The fountain of youth remains elusive when you’re not looking in the right place. To unleash the proverbial geyser, start by focusing on anti-aging nutrients, and rejuvenate from within.
Staying young is about far more than how you look; it’s about how you feel. Taking care of what’s inside with anti-aging supplements and quality nutrition can have a profound influence on aging and your ability to both feel and look younger.
Aging is inevitable, but there are things you can do right now that will slow that process. Keep them up, and you’ve got a better chance of aging gracefully without being bogged down by “normal” symptoms of aging.
10 Essential Nutrients and Supplements for Better Aging
Muscle mass plays a major role in aging. It promotes independence and better balance and offers some protection for bones and joints. The problem is that most aging people aren’t getting enough protein to help build it. A protein supplement can help ensure you’re getting the protein you need to build and maintain muscle mass.
Muscle begins a natural decline after age 40 at a rate of one to two percent per year. Over the course of 15 or 20-plus years, that can leave a person rather weak, and put them at risk for a host of troubles.
Many professionals believe that current protein recommendations are far too low. For older individuals, experts say that daily protein consumption should be roughly 1.2 grams per kilogram of bodyweight. A scoop or two of whey protein powder each day provides you with an extra 24 to 50 grams to help you reach your targets.
Protein’s benefits don’t stop and start with muscle, either. It is needed in virtually every cell in your body and helps promote the growth of hair, nails, and skin and a healthy immune system.
Other good sources of protein include beef, chicken, yogurt (Greek and Icelandic), fish, and quinoa.
Multivitamins might not be specifically targeted towards slower aging, but they do help ensure you’re getting all of the nutrients you need each day. When that is happening, your body is getting the tools it needs to stay as healthy as possible.
A multivitamin cannot substitute for a healthy diet and lifestyle, but it can help fill nutritional needs where you’re coming up a little short.
Choose your multivitamin wisely, however. The dietary supplement industry is under-regulated by the FDA, so third-party-tested brands are always best.
3. Coenzyme Q10
Coenzyme Q10, or CoQ10, declines with age. That’s important because this powerful antioxidant provides energy for all of your cells. When your cells have more energy, they are better equipped to stay strong and withstand any abuse.
CoQ10is proven to reduce oxidative stress that can accelerate the aging process. It works by neutralizing free radicals to protect cells from harm.
Research exists to support its use in certain measurements of aging, including quality of life, fewer hospital visits, and slower declines in mental and physical performance.
If you elect to use CoQ10, choose ubiquinol, and not ubiquinone. The former is thought to be the better antioxidant.
Food sources of CoQ10include pork, beef, chicken, fatty fish, spinach, broccoli, oranges, strawberries, peanuts, lentils, and soybeans.
4. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
These healthy fats may offer a series of anti-aging effects. There is evidence that they can reduce inflammation, promote better blood flow, improve cholesterol, and lower blood pressure.
The best sources of omega-3s are fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, sardines, and tuna. The fats are also in walnuts and some other plant-based foods, but in rather negligible amounts.
If you’re unable to eat two three-ounce servings of fatty fish per week, a supplement is recommended.
Curcumin is the active compound in turmeric, the spice that gives curry its taste and color. And it may have a powerful anti-aging effect.
Its benefits likely have to do with some unique antioxidant abilities.
A process known as cellular senescence occurs when cells stop dividing. Over time, these cells can accumulate and accelerate the aging process. There is evidence that curcumin may activate compounds that help delay cellular senescence to promote longevity.
This effect may explain the negative correlation between curcumin intake and risk of age-related cognitive decline.
You can add curcumin into your diet by using more turmeric or curry powder in your dishes. Supplements, however, may offer more effective dosing.
6. Vitamin A
Vitamin A is another powerful antioxidant that might help you put off aging in a number of ways. Two of the most notable relate to skin health and eye health.
Vitamin A can help keep your skin looking young by fighting back against sun damage. There is evidence that topical vitamin A can reduce fine wrinkling, increase smoothness, and promote consistency in skin tone. This is largely because the skin is full of retinoid receptors, and vitamin A is comprised of retinoid compounds.
Eye health degeneration is another component of aging that vitamin A may delay. Vitamin A is rich in beta-carotene, an antioxidant that reduces oxidative stress on the eyes caused by light.
Sweet potatoes, blueberries, carrots, cantaloupe, broccoli, salmon, cheese, and eggs are all fantastic sources.
When taking a fat-soluble supplement like vitamin A, follow the directions on the bottle or talk to your doctor before using. When taken at high doses for extended periods, such products can have toxic effects.
7. Vitamin C
Vitamin C can offer many benefits for anti-aging. As a powerful antioxidant, it helps protect your cells from free radical damage and limits inflammation. Both of these factors play a massive role in aging inside and out.
One unique function that vitamin C may possess is an ability stimulate collagen production.
Your skin and joints need collagen to stay strong. There is some evidence that an association exists between vitamin C consumption and fewer wrinkles.
Collagen may help keep the skin hydrated, strong, and elastic.
Vitamin C is an abundant nutrient found in a host of fruits and vegetables. Some of the densest sources of this anti-aging nutrient are blueberries, strawberries, bell peppers, spinach, and broccoli.
There is also some evidence that supplementing directly with collagen may promote healthier skin and joints. Although more work is required, early findings suggest that collagen may:
- Slow muscle loss and speed up fat loss in elderly men when combined with weight training three times per week
- Improve skin elasticity in middle-aged women
- Help lessen joint pain
Collagen is found in most meat products. Bone broths may offer the nutrient in extra amounts.
9. Vitamin B12
The older a person gets, the more difficult it is for their body to absorb vitamin B12. This often leads to deficiency, with symptoms affecting an estimated 40% of people over 60 years old.
Supplementing with vitamin B12 may prevent symptoms commonly associated with “normal aging,” like cognitive decline (memory loss) and mobility problems.
Vitamin B12 is only found in animal foods, so for vegetarians and vegans, supplements and fortified foods are essential. You can get B12 from fish, meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy.
10. Vitamin E
Vitamin E is yet another antioxidant that can benefit skin health. Benefits include:
- Tissue repair
- Moisture retention
- UV ray protection
- Strengthening of skin cell membranes
- Preservation of the skin’s natural oil barrier to create a healthful glow
You can find vitamin E in a host of healthy-fat foods including almonds, walnuts, and avocado. It’s also in leafy green vegetables.
A Healthy, Balanced Diet Is Flush with Anti-Aging Nutrients
A healthy, balanced diet and an active lifestyle are the best ways to prevent the symptoms of aging. In some cases, anti-aging supplements may be able to fill in holes where your diet is lacking, or may even help treat specific conditions. Talk to your doctor about your specific needs.
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