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A Guide to Graceful Aging

So often people talk about aging as if it is an inevitable curse that is creeping up from behind them. They resist it with everything they have and dread it with all of their might. I have been learning that aging can be a joyful thing. The character lines that popup on our faces should be celebrated as they symbolize the amazing experiences that we have been through in our lives. The standard idea of beauty that we have been programmed to strive towards is transforming every day. There is not a standard form of beauty, there are many different kinds and I’ve learned that beauty has little to do with age.?

With advancements in medicine we’re capable of living longer than ever before? so long as we make our health a priority. While I am becoming more appreciative of the process of getting older, there are some tips I share and abide by to ensure transitioning through each phase of life as gracefully as possible. I want to reflect the attention that I give to my health. If you have the same goal, you’ll want to read over and implement these:?

NAD

If you have no idea what NAD is, do not worry ? I would be surprised if you did. NAD is a coenzyme that is prevalent in our bodies and it plays a significant role in generating energy for our cells. It is crucial to the process of cellular respiration, which is how our bodies turn the nutrients from the food we eat into the energy we use to do pretty much everything. We need NAD for breathing, talking and even sleeping. Basically, any bodily function that you can think of utilizes significant amounts of NAD.

Scientists have determined that we lose up to 50% of our NAD levels as we turn the corner past middle age. At the same time, our cells also become less efficient at producing energy, making it harder for our organ systems to get the energy they need to function at their? best. Increasing our NAD levels can, therefore, help us age in a more efficient and healthier way. There are various NAD-boosting supplements out there and the one that I use and trust the most is called Tru Niagen. I recommend this supplement to any of my clients who have been feeling uncharacteristically sluggish or are over 40 years of age.

Support?the Liver

Cleansing the liver specifically is what really aids an elegant aging transition. If your liver is overexerted by toxin build up, which can come from everything from the air we breathe to the water we drink, it can start to work less effectively. When a liver is performing less efficiently than is ideal, there can be many negative side effects like high blood pressure and vitamin deficiency. All of these negative responses take a toll on our bodies and cause us to age more harshly.

A few of my favorite ways to routinely detoxify the liver are to take activated charcoal on the occasions when I am consuming alcohol, squeeze lemon into my water multiple times a day, juice celery every morning on an empty stomach, take a B12 supplement with methycobalamin, use Innate Response food-based?magnesium daily and I also use?Innate Response Detox supplement (loaded with detox herbs). Something that everyone knows but most people (myself included) need to be reminded of from time to time is that it is imperative that alcohol be consumed in moderation. I am all for having the occasional glass of wine or holiday cocktail, but too much alcohol can irreversibly damage the liver, which is reflected in how we look and feel as we grow older.?

Collagen?

Skin elasticity is often compromised as we get older. When skin loses its elasticity, it begins to gently sag and wrinkle, a look that many people dread. In various studies, collagen has been proven to improve skin elasticity. Collagen is also key for cardiovascular health and it can help to support and improve joint health as well. This is key for anyone who may be starting to feel the effects of arthritis more with each birthday. Collagen can also help to increase muscle mass, which can begin to wither with age.

But while it can be helpful to increase collagen with age, it is not helpful to increase animal protein intake since there are so many harmful effects of it. That is why I think a high quality form of plant-based collagen is so important. Some of the best vegetarian sources to support collagen growth in the human body are kale, shiitake mushrooms, carrots and red pepper. Check out the recipe for the broth that I use in my SOUP cleanse if you want to incorporate more collagen-promoting plant-based nutrients in your diet (I add a moderate amount of Further Food Collagen and keep the rest of the ingredients plant-based).?

Limit Stress

You have probably heard that too much stress can have negative consequences: it can increase the release of the potentially damaging hormone cortisol, which can cause infertility, worsen PMS, cause you to gain weight and even lead to depression. But did you know that stress can also accelerate aging? The phrase?I am so stressed that my hair is turning grey? did not come out of thin air, after all. Cortisol really leads to a lot of wear and tear on the body and the mind. Stress also makes you more vulnerable to a cognitive decline and can shrink your hippocampus ? the area of your brain that is implicated in Alzheimer?s disease.

Everyone has their own preferred ways of de-stressing. My favorites, hands down, are a consistent yoga practice, regular meditation and a healthy sleep pattern. Anxiety-free activity, such as yoga, is one sure way to lower cortisol and, therefore, stress levels. Meditation is similar: even sitting for just 5-10 minutes a day to meditate can reduce stress and anxiety. When it comes to sleep, just one bad night of sleep can increase cortisol levels. So, if you are trying to stress less, definitely give these tactics a try. (Pssst: you did not hear it from me, but a little dark chocolate has also been shown to lower cortisol levels).

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While these strategies can be useful for making aging more graceful, please do not resist the process itself. Know that you are beautiful no matter what stage of life you are in and embrace all of the wonders that come with the experience of growing older.

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