Anti aging foods are the best quality and freshest foods that you can afford. It would make sense that fresh food is the best, right?
Well not according to grocery stores or television, who push buying food from far away lands in the middle of winter. Most of these foods are devoid of nutrients and sprayed heavily for transportation.
The holistic approach to anti aging tells us that, whenever possible, consume locally grown and in-season foods. These foods will have the most nutrition and least amount of pesticides. This is especially true if you can get local and organic.
After all, humans have survived for thousands of years because of our ability to hunt and gather whatever was available seasonally and locally.
Welcome to Fearlessly Holistic.
My name is Irma and I want to share my journey to improved health by eating whole foods, moving my body and eliminating stress as much as possible.
It is my hope to inspire you to join me in making daily changes to improve long term health. Eating fresh, seasonal food and getting some sunshine is the best way to increase longevity. But you do not want just a long life. You want a healthy, high quality long life.
I like to focus on practical information and positive thinking, as well as come cool tips that I have learned the hard way. If that sounds good to you, then be sure to sign up for my free weekly newsletter of tips for eating clean healthy foods, fixing mental health issues, and incorporating self-care into every day.
**My blog posts are my opinion and the results of things that I have tried that either worked for me or didn’t. My opinions are for informational purposes only and are not intended as medical advice. Medical advice should always be obtained from a qualified medical professional for any health conditions or symptoms associated with them**
Holistic vs. Convenience
Oddly enough, this holistic approach is the same way that people ate for thousands of years. It has only been since the invention of electricity and modern chilling techniques, as well as long distance hauling that we eat what we eat these days.
These modern convenience foods have sent us down the path of poor health. We eat foods that we would not otherwise have available to us – like grapes from Chile in the dead of winter – and they are coated in pesticides. This is the opposite of holistic.
Today, it is very much worth your while to consider holistic approaches for various reasons.
Unlike conventional anti-aging approaches, which involve the use of anti-aging creams, serums, or even drastic measures such as cosmetic surgery, holistic approaches aim to target and heal the problem that is at the root of the aging process.
This contrasts with traditional anti-aging approaches
In North America, it usually just the symptoms of the aging process that are treated. Treating symptoms means you have repeat customers; if you cure people, they will no longer be a customer. Capitalism at its finest.
The holistic approach is to evaluate and treat the entire person, which includes body, mind, and spirit.
Basically, holistic approaches to anti-aging involve slowing down the repercussions of aging in the human body by addressing key elements believed to play a significant role in unhealthy aging and ensuring the patient is returned to or kept at an optimal state of health and wellness.
Holistic approaches to anti-aging are based on various facts.
According to holism, it is not possible to remove the evidence of aging by focusing on just one of the areas of your body on which aging has evidently taken its toll.
To eliminate the effects of aging you must analyze your entire body’s condition, and consider the health of mind, body, and spirit.
Related Post: The Benefits of Eating Healthy for Beginners
Factors That Cause You To Age
Before we look at beneficial foods, we need to address the other factors to aging.
Stress, diet and sleep all affect your appearance and the rate at which you age.
These factors may cause your skin to look unhealthy. As well, add in smoking, pollution, workplace stress (which is hard to escape from!) and not drinking enough water and you have a recipe for aging.
Free radicals are unstable molecules that are an indirect cause of aging. This is because they cause inflammation in the human body, which, in turn, may lead to accelerated and unhealthy aging.
In order to prevent free radicals from damaging the body, you must consume foods that contain large amounts of antioxidants, which are nutrients that fight the effects of free radicals.
For an in-depth guide on free radicals, read this informative document by Dr. Denham Harman
According to Wikipedia, inflammation is “part of the complex biological response of body tissues to harmful stimuli, such as pathogens, damaged cells, or irritants, and is a protective response involving immune cells, blood vessels, and molecular mediators.
The function of inflammation is to eliminate the initial cause of cell injury, clear out necrotic cells and tissues damaged from the original insult and the inflammatory process, and initiate tissue repair“.
Inflammation that is food-related means that we are eating “foods” that our body does not recognize as food.
This includes lab-created food products like vegetable oils, processed food ingredients like “natural flavors“, and fake meat. As well, foods like wheat and gluten can cause an inflammatory reaction in many people.
Sugars is also a contributor to inflammation, especially in the form of high fructose corn syrup, which is in almost all processed foods to replace more expensive table sugar.
Collagen aids in keeping skin youthful and supple, as well as your joints and tendons.
