Although it is obviously not possible to turn the clock back entirely, we can take many steps now to ensure that not only do we slow down the aging process, but we can also reverse many of the signs of aging that we may presently be experiencing. The biggest key in the fight against aging is of course our diet and nutrition. The old adage, “you are what you eat” is absolutely true! It is impossible to expect to be healthy and vital if we are not eating the nutrients we need to keep our bodies performing at its best. I truly believe that the increase in lifestyle diseases that we are presently seeing is in great part due to poor diets and junk food. It is very important to try to increase the amount of whole foods that we eat and decrease the amount of processed foods that we eat. Processed foods have almost no nutrients left in them … they are considered “empty calories”. But even worse than that, the preservatives, additives and chemicals that are in these processed foods interfere with many bodily functions including hormones. These chemical toxins are called “xenoestrogens” and they often trigger a condition called “Estrogen Dominance”.
– What is Estrogen Dominance? Simply explained, it is when the ratio of Estrogen and Progesterone get out of whack and you have higher levels of estrogen, compared to progesterone. There are many things in our modern society that contribute to this imbalance including birth control pills, caffeine, alcohol and xenoestrogens (which are caused by external toxins and pollutants like detergents, pesticides, plastics etc.), as well as impaired liver function and even stress! The hormonal imbalances caused by Estrogen Dominance have many negative effects on the body and can make you feel a lot older by triggering many symptoms like poor memory, “foggy brain”, weight gain and difficulty losing weight, increased facial hair, decreased sex drive, vaginal dryness, darkened skin pigmentation, water retention and much, much more. Estrogen Dominance also increases the risk of many lifestyle diseases like cancer, fibrocystic breasts, breast cancer, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and much more. Estrogen Dominance is much more common than people think, thanks to the world we live in. And it is happening to women at younger and younger ages, even to women in their twenties or thirties! So how do you combat estrogen dominance? One of the most important changes you can make is losing weight if you are overweight, since this triggers a vicious cycle of hormonal imbalances and weight gain, especially in the abdominal area. But of course, how you lose weight is just as important, if not more, than just losing weight. If you lose weight following unhealthy weight loss diets, you could be unbalancing your hormones even more. The better method is to lose weight in a slow, steady fashion by eating healthy, nutritious food and NOT starving yourself. If instead of following an unhealthy diet, you follow a healthy eating program you will not only lose weight, but will have many health benefits as well. Check out these little-known, powerful anti-aging benefits you get from eating a healthy, balanced diet:
– Eating a healthy diet decreases free radical production through proper nutrition, which is a powerful anti-aging technique, as well as decreasing the risk of developing different types of cancer. Eating healthy also helps to promote anti-aging by lowering cholesterol and triglycerides to healthy levels. When you follow a healthy diet and do not skip meals or starve yourself, you actually speed up your metabolism and increase fat burning capabilities. Dieting is one of the best ways of slowing down your metabolism, which of course makes losing weight very difficult. Yo-yo dieting is a good example of this. Each time you lose weight and gain it back, you are slowing down your metabolism so that each subsequent diet gets harder and harder to lose weight. It is also possible to make a few simple changes to your diet so that the food you eat stabilises your blood sugar levels and reduces insulin and improves insulin resistance … ultimately decreasing the risk of Diabetes. And did you know that Insulin is a major culprit in weight gain?
– And here is a very powerful anti-aging secret: eating a healthy, balanced diet supports your liver! If your liver works better, your body detoxifies more efficiently, which improves all areas of your health (including cellulite reduction the natural way), as well as supporting your immune system which is of course very important for good health. And not only do unhealthy diets unbalance your hormones, one thing that many people don’t think about when they decide to lose weight following unhealthy fast weight loss diets: the faster you lose weight, the bigger the chances that you will be left with loose, sagging skin! A healthy eating program decreases the chances of having loose, sagging skin, because you lose weight in a slow, steady way, which gives your body a chance to firm up your skin. There are also many foods you can eat that promote healthy, firm skin tone. (By Geri Richard)