What is anti-aging?

HealthNutritionOnline Back-to-Directory A health article about natural anti-aging remedies from Your Health Online the A to Z directory of dealing with Health Problems & nutritional Self Care Strategies

We are living longer as a whole. Singularly, that can be a curse or a blessing depending on your perspective.

Today the average duration of human life in the United States is just about 70 years for women and a little less for men. Conservative experts believe that man is really build to last about 100 years; and that medial advances and more healthful anti-aging living habits could bring this about within a generation or two.

What good is it to add years to life if you do not enjoy vibrant health and energy to enjoy those extra years? In fact, unless people learn to enjoy life and to grow old gracefully, the extra years may be an additional burden.

From 18 to 30 years is roughly the period of highest physical and mental vigor. The experiences we accumulate from the day we are born help us to conserve and to use our physical and mental abilities more wisely, so that for some time after 30 years we are able to perform increasingly well in spite of slowly slipping vigor.

After age 50 the increasing accumulation of experience is no longer able to offset the now more rapidly energy and therefore aging begins to assert itself noticeably and in many ways.

Signs & Symptoms of aging

A number of things may come about gradually such as people who have not used eyeglasses before may at some time in their forties need them for reading, and in the fifties they usually need bifocals.

Also in the forties, people are likely to put on weight because there is a general slowdown in the oxidation rate of the aging body tissue. Also we tend to do less strenuous work with no reduction in the amount of food consumed.

And in the fifties there is likely to be some loss of hearing. Usually the high-pitched tomes go first, so words with the sounds of F, S, and TH are confused. A hearing aid may be needed in some cases.

Aging is generally accompanied by a loss in physical and mental flexibility. This is noticed in a tendency to become stiff in the joints; in slower comeback after a strenuous trip, excessive "night life," or hard work; in slower healing of wounds, sore muscles, and sprains; in slower recovery of pep after an illness; and in greater difficulty to adjust to new people, new places, and new ideas.

Men, especially, will notice loss of muscular strength. There will be increased unsteadiness and delicate muscle movements will be more clumsy and the stride in waking will become shorter. The conclusion now is that the performance and ability of the elderly has long been underestimated and can be greatly improved by a proper diet, sleep and exercise along with rest and relaxation.

Many elderly people tend to lose their joy and will to live and chronic worriers may mope around and withdraw. Medical authorities now say that laughter is one of the best medicines for the elderly.

You can always keep your sense of humor tuned up by surrounding yourself with pleasant and interesting people. Just act your age and don't be afraid to laugh at yourself even when no else is around.

Now that we all know the role that physical activity plays in our lives, remember to do something physical every day. The joints must be used or quite simply they will tighten with age creating that stooped worn out appearance we so often associate with getting old.

Keep yourself flexible and fit on an exercise program consistent with your ability.

Some of the Problems associated with Aging:

There are over 13.5 million Americans alive today who have a history of heart attacks, angina or a combination of both. 50% of them are age 60 or older and 83% who die of heart attacks are 65 or more.

Today, many doctors rank fat intake right up there with smoking for leading cause of death.

What Causes Aging?

Generally speaking, the immune system begins to decline around age 50 and by age 60 may already be seriously compromised.

As we age, our systems are not working as efficiently as they once were. For example, you don’t have as much stomach acid that helps to get nutrients from food.

That means that as much as 40% of the nutrients you ingest may go unused resulting in deficiencies of vitamins D, B6, B12, riboflavin, folate and calcium.

Your body’s system for storing the nutrients isn’t as efficient either because the percentage of body fat increases with age. While your metabolism keeps you alive and healthy, it also produces by products that can be harmful including free radicals and other compounds that cause damage to cells’ DNA and can lead to many of the effects of old age.

As we get older, the body reduces the amount of antioxidants it produces and it will become more difficult to get enough antioxidant protection just from your food. Although you can get most of the nutrients you need from a multi-vitamin, you may want to take extra supplements of certain vitamins and minerals to promote optimum health.

Why Do We Age?

Although aging is a natural process, the phenomenon of aging is still a question that many try to answer. This is perhaps because in answering what aging is, you can discover just how to slow it down further or what is more completely obliterate it.

There are a lot of theories as to why we age, why our skin ages and why our bodies grow old. Here are just some of the most popular theories that scientists use.

It’s in the genes.

Since the discovery of the body’s genetic make-up and its double helix pattern, almost all things in life are genetically based. From the color of our eyes to the reason why we behave as we behave.

It now seems that the genes also hold the key to unlocking the mysteries of aging. It states that people have a "genetic time-clock" that can go off anytime. Despite this, scientists don't know what exactly sets people apart or why it happens. What they have found out is that there are people who are naturally younger looking and more active than their counterparts.

Children of parents who have lived long will also have children who live long. By standard, women lead longer lives than men.

With genetic problems such as Alzheimer's, there are also some people who are pre-destined to lead shorter lives.

Free Radicals

Another theory being used involves free radicals, which are the products of chemical reactions in the body that occur everyday. These free radicals can harm the body and damage the cells. It attacks the elastin and the collagen in the body.