When you eat these non-foods, you body senses the invader and sends out white blood cells to eliminate it. If you eat too many of these foods over a period of time, your body cannot keep up and you start developing weird health issues, seemingly out of nowhere.
This chronic inflammation can cause adrenal fatigue, which is stress-related and ages us faster.
Smoking and/or Alcohol consumption
Inhaling smoke from a cigarette with a thousand known chemicals can’t be good. If you smoke, keep trying to quit.
It took me about 20 or 30 tries, because I lived with a smoker, so try to get your household on board to quit with you. Like dieting and exercise, it is easier with a buddy, or accountibilty partner.
When you drink, your body processes the alcohol first because it is toxic.
Drinking alcohol frequently means your body is processing these toxins frequently as well, so your liver can’t do any of its other work.
And remember, the alcohol is basically poisoning ever part of your body as it is transported around your bloodstream. This is why hangovers can be truly brutal.
Lack of Sleep
People who are stressed do not get enough sleep. Insomnia can be a sign of other problems and may require you to take a good look at what is going on in your life.
Be aware that most doctors these days will give you the depression checklist if you even whisper the word ‘insomnia’. I think most people, depressed or not, can answer enough questions to be prescribed anti-depressants. The test is made to encourage the maximum amount of people are prescribed pills.
I realize some people really need these drugs, like people with head injuries or other health concerns. I would never encourage anyone to quit medication “cold turkey” or without medical supervision. Check with your doctor first.
If you want to quit but your doctor does not want you to, consider quitting your doctor. Find a physician who wants to help you cope in healthier ways.
Anti Aging Foods
Whole Fresh Foods Highest In Antioxidants:
- Blueberries, Raspberries, Blackberries and Strawberries (watch out! strawberries are on the “dirty dozen” list of heavily sprayed foods. Try local, organic when in season)
- Apples: Red delicious, Granny Smith and Gala (apples are also on the dirty dozen list)
- Sweet cherries (also on the dirty dozen list)
- Black plums
(I have yet to discover whether the foods on the Dirty Dozen list are fresh local or imported out of season. Use your best judgment when buying produce out of season).
You could also combat the damage caused by free radicals by supplementing your diet with vitamins B, C, zinc, and magnesium.
Before you run out to buy vitamin C supplements, did you know that the food additive and supplement Ascorbic Acid, is made from high fructose corn syrup (imported from China and possibly GMO)?
It is then treated with solvents like acetone (aka nail polish remover), and sulphuric acid or sodium hydroxide to extract the ascorbic acid. Ascorbic acid is added to: fruit juices, cereals, fruit flavored candies, dried fruit, frozen fruit, and other foods that want to fortify or enhance a fruit flavor.
I mention this because you need vitamin C to make collagen.
Most (90%) vitamin C supplements are made from ascorbic acid, including products from health food stores. You will be better served buying and eating fresh foods in season, to build up your supply of vitamins and minerals.
To maintain a youthful appearance it is highly recommended to drink large quantities of pure, clean water for re-hydrating your body. Drink plenty of clear, clean water daily, to flush toxins.
Water also improves skin elasticity, and reinforces healing collagen, which will slow the manifestation of wrinkles, and sagging.
Most people require 2 liters of water daily just to keep their organs healthy. That amount is equal to eight 8 ounce glasses of water. Ideally you want tap water that has been filtered.
FYI, most municipal water has a higher standard than bottled water. Avoid bottled water whenever possible as it adds to landfills.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
In order to function correctly, your body needs essential fatty acids, including omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
These are fats that are healthy for you, and they aid the cells to function correctly and support heart health.
Omega-6 is beneficial for health but we get far too much in our modern processed food diet, and that throws off our omega-3’s.
We get too much omega-6 from unhealthy industrial seed oils
These oils are used in most processed foods as well as deep-fried foods from fast food. These oils are processed using solvents.
Mainstream medical advice is changing its thinking on saturated fats, especially since their darling “vegetable oils” turned out to be trans fats. They damage your DNA and are very heart un-healthy.
Related Post: 24 Healthy Fats
Heart disease is the #1 killer of American men and women, and it is a leading cause of death in other countries around the world.
Prevention is key to remain healthy and keep heart disease at bay through our older years.
Furthermore, fatty acids support skin health.
You can purchase quality Omega-3 supplements in most drug stores. Or better yet, go for quality fats like extra virgin olive oil, organic virgin cold pressed coconut oil, or ghee (melted butter with the milk solids removed).
And be sure to read this post by Tom Naughton on the correlation between how eating good fats can protect your skin from sunburn, and pre-mature aging.
