Today, I’ll share three of my favorite anti-aging foods with you that are also great for your skin.
Adding these foods to your diet is a helpful first step to getting the anti-aging nutrients you need to look good, feel good and keep moving into your 80s, 90s and beyond.
Anti-Aging Food #1: Blueberries. These little berries are best known as an antioxidant powerhouse. In fact, they have more antioxidants than almost any other food. And that’s important to your skin, because your body uses antioxidants to fight the free-radical damage that makes you look older, faster.
The antioxidants in blueberries also help your body manufacture collagen and keep your skin supple and smooth. Blueberries also are an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin E, riboflavin and fiber.
But blueberries can help you in other ways, too, by:
• Reducing blood pressure and cholesterol. I just read a study that showed how subjects given a blueberry drink saw oxidized LDL cholesterol (the form that clogs arteries) in their blood drop by 28 percent. Their blood pressure went down by 6 percent, too.1
• Sharpening your vision. Recent studies show that chemicals in blueberries – called anthocyanins – have a positive effect on your vision (visual pigments) and the overall health of your eyes. The researchers also found that other chemicals in blueberries help your body combat free-radical damage to retinal cells.2
• Keeping your mental edge. After just 12 weeks of drinking blueberry juice, people in one study with mild memory problems showed improved memory and thinking skills. Even their moods got better.3
That’s quite an anti-aging boost from a tiny berry. But my next selection gets down to the very roots of aging.
Anti-Aging Food #2: Wild-caught salmon. It’s not only delicious but an incredible anti-aging superfood. I’ve been recommending three or four servings weekly of this cold-water, fatty fish to my patients and readers for years.
Here’s why …
The lifespan of your cells is regulated by telomeres – protective “caps” on the end of your chromosomes. Each time a cell divides, its telomeres get a little shorter. Eventually, these protective caps become too short, the cell can’t safely reproduce … and it dies.
Magnify this process by millions upon millions of cells and you’ve got the aging process.
A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that the omega-3 fatty acids in fatty fish like wild-caught salmon promote longer telomeres. In this study, the people who got the most omega-3s from marine sources had the longest telomeres.4
In other words, their cells could go on dividing longer … and defy the aging process.
But that’s not all omega-3s do.
French scientists found omega-3s also support better memory and cognitive function – perception, thinking and reasoning. Over a seven-year period, test subjects with the highest levels of two omega-3s – EPA and DHA – scored higher on memory and reasoning tests.5
A lack of omega-3s can dry your skin out. And studies show they help reduce your skin’s sensitivity to the sun’s damaging rays.6
Wild-caught salmon is loaded with high-quality protein, too. And you need plenty of protein to maintain lean muscle as you get older.
And speaking of muscles, this leads me to my favorite anti-aging food of all …
Anti-Aging Food #3: Grass-fed beef. It’s another muscle-booster. But that’s not the main reason it’s one of my favorites.
Grass-fed beef is a terrific source of CoQ10 – much richer than feedlot beef. And CoQ10 helps keep your cells running smoothly – even aging cells. CoQ10 improves the function of mitochondria – the tiny “engines” that power your cells.
CoQ10 also can have a direct effect on your appearance. As you get older, you produce more of an enzyme called arNOX that promotes skin aging. CoQ10 inhibits arNOX activity. In one study, CoQ10 cut arNOX production by almost a third.7
And the other benefits of eating grass-fed beef: It contains high levels of omega-3s and vitamins A, D and E.
To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD
1 Basu, A, et al, “Blueberries decrease cardiovascular risk factors in obese men and women with metabolic syndrome,” J. Nutr. Sept. 2010;140(9):1582-7
2 Kalt, W, et al, “Recent research on polyphenolics in vision and eye health,” J. Agric. Food Chem. Apr. 14, 2010; 58(7):4001-7
3 Krikorian, R., et al, “Blueberry supplementation improves memory in older adults,” J. Agric. Food Chem. Apr. 14, 2010;58(7):3996-4000
4 Farzaneh-Far, R., et al, “Association of marine omega-3 fatty acid levels with telomeric aging in patients with coronary heart disease,” JAMA Jan. 20, 2010;303(3):250-7
5 Samieri, C., et al, “Omega-3 fatty acids and cognitive decline: modulation by ApoEepsilon4 allele and depression,” Neurobiol. Aging June 4, 2010
6 University of Maryland, “Omega 3 Fatty Acids,” http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/omega-3-000316.htm
7 Morrél, D.M., et al, “Supplementation with CoQ10 lowers age-related (ar) NOX levels in healthy subjects,” Biofactors 2008;32(1-4):221-30
Hello, my fitness friend!