These two are needed to keep the skin moisturized and elastic. Without them, the skin can sag and become wrinkled. Although these are often removed by antioxidants such as Vitamins E and C, not all can be neutralized.

Diet is the primary reason for getting anti-oxidants in the body. It is important that we have enough stored anti-oxidants in the body if we want to have it last until later.

This is because the body's ability to produce these anti-oxidants will diminish as we grow old. This is perhaps why people who don't eat properly look older than those who always eat balanced meals.

Hormones

The loss of hormones in the body during menopause and andropause can also contribute in hastening the process of aging. This can also be seen in illnesses such as osteoporosis and cardiovascular problems. Hormones provide the body the fuel to maintain libido, vitality and energy.

Anti-Aging Prevention Steps

Everyone wants to stay young and beautiful. This is why more and more people begin to look to all the latest anti-aging products and treatments available on the market.

When it comes to anti-aging practices, it is important to remember that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. This means that even before we begin to notice the visible signs of aging on our skin, we need to take the necessary precautions to ensure that we are able to maintain our youthful looking skin longer.

To prevent us from having to resort to very expensive anti-aging products and treatments, we need to embody a lifestyle that is friendly to our bodies and is able to help prevent unnecessary elements that promote the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles on our skin as well.

We can begin our anti-aging lifestyle change by eliminating harmful elements in our life. Everyone knows that smoking is harmful to their health and it is extremely harmful to our skin.

No anti-aging regimen will work successfully if we continue to smoke. Smoking takes its toll on our entire body as well as on our skin.

Studies show that smokers tend to lose skin elasticity easier than those who don't smoke. When our skin looses its elasticity, the fine lines and wrinkles appear.

Aside from smoking, it is also very important to avoid pollutants in general. This means that our anti-aging regimen should include avoiding exposure to excessive dust and pollution in the environment.

We will need to protect our skin from the harmful rays of the sun as well. This can be achieved through the proper moisturizing sun blocks.

It shouldn't stop there however because we will also have to be vigilant about the types of pollutants that we get through food and drink. We need to eat healthy and wisely so that we don't feed our bodies junk and other harmful chemicals and substances that will help speed up the aging process.

However if we begin to detect signs of aging in our skin, it's still not too late to reverse the damage. Invest in good anti-aging products that fight anti-oxidants and free radicals while repairing and maintaining the skin's proper elastin and collagen levels.

These treatments should be combined with moisturizers and the proper amount of sleep to help our skin naturally repair and regenerate new skin cell tissues.

When to seek Medical Advice:

It is also advisable to consult with your physician regarding any supplemental regimen as some supplements may have adverse interaction with certain medications you are taking.

Health Screenings Are Important

There are many health insurance programs that cover preventive health care like health screenings.

Here are screenings that are important as you age:

• Screenings for breast, cervical, vaginal, colorectal and prostate cancer including mammography.
• Testing for loss of bone mass, which causes osteoporosis.
• Diabetes monitoring and self-management.
• Flu, pneumonia and Hepatitis B vaccinations.
• Get your blood pressure checked annually.
• Check your HDL and LDL cholesterol levels every year.
• Get a Pap smear every year.
• Use an inexpensive fecal occult-blood test to check for colon cancer.
• Have a sigmoidoscopy done at least every three to five years or a colonoscopy done at least every 10 years.
• Get a simple blood test to check for diabetes.
• Check your skin often for changes to freckles and moles.
• Don’t just automatically get every test available to you. Discuss with your doctor the positive and negative aspects of certain tests.

Treatment/Therapy:

Exercise – Exercise is good for you but, if you are over 60, breeze on by the advertising that touts ‘buns of steel.’ Recent research indicates that moderate exercise will give you as much protection from disease as the extensive exercise regimens touted by those much younger than you.

Experts now tell us to use a two-part exercise program that includes aerobic exercise like walking or bicycling to condition your heart plus strength training exercises such as calisthenics and low-intensity weight lifting to build muscle and cut fat. To begin you should only exercise two or three times a week but should work toward at least five times a week.

Easing into a routine like this gradually should be your goal. By age 60 almost everyone has some degree of osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, joint irritation or lack of flexibility. Exercising lightly will not aggravate these conditions, but will actually help them.

Exercise will also keep your heart young, drive down high blood pressure, build up good cholesterol, improve balance, enhance sex life, increase mental acuity, elevate mood, control diabetes, decrease cancer risk, strengthen bones, ease joint pain and much, much more.

Warm up for at least 10 to 15 minutes using slow-walking, stretches or light calisthenics. As you get older you body need to ease into exercise gradually because your system is down about one third and takes longer to warm up and cool down.

Exercising more than 30 minutes at a time will help you lose weight if you do it three to five times a week and follow a proper diet. But if you don’t need to lose weight, three 10 minute sessions each day will be beneficial for protection against disease.

Half of your exercise routine should include aerobics and the best aerobic exercise is walking, especially if you are over 60. Start out by timing yourself and gradually increasing the distance over time.

Keep your pace constant, slow down on hills and track the temperature. If it’s hot or humid your workout will seem harder. As you become more comfortable with your routine, try some variation like shortening steps, trying weights or swing your arms as you walk.

