The term “Anti-aging” has recently become one of the most popular “buzz-words” in all of medicine today. There is even a certification and specialization in age-management medicine for physicians interested in assisting their patients in preventing premature disability and death, while focusing on optimal health and vigor. Enter the Baby Boomer generation … individuals born between 1946-1964, 76 million strong, determined to embrace life and beyond. All Baby Boomers have one thing in common; they want to look good and stay healthy. Signs and symptoms of aging such as wrinkles, sunspots, memory changes and fractured hips are not part of their long-range health plans.
Healthy aging is possible for all of us. Read further for straightforward information on what you can do today to delay the indicators of aging, look good and stay healthy.
“Diets Rich In Antioxidants Prevent Disease And Premature Aging.” CNN.com . How do antioxidants slow down the aging process? The answer is simple; antioxidants fight free radicals. Okay, the explanation of how antioxidants slow down the aging process is a little more complex. Let’s start with an explanation of free radicals. Free radicals are oxygen fragments that can be formed by exposure to radiation (even sun rays), toxic chemicals (found in cigarette smoke, polluted air, and industrial/household chemicals), as well as various metabolic processes like the breaking down of stored fat molecules for energy. These oxygen fragments contribute to oxidation, a process where molecules are split resulting in products that have unpaired electrons. Overall, causing damage to cells within the body, hampering the immune system and leading to infections, as well as many degenerative diseases such as heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer and the aging process itself.
What are antioxidants? Antioxidants are a group of vitamins, minerals and enzymes that help protect the body by neutralizing free radicals and are found in dark green, leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale, as well as the supplementation of Vitamins C & E, and carotenoids (including beta-carotenes). When we are young our bodies produce antioxidants, however, as we get into our late 30’s we produce fewer antioxidants and incidentally, more free radicals. According to Dr. Jeffrey Blumberg of Tufts University, it is best to “take a combination of antioxidants” through both diet and supplementation. Antioxidants work synergistically with one another and for this reason the Prescription for Nutritional Healing says that it is best to take smaller doses of several different antioxidants than a large amount of only one. A researcher at Georgetown University, Jane Freedman, Ph.D., agrees, suggesting the best way to protect health may be by taking a blend of antioxidants, “we’re seeing that there’s a lot of synergy among these compounds.”
There is no way to escape the effects of free radical damage in today’s society, especially as we age. Our own bodies create them. We were meant to counteract the possible damage caused by free radicals and oxidation through a diet rich in pure organic antioxidant fruits and vegetables. This just doesn’t happen in today’s society, and even if it did the majority of our soil is depleted of the rich nutrients it once had