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen it. Someone at the gym finishes a tough workout. And then they grab a bottle of electrolyte-replacement drink.
They’re careful about what goes into their bodies … until they get to the gym. They’ve worked up a sweat, and they think the only way to recover is with these chemical cocktails.
But there’s a natural alternative these commercial drinks just can’t match. In fact, it has all five of the electrolytes found in human blood … while the leading commercial drink just has two.1
This natural wonder just so happens to be one of favorite drinks: coconut water. It’s light, refreshing, natural – and packs a real nutritional punch.
Here’s the story…
Coconuts don’t develop their “milk” until they mature. Before that, they contain a watery liquid –what we call “coconut water.” And it’s loaded with vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.
Coconut water is just becoming known outside natural health circles. But it’s been used for centuries in India as a medicine. In some parts of the world, it’s also considered a treat. Vendors sell it on beaches and in market stalls from Panama to Brazil – and in many other countries, too. I used to drink this straight out of the coconut as a child growing up in Puerto Rico. My dad would chop the coconuts down from the palm tree in our yard and give it to me to drink.
The refreshing taste could make you think you’re “cheating” – it tastes that good. But don’t be fooled. A one-cup serving of coconut water delivers 10 percent of your daily vitamin C. It also contains B vitamins, several trace minerals, amino acids and enzymes. Plus, it helps replenish these five important electrolytes:
Coconut water is incredibly pure. In fact, doctors even use it as an IV fluid when sterile saline isn’t available!
For post-exercise recovery, it’s hard to beat. For one thing, it’s loaded with antioxidants. So it’s a great way to recharge your body’s store of these powerful nutrients.
You see, a hard workout generates free radicals. These nasty molecules damage your cells by breaking down the fats found in cell walls. But animal studies show coconut water promotes lower levels of free-radical damage.2 And that makes it ideal as a recovery drink.
It also rehydrates you just as well as plain water or commercial electrolyte drinks. But it’s a lot easier on your stomach. So you can replace more fluid faster than even with plain water – and without the nausea that drinking after intense exercise can cause.3
And here’s a bonus: Coconut water promotes healthy blood pressure. In one study, almost three-quarters of the subjects saw a significant drop in their blood pressure – just by drinking coconut water for two weeks.
Best of all, coconut water is easy to find. Asian markets and many health food stores carry it. You can also buy it online. My favorite one is Taste Nirvana Real Coconut Water. It comes in a glass bottle too! It’s the most amazing coconut water I have ever tried … maybe because coconuts from Thailand are sweeter … it tastes like a cookie! Plus it also contains aloe and real pulp.
After a tough workout, coconut water is one of my favorite ways to boost my recovery. And once you’ve tried it, I think it will be one of your favorites, too.
Your Health and Fitness Specialist,
Yarixa “Coach Yari” Ferrao
[Ed. Note: Yarixa Ferrao, a.k.a. Coach Yari is a Certified Personal Trainer (NASM) and an expert in functional training, fat reduction, sports performance and cellulite. Coach Yari is the founder of Get Fit in 6, a 6-week life transformation program for both men and women in Delray Beach, Florida. You can visit her at www.getfitin6.com.]
