Monday, January 21, 2013

Slowing Down the Aging Process

It's not impossible.

First off, one of the most destructive symptoms of aging is the lowering of testosterone levels in men and estrogen levels in women. When our hormones start to go, our vitality goes with them. You start all the symptoms of aging we're familiar with; wrinkles, dry skin, lack of collagen production, circulatory stress and bald spots.
This (the hormone situation) is the area where fighting old age slightly differs between the sexes. I'll start with men.

Testosterone is not only responsible for sex drive. It's also responsible for things like:
  • Bone density
  • Fat distribution
  • Muscle strength and mass
  • Red blood cell production
  • Sperm production
  • Depression
This means you're more prone to weight gain when your levels get low, and you're at a greater risk of heart failure and prostate cancer. You're also going to start being more susceptible to sugar problems, as it helps maintain insulin levels.

There are a multitude of problems with low estrogen in women, and a few of the symptoms include:
  • Rage [Interesting side note: Synthetic estrogen in certain types of steroids is actually what's responsible for "roid rages"]
  • Sleep Disorders
  • Weight gain
  • Hot flashes
  • Bone loss
  • Crying spells
Of course, there are way more symptoms to these changes than what I've listed. So the first thing we need to worry about when fighting age is learning to increase and stabilize hormone levels. There is always hormone replacement therapy, but I prefer to go the natural route. (Especially when dealing with estrogen replacements, as I will explain below.) Here are a few ways to start:


1. You've got to severely limit your fructose. You need to keep your sugar levels down, so limit grains and other carbohydrates as well. They break down to sugar. Cow's milk contains lactose. Sugar and lactose both cause insulin resistance and lead to every chronic disease men suffer from as well as weight gain.
2. Short, intense exercise has been proven to raise testosterone and keep it from decreasing. Strength training works really well in this regard, and also cardio. Get in at least 30 minutes of cardio every
3. Increase your Vitamin D intake. Natural sources include salmon, tuna, eggs, mackerel, yogurt, and cheese. Vegans: It's much harder to avoid vitamin D deficiency because most of it comes from animal product sources. Shitake mushrooms give you a pretty high dose, also soy milk and exposure to sunlight. Be careful with supplements, as an overdose in supplement form is toxic and can lead to kidney disease and calcium crystals in soft tissues of the body as well as in the urine.

Women: This is a little more complicated.
Unfortunately, there's a multitude of pesticides and household products we're all exposed to that seem to be full of something called xenoestrogens. Xenoestrogens are chemicals that get into the body and mimic estrogen, causing an overdose of the foreign substance and leading to breast cancer and the growth of fibroids in the uterus. Even getting plant estrogens such as is in flax seeds and red clover tea can be tricky. You don't want to overdose on fake estrogen (yes, even estrogen supplements are dangerous). What you want to do is increase production of your own natural estrogen.While eating flax isn't a bad thing, pay attention to the cosmetics and detergents you use and get rid of anything you can find containing xenoestrogens. Don't drink unfiltered tap water. Reading up on xenoestrogens will allow you to rid yourself of toxic chemicals and will free you up to enjoy plant estrogen sources without worrying about fibroids or tumor growth.

1. So number one is going to be to try and eliminate as many of these toxic chemicals as possible. You're already a body of estrogen. Even when your levels get low, you can get them going again by changing your diet and physical activity habits. What is advertised as "estrogen replacements" or "estrogen supplements" are to be avoided, as they can be dangerous in high doses. Things like shampoo and conditioner and most fabric softner sheets contain parabens. (Which are xenoestrogens) Also try to go more "natural" with your household cleaners and soaps.
2. Reduce your carbohydrates. Carbs tend to cause a decrease in estrogen levels. Limiting them can reverse this decrease.
3.  30 minutes of exercise daily will improve the endocrine system, which is responsible for producing estrogen. Estrogen in women is produced in the ovaries and also in the pituitary gland, which is part of your endocrine system.
4. Limit your meat products, especially red. Red meat is also responsible for more painful cramping during mentruation. Red meat has a much worse effect on a woman's health than on a man's. Our bodies are different.
5. Sushi will increase estrogen production.

Both men and women: Here's where we come together in our needs. And food is the key.

1. Raw vegetables and fruits should be a major part of the diet instead of everything being based around meat, especially as we get older. Now most people cannot properly digest raw foods due to an unhealthy digestive system derived from bad dieting habits. I wrote a post before this one on healing the digestive system, which will start you on your way to being able to digest raw vegetables with no problem. In the meantime, steamed or lightly cooked veggies are okay.
2. If you are not allergic to soy, it is a good thing to add to your diet after the age of 40. Since soy is one of the main genetically modified foods on the market, be sure to obtain organic soy so you can get the benefits you need from it. It prevents endometrial cancers in men and women, and stimulates hormone production. (It's also a great protein source.)
3. Bathe your pituitary and your hormones. Hormones are fat cells. They come from your pituitary gland, which decides how fast you age depending on its health. Your pituitary gland needs good fat to function properly, and to keep producing estrogen or testosterone. Good fat comes in the form of avacados, coconut, olives, nuts, peanut butter, sunflower oil, and olive oil.
4. These things are very damaging to skin, causing dryness, wrinkles, loss of elasticity and loss of collagen: excessive alcohol, smoking, excessive sugar, dehydration, and too much sun exposure.
5. A daily cocktail of vitamin a, c and e (preferably from food sources, but supplemental is ok)  is great in reversing age damage. These things are also antioxidants.

These are just a few things that will jump start age reversal and slow it down. Adequate rest and learning to manage or rid yourself of stress goes very far as well. 

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