Eating For Anti-Aging
Although advertisers would have us believe it, getting older is not a crime, it is, in fact, a privilege.
Of course, we don’t see it like that. Just like generations before us, we dutifully smooth on lotions and potions and dye our graying locks in an attempt to hold back time. But that’s not enough to keep up appearances for the modern consumer. We now look to such weapons as the Botox syringe for our salvation – and increasingly the threat of fading youth leads to the surgeon’s knife. Cosmetic surgery is rife in our society; with the approval of their parent’s young girls are opting to have breast implants, laugh lines really aren’t that funny, and nose jobs are a dime a dozen – we are choosing to let ourselves be stitched and pulled in an endless quest for perfection and eternal youth.
Do we really have no choice? If appearance is important to us, are we going to end up under the knife despite the best of intentions? Hopefully, that won’t be the case, as research suggests the key to preserving youth may actually lie unassumingly in our supermarket aisles. Before we can understand why certain fruits, vegetables, and herbs can help to keep us younger for longer, we first need a quick chemistry lesson. Molecules known as free radicals cause cellular damage – youth’s enemy number one. Free radicals are unstable molecules that have unpaired electrons. These unstable molecules cruise around looking to pilfer the partner of a stable molecule. Then we have a chain reaction on our hands because the robbed electron itself becomes a free radical. This process is better known as oxidation. Think of a browning apple or rusting metal, but instead of rusting, we age. Free radicals cause external aging, such as wrinkles and lines, and internal aging such as heart disease, emphysema, osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis. Air pollution, cigarette smoke, pesticides, saturated fats, processed food, stress and ultra-violet light can create free radical multiplication. This all sounds very unpleasant, so how do we stop it from happening?
Antioxidants are our very best weapons of defense. They offer up one of their own electrons to rogue free radicals (which they are able to interact safely with), thus ending their reign of terror. Where can we get our hands on these too good to be true youth-preserving gems? That’s where your local supermarket or greengrocer comes in. Dr. Howard Murad, an Amercian celebrity dermatologist, has seen plenty of evidence of the damage caused by free radicals. “People who eat more green, leafy vegetables and beans throughout their lives are less wrinkled than those who eat a lot of processed high fat and refined carbohydrates,” he says. So there you have it straight from the horse’s mouth.