1 Duerr, Charlie, “Coconut Water: Nature’s Sweet Low-Cal Hangover Relief,” Time Magazine May 31, 2010
2 Prathapan, A. and Rajamohan, T., “Antioxidant And Antithrombotic Activity Of Tender Coconut Water In Experimental Myocardial Infarction,” Journal of Food Biochemistry 2010;1745-4514
3 Saat, M., et al, “Rehydration after exercise with fresh young coconut water, carbohydrate-electrolyte beverage and plain water,” J. Physiol. Anthropol. Appl. Human Sci. March 2002;21(2):93-104
4 Alleyne, T., et al, “The control of hypertension by use of coconut water and mauby: two tropical food drinks,” West Indian Med. J. Jan. 2005;54(1):3-8
My hair is thick, curly and almost unmanageable. When I was younger, I tried everything – from egg white-and-mayonnaise treatments to cold beer washes. It took quite a while to find the right combination of products to keep my wild mane under control … but it’s been worth it.
The key to lustrous hair is finding the right conditioner. But it’s not as simple as you might think … There are several different types of conditioners, and each works better for a different type of hair.
But before we talk about hair types, let’s look at circumstances that affect everyone’s hair.
Because it grows, most people think of hair as alive … but once you hair grows out from your scalp, it’s pretty much dead already. So for your crowning glory to look its shiny best, you have to take very good care of it. That’s one reason conditioning your hair is so important.
Most conditioners don’t penetrate the hair shaft well – with one exception: deep conditioners.
They get inside the cuticle and replace some of the moisture your hair is missing. And, if your hair is chemically treated, I recommend regular deep conditioning treatments. Adding a little heat opens the cuticles and helps your hair absorb the moisture. You’ll be amazed at how lustrous your hair will look.
These are general ideas that apply to everyone. But to choose just the right conditioner for you, consider the type of hair you have.
Thin or Limp Hair
In my experience, light conditioners work best on thin, limp hair. Heavy conditioners weigh your hair down and make it look lifeless.
Also, try to avoid shampooing and blow-drying every day. It tends to dry hair out and causes it to break more easily. If your hair is already thin or fine, daily blow-drying will accentuate any problems.
For thin or fine hair, try a volumizing shampoo and use a leave-in conditioner. When you can, roller set your hair. Deep-conditioning protein treatments can help, too. I recommend getting one at least once a month.
Dry hair often isn’t a problem with the hair itself. Your scalp is covered with tiny glands – called sebaceous glands – that secrete a waxy substance that keeps your scalp and hair moist. If these glands are underactive, your hair becomes dull, dry and splits easily.
The right shampoo and conditioner – deep conditioning products that are rich in vitamins and cream-based proteins – can work wonders. Giving yourself regular scalp massages helps stimulate the sebaceous glands and can ease the dryness, too.
Thick, “Unmanageable” Hair
Thick, curly hair is hard to manage – but it can be done.
I like to use Hair Milk by Carol’s Daughter. This gentle conditioner contains biotin (the hair vitamin), which promotes healthy hair, and vitamin E, which can protect hair from environmental damage.
For me, it has the moisture intensity that my hair needs without the heaviness. My hair is left silky smooth and non-greasy. Plus, it has no parabens, petroleum, mineral oil or artificial colors.
For added security, I back that up with a leave-in conditioner from Mixed Chicks. This really helps define my curls and keeps the frizz away.
There’s just one more thing about conditioning …
The pH level of your hair also affects conditioning. Your pH (potential hydrogen) level is a measure of the acidity or alkalinity of a substance. And with an average pH of 4.5 – 5.5, human hair is slightly acidic.
But did you know that hair lighteners are up to 100,000 times more acidic than human hair? That’s why chemically treated hair often becomes so dry and brittle. And why your choice of a conditioner is especially important if you have any chemical treatments on your hair.
You see, acidic shampoos and conditioners tend to harden your hair by contracting the follicles. But more alkaline products soften your hair and make it swell and expand. You want to make sure your conditioner is “pH balanced” or one that has a pH level of 7 to keep your hair soft. You can usually find this on the label or on the product website.
No matter what type of hair you have, using the right conditioner can improve its body and luster. It’s a difference those around you will notice – and admire.
Keep on Stylin’!
|[Ed. Note: Anesta Dawkins is Owner and Founder of Salon Hottie in West Palm Beach, Florida, and is an accomplished hairstylist, platform artist, and instructor. With over 20 years’ experience in the industry and a satisfied network of clients, Anesta is dedicated to keeping you current with the latest and most innovative products in the beauty industry.]|