Sure, if you want to start an anti-aging regimen, you can always go the skin creams and botox route, but if you landed on this page because you follow a Paleo lifestyle or want to, that really isn’t an ideal solution for you. Besides, the only real way to combat aging is to start from the inside and make yourself healthier. There are three things you can do right now to start reversing the aging process, or at least slow it down a bit.
In general, the main causes of aging are inflammation, oxidants, starchy carbs, chemicals in packaged foods, rancid oils, insufficient vitamin and mineral intake, low-fat diets, oils high in Omega-6 fatty acids, high blood glucose levels, inadequate sleep, a sedentary lifestyle, and unhealthy gut flora. So what can you do? To put it simply:
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1) Follow a Paleo or Primal diet for the rest of your life, starting now;
2) Make some lifestyle changes; and
3) Change how you play.
Follow a Paleo or Primal Diet
Because the Paleo diet is, essentially, an anti-inflammatory diet, it is a great way to start your anti-aging lifestyle. Cut out grains, processed sugar, processed foods, vegetable oils, legumes, and diary. If you’ve done an elimination diet and have discovered you have no problems with dairy, then by all means, go with a Primal diet instead. Of course, raw dairy is best.
The other function of a Paleo/Primal diet is that it’s high in fat, low in Omega-6 fatty acids, low in processed vegetable oils, rich in anti-oxidants, high in vitamins and minerals, and low in sugar. If you do it right, it’s also high in fermented foods to aid in gut health.
To get the most anti-aging benefits, here are ten foods you should incorporate into your diet.
When you make and eat bone broth from pastured animals, you’re getting collagen and a ton of minerals like phosphorus, calcium, and magnesium.
Offal is the liver, kidneys, tripe, heart, and tongue. Some people eat brains, too, but be wary of that unless you know very well the health of the animal. Make sure any offal you eat is from pastured animals. The great thing about offal is that it is often much less expensive than muscle meat, and it offers tons of great benefits.
The Omega-3 fatty acids in fatty fish like salmon, sardines, and lake trout offer tons of anti-aging benefits. They also help protect against heart disease, stroke, and Alzheimer’s.
Kefir and/or Yogurt
Kefir is a superfood that helps to re-populate and maintain the good bacteria in the human gut. Yogurt can work the same way but that bacteria doesn’t usually thrive as well.
The shellfish family includes oysters, scallops, mussels, shrimp, crab, lobster, and clams. These are full of zinc and they’re delicious, too.
Sea vegetables are chock-full of healthy minerals like iodine, which is specifically great for thyroid health. This food group includes kelp noodles, which are great as a base for pasta, stir fries, and casseroles.
Most SAD eaters don’t eat fermented foods and their guts show it. You can either buy or make fermented foods like natto, kombucha, sauerkraut, miso, and lacto-fermented vegetables. A great condiment that is delicious and easy to make is lacto-fermented ginger carrots. Give it a try.
Coconut oil is one of those magical ingredients that you can use to cook with, make personal care products with, and even use to treat dry skin. Use cold-pressed, virgin, unrefined coconut oil.
Local, raw, unfiltered honey;
The stuff you buy at your grocery store might not even be honey, and if it is, it has nothing good left in it. Get some real honey from a local beekeeper and you’ll taste – and notice – the difference. As long as you’re not following a keto diet, a little honey won’t hurt you, and will definitely help. It’s anti-microbial, anti-allergenic, and delicious.
Even if you eat a fantastic diet full of a variety of meats, fruits, and vegetables, you still won’t get the proper nutrition you need because our soil is so depleted and because our produce has been altered compared to the way it was 100,000 years ago. Vitamins and minerals you may want to supplement with (get blood tests to be sure, but most people are likely deficient) are vitamins D3 and K2, magnesium, and fish oil. You may also want to take Vitamin C, particularly if you don’t eat a lot of fruit, and CoEnzyme Q10 especially if you don’t eat a lot of offal.
Make Some Lifestyle Changes
The main things to consider when your goal is anti-aging are to get enough sleep and reduce your stress. Sleep and stress are tied in with cortisol levels; when your stress is high and your sleep is inadequate, your cortisol levels go through the roof. This isn’t good for any part of your body. Some things you can do to reduce stress include meditation, massage, and time-management planning strategies.
Change the Way You Play
If you want to look younger, you need to exercise. This doesn’t mean you suddenly have to take up CrossFit (although that would help) or become a marathon runner. Go to the gym three or four times a week and lift weights. Do some sprints three times a week, and you’re set. You don’t have to do hour-long cardio sessions! Yoga classes are great, too, and can also be considered stress relief.
More importantly, play! Play with your kids, take up a fun after-work sport that you enjoy, and just get outside and get active.