Sunday, February 6, 2011

Graceful Aging & A More Youthful You

I always find it interesting how terms like "graceful aging" and "a more youthful you" are used in order to sell beauty products that seek to minimize age and aging. Its only graceful if its hidden, I guess. Botox has really changed mass-media images of women over the age of 40, I think. Plastic surgery leaves that tight, taut look whereas box simply freezes the face in place. Botulism, the agent used in Botox is one of the most deadly poisons on Earth, yet even I have though: "well, maybe when I'm in my late 40's or 50's, just to see." Bad thought, Thealogian.

Natural Health has an article up right now on four "health boosters" that is couched in these terms--they will lead to a more youthful you--yet the four "health boosters" they are talking about are really good things: RESVERATROL, OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS, ANTIOXIDANTS, and CoQ10.

All of these compounds or health boosters can be found in sustainably grown, healthy foods. What is there to object to? Well, I don't object to their very helpful definitions (pasted below), but its the how these nutrients are talked about that make me feel uncomfortable. They are these utilitarian things that will combat the reality of aging--the reality, really, that your body changes over time. The truth is, you will age and you will die one day and eye creme rich with resveratrol will not make you immortal, but in the meantime, eat some chia seeds and leafy-greens, their omega's and antioxidants are good for you. Eating things that are good for you is not just about your face, but about how you feel, inside and out. Like the Fat Nutritionist recommends, check into your self-understanding of "feeling good" and "feeling like crap" when you eat, when you exercise, when you get enough or too little sleep. Paying attention is the first step toward feeling well.

Health Booster Definitions:

What it is: A powerful, naturally occurring polyphenol found in the stems, seeds and skin of red wine grapes, and other plants.
What it does: Research suggests that resveratrol boosts energy; inhibits the development of cancer (including breast cancer); may help prevent heart disease; could be linked to a reduced risk of imflammation and blood clotting; and according to a Harvard University study, it might even slow the aging process. Resveratrol also helps fight environmental toxins to keep skin supple and reduce wrinkles.
To eat: Peanut butter, red grapes, red and white wine, red grape juice, blueberries, cranberries

What they are: Unsaturated fatty acids that the body needs to function and stay healthy.
What they do: Omega-3s can reduce your risk of heart disease by 30 percent; they soothe inflammation; regulate cholesterol; alleviate symptoms of depression; and help keep your skin glowing.
To eat: Salmon, rainbow trout, flaxseed, walnuts, tuna, anchovies, sardines

What they are: Nutrients (vitamins and minerals found in foods) as well as enzymes(proteins in your body that assist in chemical reactions). Vitamins A, C, and E are biggies.
What they do: Antioxidants help delay aging and reduce our vulnerability to cancer, heart disease, and diabetes; they also help reduce inflammation and may stop pigment formation (think age spots); antioxidants also help keep skin bright and supple.
To eat: Spinach, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, prunes, raisins, kale, pumpkin seeds

4. CoQ10
What it is: Ubiquinone, also calledCoenzyme Q10 or CoQ10, is a natural, powerful antioxidant that’s naturally produced in the body. It’s found in cell membranes in the heart, kidneys, lungs, spleen, liver, adrenal glands, and the pancreas. Coenzyme Q10 is essential to our health, but unfortunately, our body’s level of the enzyme decreases with age.
What it does: Like all antioxidants, CoQ10 can help boost heart health and cut your cancer risk; it can also reduce the incidence of migraines by up to 50 percent, and fights periodontal disease. It keeps skin firm and smooth, and reduces the severity of wrinkles.
To eat: Pistachios, walnuts, soybean and rapeseed oil, mackerel, tuna

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