Just because you can’t stop yourself from getting older in chronological age, doesn’t mean you should resign yourself to looking and feeling ‘old’. The following easy and affordable tips will help boost your energy and vitality, reduce your risk for chronic disease, take years off your appearance, and increase your longevity.
Step #1: Stay Hydrated
Proper hydration is essential for warding off aging, and 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. Your skin is approximate 64% water and an insufficient intake can worsen wrinkles and cause the skin to become dry, tight and flaky. Proper hydration also helps keep the cartilage soft and hydrated, which is important for the reduction and prevention of joint pain. Dehydration on the other hand, causes strain on the heart, increases blood pressure and may increase your risk for heart disease.[i][ii] Dehydration also slows down the metabolism and increases appetite and the excess body fat that it can cause, increases your risk for all major chronic diseases, and significantly reduces your lifespan.[iii]
One of the easiest ways to tell if you are properly hydrated is to look at the color of your urine. Your urine should be almost clear — the darker it is, the more hydrated you are (unless you take B vitamins, which can turn urine bright yellow). You should drink at least 8 cups of water a day, and increase your consumption if you are working out hard, or in the sun. Also, worth noting is the fact that adequate water intake doesn’t ensure proper hydration – if you eat meat or other high protein foods, they require a lot of water to digest, and can lead to dehydration. So too can caffeinated and alcoholic beverages.
Step #2: Juice or Blend Daily
Juicing and blending are two of the easiest ways to get an abundance of raw produce into your diet. And the benefits of doing so are vast – 8+ servings of fruits and vegetables daily helps to reduce blood pressure, cholesterol, cardiovascular disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes risk; aids in weight loss, promotes gastrointestinal health and detoxification, and dramatically enhances lifespan. The nutrients and antioxidants that a high vegetable and fruit diet provide, also increases energy, boosts immunity, and gives your skin a more youthful appearance. Juicing and blending make the nutrients more bioavailable but blended drinks have the added benefit of providing you with health-boosting fiber.
Store bought juices are not nearly as healthy as homemade juices — the process of pasteurization and the amount of time that passes between the juicing/blending and consumption dramatically reduces nutrient content. For the best results you should use a juicer or blender and consume the drink on an empty stomach, ideally when you first wake-up. Also make sure that your drinks are comprised of at least 80% veggies, and no more than 20% fruit – fruits are high in sugar and too much can cause a blood sugar rollercoaster ride. To turbo charge the beneficial health effects of your juice or smoothie, consider adding a scoop of Slim Blend Pro (insert hyperlink: https://delgadoprotocol.com/product/slim-blend-pro/) to it. Slim Blend Pro is a 5-in-1 meal replacement that contains over 30 superfoods, plus a healthy dose of protein, fiber, essential fatty acids, and probiotics.
Step #3: Ditch the Sugar
Sugar molecules attach to the collagen fibers in your skin which causes them to lose their strength and flexibility. This process known as ‘glycation’ results in a loss of skin elasticity and hydration, and leads to fine lines and sagging. Sugar also increases your risk for most degenerative diseases including atherosclerosis, diabetes, cancer, fatty liver disease, and Alzheimer’s disease (to name a few).[iv] Plus it adds inches to your waist line, suppresses your immune system; and increases insulin and leptin levels (both of which dramatically accelerate the aging process).
Firstly, its important to note that sugar in all its forms is unhealthy. While raw honey, pure maple syrup and agave are slightly more healthful because of the nutrients that they contain, they are still sugars, and their consumption should be limited. Most packaged foods contain at least one type of sugar, and its often disguised under a different name, such as: sucrose, glucose, fructose, dextrose, lactose, maltose, evaporated cane juice, sugar cane, corn syrup, fruit juice, barley malt or malt syrup. Also, worth noting is the fact that your body reacts to refined carbs in the same way that it reacts to sugar. So you should also eliminate or vastly reduce your intake of white bread, pasta, white rice, baked goods, white flour products, and most breakfast cereals. A simple rule of thumb when it comes to eating healthy is if it comes in a package, avoid it!
Step #4: Think and Act Yourself Young
Ever notice that positive, happy people tend to look younger than people who are chronically sad or stressed-out? Stress and negativity manifest in your face, cause frown lines, greatly increase your risk for chronic disease, and reduce your life expectancy. The power of your thoughts should not be underestimated! A fascinating study back in 1979 was conducted on 75-year-old men. The men were sent to a one-week retreat and told they had to pretend that they were 55 years old. They were encouraged to dress and act like they did at 55, and given pictures of themselves at that age to look at. At the end of the week the men actually appeared younger, and most of them experienced positive changes in their physical strength, posture, reaction time, eyesight, flexibility, short-term memory, and intelligence scores![v]
Stop thinking about aging, and focus your thoughts and energy on living healthy instead. When you wake-up every morning ask yourself “What can I do today to optimize my mental, physical, and spiritual health?” Spend at least 5 minutes a day visualizing you as the healthiest possible version of yourself– and really try and feel how it feels. Also, avoid drawing attention to your age in a negative way, phrases like “when you get to be my age,” or “I’m too old for ___,” or “look at these wrinkles” make you look and feel older. Don’t let your age limit you — when you are optimally healthy you can achieve feats that many younger people couldn’t even dream of! And watch who you keep company with, constantly spending time with people who whine about their age or who love to complain will drag you down. Make friends with people who are younger than you, and/or people who have a zest for life regardless of their age. Avoid getting stuck in a rut, have a purpose and ongoing goals, laugh a lot, meditate, practice yoga, step outside your comfort zone, and engage in activities that make you feel passionate and alive.