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Home> Healthy Aging
by Dave Foreman
For most, combining the words healthy and aging in the same sentence might seem like mixing oil and water. Yet, we all want to "age gracefully" and live active, vibrant lives. Is it possible to be healthy as we age? Of course it is or I wouldn't do what I do for a living and practice what I preach. There really isn't any trick to healthy aging, it just takes commitment. Let's take a look at some simple techniques I use to help "slow" the aging process and remain healthy.
SLOW THE RUSTING PROCESS
The body's aging process can be compared to rusting. In this case, we rust from the inside out and the outside in. Rusting in this case is caused by Free Radical Damage. Free radicals are highly offensive compounds that are introduced to the body in several different ways. Our normal metabolism is one of the key ways in which these harmful compounds come to exist. Our bodies are just like a car. We take in fuel, burn it and get energy and exhaust.
The exhaust if not neutralized or vented from the car will eventually make the car not run properly or even worse stop working altogether. Just like with your car, the faster you go the more exhaust you will produce. This exhaust (free radicals) can, if not neutralized, cause damage to your cells and trigger a cascade of events leading to poor health. Other ways we are exposed to free radicals is through our environment. Environmental sources of free radicals include exposure to radiation (x-rays, sun, etc.), cigarette smoke, unsaturated fats, alcohol, ozone, automobile exhaust, heavy metals and more. You can't hide from them and if you do not take a proactive approach, you will most likely end up with one or more of the health conditions now linked to free radicals such as cancer, and heart disease.
The longer we are on this planet, the more potential "rusting" we can experience from these free radicals. In order to help neutralize the damaging effects of free radicals we need to take antioxidants. If you have a special need (diabetes, heart disease, etc.) then you will want an antioxidant combination that combines multiple antioxidants into one capsule. My personal favorites are Super Critical Antioxidant (New Chapter), Antioxidant Cocktail II(Vitamin Shoppe Brand) and Advanced Longevity Formula (M.D. Select). Many people think there are enough antioxidants in their multivitamin to help fend off free radical damage, but they're wrong. Also, don't try to use just one antioxidant. Synergy is a powerful thing. There is no synergy when you use 1 ingredient.
DON'T FORGET THE OMEGA-3
Being in my mid-40s now, I have become more aware of the need to take Omega-3s. Many who meet me say I look younger than my age (except for my graying hair). I attribute it to my daily use of fish oil. The more I educate myself on natural medicine, the more I realize the significance of taking fish oil on a daily basis. Fish Oil is essential for health (that's why they call it an essential fatty acid). The benefits of fish oil are enormous. I originally started taking fish oil because I have always had dry skin; it works great). For those concerned with healthy aging, fish oil can directly impact the majority of our concerns.
My recommended dose of fish oil begins at 3 grams per day. For people with more pressing needs 5-10 grams per day may be necessary. When it comes to fish oil products, I recommend either Coromega® or Nordic Naturals. Both are what I consider the highest of quality and taste great (if you don't want a capsule). I prefer to use Coromega® or the Liquids from Nordic Naturals. I already take enough capsules and don't really want to add more.
Lastly, make sure you follow my 4-Pillars of Health which includes the rest of the dietary supplement pyramid. Taking supplements will be just part of ensuring healthy aging. Getting enough activity, eating right and being connected spiritually/mentally will take care of the rest. For many, reading this article, listing just antioxidants and fish oil might seem simplistic (did he leave something out?) but it doesn't always have to be complicated. If you understand how your body works (physiologically and biochemically) and incorporate my suggestions you should age "gracefully" and healthfully. Too many times people wait until it is too late to begin making the changes. You can either pay now or pay later, but sooner or later you will have to pay! I chose to pay now and live a happier and healthier life as I age.