What are the Enemies of Staying Young?
1. Sugar: One of the reasons inflammation occurs is from a rapid rise in blood sugar, which causes biochemical changes in the cell. When blood sugar goes up rapidly, sugar can attach itself to collagen in a process called “glycosylation,” or the Browning Reaction, increasing inflexibility and inflammation. C-reactive protein (CRP), which is a protein in blood plasma, is not found in foods. However, its levels in the body rise in response to inflammation.
The body makes CRP from interleukin-6 (IL-6), a powerful inflammatory chemical. IL-6 is a key cell communication molecule, and it tells the body’s immune system to go into asperity, releasing CRP and many other inflammation-causing substances.
2. Simple Carbohydrates: Staying away from sugar and high-glycemic (simple) carbohydrates, which the body rapidly converts to sugar, is one of the best ways to decrease inflammation. C-reactive protein (CPR) is a key factor of inflammation.
In a major study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, people with elevated CRP levels were four and one-half times more likely to have a heart attack. Not only is elevated CRP more accurate than cholesterol in predicting heart attack risk, but high CRP levels have turned up in people with diabetes and pre-diabetes and in people who are overweight.
A recent study by Simin Liu, M.D., Ph.D., of the Harvard Medical School found that women who ate large amounts of high-glycemic (or diabetes promoting) carbohydrates, including potatoes, breakfast cereals, white bread, muffins, and white rice, had very high CRP levels. Women who ate a lot of these foods and were also overweight had the highest and most dangerous CRP levels.
3. Saturated Fats: Saturated fats are found primarily in animal products, including dairy items, such as whole milk, cream, and cheese, and fatty meats like beef, veal, lamb, pork, and ham. The fat marbling you can see in beef and pork is composed of saturated fat. Some vegetable products, including coconut oil, palm kernel oil, and vegetable shortening, are also high in saturates.The liver uses saturated fats to manufacture cholesterol.
Therefore, excessive dietary intake of saturated fats can significantly raise the blood cholesterol level, especially the level of low-density lipoproteins (LDLs), or “bad cholesterol.” Guidelines issued by the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP), and widely supported by most experts, recommend that the daily intake of saturated fats be kept below 10 percent of total caloric intake. However, for people who have severe problems with high blood cholesterol, even that level may be too high.
4. Excessive Sun Exposure: Exposure of up to 20 minutes in the sun is imperative for Vitamin D activation. It is the sun that is so important in cases of Seasonal Affective Disorder. BUT, excess sun exposure without a sunscreen of at least SPF of 15 can damage the skin by starting the inflammation process.
Scientists agree that one of the most significant factors contributing to aging is chronic inflammation. This inflammation process is due to an excess of free radicals which produce harmful oxidation or “oxidative stress” that can damage cell membranes and cell contents. These free radicals cause inflammation.
5. Hypertension: The main factor in most cases of high blood pressure is an increase in resistance to blood flow. This can occur if the diameter of your arterioles becomes smaller. Your heart has to work harder to pump the same amount of blood, and the pressure at which the blood is pumped increases.
Sympathetic tone is constantly too high, arteries are constantly constricted, and blood pressure remains elevated to levels that can eventually damage the heart and arteries, kidneys, and other organs. Because the sympathetic nervous system deals with fear and uses adrenalin and noradrenalin as its chemical messengers, it is not surprising that anxiety is a factor in hypertension.
6. Alcohol: Alcohol stimulates the inflammatory process within the body. Drink only in moderation.
7. Sedentary Lifestyle: To build and maintain muscle strength and bone mass, start (or continue) a regular program of weight-bearing exercise, such as walking or weight training. A cardiovascular workout is imperative in order to maintain weight and oxygenation of red blood cells. Maintain a healthy weight for your age and sex.
8. Smoking: If you smoke, stop. Nothing you can take as a supplement can counteract the negative effects of smoking on your health and longevity. Stopping the habit can! Tobacco, in the form of cigarettes, is the most addictive drug in the world. Nicotine is one of the strongest stimulants known, and smoking is one of the most efficient drug-delivery systems.
Smoking actually puts drugs into the brain more directly than intravenous injection. It is true that one of the “benefits” of smoking is the brief relief of tension; unfortunately, within 20 minutes the tension is back stronger than before, demanding another fix. Learn to STOP Smoking NOW!
9. Excessive Stress: Stress can kill you. It is the underlying factor which can undermine anyone suffering from an illness, fear, or just plain insecurity. The mind and body altercation brought on by our own self affliction. Anxiety is a vague, uncomfortable feeling of fear, dread or danger from an unknown source.
For some it may be a one time episode. Other become constantly anxious about everything. A certain amount of anxiety is normal and helps improve our performance and allows people to avoid dangerous situations.
10. High Cholesterol: Too much cholesterol in the blood is what creates a problem. A risk factor for both heart attack and stroke, high blood cholesterol increases the chance of plaque or blockages developing in arteries. Lowering blood cholesterol can slow or stop the buildup of plaque. While your risk of cardiovascular disease depends on many factors from genetics to lifestyle habits, keeping your blood cholesterol levels within ideal ranges can greatly lower your risk.
What is Aging?
Some scientists and physicians suggest that aging is a ‘disease’. This is not a fair description. Aging is not a disease but part of the process of life itself!
You cannot reverse aging but you can help slow it down to an optimal level which nature intended. So, how long should we live for? This is a subject of much debate and disagreement.
Some scientists claim extraordinary times…200+ years. However, this is really in the realm of science fiction.
The position of Xtend-Life is that it is possible to live to the projected maximum human life span of 120 years. To achieve this, your life has to be well balanced! In other words, your lifestyle, your diet, the amount of exercise you do, the environment you live in and your nutrient intake have to be as close as possible to optimal.
Visit Andrew's site, Peaceful Mind for more information!
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