Here are some basic guidelines to follow for strengthening exercises:

• Keep it slow – perform exercises slowly spending two seconds in the lifting phase of each exercise and four to six seconds in the lowering part. Moving too fast reduces the benefits and you could actually hurt yourself.

• Always inhale before lifting, exhale while lifting and inhale as you lower the weight to get the best benefit.

• Select just a few exercises to begin with, a few for the upper body and a few for the lower body. You can always increase as your routine helps you to gain stamina.

• Use music to help establish a rhythm.

• Pick the right kind of shoes. Walking or running shoes absorb the shock of your stride because of a slightly elevated heel that also helps prevent injuries to leg muscles and tendons. Tennis and other types of athletic shoes absorb impact of sideways movement and quick turns. Buy new shoes often even though they may last for years. That is because the shock absorption only lasts for a few months.

• Wear loose fitting clothing for comfort, don’t drink coffee or any diuretics before or while exercising and exercise vigorously enough so that you can’t talk and exercise at the same time!

ATTITUDE AND AGING

Thankfully, researchers are finally beginning to understand and accept the link between mind and body. Even though the physiological make up of emotions themselves have not yet been identified, some researchers suspect that a small portion of the brain called the insular cortex may be the key.

The insular cortex regulates the autonomic nervous system which controls the automatic functions of our body such as breathing heartbeat and blood pressure. It also plays a role in higher brain functions and helps to process anger, fear, joy, happiness and sexual arousal.

Laboratory experiments with animals indicate that when the insular cortex is stimulated for long periods of time, causes a kind of damage to the heart muscle that is similar to sudden cardiac death.

Other experiments with people who have epilepsy who were undergoing brain surgery that exposed the insular cortex found that stimulating the area with mild electrical pulses changed the person’s heart rate and blood pressure.

Is it any wonder, therefore, that years of sorrow, anger and other negative emotions may cause a malfunction of the insular cortex? The research continues.

Whatever happens in that six inches between your ears, one thing is certain. Optimism, laughter, love and other positive emotions can counteract many harmful effects at any age, even in your sixties, seventies, eighties and beyond!

A happy outlook appears to trigger the release of endorphins. Endorphins relax the cardiovascular system and cytokines which alert the immune system to pay attention in detecting abnormalities like cancer cells.

The University of California, Riverside began a research project in 1921 whereby they followed the aging process of over 1,500 people who were preteens when the study began.

The researchers concluded that among those subjects, such positive attributes as dependability, trust, agreeableness and open-mindedness were associated with a two to four year increase in life expectancy.

• Listen carefully to yourself.

If you have put yourself down since childhood, over a lifetime negative subliminal message can take their toll by turning you into a pessimist. Spend one week writing down the phrases you use in your “self talk.”

Chances are you will find that you repeat a dozen or so phrases over and over again that reinforce that negative image. If you know about them, you can change them.

• Seek out new challenges and opportunities.

Always have something that is a goal just over the horizon. When you begin to close the gap and reach that goal, set another and another. Keep yourself consistently moving ahead.

• Try and do one new thing every week or month.

Visit a museum, go to the zoo, go to a book signing or lecture. The goal here is to eliminate monotony which is a sure killer of optimism.

• Look for a new marvel of nature each day.

Discover an abundance of happiness. Spoil your pet or if you don’t have one, visit the human society and adopt one.

Learn to laugh at yourself. Allow yourself to experience grief but don’t let it control you.

• Find someone who is worse off than you and lend a hand.

Volunteer at a hospital, visit a nursery or a shelter.

In a preliminary study, researchers at the Institute of HeartMath in Boulder Creek, California, a biomedical research center that examines mind-body connections, asked 30 men and women to think for five minutes of either a compassionate moment in their lives or a time when they were upset or angry.

“We found that simply recalling one episode of anger depresses the immune system for up to seven hours – but one episode of feeling compassion or caring enhances the immune system for about the same amount of time,” says Jerry Kaiser, the Institute’s director of health services.

Armed with that information, stop for a moment and think about how often you feel either end of that emotional spectrum. Makes you think a bit deeper about how we have the power to actually destroy ourselves through our emotions, doesn’t it?

Here are a few quick tips for increasing joy, hope and optimism that will work no matter what your age:

• Make a list of at least 50 great things that happen to you every day.
• Laugh a lot. You’ll heal your body and your mind.
• Discover a new challenge each month.
• Try meditating for just five minutes each day.

What Happens With Sex After 50?

The importance of physical intimacy actually depends on the couple. An alarming number of men used to give up on sex after 60 and many women used to feel that their six life ended with menopause. Thankfully, that is no longer the case.

Sex at middle age can actually become better and more satisfying than ever before. Maturity gives a couple more experience in lovemaking.

The children are usually grown and left home. The pressures of building a career and day to day life are usually less stressful than in younger years.

Many men age 60 or over worry when they no longer have a spontaneous erection with visual stimulation. This doesn’t mean that sexual function is over, but only means that they now require more direct stimulation.

Sadly, many men will avoid intercourse until they have a spontaneous erection in fear that their wives will think they have a sexual problem.

