|Photo Credit: Moummette (Flickr)|
Aging is a natural process of life, but there are some ways to keep yourself healthy, glowing and happy way past the average life expectancy. Here are the top ten anti-aging secrets from Dr. Mercola. No creams, surgery or pills - just pure and natural ways to defy age!
1) Learn how to effectively cope with stress – As discussed earlier, stress has a direct impact on inflammation, which in turn underlies many of the chronic diseases that kill people prematurely every day, so developing effective coping mechanisms is a major longevity-promoting factor. Meditation, prayer, physical activity and exercise are all viable options that can help you maintain emotional and mental equilibrium. I also strongly believe in using energy psychology tools such as the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) to address deeper, oftentimes hidden emotional problems.
2) Eat a healthy diet – Following a nutrition plan, based on natural whole foods, is your first step toward increasing your chances of living a longer, healthier life. Try to double the amount of vegetables you eat over time, and enjoy fruit as dessert.
3) Optimize Your Vitamin D Levels. This is another very powerful and inexpensive intervention that can have profound benefits on your health. In the summer you can do this for free by careful and safe sun exposure but even in the winter a therapeutic level of oral vitamin D (typically 5-10,000 units of vitamin D3 for most adults)
4) Animal based omega-3 fats – Correcting the ratio of omega-3 to healthful omega-6 fats is a strong factor in helping people live longer. This typically means increasing your intake of animal based omega-3 fats, such as krill oil, while decreasing your intake of damaged omega-6 fats (think trans fats).
We avoid the new prescription strength fish oil medication, sold under the name Lovaza. Don't be fooled by their "all-natural" PR campaign. This is actually a drug to treat very high triglyceride levels New research strongly suggests that 500 mg of krill oil is more potent and far less expensive.
5) Get your antioxidants from foods –Good sources include blueberries, cranberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, cherries, beans, and artichokes.
6) Use coconut oil – Another excellent anti-aging food is coconut oil, known to reduce your risk of heart disease and lower your cholesterol, among other things. In fact, it's doubly beneficial because it can be both eaten and applied directly to your skin. Coconut oil can be used in place of other oils, margarine, butter, or shortening, and can be used for all your cooking needs.
7) Get your resveratrol naturally – Resveratrol is one of the forerunners in the anti-aging pill race, but more than likely, by the time they've manipulated it into a synthetic pill (like the fish oil discussed above), it won't be healthy for you. Although resveratrol is the antioxidant found in red wine, I can't recommend drinking wine in the hopes of extending your life because alcohol is a neurotoxin that can poison your brain and harm your body's delicate hormonal balance. Instead, get your resveratrol from natural sources, such as whole grape skins and seeds, raspberries, mulberries, and peanuts.
8) Exercise regularly, and correctly-- Studies repeatedly show that regular, moderate-to-vigorous exercise can help prevent or delay your onset of hypertension, obesity, heart disease, osteoporosis, and the falls that lead to hip fracture. Although a lifetime of regular exercise is ideal, it's never too late to start. It's been shown that even individuals in their 70's can substantially increase both strength and endurance with exercise. I'm also excited about the research showing how high-intensity, interval training can increase longevity as this specific style of training promotes human growth hormone production – yet another aspect of the longevity puzzle.
9) Avoid as many chemicals, toxins, and pollutants as possible – This includes tossing out your toxic household cleaners, soaps, personal hygiene products, air fresheners, bug sprays, lawn pesticides, and insecticides, just to name a few, and replacing them with non-toxic alternatives.
10) Avoid pharmaceutical drugs – Pharmaceutical drugs kill thousands of people prematurely every year – as an expected side effect of the action of the drug. And, if you adhere to a healthy lifestyle, you most likely will never need any of them in the first place.