by Dr. Blessing Anyatonwu
Our society treasures youth at all costs, it you don’t like it you can nip and tuck it, liposuction it out, lift it and even add a little Botox. All these options are futile. Aging is a natural process that is accelerated by bad diet, no exercise, smoking, exposure to environmental toxins and increased stress.
Eating a diet rich in antioxidants is the best way to stay and look as young.Yes, the way your skin, hair and nails look are a reflection of your internal health. If you arteries are full of plaques and you are one big Mac away from a heart attack you won’t be around long to enjoy your Botox treatment.
The solution to health from the inside out is ACES, vitamin A, C, E and selenium. We all have to eat, so the least you can do is be responsible for what you put into your body.
The Story of Free Radical Damage: Oxidation
Have you ever cut an apple and let it sit out. Did you notice how the apple turned brown? That process is called oxidation, and the same process occurs in our body on a daily basis. Oxidation causes the cells in your body to break down and age.
Oxidation is caused by a series of chemical reactions that take place in our bodies. The oxygen molecules in our bodies lose electrons making them unstable. Unstable molecules in our body are called free radicals. These molecules want to be stable so they will take the electron they need from the cells in your body, every time they steal an electron they damage healthy cells and create more free radicals.
Vitamin A, C, E and selenium are powerful antioxidants that neutralize free radicals by giving them the electron that they need to become a stable molecule.
Nature provides us with a wonderful solution to this problem: it provides foods that contain antioxidants that stop free radical damage. Too bad many of us don’t eat these natural anti-aging foods. Getting antioxidants from food is better than supplements, so save your money.
Fruit and vegetables have antioxidants that work together and protect you from disease, slow down the aging process and oxidation.
There are many different forms of vitamin A; the two forms are retinoids and carotenoids
Vitamin A is needed for cell growth and development, bone development, vision and immune system health. Carotenoids, beta carotene and zeaxanthin are vitamin A precursors.
Carotenoids are found in a wide variety of yellow and orange fruits and vegetables that include: carrots, squash, pumpkin, watermelon, papaya, tomatoes, and grapefruit. Sources of beta carotene are broccoli, squash, peas, spinach and cantaloupe.
Retinoids are found in animal sources of vitamin A and include liver, milk, cheese and butter.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that prevents free radical damage, promotes skin health and elasticity by producing collagen and it acts as a precursor to serotonin and Norepinephrine. It can be found in asparagus, cauliflower, kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, papaya, oranges, cantaloupe, strawberries and lemons.
Vitamin E helps maintain cell membrane health and protects it from free radical damage by preventing oxidation of the fats in the cell wall. It is better to get vitamin E from food instead of synthetic vitamin E found in supplements.
It is found in the following plants, plant oils and animal foods.
Wheat germ oil
Nuts and nut butters
Selenium is an important trace element and antioxidant that repairs DNA damaged by free radicals and activates enzymes. It is found in cereals, vegetables and dairy products.
If you are looking for a way to look and feel younger you don’t have to buy expensive products because your diet is one of the best ways to reverse the aging process. Eating a diet rich in antioxidants, drinking plenty of water, exercising, managing stress and getting enough sleep are the best ways to live a healthier and longer life.
Dr.Blessing Anyatonwu is a health advocate, speaker and health care professional that believes that prevention is the best medicine. She is in private practice in Austin, Texas and provides nutritional counseling for clients through email and Skype. She works with clients who are tired of being told that drugs are the only answer to their health problems and helps clients come up with individualized plans for their health success.
Send questions, comments and nutritional counseling inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org