As men get older they need longer periods of time between ejaculations and over 60 may require a full day or even several between ejaculations. This does not mean that he cannot enjoy intercourse and lovemaking in between.

Another serious problem exists where partners believe that climaxes are absolutely necessary. The male believes that he must have one and his female partner believes that if he does not he no longer finds her attractive.

Lack of lubrication is a problem for older women and impotence a problem for men. These are challenges that can be treated and should be discussed with your physician.

There are many factors that enter the equation when facing sexual problems. Medications, alcohol and major illness may be causing a lack of sexual desire. Again, all are potentially treatable and should be taken to your physician.

The most important tool any couple can put to use in their sexual relationship is the brain. Use it wisely and there is no reason why people over 50, 60, 70 and over should not have a healthy sexual relationship with their partner.

Risk Factors of smoking for Aging:

Smoking is a killer – If you are a typical male smoker in your sixties or seventies, you began smoking at age 17 and have smoked about 27 cigarettes a day for 51 years.

If you are a woman in the same range, you began smoking at around 24 and have been smoking 20 cigarettes a day for 45 years. And you have probably tried at least once or twice to quit like 80% of people who smoke.

Is it too late to quit? Absolutely not. Putting out that last cigarette as late as 60 to 80 can halt many of the worst effects of smoking. Yet 46% of older smokers don’t believe that smoking is that harmful or that quitting at this stage in their life is worthwhile. If you fall into that category consider this:

** Within eight hours of quitting, your pulse rate and blood pressure drop and oxygen levels in your body will rise.
** Within 24 hours of quitting, your risk of a heart attack decreases.
** After one month, your circulation improves, your energy levels surge and your lung function expands by up to 30%.
** After one year, your risk of heart disease is half that of someone who continues to smoke.
** After five years, your risk of having a stroke begins to decline.
** After 10 years, your chances of developing lung cancer are the same as that of someone who has never smoked.

Each time you take a puff you inhale more than 4,700 chemicals that have been shown to have effect throughout your body. Some of the milder effects are accelerated wrinkling of the skin, yellowing of the teeth and fingers and slower healing of wounds.

Then along come the really dangerous effects of smoking including increasing the risk of disabilities like osteoporosis, hip fractures, cataracts, diabetes, tooth loss, and emphysema.

Smoking causes fatal complications. Every year, more than 400,000 Americans die of smoking related causes.

That adds up to more than 1,000 a day making this the most preventable cause of death in the United States. 50% of those deaths are caused by cardiovascular disease and 30% by lung cancer.

Smoking hurts your heart. If you quit your risk of a heart attack is reduced by 50% in one year.

Smoking tops the list of cancer risks. If you quit even at age 65, your risk of developing lung cancer by age 75 is less than half of someone who continues to smoke.

Smoking is an addiction plain and simple. Don’t blame yourself if you have tried several times to quit and failed.

The prime ingredient in tobacco is Nicotine and is one of the most addictive drugs known to mankind. Is it hopeless? No. Many people have quit and so can you.

This is not a book about smoking cessation, but here are a few tips to help you.

Set a quit date and stick to it.

Experts report that those who set a definite date are more likely to stick with it. Avoid stressful times like holidays and don’t pick a date that is months away.

Quit cold turkey.

If you do it this way, you will probably have a week to 10 days of withdrawal but then you’ll be almost over the hump.

Throw them away.

On the date you quit, throw away all tobacco products. Every hidden cigarette should be ferreted out and disposed of. Get rid of lighters, matches and ashtrays as well.

Banish alcohol.

Alcohol can affect your resolve and make it easier to light up again. You don’t have to quit alcohol forever, but spend at least of month of abstinence after you quit smoking.

Be prepared to fight the urges.

As you go through withdrawal expect one or more of the following symptoms: upset stomach, difficulty concentrating, drowsiness, insomnia and irritability.

Once the nicotine is flushed from your body the withdrawal symptoms will gradually subside but they will probably never go away totally.

That’s because one is never enough. If you smoke one you’ll smoke a dozen or more.

• Change your rituals.
• Short circuit stress.
• Quit early in the week.
• Stay in a smoke free world.
• Give yourself daily pep talks.
• Make a deal and reward yourself
• Save those bucks.
• Stall for time – delay lighting up.
• Stay hydrated.
• Cut down on caffeine.
• Eat breakfast.

Although going cold turkey is the best bet, if you must do it gradually, the important thing is to QUIT!

Self Care anti-aging strategies

Tips To Live A Longer And Healthier Life

You should balance your activities with the proper amount of rest. Some of the leading experts in the field of aging now believe that regular exercise along with the proper amount of rest may actually add years to the life span.

Results from a number of tests indicate that speed and muscular strength of many of the elderly can be extended.

Leading authorities agree that this new data is going to shatter many of the myths about aging and physical performance.

The conclusion now is that the performance and ability of the elderly has long been underestimated, diet, proper sleep and exercise along with rest and relaxation are all important factors in preserving our bodies.

Laughter is one of the best things for your mental and physical state. People are naturally attracted to someone who has a good sense of humor.

