Natural Ways to Turn Back the Hands of Time May 02, 2017 11:15
Natural Ways to Slow Down Aging
Forget expensive creams with harmful ingredients.
There's no denying it. We're all aging every day. But from the time you take your first breath as a baby until the moment you take your last, there are lots of things you can do to slow down the hands of time and feel a lot healthier in the process!
In fact, if you cut out some of the major aging offenders, you could actually look and feel years younger than your biological age...the one that shows up on your driver's license. Here are some ways to slow down aging:
Researchers from Trends in Molecular Medicine have discovered several probable "gerontogens" environmental factors that speed up the aging process. One surprising finding? Your favorite scented candle could be making you age faster than normal. Most scented candles are made with paraffin wax and scented with synthetic fragrances, both of which are derived from petroleum. By burning paraffin wax or scented soy wax candles inside of a house, various cancer-causing, age-accelerating chemicals like benzene (dubbed a gerontogen) and toluene are released. Toxic candle soot can linger for extended periods of time all around your house, even accumulating in your air filter.
To avoid this indoor air pollution, skip candles and simply open windows to fill your home with fresh air. When you do burn candles, make sure they are made of 100 percent beeswax with cotton wicks for much cleaner burning.
We know it's hard to quit, but giving up your cigarette habit is one of the best age-defying gifts you can give yourself (and everyone around you). Cigarette smoke is one of the most potent agers out there, thanks to its 4,000 potential intoxicants, and there are even omega-3s out there to help you quit smoking. Chronic exposure is linked to a slew of age-related diseases, including hardening of the arteries, pulmonary fibrosis, and other diseases.
Resist the temptation to ease off of traditional cigarettes using electronic cigarettes. The aerosol devices are under Food and Drug Administration scrutiny for various health threats. And get this: E-cigerettes often spew benzene, the same aging compound emitted from most scented candles. Plus, carcinogens and reproductive toxins like formaldehyde, lead, cadmium, and nickel have also been detected in e-cig aerosols.
Studies on the accelerated aging effects of stress are still in their early stages, but researchers have discovered that chronic psychological stress leads to age-related illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, decreased immunity, and neural degeneration. To mitigate the toxic effects of stress try taking part in transcendental or mindfulness meditation, which has been shown to lower anxiety, depression, and anger, while improving psychological conditions. Also, find time to sweat it out! Exercise is a potent prescription for treating stress and these other ailments.
As Anne Alexander explains in The Sugar Smart Diet, a lifetime of overdoing it on sugar may eventual show up on your face in the form of early wrinkles. The culprit is the natural process called glycation, where sugar in your bloodstream attaches to proteins to form harmful new molecules called advanced glycation end products, known in short, ironically, as AGEs. Eating more sugar—straight up added sugars, like the tablespoons you dump into your coffee every morning, or secret sugars hiding out in "healthy" salad dressing and sweeter-than-candy-bar yogurt—causes more.
"Most vulnerable to damage are the protein fibers collagen and elastin, which keep skin firm and elastic," Alexander writes in The Sugar Smart Diet. "Once they're damaged, these fibers go from springy and resilient to dry and brittle, leading to wrinkles and sagging. These age-related changes to the skin start at about age 35 and increase rapidly after that, according to a study published in the British Journal of Dermatology."
Scientists have been able to prove that loneliness really is bad for your health. Feelings of loneliness make it harder to deal with life's challenges, prompting the release of high levels of stress hormones, which over time can lead to accelerated aging, heart disease, and high blood pressure, according to 2007 research appearing in the journal Current Directions in Psychological Science.
It's not just the sugar in soda that's doing a number on your insides. All colas, whether diet or regular, contain phosphates, or phosphoric acid, a weak acid that gives colas their tandy flavor and makes them shelf stable for longer periods of time. Too much phosphoric acid can lead to heart and kidney problems, muscle loss, and osteoporosis, and one study suggests it could trigger accelerated aging. The study, published in a 2010 issue of the FASEB Journal, found that the excessive phosphate levels found in sodas caused lab rats to die a full five weeks earlier than the rats whose diets had more normal phosphate levels—a disturbing trend considering that soda manufacturers have been increasing the levels of phosphoric acid in their products over the past few decades.