I took krill oil supplements for 8 weeks before my fun-in-the-sun vacation last year and I did not burn after being outside all day in the sun, without sunscreen.#safetan
Foods Highest In Fatty Acids
Grains and Nuts (ignoring processed food products like wheat, which is technically a grass and not a grain)
- Peanut butter (natural/sugar free)
- Pumpkin seeds
- Kale (*Be aware that kale made the “dirty dozen” foods list in 2019, so try to get local and organic if possible)
- Brussels sprouts
- Fresh Tuna
Foods Fortified With Omega-3’s
- Flaxseed oil
- Walnut oil
- Cod liver oil
- (do not use industrial seed oils like cottonseed, canola, soybean, or corn oil. Read this post from Chris Kesser for more information)
One of the most important elements in holistic medicine is reducing stress. Stress effects the whole body and causes imbalance that leads to disease and overall ill health, and may greatly accelerate the aging process.
In holism, stress reduction is seen as central to healthy aging, and is considered a proactive effort.
Meditation, relaxation exercises, yoga, and aromatherapy are often recommended to get stress under control.
All of these tactics help to provide healing to the mind, body, and spirit and offer a balanced state for those who seek to improve their overall mental and physical wellness through younger and aging years.
Working out also helps to preserve general health, thus ensuring that you age slower and healthier. Peak physical fitness means the body is in its best shape and able to keep you strong and healthy and youthful.
Physical exercise boosts the rate of your metabolism, which ensures healthy weight management through the aging years, something of utmost importance since metabolism naturally slows as we age and weight gain becomes more probable.
Consequently, your body will not be strained by overweight and obesity, and the aging process will be slowed down.
The single best exercise for your upper body is lifting it
Remember when you were a kid, playing on monkey bars? You were doing pull up exercises without even knowing it.
Pull ups work all the muscles of your upper body, including your core and your back muscles…in one exercise!
If you can find a public park with a set of monkey bars, you have the best free exercise equipment for an upper body workout. And you get that with the added benefit of fresh air! Check out this post from Mark’s Daily Apple on how to get started with pull ups.
The two best exercises for your lower body are…
Squats and heel raises. Yes, simple. You do not need any special equipment to do these exercises except a rolled up towel for the heel raises.
I use a program called SlowBurn Fitness Revolution, which has the most intense exercise for squats. You only have to do a few to get massive benefits to your leg muscle strength. You can check it out at this website. I recommend the DVD 3-pack found on this page (scroll down).
I was doing the squats and heel raises as directed for about 3 months when I went for massage therapy for an issue with sciatica pain. My RMT was amazed at how strong my thigh muscles were by then. And they still are with very little maintenance.
Poor Blood Circulation
Poor blood circulation is another factor that causes you to age. I am writing about circulations issues that are not related to specific diseases, but rather circulation issues related to lack of movement or stress.
Contributing factors are smoking, lack of physical exercise, stress, diabetes and obesity and can lead to varicose veins, blood clots and cognitive function decline, among others.
Here are ten things that you can do to improve your circulation:
- If you smoke, quit
- Avoid alcohol
- Move around more. If you have a desk job, try walking around on your breaks rather than sitting in the break room
- Drink lots of water, which flushes toxins and keeps blood flowing properly
- As much as possible, reduce stress. Try meditating; YouTube has tons of guided meditations to help you relax.
- Do regular stretching
- Get a massage from a Registered Massage Therapist
- Dry brush your skin, which also makes it look healthier and makes it softer by getting rids of dead cells on the surface.
- Eat iron rich foods. Meat contains the most bio-available form of iron, heme.
- Eat plenty of green, leafy veggies for the folate, which is essential in the formation of red blood cells and haemoglobin production.
Practitioners of holistic medicine often employ cayenne pepper to boost circulation. Cayenne pepper enables blood to circulate more freely by dilating the blood vessels, thus carrying necessary oxygen and nutrients through the body.
Cayenne pepper has additional benefits as well: it strengthens your immune system and thins blood, reinforces the heart and regulates blood pressure and palpitations. Add cayenne to your foods or look for pain relieving creams that contain cayenne.
In conclusion, there are numerous holistic approaches to reducing the rate at which you age and to remain in optimal health through the aging years.
Holistic approaches never just address symptoms of specific health problems, but instead aim to return or keep the patient in a state of balanced health between mind, body, and spirit. Holism targets overall wellness, and when we are well, we only get better with age.
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Until next time, here’s to our health!