You can develop a good outlook and a good sense of humor by associating with and surrounding yourself with pleasant happy people.

Recognize that stress is a killer. A life filled with stress can really wreak havoc on your body causing a number of illnesses such as hear attacks, strokes, asthma, gastric problems, menstrual disorders, ulcerative colitis, angina, irritable colon, increased blood pressure, ulcers, headaches, etc.

There are different types of stress such as mental, emotional and physical. Emotional stress seems to take the greatest toll on everyone.

All stress is not bad; in fact, life would not be very interesting if it were not met with challenges. However, too much stress, too often with no effective and appropriate outlet, does not allow the body and soul to recuperate.

You might review a typical week to see if you can identify things that might be making you anxious or causing you stress. Once identified, stressors can be attacked and eliminated.

Are you a worrier? Chronic worriers don't have more serious problems than others - they just think they do. Many worriers try to cope by trying not to think about their problems, but this just makes things worse.

Doctors say that chronic worriers feel less anxious if they actually spend a half-hour a day thinking specifically about their problems.

Get plenty of exercise. People who are physically fit look good and feel good. A good exercise regimen will lengthen your life. Improve your appearance, build self confidence and help delay the aging process.

Remember that you need to do something physical every day. If you don't use your joints, quite simply they'll tighten up with age to create the stooped, bent and worn out appearance we so often associate with old age.

Studies have shown that people with arthritis experience less pain if they continue to keep their joints flexible. As one gets older, the bones tend to get brittle which is why it is common for senior citizens to break bones and especially their hips when they fall.

Eating right, getting proper sleep and learning to relax are all very valuable in maintaining a healthy body and mind.

And keep in mind that eating healthy foods and avoiding those high in fats, sodium and cholesterol will help to decrease your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and associated problems.

Diet change strategies:

Improve your diet:

Some studies suggest that specific vitamin and mineral supplements can help reduce your risk of heart disease by 30 to 40 percent and even slow the progress of the disease according to Jeffrey Blumberg, M.D. associate director and chief of the Antioxidants Research Laboratory at the U.D. Department of Agriculture Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging in Boston. They are relatively inexpensive and easy to obtain over the counter.

Reduce Fats We love fat so much that we eat the equivalent of 1 ½ cups of butter every week! Yes, that’s correct. Walk to your refrigerator and pull out 6 sticks of butter and imagine them placed at different points in and out of your body. Pretty scary, isn’t it? Excess fat intake is directly attributable to:

** Elevated cholesterol
** Elevated triglycerides
** High blood pressure
** Diabetes
** Excess weight.

Taking control of just this single area of your overall health will substantially reduce your chances of heart disease as well as reducing the risk of stroke. Stroke occurs when blood clots block arteries that supply blood to the brain.

• French researchers examined 250 men and women age 60 to 70 and found that those who had fatty plaque narrowing the main artery out of the heart were 9 times more likely to have a stroke than those who did not have this buildup.

• Cancer is another possible by-product of excess fat in the diet. In fact dietary fat is credited with playing a role in as much as 40% of cancers in men and 60% of cancers in women. Read meat is considered to be one of the biggest culprits, increasing the instance of colon, rectal and prostate cancer in men. For women the results are colon and possibly breast cancer. And, researchers are now beginning to believe it may play a role in lung cancer as well.

• Switching to a low-fat style of eating mostly unsaturated fats you may very well quickly feel rejuvenated regardless of your age. No matter what your age or medical conditions might be, diabetes, high cholesterol, gout or heart disease a low-fat diet is the way to go.

• Limit saturated fat to less than 10% of your daily calories and cut back on the fatty acids and the benefits will increase life expectancy.

Fiber – If there was one element of our diets that we would ‘wish away’ it might be fiber. Fiber is what is left over after our bodies have squeezed every bit of nutritive value from the foods we eat. Don’t discount fiber, however. It is a very important part of a healthy diet.

Sadly, most older Americans get no more than 14.8 grams of fiber a day when you actually need 25 to 35 grams to protect against disease!

You can make up the difference by changing dietary habits and do it easily. Researchers have found an astounding 33% drop in cholesterol in some patients who did nothing more than increase fiber and reduce fat.

And, there is research being conducted that indicates the perillyl alcohol contained in fiber shows promise of actually slowing down the growth of certain cancer tumors.

Before we take a look at how fiber can combat cancer, we need to explore the two different types of fiber – insoluble and soluble. Each type works differently to fight disease.

Insoluble fiber comes from a substance that forms in the cell walls of plants. The reason it is called insoluble is because your body does not break it down as it passes through the digestive system.

It is what gives your stool its bulk helping it to move faster through your system. This is why certain foods that are high in soluble fiber like bran are said to be natures laxatives.

• Grain products and vegetables have loads of fiber. While at first look it appears more as rabbit food than cancer fighting, studies show that insoluble fiber helps to fight colon cancer and researchers believe it also helps to fight breast, pancreatic and prostate cancers as well.

• In Finland low rates of breast and colon cancer are linked directly to diets rich in cereals.

• Certain parts of Africa where people consume lots of high fiber foods the incidence of intestinal disease is practically nil.

