The Art of Aging Elegantly
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
While we must all face the grim reaper some day we will not all die at the same time. The average lifespan of an adult is typically somewhere in their 70s and this number has been inching upward since the end of the Second World War. Most people live to around 78 but if you stick to better than average ways of taking care of yourself you should see an out sized result. While your DNA and genetic history does have a little bit to do with your longevity it is not the only variable that determines how long lived you will be.
Assuming you steer clear of any unfortunate accidents or unlucky situations the way you live mostly determines how long you spend on this earth. Scientists have determined that what you eat everyday can take precedence over the effect that your genes have on your longevity. Basically what this means is that even though you may have familial issues with disease or even premature death you are not entirely beholden to your genetics- what you do every day helps to determine how long you live far more than your genetic blueprint.
What Causes Aging Early and Premature Death?
While many environmental factors contribute there is one cause that tops the list of causes for early aging and fatalities. This cause is leptin and insulin receptor resistance increasing. This resistance increases due to two different lifestyle issues. The first is consuming too many foods that are chocked full of preservatives and processed heavily and consuming far too many sugar-laced products. The second reason is the fact that so many people simply do not get the exercise that their body requires. Since these issues cause so many problems eliminating them from your life can help to get rid of the vast majority of cases of medical issues such as Diabetes, obesity, blood pressure problems and cholesterol issues.
While there are a number of different molecules that are capable of hurting your body the most dangerous are molecules consisting of sugar. Fructose in your body has significant inflammatory properties that can speed up the aging process considerably. Due to the fact that we are living in a time where industrial food processes have led to mass-produced sugary foods many of us suffer from issues related to sugar consumption. Sugar by-products produced from corn allowed scientists to fill up nearly every food we consume with massive amounts of sugar and this has led to these products becoming the major source of calories for people in countries with processed food systems.
The issues that fructose cause are numerous including raising your blood pressure, making your insulin resistance higher, making you more susceptible to obesity, elevating your triglyceride levels and LDL levels and numerous other diseases such as cardiovascular, liver, cancer, and arthritis issues.
Why Fructose Speeds Up the Aging Process
When fructose interacts with your body it has numerous ill effects. One of the reasons it is so harmful is due to glycation damage. This process occurs when the sugar in the fructose fuses with proteins in your body to create glycation products that are also known as AGEs. This process when combined with natural oxidation makes up the important molecular motions that damages you skin and body, which in the long term causes many of the issues, concurrent with aging such as disease and death.
When the fructose molecules go through the process of glycation it can result in your body becoming affected with inflammation through your body's immune system awakening and protecting itself. There are cells within your body known as Macrophages and they basically act as scavengers within your body. They are particularly sensitive to AGEs and have special receptors called RAGEs which can actually absorb AGEs and remove them from your body. While you are able to remove them from your body there are lasting effects. In fact scar tissue can build and this leave plaque on your arteries and is one of the most demonstrable links between heart diseases and diabetes.
In order to avoid these issues you should seriously consider keeping the amount of fructose that you consume daily below a threshold of roughly 25 grams. It would be better to limit it even more but that may not be possible with the average American diet at this time. Limiting this fructose can help to diminish your uric acid levels which will aid your body's fight against aging significantly. In order to keep your intake down avoid too many fruits and especially avoid sugar filled juices and sodas.
For Those Who Believe Unlimited Amounts of Fructose Filled Fruit Are Healthy
Traditional wisdom states that eating unlimited amounts of fruit is good for you. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The vast majority of people in this country have issues and disease relating to insulin and consuming too many fruits can have very adverse effects on your insulin resistance, which protects you from these diseases.
It is in your best interests to control the amount of fructose that you consume to roughly 15 grams every day until your insulin issues are cleared up. A way to find out if you had too much fructose is measuring your uric acid levels if it is any higher than 5 you will have issues. While fresh fruit in huge amounts can cause issues it is always better than juices that are stripped of many nutrients as well as healthy fiber that fruits contain. Many fruit juices also contain methanol that is colloquially known as wood alcohol. This poison is attached to pectin in the juice and when you drink it the methanol usually goes straight through your body with no harmful effects. But if juice is stored in containers this pectin can become activated and go into the juice. Over time the levels of methanol increase and can lead to aging issues.
What Are Free Radicals and What Do They Do?
Free radicals are chemical compounds within your body that are created by your metabolism. These free radicals increase with age and begin to damage your DNA at an ever-increasing rate, which can lead to age related issues. Engaging in behavior that hurts your body such as eating unhealthy foods, drinking alcohol or smoking can drastically increase the numbers of these free radicals and how much damage they do. Environmental issues such as pesticides or chemicals can also increase free radical damage in your body. Eventually the free radicals will damage you past the point of no return and you die.
The solution to harmful free radicals is antioxidants. They are the body's natural fighters against free radicals and their effects. This means that in order to stave off aging it is imperative that you consume foods that are very high in antioxidants. Doing so will allow you to live a longer, healthier and more active life for as long as you possibly can. Foods like raw veggies and fruits are incredibly high in antioxidants so try to have as many of these in your diet as possible.
Should You Take Supplements?
While you should not rely too much on taking supplements and many supplements are actually harmful there are a certain few that can help you reach your anti aging goals. The three most important supplements that need to be on your radar are Resveratrol, Coenzyme Q-10 and Glutathione. Resveratrol is a very powerful antioxidant that acts by crossing your blood brain barrier, which provides a protective effect on your central nervous system and your brain. Coenzyme Q-10 is a naturally produced enzyme in your body that delivers energy throughout your entire body. As you age this enzyme production becomes lower so it is necessary to supplement it with pills. Glutathione helps to lengthen the lifespan of your telomeres that has shown very promising research in the field of longevity expansion studies.
Most importantly you need to learn to follow the examples of people who have lived long before you. Instead of trying to climb the mountain on your own it is best to stand on the shoulders of giants. Try and reduce stress from your life and most importantly live a healthy lifestyle. Make sure that you surround yourself with healthy food and get plenty of exercise daily. These seem like simple tips but they can go a great ways in making sure that you stay healthy for a long, long time. Remember that health is the best wealth.
In conclusion you want to stay away from sugars, take all of the appropriate supplements and make sure that you are getting your required daily doses of antioxidants to prevent aging. By fighting free radicals in your body you can greatly lengthen your lifespan and also make sure that your time on this earth is as productive and fun as possible. Stay away from smoking, drinking and unhealthy food and follow the preceding tips and you will be able to add a great deal of time to your life.