Joint soreness and stiffness, skin issues like age spots and wrinkles, frailer bones, weaker muscles, hormonal decline, slower metabolism, decrease in cardiovascular and lung functions, weaker immune system, decreased sexual desire, and decline in vision and hearing. We are all subject to the effects of aging, but what if told you that we have the power to slow down the process?
Everyone ages, though some faster than others. Genetics may play a small role in the aging process, but there are things that everyone can do to slow down the effects of aging. First and foremost, a healthy lifestyle is imperative.
We all know how important a proper diet and exercise is to keeping healthy. But did you know that there are certain natural supplements that you can take to help your body function more efficiently, and look and feel younger?
7 Anti-Aging Supplements
Lucky for us, certain supplements are able to focus on the health of your telomeres, mitochondria and the state of your oxidative stress. Remember that there is no magic pill, an integrative approach is needed to stay healthy and fit as you age.
Listed below are 7 key players that will help slow down the aging process:
Glutathione plays a critical role in the production of DNA and the proteins that make up our body. This antioxidant is involved in creating our skin, hair, nails, muscles, bones, organs, enzymes, hormones and even immune cells. Like many other important biomarkers, glutathione levels decline as we age, this has a profoundly negative effect on the health of nearly every cell in our body.
Glutathione is found in many foods including fruits, vegetables, and meats. Some examples include asparagus, spinach, garlic, avocado, squash, zucchini, potatoes, melons, grapefruit, strawberries, and peaches. Glutathione can also be taken in supplement form;
While cortisol plays an important role in controlling the impact of stress on the body, increased levels of cortisol coupled with poor sleep are known to accelerate the aging process. Furthermore, it has been shown to increase the degradation of DNA telomeres.
Ashwagandha is an Ayurvedic herb that can be found at your local natural food store. It helps counterbalance the negative effects of high cortisol levels. It lowers cortisol, improves sleeps and helps keep your telomeres, and cells healthy and youthful.
3. Coenzyme Q10
CoQ10 is also a very potent antioxidant and is essential to the health of our mitochondria. Mitochondria are your cells’ powerhouse. Healthy mitochondria equate to more energy, better body function and more vitality.
CoQ10 is found in organ meats such as liver, kidney, and heart. It can also be found in beef, sardines, and mackerel. Vegetable sources of CoQ10 include spinach, broccoli, and cauliflower; supplement sources are also available.
Curcumin, the active ingredient found in turmeric, is a very potent antioxidant. Studies show that curcumin seeks and destroys damaging free radicals, lowers oxidative stress, slows telomere degradation, and reduces levels of biomarkers associated with accelerated aging.
Turmeric sometimes called “poor man’s saffron”, is the best-known source of curcumin. It’s a spice often used in curry powders. Fresh turmeric can be added to smoothies for added benefits; and can also be found as a supplement at your local health food store.
Resveratrol reduces inflammation in the body by preventing the creation of sphingosine kinase and phospholipase D— two molecules known to trigger inflammation. Studies show that consuming resveratrol can mimic the effects of exercise, also lowering insulin levels which is key to fighting disease and staying young. It’s a potent antioxidant that helps: prevent the rampant spread of cancer cells, improves blood circulation, protects your brain from the development of Alzheimer’s disease and prevents neurological disorders such as strokes, ischemia, and Huntington’s disease.
Resveratrol can be found in peanuts, pistachios, grapes, red and white wine, blueberries, cranberries, and dark chocolate; resveratrol can also be taken in the form of a supplement.
6. NAC – n-acetyl cysteine
Playing an important role in heavy metal detoxification, N-acetyl-l-cysteine (NAC) is a derivative of the dietary amino acid l-cysteine. NAC has been known to improve lung health, assisting through mucolytic and antioxidant action. NAC also enhances glutathione production, known as the “mother of all antioxidants.”
NAC is found in granola and oat flakes. Vegetables like broccoli, red pepper and onion are also significant sources of NAC. Other plant sources include bananas, garlic, soy beans, linseed and wheat germ; and NAC supplements are also worth looking into.
7. Alpha Lipoic Acid
Both water and fat soluble, Alpha lipoic acid (ALA) is able to function in almost any part of the body. It is a potent antioxidant which enhances the activity of vitamins C and E. On top of providing protection from free radicals, alpha lipoic acid supports various metabolic processes. In addition to this, ALA is known to support nerve health, cardiovascular function, and glucose metabolism.
Alpha lipoic acid is mainly found in organ meats like heart, liver and kidneys. Plant based sources include broccoli and spinach. ALA is also present in yeast, particularly brewer’s yeast. And as you may have guessed, it also comes in a supplement.
I know it may sound like a lot, and I am not suggesting that you add all of the recommended supplements. After all, a lot of the supplements can be found in foods you already eat! It’s up to you to decide what is right for you. For instance, if you don’t like the taste of turmeric, a Curcumin supplement is a great alternative. Or if you can never remember to take your vitamins, adding broccoli and spinach to your morning smoothie can be a great way to consume CoQ10s.
Do what works for you, but remember there’s no magic pill. You’re going to have to put in a little bit of work to slow down the aging process. Age gracefully by following a nutritious diet, exercising regularly, and taking your supplements!
This blog was an excerpt from Dr. Nathalie’s upcoming book Hack Your Health Habits. Learn more about her sophomore book and join its exclusive mailing list by clicking here.