Top 8 Aging Hacks I Prescribe for Anyone

African American woman with vitamin in mouthYou can’t avoid it. You can’t hide it. Wrinkles are inevitable, and sagging will happen, eventually. Yet you have more control over how fast you age than you may realize. The answer lies not in expensive products or injections, but in everyday lifestyle choices. These choices affect what occurs inside your body – at the cellular level – which largely determines your outer appearance.

With that said, I’m here to tell you that you can eat, sleep, exercise, and supplement naturally to upgrade vitality and fabulousness. In my new book, Younger, I share evidence-based secrets to a longer, healthier life. You’ll discover novel and specific directions to reduce stress at the cellular level—before wrinkles and sagging can take hold. You’ll improve your focus, sleep better, and sharpen your mind.

Here’s a window into what I share in Younger. These eight tips – which I prescribe for any patient regardless of age – provide you with vibrancy for an overall newfound look and feel. (Click here to preorder the book, and even get tasty bonuses!)

  1. Carry an ideal weight. This is the biggest thing you can do to slow down premature aging. Aging and obesity increase your risk for chronic diseases like Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.[1]
  2. Exercise routinely. Numerous studies confirm regular, consistent exercise lowers your risk for death, prevents cancer development, lowers osteoporosis risk, and increases quality of life.[2] Check out my blogs to learn more about the anti-aging benefits of exercise.
  3. Cut the sugar. Numerous studies show the right diet can dial back aging.[3] And what’s the best way to do that? Curb sugar. Excessive amounts crank up insulin, a hormone you don’t want to mess with. Insulin resistance—brought on by too much sugar and refined carbohydrates—fosters a bad neighborhood for the cells of your body, leaving you with inflammation, clogged arteries, and weight gain. These problems knock numerous hormones out of whack, making it more difficult for your body to repair damaged cells and tissues.[4] And to make matters worse, insulin resistance is like Pacman in your body, removing essential collagen that you need to keep skin young and glowing – read more about collagen, below.
  4. Build collagen. Collagen is essential to keep skin brighter and healthier. As the single most abundant protein in our bodies, collagen is the glue that holds everything together and resides in your muscles, skin, bones, and tendons. Collagen strengthens your skin, gives it elasticity, and helps replace dead skin cells. Its production declines as you age, triggering wrinkles, weaker cartilage in joints, and – sagging, aging skin. Consuming optimal amounts of protein from clean sources such as wild-caught fish and legumes provides the essential amino-acid building blocks for collagen.[5] Vitamin C is also essential in that it helps fight oxidative damage and influences collagen synthesis.[6] Other hacks to strengthen collagen include ginseng root and cinnamon, the latter of which does triple duty to boost collagen, regulate blood sugar, and cool down inflammation.[7]
  5. Eat the right fats. It’s not the 1980s, where the trend was to fear any types of fat, as opposed to distinguishing healthy fats from unhealthy fats. Now we know that you should ditch those nasty vegetable oils and hydrogenated fats and replace them with coconut oil, extra-virgin olive oil, avocado oil, and fish oil to optimize cellular health and prevent age accelerators such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and dementia.[8] Extra-virgin coconut oil helps nourish skin and soothe inflammation to promote repair and healing. Fish oil, rich in omega-3 fatty acids, offers an anti-inflammatory boost for glowing, vibrant skin.[9]
  6. Supplement effectively. Okay, no anti-aging formulas reside in a bottle, but supplements can fill nutrient gaps you’re probably not getting from food. Beyond a good multivitamin[10] and fish oil, a few well-chosen supplements can slow down aging. My favorite free-radical fighters include resveratrol, vitamin C, vitamin E, and astaxanthan.[11] The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of resveratrol may reverse premature aging.[12] Astaxanthin, which gives salmon its pinkish hue, provides powerful cellular antioxidant protection to reverse the effects of aging.[13]
  7. Lower your stress. Research shows chronic stress directly impacts the age of your skin.[14] Stress ramps up your inflammatory pathways, harming your immune system and producing free radicals that dial up the aging process.[15] Get into a routine of distressing activities – my anti-stress toolbox includes yoga, meditation, and deep breathing.[16]
  8. Optimize sleep. Sleep deprivation, or poor-quality sleep, becomes a surefire way to look and feel older. That’s because anti-aging processes such as detoxification, restoration, and repair occur when you sleep. Without adequate sleep, your brain functions less optimally, paving the path for numerous health conditions, and sadly, you increase your mortality risk.[17] Instead, create an environment that fosters fabulous sleep hygiene. Turn off cell phones, computers, and television sets thirty minutes to an hour before bedtime. Better yet, don’t even keep them in your bedroom. Keep a dark room with a comfortable temperature. Before bed, listen to relaxing music, practice meditation. Essential oils like lavender can also soothe you to sleep.[18]

Ultimately, you’ve got more power than you think to slow down the effects of aging, so be proactive and smart about your own approach. Your skin will look smoother and younger, and you’ll feel better long into your golden years.  