Let’s take a look at how it works.

• Insoluble fiber will soak up water as if it were a sponge thereby making stools bulkier. That excess bulk spreads out cancer causing components over a larger area preventing them from grouping together to do damage.

• Fiber is the equivalent of a super highway through the intestines that gets things moving faster so there are fewer opportunities for any interaction between cells lining the colon and any cancerous agents.

• Fiber works with the levels of acids in the intestines changing the way that certain bacteria do the job. The result is increased fermentation. Yes, it may cause gas but it also makes it harder for carcinogens to get in your body. It also plays a role in regulating the levels of intestinal bile acids that play a part in the beginning stages of colon cancer.

• The “stuff” that causes breast, pancreatic and prostate cancers latch onto fiber like a magnet which means that those carcinogens are carried away with other body waste.

Researchers believe that insoluble fiber also contributes to reducing levels of harmful estrogen that can contribute to the beginning of breast cancer.

Experiments appear to suggest that doubling fiber intake and reducing fat can reduce the tumor rate by 50%.

• If you can imagine eating foods that can actually stop or slow the growth of tumors wouldn’t you want to eat it? Well, you can.

• Whether canned or dried, Beans in any form contain large amounts of fiber. Reduce the amount of gas by soaking them overnight in clean, clear water. Rinse again thoroughly before cooking.

• Oat bran added to cereals or eaten as bread is a great source for additional fiber.

• Try eating brown rice instead of white. Brown rice will supply 3.32 grams of fiber per cup while white rice contains only 0.74 grams per cup.

• Whole grain bread products are a must. You can receive 3 grams or more of fiber per slice. Refined wheat loses fiber and removes trace minerals.

• Read the labels in the grocery store, especially the fine print. The labels will tell you the fiber content of the food per serving. If the first three or four ingredients listed are grains it means that the product contains more grains than anything else.

• Learn to balance the benefit of fiber versus other ingredients. If a granola bar has one or more grams of fiber it is only a good deal if the fat and calorie content are low. A snack bar with 100 calories, 2 grams of fat and a single gram of fiber is probably okay. But if the bar contains 300 calories and more fat that’s way more than you need.

• Introduce fiber in your diet one step at a time, gradually increasing and setting goals you can realistically attain. Storing easy to prepare foods in your pantry can help. Stock up on low-fat soups, canned beans and cereals that are all easy to prepare. Keep your freezer filled with vegetable that can be quickly steamed or zapped in your microwave.

• Keep the liquid from canned beans. There’s a lot of soluble fiber there that may just go down the drain. Save it to use in soups.

• Don’t peel fruits and vegetables. The skins of apples, pears, peaches and potatoes are rich in soluble fiber. Eating the white rind of oranges and the membrane in grapefruit also provide extra fiber.

• Eat fruits and vegetable whole rather than as juices. You may get concentrated nutrients from the juices but you lose the fiber in the fruit. The 14 grams of fiber you get from eating six carrots outweighs the 2 grams in the juice you created with those 6 carrots.

• Some people prefer taking a fiber supplement. There are many on the market, but be aware that most contain psyllium. While it is a source of fiber and a natural laxative it can interfere with certain medications you take. Be sure and check with your doctor.

Food – While we have discussed certain foods high in fiber, we haven’t even scratched the surface of foods that can help you battle the aging process.

• Plants. Nope, not the philodendron hanging in your kitchen window, but the treasure you find in the fruit and vegetable aisles of your supermarket. If there is one single piece of advice you can get from studying the aging process, consuming more fruits and vegetables are among the most important.

• When you eat food made from plants, you are receiving the benefits of a small army marching off to combat the aging process. This army is comprised of agents known as phytochemicals. These are completely separate from the vitamins provided by the vegetable themselves but may be even more valuable.

Science used to believe that phytochemicals were absolutely useless. However as more experts delve into the study of plants they have found that they appear to help fight off cancer, heart disease and stroke even though they don’t understand why.

In fact over 200 studies conducted show that a diet high in fruits and veggies substantially cut the risk of cancer. That alone becomes increasingly important as you get older and the risk of disease increases.

Some of these phytochemicals are simple to detect. The bright orange color of carrots, sweet potatoes or yams are obvious.

The pungent whiff of phytochemicals is apparent in garlic. However, most are undetectable.

The chemicals are there to actually protect the plant. It is believed that they evolved to protect plants from oxygen, wind, insects and weather.

Remember that plants feed on carbon dioxide and oxygen is actually waste.

Without protection from the ultraviolet rays of a hot sun plants would shrivel and die. In the dirt where bulb plants grow, they are subjected to the hazards of bacteria and insects.

Edward Miller, Ph.D., professor of biomedical sciences in the Department of Biomedical Sciences at Baylor College of Dentistry in Houston states that, “We can save more than 150,000 lives a year, right now, with no treatments, no medical costs, no long-term recovery – if people would just eat the foods that protect them.”

Worldwide studies have proven that phytochemicals protect against, but there is no one phytochemical or any other substance that you can take or eat for protection.

