7 Simple Steps to Looking and Feeling 10 Years Younger

This is a guest post by Sukie Baxter.

Growing older is inevitable, but that doesn’t mean you have to feel like you were born when rocks were soft and dirt was newly discovered. Have you ever heard the saying that age is simply a mindset? Well, this is half true. Certainly, if you focus on being happy and leading an active life, you’ll be less likely to notice the years passing. But what about when age related conditions such as arthritis, cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure set in? It’s difficult to defy your chronological age when physical dis-ease is holding you back from doing the things you love.

But, believe it or not, there’s an underlying thread connecting not only these conditions but also depression, memory loss, fatigue, digestive disease, fibromyalgia, allergies, lupus, psoriasis, diabetes and autoimmune disorders. Chronic, systemic inflammation
is the root cause of all diseases and also triggers early aging. In fact, elevated C-reactive protein, an inflammatory marker, is the strongest predictor of a future heart attack, much stronger than cholesterol levels!

So, what causes systemic inflammation? There are several factors, but fortunately, all of them can be controlled or eliminated. Below are seven keys to reducing systemic inflammation, which will leave you with fewer aches and pains, younger looking skin, a stronger immune system and more energy for life!

1 . Consume foods that are raw or cooked at low temperatures.

Cooking food on high heat chemically alters the sugars and fats, creating glycotoxins, the same residual matter produced in your skin and joint tissues as a result of normal aging. Consuming foods high in glycotoxins – i.e. cooked at high temperatures – promotes the formation of glycotoxins in our tissues, accelerating the aging process and contributing to increased levels of systemic inflammation, according a National Academy of Sciences study.

A Mt. Sinai Medical Center study compared levels of glycotoxins in two groups of participants. One group followed a normal western diet while the other group avoided grilling, frying or baking their food in favor of poaching, stewing, or steaming their meals. The latter group showed a 60% reduction in blood levels of inflammatory markers after four months, so it stands to reason that a healthy dose of raw veggies each day will help keep the doctor away!

2 . Eliminate food sensitivities.

Allergies first happen on the cellular level with the production of white blood cells to fend off the ‘foreign invader.’ As we age, foods that didn’t used to bother us, like dairy or wheat, can become problematic. Constant consumption of foods that create cell-level inflammation can lead to systemic issues down the road. If you suspect that you have a food allergy, consult a qualified naturopath who can assist you with an elimination diet to determine which foods are the culprits, and then avoid those like the plague.

3 . Eliminate sugar, starch and refined carbohydrates.

Anything white or foods that can be bleached white like bread, flour, rice, corn, sugar, cereals, baked goods, etc, will cause inflammation. Carbohydrates create an insulin spike that puts your body on red alert, causing the production of arachidonic acid, a pro-inflammatory agent. Look for foods with a low glycemic index that will not cause insulin spikes to keep your inflammation levels in check.

4 . Take magnesium!

A 2005 article in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition demonstrated that as magnesium levels fall, C-reactive protein levels rise. Even worse, the study found that most adults consume less than the daily recommended amount of magnesium (between 310 and 420 mg).

There are no foods that contain large amounts of magnesium, and this might be responsible for our nationwide deficiency. We are constantly reminded by the dairy industry to get enough calcium and by the orange juice companies to drink up for vitamin C, but no one is pushing magnesium, so we don’t really think about it. Also, most of us now drink bottled or softened water instead of well or spring water that is rich in magnesium.

Since dietary magnesium can be difficult to absorb, I recommend using transdermal magnesium oil from Ancient Minerals for direct delivery into the blood stream.

5 . Reduce stress and get more sleep.

There’s good stress, like that of entering a sports competition or going on a first date, and there’s bad stress. Bad stress tends to be chronic, like a cranky boss, a job you hate, financial worries or even a poor
diet. Chronic physical and psychological pressure results in elevated levels of the stress hormone cortisol. High levels of cortisol are linked to increased systemic inflammation. In addition, a study conducted by the Emory University School of Medicine in partnership with the Morehouse School of Medicine found that acute sleep deprivation resulted in elevated inflammatory hormones.

So, it stands to reason that taking time to alleviate stress will result in increased levels of health. Taking magnesium, as I mentioned in #4, will help you to sleep more soundly, but there are other strategies you can use to reduce stress such as getting regular massages and diffusing stress relieving essential oils into your home or office (I recommend a blend of lavender and peppermint…smells delicious!).

6 . Take systemic enzymes.

If you’re suffering from painful conditions like arthritis, back and neck pain or muscle stiffness, systemic enzymes will be your best friend. Whereas most people treat pain with NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory
drugs) like ibuprofen and aspirin, these medications only cover up the pain without addressing the root cause. Systemic enzymes, on the other hand, work holistically throughout the body to clean up excessive fibrin. When fibrin is too thick, it restricts blood flow, which slows healing and makes it impossible for your circulatory system to remove metabolic waste that causes further pain and inflammation. Systemic enzymes are available at most health food and supplement stores.

