The Art of Healthy Aging: Are You Ready for Father Time?

Is healthy aging something planned, related to your environment, or related to those nasty early aging genes?

Your genes can play a factor in aging. Daf –2 is a known aging gene. This gene can be involved in longevity, metabolism, stress resistance and response, and fertility and cell growth. Now don’t worry if Father Time is creeping up on you too quickly. There are many proactive lifestyle choices you can make to slow down aging, and live a more healthy life.

Many people attribute stress to early aging. A Harvard study concluded it is not so much the amount of stress in your life that’s responsible for aging quicker, but it is more about how you handle stress.

Everyone handles stress in their own unique manner. You have to find out what works best for you. Some choose to exercise, relax, meditate, or participate in an activity that causes pleasure (eg: watch a movie, read a book, visit a friend or family member).

Another choice to promote healthy aging is sleep habits. A good night’s sleep is essential for staying healthy and alert, and rejuvenating the body. Other than sleeping on a good mattress and pillow, it is very important to sleep in a quiet, dark room. I also recommend a cool temperature, and fresh air in a clean bedroom to promote a good night’s sleep.

Lastly, the food choices you make will affect aging. Some examples of healthy choices include:

Oranges have Vitamin C, which helps promote collagen in the skin and reduce aging. Broccoli boosts your immune system.
Broccoli contains about 65% of the daily allowance of Vitamin C. In addition, Broccoli helps with liver detoxification because it contains Sulphorafane and may be anti-carcinogenic.
Organic Greek Yogurt contains calcium and phosphorus that boosts tooth enamel, resulting in a brighter smile. And it also reduce skin wrinkles.
Bell Peppers, especially the red, orange and yellow ones, are engorged with antioxidants, which ward off potential sun damage and reduce several types of cancer.
Berries are loaded with antioxidants and Vitamin C, which are also good for the skin. All berries are good, but the best are blackberries (the dark color means greater antioxidants). Blackberries promote healthy tightening of tissue and improve brain function.
White Sweet Potatoes have many benefits. They not only contain antioxidants, but also contain anti-inflammatory agents. They can also help improve your complexion and hair, because they contain Vitamin A, C, and E. In addition, they can assist with digestive disturbances.
Carrots are packed with beta-carotene, which assists with skin-cell renewal, acting as a strong antioxidant and reducing skin aging free radicals.
Cucumbers have caffeic acid that helps to smooth the skin. You can control the progression of Father Time, even if you have poor healthy aging genes, by taking control of your sleep patterns, stress, and food choices. There are natural safe procedures that can promote healthy aging, which we will discuss in another post.
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Dr. Steven Friedman