
Vitamin K rich foods:
- meat (liver)
5. Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
Vitamin B3 has several anti-aging properties. One especially beneficial property is its ability to retain moisture in your skin. Over time the skin loses the ability to keep moisture.
Itchy, dry skin is more vulnerable and sensitive to injuries. Niacin counteracts the effects of aging inside your skin.
Vitamin B3 rich foods:
- nutritional yeast (read “Top health benefits of brewer´s yeast“)
- whole grain
What causes your skin to age?
Let me give you a brief introduction about the skin.
The skin is our largest organ. An average adult carries about 8 pounds and 22 square feet of it.
It acts as a waterproof shield against damaging sunlight, chemicals, and extreme temperatures.
Skin is made up of three layers.
The outermost is called the epidermis. It consists mainly of cells made from keratin (a protein that is also part of hair and nails). It takes about five weeks for newly created cells to work their way to the surface.
The layer underneath the epidermis is called the dermis. It is responsible for strength and elasticity thanks to fibers of collagen and elastin (both are forms of protein). In this middle layer, you will also find blood vessels. They help to regulate the body temperature by increasing or restricting the blood flow. The dermis is also the place where nerve fibers are which pick up feelings like temperature, pain or a simple touch.
The base layer is called the subcutis. It works as insulation and pads us from falls and bumps.
So, what exactly causes our skin to age?
The aging process can have many reasons. Some can be genetically related but other we can influence. The natural aging process cannot be changed. When we get older the wrinkles in our face increase. It´s a natural process for our face to lose its youthful freshness.
Genetics load the gun and the environment pulls the trigger!
Lifestyle choices and the environment we are in have a huge influence. We can prevent aging by making the right choices. With healthy choices, we can slow down the effects of aging. Your daily habits of body and mind, both conscious and unconscious, what you eat and drink influences your aging process.
It´s never too late to start making healthy changes. Even if you have already visible lines you can do something. Make sure to protect your skin from the sun. It then has a chance to repair some of the damage.
11 tips from a dermatologist to reduce premature skin aging
1. The sun will damage your skin
Protect your skin from the sun as good as possible. When you step outside you should always use sunscreen. If it´s a quick bicycle ride to make some errands or a day in the mountains. Don´t expose yourself as short as possible.
2. Prefer self-tanner over sunbathing
When you take a sunbath, harmful UV rays accelerate the aging process of your skin. That also applies to tanning beds and other tanning equipment. Every time you get a tan, or even worse a sunburn, that speeds up the aging process.
3. Quit smoking
Smoking speeds up aging big times. It is typical for smokers to have a pale skin tone, more wrinkles and especially loose skin under their eyes. The deprives of oxygen and nutrient are mostly the reason for these characteristics.
4. Eat a healthy, nutrient-dense diet
Eat the rainbow. Make sure to eat a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables every day. They provide a lot of vitamins and antioxidants. You can tell from the color of a vegetable or fruit if it is rich in antioxidants. The more vibrant its color is the more antioxidants are in it. Broccoli has more antioxidants than cauliflower.
5. No booze cruise
Besides smoking, drinking alcohol is the next bad habit that affects your skin. It dehydrates your body and over time it will be visible on your skin.
The body metabolizes alcohol from an enzyme in the liver. This process releases a byproduct called acetaldehyde. The byproduct is toxic to body tissues. Body tissues and skin are dehydrated and that causes wrinkles.
The alcohol widens the blood´s capillaries, the result is redness of the skin. If you are a heavy drinker for many years the redness can be permanent.
6. Prevent aging with exercising
To prevent aging, regular exercise is a must. The most effective form of exercise is a combination of cardio and strength training. Cardio (aerobic exercise) gets your heart pumping and is beneficial for good blood circulation. Strength training helps keep aging muscles from shrinking.
7. Avoid repetitive facial expressions
If you tend to make weird faces, you contract the underlying muscles. If you repeatedly do that for many years the wrinkles will become permanent.
8. Clean your skin gently
Aggressive scrubbing can irritate your skin. If you want to prevent aging you should avoid irritating your skin. Gentle washing helps to remove makeup or any other pollution without damaging your skin. Avoid aging and do yourself a favor and treat your skin with respect.
9. Wash your face after every sweat session
Spring-clean your face 2 times a day and after your sweaty workouts. Sweat consists primarily of water and concentrations of sodium and chloride and partly potassium.
While perspiration regulates your body´s temperature the sweat can cause irritation when left for too long on your skin.
10. Apply a facial moisturizer every day
To avoid aging you want your skin to be moisturized permanently. Moisturizer stores water in your skin. That gives it a youthful, fresh look.
11. Never use skin care products that burn
Sometimes you fall for a trend and use products that are hip and your best friend is using them too. If you are using cheap products that cause a burn on your skin, stop applying them immediately. You want to avoid aging stop irritating your skin.