Is it possible to stop aging in its tracks? While it’s true that the many ways aging can affect your body and mind have a lot to do with genetics, the good news is that some of those changes can be delayed—even prevented or reversed. Modern medicine and a better understanding of alternative remedies have allowed us to be better able to detect age-related diseases and conditions early and treat them more effectively. Keep reading to discover the 10 most important anti-aging supplements and find out what you should be doing to keep yourself youthful well past retirement age.
As you get older, your body tends not to function like it did when you were in your twenties. That may be of no surprise to you, but why does it happen? Well, as you enter your late 30s or early 40s, hormone levels drop and your body’s natural ability to repair itself gradually declines.
And that’s what we’re all afraid of — the redistribution of weight, saggy skin, and loss of strength, agility, memory, and vision – all things that we associated with our grandparents and assumed were just a natural part of growing older.
But now, it’s possible that you can not only live longer than your grandparents, but that you can live better. The most important and effective preventative measure? Healthy lifestyle changes.
Here are four things you should definitely incorporate to help prevent the effects of aging:
Exercise daily. It’s not necessary to go to a health club every day, but you do need to get moving and challenge your body—whether it be a vigorous walk around the neighborhood, taking a dancing class, playing a round of golf, or using a resistance band at home. Shoot for at least 30 minutes of active movement, and be sure to incorporate some form of weight/resistance training as well as plenty of cardiovascular exercise.
Avoid stress. Stress takes a toll on the body over time, making you more likely to have high blood pressure and heart disease and also more likely to take longer to recover from illness or surgery. Additionally, stress has a detrimental effect on brain functioning and possibly contributes to declines in problem-solving and memory. What’s more, the toll of stress on the appearance is well-documented—grey hair, wrinkles, and dark circles under the eyes are just a few of the ways stress can make you look years older.
Eat a healthy diet. Cut out saturated fats, fried foods, refined sugars, and excessive sodium, and eat more fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean sources of protein, such as skinless chicken breasts, flank steak, and eggs. Also, be sure to drink plenty of water, which will keep your body hydrated from the inside out.
Take vitamins and supplements. If your diet has deficiencies, you need vitamins and supplements. The 10 following nutrients contain powerful anti-aging properties and should be a regular part of your daily diet:
- Folate: This wonder-nutrient not only protects your heart health, it can also help with brain function. 800 micrograms in supplement form (or 1,400 micrograms through diet) is the ideal daily amount.
- Vitamin B-6 and B-12: These are essential B-complex vitamins that most people don’t get enough of via diet alone. The ideal daily amount for B-6 is 6 milligrams, and 800 micrograms of B-12 through food (or 25 micrograms as a supplement – B-12 is easier to absorb as a supplement).
- Vitamin C: In addition to its antioxidant properties and immune-boosting powers, vitamin C has recently gotten some attention when it comes to bone and joint health. Again, if your regimen doesn’t include a multi, make sure you’re getting enough via a vitamin C supplement. The ideal amount is 1,200 milligrams per day (spread throughout the day is best).
- Vitamin D: Among its many other health benefits, vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium more efficiently. And while vitamin D sources include the sun and certain foods, most of us don’t get enough from either. Enter supplementation! If you’re not getting your supply of vitamin D in a multi-vitamin, make sure you take a separate supplement. The recommended daily dosage is 400 IU if you’re under age 60, and 600 IU if you’re over 60.
- Calcium: A must-must-must for good bone, joint and muscle health, calcium supplementation is recommended for anyone over the age of 30. Men should take 1,000 to 1,200 milligrams per day; women under the age of 60 should take about 1,200 milligrams per day; and women over 60 should aim for 1,600 milligrams per day (these amounts should be broken up into two daily doses of 500-600 milligrams as your body cannot absorb more than 600 milligrams at a time).
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Also known as the “good fats” Omega-3s have been shown to reduce inflammation in joints. Fish oil capsules are widely available these days – about 3 grams per day is the suggested amount.
- L-Carnitine: This amino acid helps transfer energy between your cells, and has actually been shown to decrease arterial aging and improve memory in certain animal studies. The recommended daily amount is 1,500 milligrams.
- Coenzyme Q10: Coenzyme Q10 (or CoQ10 for short) is found naturally in the body’s organs, and helps to prevent cardiovascular aging as well as brain aging. But as you age, your natural store of CoQ10 declines, especially if you’re lacking in other essential vitamins such as vitamin C or any of the B-Complex vitamins. A daily dose of up to 1,200 milligrams seems to have a beneficial effect.
- Resveratrol: A flavonoid found in red wine, resveratrol is thought to decrease the aging of the DNA and acts as an antioxidant, which helps reduce arterial aging and may boost the immune system. The recommended daily amount in one to two glasses of red wine (for men) and one glass for women seems to be beneficial. There are also a number of supplements available that contain resveratrol.
- SAMe: This natural amino acid may help with depression by altering the chemical reaction of certain neurotransmitters in the brain. Daily doses range from 800 to 1,200 milligrams (on an empty stomach).
You can find out more information about each of these supplements on InsidersHealth.com! By incorporating the above healthy, anti-aging tactics into your daily lifestyle you will not only live longer, but you will be able to get the most out of those added years.