7 . Soak up the sunshine!

Whenever somebody moves to my hometown of Seattle, the first thing I suggest is to start taking supplemental vitamin D right away! We have one of the highest incidences in multiple sclerosis in the entire nation, and it’s
all because cloudy skies cause vitamin D deficiency. But we’re not the only ones!

According to a recent study from the Archives of Internal Medicine, 75% of Americans aren’t getting enough of the sunshine vitamin. A nutrition science researcher at the University of Missouri discovered that a slight drop in vitamin D levels caused increased inflammation even in healthy women.

You can get more vitamin D by exposing 25% of your skin to sunlight for 10 minutes a day, three days per week. Consuming fatty fish is a good dietary source of vitamin D, or you can choose to take dietary supplements. The amount you need to take depends
on your geographical location. Those who live in cloudy cities (like Seattle) will need to take significantly more vitamin D.

Clearly, inflammation is on the rise, but that doesn’t mean you have to be a victim. By taking simple steps to eliminate pro-inflammatory agents from your diet and environment and feeding your body the right nutrients, you can avoid a lot of the common age related symptoms. That means more life in your years, so get out there and play!

Sukie Baxter is an anti aging and longevity specialist who helps you defy your age! You can get tons of rejuvenation secrets and discover your younger, happier self at www.SukieBaxter.com!

Ultimate Antioxidant Recipes

This is a guest post by Katrina Robinson.

It can be difficult finding great vegetarian recipes that are not only chocked full with antioxidants but also taste fabulous. What’s so special about antioxidants, you might ask. Antioxidants such as Vitamin C and Vitamin A help to prevent and slow the oxidative damage that is done to your body. When your body uses oxygen, the body’s cells produce free radicals, which can lead to heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Antioxidants help to prevent and repair damage that has been or could be done by these free radicals. So you can see why they’re so important! But now the trick is to find recipes that also taste great…well, I’ve found two fantastic recipes that taste fantastic and are filled with antioxidants! These recipes are for those who aren’t all raw. Not all the ingredients are vegan but they’re a great example of how to pack a lot of nutritional value into a recipe. Check them out below!

Baked Apples with Walnuts and Dried Fruit

You’ll need the following for this recipe:

6 medium Golden Delicious apples
1 cup chopped walnuts
½ cup of dried cranberries (raisins work, too)
½ cup apricot preserves
1 ½ cup apple cider
¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon lemon zest
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly coat a shallow baking dish with cooking spray.
2. Core all of your apples, creating a 1-inch-wide hole. Peel the upper third of the apples. Score the flesh about ¼-inch deep around the circumference where the peeled and unpeeled portions meet. Now cut a shallow crater around the top of the hole. This will help to hold the preserves that will go there. Set apples aside.
3. Put walnuts, dried cranberries, and coconut in a food processor and chop. Add lemon zest, maple syrup, nutmeg, and cinnamon and pulse several times to combine the ingredients.
4. Put the apples in the baking dish and press ¼ cup of the filling into each cavity. Spoon a tablespoon of preserves into the crater you created in each apple.
5. Combine the butter and apple cider in a saucepan and keep over low heat until the butter has melted. Now remove it from the stove and stir in the vanilla. Pour the liquid all over the apples.
6. Cover the apples with aluminum foil and bake on your oven’s center rack for thirty minutes. Remove the foil and baste the apples, then continue to bake (uncovered) for twenty to thirty-five more minutes, basting every ten minutes, until the apples are tender.
7. Serve and enjoy!

Vegan Spicy Beet Soup

You’ll need the following for this recipe:

6 medium beets (with skin; greens and stems removed)
2 cups water
1 ½ cup vegan vegetable bouillon broth
1 cup red wine
1 white onion, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
½ cup vegan soy sour cream
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 cups beet greens and stems, chopped
2 medium chipotle chilies in adobo sauce

1. Put the beets, vegetables bouillon broth, and wine into a large soup pot and add water.
2. Bring to a boil and simmer, covered, for forty-five minutes to one hour.
3. Remove beets with a slotted spoon. Reserve the cooking liquid in the soup pot.
4. Once beets have cooled, coarsely chop. Set aside ½ cup of ½-inch diced beets for garnish.
5. Heat olive oil in saucepan over medium heat.
6. Add onion and brown sugar.
7. Saute for two minutes until sugar is dissolved.
8. Add the onion and brown sugar mixture, the chopped beets, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, soy sour cream, and chilies to the beet liquid in your soup pot.
9. Stir the mixture together and add to a blender in batches, mixing it until it’s smooth.

These are just two vegetarian recipes that are full of antioxidants and are downright tasty, too! Katrina Robinson is a freelance writer who blogs about a wide array of topics, from health to beauty to colon cleansing.