To learn more, you can preorder my new book, Younger: A Breakthrough Program to Reset Your Genes, Reverse Aging, and Turn Back the Clock 10 Years.

And now, I turn to you: What anti-aging hack would you add here? Share yours below or on my Facebook page.

[1] Solomon, T. P. J., et al. “Effects of aging on basal fat oxidation in obese humans.” Metabolism 57, no. 8 (2008): 1141-1147.

[2] Gremeaux, V., et al. “Exercise and longevity.” Maturitas 73, no. 4 (2012): 312-317; Woods, J. A., et al. “Exercise, inflammation and aging.” Aging and Disease 3, no. 1 (2014): 130-140; Castillo Garzón, M. J., et al. “Anti-aging therapy through fitness enhancement.” Clinical Interventions in Aging 1, no. 3 (2006): 213-220.

[3] Cho, S.. “The Role of functional foods in cutaneous anti-aging.” Journal of Lifestyle Medicine 4, no. 1 (2014): 8.

[4] Danby, F. W. “Nutrition and aging skin: sugar and glycation.” Clinics in Dermatology 28, no. 4 (2010): 409-411.

[5] Boyera, N., et al. “Effect of vitamin C and its derivatives on collagen synthesis and cross‐linking by normal human fibroblasts.” International Journal of Cosmetic Science 20, no. 3 (1998): 151-158.

[6] Telang, P. S. “Vitamin C in dermatology.” Indian Dermatology Online Journal 4, no. 2 (2013): 143.

[7] Binic, I., et al. “Skin ageing: natural weapons and strategies.” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2013 (2013).

[8] Everitt, A. V., et al. “Dietary approaches that delay age-related diseases.” Clinical Interventions in Aging 1, no. 1 (2006): 11.

[9] de Magalhães, J. P., et al. “Fish oil supplements, longevity and aging.” Aging 8, no. 8 (2016): 1578; Shammas, M. A. “Telomeres, lifestyle, cancer, and aging.” Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care 14, no. 1 (2011): 28; Arora, B. P. “Anti-aging medicine.” Indian Journal of Plastic Surgery 41 (2008): S130-S133; Dreher, M. L., et al. “Hass avocado composition and potential health effects.” Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition 53, no. 7 (2013): 738-750.

[10] Fusco, D., et al. “Effects of antioxidant supplementation on the aging process.” Clinical Interventions in Aging 2, no. 3 (2007): 377.

[11] Ibid.

[12] de la Lastra, C. A., et al. “Resveratrol as an anti‐inflammatory and anti‐aging agent: Mechanisms and clinical implications.” Molecular Nutrition & Food Research 49, no. 5 (2005): 405-430.

[13] Kidd, P. “Astaxanthin, cell membrane nutrient with diverse clinical benefits and anti-aging potential.” Alternative Medicine Review 16, no. 4 (2011): 355-64.

[14] Schagen, S. K., et al. “Discovering the link between nutrition and skin aging.” Dermato-Endocrinology 4, no. 3 (2012): 298-307.

[15] Dunn, J. H., et al. “Psychological stress and skin aging: a review of possible mechanisms and potential therapies.” Dermatology Online Journal 19, no. 6 (2013).

[16] Kiecolt-Glaser, J. K., et al. “Stress, inflammation, and yoga practice.” Psychosomatic Medicine 72, no. 2 (2010): 113; Epel, E, et al. “Can meditation slow rate of cellular aging? Cognitive stress, mindfulness, and telomeres.” Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1172, no. 1 (2009): 34-53.

[17] Cirelli, C.. “Brain plasticity, sleep and aging.” Gerontology 58, no. 5 (2012): 441-445; Scullin, M. K., et al. “Sleep, cognition, and normal aging integrating a half century of multidisciplinary research.” Perspectives on Psychological Science 10, no. 1 (2015): 97-137.

[18] Edwards, B. A., et al. “Aging and sleep: physiology and pathophysiology.” Seminars in Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, 31, no. 5 (2010): 618-633.

 

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About Sara Gottfried MD

Sara Gottfried, MD is the New York Times bestselling author of the new book, Younger: A Breakthrough Program to Reset Your Genes, Reverse Aging, and Turn Back the Clock 10 Years. Her previous New York Times bestsellers are The Hormone Cure and The Hormone Reset Diet. After graduating from Harvard Medical School and MIT, Dr. Gottfried completed her residency at the University of California at San Francisco. She is a board-certified gynecologist who teaches natural hormone balancing in her novel online programs so that women can lose weight, detoxify, and slow down aging. Dr. Gottfried lives in Berkeley, CA with her husband and two daughters.