Is Oxidative Stress Aging You Prematurely?

February 10, 2018 | Wellness Resources

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Is Oxidative Stress Aging You Prematurely?
Are you beginning to notice more signs of aging? Have you ever wondered how some people seem to age slower than others? There is one beauty secret that your dermatologist probably isn’t talking about. It’s the kind of skin care secret that comes from within. We can’t avoid aging altogether, but we can age as gracefully as possible by reducing something called oxidative stress.

What is Oxidative Stress?

Free radicals are unstable molecules in the environment that react and cause “oxidative damage” (the same reaction that occurs when something rusts). Your body protects itself from free radicals in the environment with antioxidants you get from your diet. Oxidative stress occurs when free radicals outnumber your antioxidant stores.

Oxidation is what causes rust and what turns an apple brown when exposed to air. Our bodies also “rust” overtime just by living and breathing. This is part of the normal aging process. Too much oxidative damage will cause you to age faster. Plus, excessive oxidative damage underlies almost all diseases of aging including cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and neurodegeneration, diabetes, near-sightedness, cardiovascular disease, cataracts, arthritis, autoimmune conditions, and more. Some signs of oxidative stress include fatigue, brain fog, wrinkles, grey hair, worsening eyesight or depressed immunity.

Avoiding unnecessary oxidative stress and increasing your body’s natural defenses against free radicals can help you age gracefully and prevent age-related disease.

How to Avoid Oxidative Stress

Oxidative stress increases in response to free radicals generated by toxins, stress, and infections. You can reduce your exposure to unnecessary free radicals by:

• Avoid sun burns
• Reduce your exposure to cigarette smoke and toxins
• Support detoxification and liver health
• Avoid the “dirty dozen” fruits and vegetables with high pesticides
• Choose organic whenever possible
• Avoid refined sugar altogether
• Boost immunity to prevent bacterial infections
• Balance blood sugar by following The Leptin Diet
• Reduce emotional stress as much as possible
• Exercise consistently (but avoid over exercising)
• Get 8-9 hours of refreshing sleep every night

Avoiding free radicals entirely is not possible. However, your body can protect itself! The key to aging gracefully is through antioxidants. Antioxidants deactivate free radicals that can lead to oxidative stress. Just as a squirt of lemon juice on an apple will prevent it from browning, getting enough antioxidants will do the same for you.

Your master antioxidant is called glutathione. Your body can make more glutathione with the amino acids cysteine, glutamine, and glycine plus other supporting antioxidants. Eating foods high in sulfur like broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, garlic and onions can also help build more of the master antioxidant.

Our ability to produce antioxidants declines with age. Taking supplemental antioxidants can help you to offset oxidative stress and age gracefully. NAC, glutamine, methylfolate, selenium, milk thistle, vitamin D, vitamins C & E, zinc, magnesium, whey protein, and lipoic acid can help boost your production of glutathione levels. Some of the best antioxidants for getting rid of excess free radicals include: resveratrol, green tea (EGCG), quercetin, curcumin, grape seed extract, Q10 ubiquinol, and PQQ.

Nutrition is the best way to anti-age ourselves. While we can’t turn back the clock or stop aging altogether, protecting ourselves with antioxidants is the secret to maximizing good quality life. If we have to age, we should try to age as gracefully as possible!

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