• Eating plant foods does give you a lower risk for cancers that attack the lungs, bladder, cervix, mouth, larynx, throat, esophagus, stomach, pancreas, colon and rectum. Laboratory studies show that phytochemicals prevent cancer forming substances and defective cell that can turn into cancers, from gaining a foothold or spreading.

• Phytochemicals also help to keep your heart healthy. The 60 to 80 age group that has a higher risk of heart disease than younger people do, can substantially reduce the risks by eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables.

• Plant foods also combat free radicals. Many phytochemicals do double duty as anti-oxidants. They neutralize the free radicals which are unstable molecules that damage or destroy healthy cells.

• In addition to the free radicals that your body produces routinely, they also find their way into your environment through other means like cigarette smoke, pollutants, medications, pesticides as well as household cleaners.

• They have also been linked to more than 60 medical problems and diseases. In addition to the obvious disease like heart disease, cancer and stroke, they can also manifest as premature aging, stiff joints, wrinkled skin, arthritis, diabetes and cirrhosis of the liver.

The study of phytochemicals in plants is a relatively new field, but here is a list of those that appear to provide the most protection:

Organosulfur compounds. These are foods that we recognize mostly by their pungent odor and flavor. Garlic, onions, leeks, chives and shallots are organosulfur compounds. You can also find these compounds in vegetables like broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower.

• Foods that are rich in organosulfur are sometimes referred to by some members of the medical community as dietary anti-carcinogens. They help the body block and eliminate cancer causing agents before they do their damage. They are also instrumental in fighting heart disease and stroke.

• The best methods to derive the most benefit from organosulfur compounds is to eat them raw or lightly cooked. Puree vegetables into a healthy soup and be sure to add garlic and onion.

Isothiocyanates are plant chemicals found in leafy green vegetable like watercress, arugula, cabbage, brussel sprounts, Chinese cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower. These compounds help rid the body of cancer causing substances and actually act to remove the trash. Isothicyanates make it difficult for cancer causing substances to target the DNA of healthy cells and in laboratory experiments have actually kept tumors from forming.

• The most benefit you can receive from isothiocyanates in your food is to eat some of the vegetables raw. The compounds are released when chopped and chewed. Eat them as fresh as possible and eat plenty of them.

Indoles go with isothiocyanates like salt and pepper complement one another. Indoles protect against breast cancer in women and prostate cancer in men. Indoles stop the growth of small virus caused tumors. You can best benefit from indoles by eating the equivalent of a quarter head of cabbage a day or an equal amount of broccoli, Brussels sprouts or cauliflower.

Isoflavones are a group of plant estrogens that are found in soy products. To help increase your soy consumption, try tofu. It is far less bland when it absorbs the taste of spices and other foods that are cooked with it. Try more Asian recipes or drinking soy milk. When you are baking trade off 25% of your regular flour for soy flour. You’ll get all the benefit with little or no difference in the recipe.

Lignans. Little is known about lignans as it is a newer area for research. What is known, however, is that lignans seem to prevent breast cancer at lest in the laboratory. As antioxidants they may help prevent damage from LDL cholesterol which, as we know, lays the groundwork for heart disease.

• Add lignans to your diet by including flax. Some baking companies add a trace amount of flax or linseed to add a slightly nutty flavor. You can find flax in health food stores, but use it very sparingly as adding it to your diet too quickly can cause intestinal distress.

Carotenoids are evidenced in the bright red, orange and yellow pigments displayed in some plants like carrots, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, winter squash, parsley, green peas, pink grapefruit, swiss chard, spinach, beet greens, pumpkin, watermelon, broccoli, mangoes, oranges, papaya and tangerines. You will also find them in okra, red peppers leafy green vegetable and even in fish liver oil.

• Diets rich in carotenoids fight disease and in one study a high carotenoid diet actually helped reduce the risk of lung cancer in nonsmokers. One particularly powerful carotenoid is lycopene. Lycopene is found in tomatoes and everything made from them including pizza sauce and ketchup. You will also find lycopene in watermelon guava and pink grapefruit.

• Include them in your diet along with a little bit of fat as they are fat soluble. Most carotenoids are not damaged by cooking. The color is the most important key in identifying fruits and vegetables that will provide the most benefit. You might be surprised to know that red leaf lettuce has more carotenoids than iceberg lettuce just as there is more benefit from pink grapefruit than white.

Flavonoids are a serendipity because they are found in just about every plant from apples to onions and soy and even black and green tea contain flavonoids that help fight cancer.Get the most benefit from flavonoids try these tips:

• Sip wine. Drinking a little wine each day as well as tea. Have your cup of coffee first thing in the morning, then switch to tea for the remainder of the day. Combine fruits and make a fruit salad (fresh only). Buy a variety and vary different combinations. Add finely grated orange or lemon peel to fruit drinks, carbonated drinks and on salads, vegetable and even meats.

Tannins are not just colorful substances used in dying, making ink or tanning leather. Ellagic acid, one form of tannin, is in foods that stain. Strawberries, raspberries and blackberries. Get more tannins into your system and fight cancers, heart disease and stroke. Skip juices and go for the whole fruits. Check the labels of your jams and jellies and select according to which have a higher content of real fruit.

