Ask any child what they would like to be when they grow up and you probably won’t hear “old”. With Baby Boomers moving into their middle years, researchers around the world are constantly developing ways to slow the signs of aging. So far no one has come up with a total “Fountain of Youth” pill, but we do have tools to counteract some of the damage done by Father Time.
Antioxidants – key to anti-aging
Anti-aging antioxidants are molecules that slow or prevent oxidation. Antioxidants can slow down the process of aging in the body and can reduce the number of free radicals in the body. Free radicals are natural by-products of many cellular processes, but excess free radicals can damage body cells and accelerate aging.
Free radicals are created in the body as part of natural body processes and due to lifestyle and living factors such as smoking, pollution, diet, and sun exposure. They can begin a chain reaction that ends with the damage of your cells. Antioxidants will stop the chain reaction, remove the free radicals, and inhibit further oxidization. Studies have shown that antioxidants can also slow aging by attacking free radicals that weaken your immune system and make your body susceptible to degeneration and disease.
Antioxidants are found in foods such as fruits, vegetables, and green tea. A Statistics Canada poll reported that about half of Canadian adults do not eat five servings of fruits and vegetables a day, the minimum recommendation from Health Canada.
Green Tea Extract
Green tea antioxidants are called catechins and flavonols. Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is a catechin that is 25-100 times more potent than vitamins C and E. One cup of green tea may provide 10-40 mg of polyphenols and has antioxidant effects greater than a serving of broccoli, spinach, carrots, or strawberries.
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) regulates oxidation of fats and sugars into energy. As we age, our CoQ10 levels drop an average of 50 percent. CoQ10 is an ingredient in many skincare creams to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and protect the skin from aging.
Here is a potent antioxidant that protects certain cell membranes from free radical attacks. Vitamin E can be used as an anti-aging supplement as well as in moisturizing creams and lotions, designed to support younger looking skin.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant vital for healthy, youthful-looking skin as well as immunity. It helps repair cells and produce collagen, supporting all the connective tissue in the body.
Selenium is a mineral antioxidant that boosts immunity, reduces anxiety and depression and maintains healthy hair and nails.
Ginkgo offers antioxidant protection for both the central nervous system and the cardiovascular system from the negative effects of aging, specifically age-related mental deterioration.
What makes us look and feel young? Or old? Weight, skin condition, heart health, joint flexibility and mobility—these are some of the keys to a long and healthy life. It is refreshing to know that we can minimize negative effects of aging, and emphasize the positive, with the help of exercise, nutritious foods and quality supplements. Here’s to turning back the clock and living a long, happy and healthy life!