Aging is natural, but rapid aging, inflamed joints, restless nights, constipation, and chronic disease don't have to be a part of the journey. Anti-inflammatory diets can decelerate the aging process, allowing you to do what you love for longer. One of the fastest ways to reduce inflammation is by eating more anti-inflammatory foods.
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Is This Normal Aging?
In the United States, a host of diseases and physical ailments frequently usher in the golden years. Heart disease, arthritis, kidney disease, liver disease, cancer, osteoporosis, stroke are commonplace in retirement communities and In the US, these symptoms often start when people reach their 40s and 50s. Sometimes even sooner.
Over 131 million all adults,( 66%)in the US use prescription drugs, daily. Many of them reduce inflammation. Some of those drugs are absolutely necessary, and others are an alternative to a lifestyle change. Nonetheless, they are typically a part of middle-aged persons' and seniors' life in America.
Are those aches and pains normal?
Now, it seems like many of these diseases are inevitable for aging individuals, but the truth of the matter is that those aches and pains, the restlessness, the gastrointestinal discomfort and constipation, the weakened immunity, and the non-communicable diseases are a result of lifestyle choices, building up over a lifetime. Even for healthy individuals, these may present later in life, but they don't have to be a reality in your 50s, 60s, or even 70s in some cases. Of course, everyone will slow down over time, but life shouldn't be a painful struggle just because you're aging. The most notable contributor to the outcome of your health is something you do 3+ times a day: choose what you eat, so choose wisely.
So all in all, aging is natural, but accelerated aging and daily discomfort may be a sign that there is an imbalance in your system.
Inflammation causes disease and accelerated aging. Interesting! But what is inflammation, and why does it happen?
What is inflammation?
Inflammation is a normal process that takes place in the body when atoms or molecules become unstable because they contain unpaired electrons. These unstable, oxygen-containing molecules are called “free radicals.” Free radicals cause damage to cell structures and DNA by taking electrons from other molecules in order to stabilize themselves.
High antioxidant food helps to stabilize free radicals without causing harm. Free radicals, when not met by antioxidants, interact with and damage other molecules in the body, causing large chain chemical reactions, which we call oxidative stress.
How inflammation ages our outsides
If you slice up an apple and leave it on the counter for half an hour, it quickly browns due to its exposure to oxygen.
If you want to prevent that apple from oxidizing (or turning brown), you might toss it in a little bit of lemon juice, a high antioxidant food.
Voila! Your apple stays fresh. No brown spots or "aging." The antioxidants from the lemon juice stabilize the process of oxidation and neutralize free radicals.
Other factors like chemicals and UV rays contribute to oxidative stress in the skin, but food plays a large role as well. Skin that is continuously presented with oxidative stress will age more rapidly than skin that is loaded with antioxidants.
When your skin is looking unhealthy, it's your body's way of trying to let you know something is off on the inside as well. Plant-based, high antioxidant foods boost skin, hair and nail beauty.
How inflammation ages our insides
Our chromosomes are topped with these little caps called telomeres. Telomeres keep our DNA from unraveling. Unraveling occurs as we age... or so we thought. It turns out that those who eat an anti-inflammatory diet have more intact telomeres than those who eat the standard American diet. You can even repair your telomeres by eating more antioxidant-rich foods.
The good news is, that after a study was conducted by Dean Ornish and Elizabeth Blackburn, we now know that eating a plant-based diet boosts telomere activity. Good news: That means we ARE in control of our health.
Now, does this mean you will look and feel 20 in your 80s? No. Well, some people do declare that after going plant-based they feel better than they did in their 20's and 30's. The average person may feel sprier, look younger, have more energy, sleep better, recover faster, and of course, prevent those top mortality diseases like heart disease and diabetes. Why not enjoy what you love doing, for longer?
Top antioxidant foods to reduce inflammation
Wondering which foods to eat for an antioxidant boost and healthier skin? Take note of the color of your food. This is the best way to decipher which foods have the highest concentration of antioxidants.
High antioxidant food tends to be dark and colorful. These fruits and veggies store the most vitamin C, especially red peppers.
Just 1 red pepper contains 100% of your DV of vitamin C! That's over twice the amount of Vitamin C in an orange.
Here are our top-3 easy-to-eat picks to reduce inflammation:
Reduce your intake of highly processed foods like sugar, white flour, oil, fried foods, and animal products like meats, cheese, and eggs. Animal products are highly oxidized and only contain minimal antioxidants leached only from the plant based foods the animal has eaten. Don't worry, it's not all-or-nothing! Do your best to eat more of a whole food plant-based by crowding out your processed foods with whole food plant-based sides, salads, soups, and mains! Start by adding 1 cup of steamed veggies, and 1 serving of fruit to each meal you eat.
Need a helping hand? The MamaSezz Detox and Reboot program contain anti-oxidant meals delivered right to your home, fresh.
Key takeaways to reduce inflammation
Aging is natural and beautiful, but aches and pains should not be the norm for aging individuals.
Inflammation is your body's natural response to oxidation, therefore diseases like heart disease, cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer's, and other non-communicable diseases can develop.
Inflammation causes oxidation and inflammation in our largest organ: Our skin! This can result in premature wrinkles. When our skin has a reaction, that is a sign that something is off-balance inside of our bodies.
Inflammation on the inside of your body can lead to many health conditions and diseases like heart disease, the #1 reason for mortality in the United States, so it's important to take control of your health.
Eat dark leafy greens, dark berries, beans, whole grains, and colorful plant based foods to reduce inflammation. Avoid processed foods and animal products.