This is more than likely the premium brands. Top off your food with a few berries to work them into your daily eating habits. Sprinkle them over cereal, pancakes and desserts.

Vitamin & Nutrient Associations

Supplements – Is taking supplements beneficial? Visit your local supermarket, drugstore or health food store and you will find rows upon rows of vitamins and supplements. Each is minutely measured giving you the RDAs, DVs, IUs, milligrams and so on. It’s enough information to make your head swim!

Some studies suggest that specific vitamin and mineral supplements can help reduce your risk of heart disease by 30 to 40 percent and even slow the progress of the disease according to Jeffrey Blumberg, M.D. associate director and chief of the Antioxidants Research Laboratory at the U.D. Department of Agriculture Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging in Boston. They are relatively inexpensive and easy to obtain over the counter.

Vitamins are also credited with boosting the immune system and it is believed that older people who take vitamin and mineral supplements do have stronger immune systems.

If you are over 55, vitamin supplements will help prevent disease even though it may take at least six months to a year to register the improvement. That’s not an excuse to put it off, because the sooner you begin, the better the results.

Let’s take a look at weight for instance. If you take in too many calories and gain weight you increase the risk of cancer, heart disease and stroke.

But, cutting the calories to either lose or maintain your weight may result in deficiencies in vitamins and minerals. You can replace key vitamins and minerals lost by dieting with carefully selected supplements.

Another challenge is compensating as the body’s systems begin to slow down. As we age, our systems are not working as efficiently as they once were.

For example, you don’t have as much stomach acid that helps to get nutrients from food. That means that as much as 40% of the nutrients you ingest may go unused resulting in deficiencies of vitamins D, B6, B12, riboflavin, folate and calcium.

Your body’s system for storing the nutrients isn’t as efficient either because the percentage of body fat increases with age. While your metabolism keeps you alive and healthy, it also produces by products that can be harmful including free radicals and other compounds that cause damage to cells’ DNA and can lead to many of the effects of old age.

As we get older, the body reduces the amount of antioxidants it produces and it will become more difficult to get enough antioxidant protection just from your food.

Although you can get most of the nutrients you need from a multi-vitamin, you may want to take extra supplements of certain vitamins and minerals to promote optimum health.

Further reading through our articles on health issues will give you a body of information that will help you decide what options you have to help with anti-aging through giving your body the nutrition products that will assist you body to heal from the inside out.

We wish you well in your search for solutions to this problem and your movement towards better health in all areas.

More Resources available about anti-aging :

Strength Training for Seniors = Strong Bones
A critical aspect of aging is the general weakening of both muscle tissue and our bones themselves.

One of the surest ways to reduce the stress on our weakening bones is to increase our muscles mass through strength training. Strength training has repeatedly been shown to be a safe and effective method of reversing muscle loss in the elderly.
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Walking And Weight Loss
Three universal goals most of us share are: to live longer, to live free of illness and to control our weight. Interesting enough, normal walking lets us achieve all three. In fact, walking may be man's best medicine for slowing the aging process.

First, it works almost every muscle in the body, improving circulation to the joints and massaging the blood vessels (keeping them more elastic). Walking also helps us maintain both our muscle mass and metabolism as we age. It also keeps us young in spirit. For anyone out of shape or un-athletically inclined, walking is the no-stress, no-sweat answer to lifelong conditioning.
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7 Food Products That Are Worth Eating To Fight Off Aging

HealthNutritionOnline Parents have always told their children to eat their vegetables. It is funny to know that this will not only help you grow up to be big and strong but are also helpful in preventing aging.

1. The first are carrots. This orange colored vegetable is high in beta carotene. Studies show that people who eat one medium carrot a day can significantly reduce aging and ward off many other diseases.

It is possible to eat them raw or cooked. This can be mixed with other dishes and can even be turned into a drink using a juicer.

2. Man can't live with carrots alone so other sources to fight off aging have to be found. A good example is the the avocado. Studies show that this is rich in monosaturated fat that helps reduce cholesterol in the body. It also packs vitamin E, which contributes to healthy looking skin.

3. Berries are another because they contain antioxidants. Some examples of these are black berries, blue berries and blackcurrants.

4. Most Americans eat a lot of poultry and meat products despite that fact that they are high in cholesterol. One way to prevent aging is by getting Omega 3 fatty acids, which are usually found in fish.

5. Nuts are rich in fiber making them effective in fighting off the signs of aging. The best kinds are those that are raw because those that are salted or roasted may do more harm than good if they are eaten in vast quantities.

6. People need energy in order to do things daily. The body burns carbohydrates in order to do this and the best source is either from pasta or brown rice.

7. The last thing needed to detoxify and keep the skin smooth all day is water. Most of us have heard that people should drink at least 8 glasses a day. Studies have shown the body needs more than that and it is much better than any cream on the market.

Most people can get it in bottled form but those who want a fresher source can turn to fruits like coconuts and watermelons.

Aging is something people have to worry about after passing the age of 40. It can also happen a few years earlier due to stress so the best defense is by eating the 7 products mentioned at different times of the week.

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