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Being Young, Feeling Young, Looking Young

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Antioxidants for a Youthful Appearance

Those who continue to look young in their 50s, 60s, 70s , and beyond usually have learned many secrets and strategies for keeping themselves healthy and well. For the most part, those secrets are not found in the bottles, tubes, and jars whose sales account for many billions of dollars each year.

One key secret is eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. No one needed to be reminded of this 75 years ago. In those days produce was an essential dietary component. And for the most part the produce people age was grown locally. Today we have so many choices, not all of them healthful, and we need to be sure to eat produce that is fresh rather than packaged in cans.

Colorful fresh produce contains high levels of antioxidants, those small biochemicals that pack a big punch. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals, naturally occurring end-products of metabolism that destroy cells and may even cause cancer if they're not removed promptly.

In fact, a recent article in Ecology Letters pointed to an even more remarkable power of antioxidants. Researchers were studying brightly colored plumage on birds (which signal their efficacy as mates). Their work confirmed that more colorful males are better able to protect their sperm from oxidative stress. The article reported that sperm quality in less colorful males improved when antioxidants (specifically, carotenoids) were added to their diet.

In short, antioxidants provided by fresh produce have all kinds of life-extending benefits!

Poets throughout the centuries have helped us see that being young is a state of mind. That special state of mind impels us to take actions on our own behalf, actions that have specific consequences for our health and well-being.

But so many people believe in the power of the dollar. They spend vast sums every year on anti-aging, beauty, and cosmetic products in the false hope of being able to purchase remedies that will restore their fading youth.

Others hasten the loss of their youthful glow. Cigarettes, alcohol, and negative mental constructs such as resentment, jealousy, and anger all work to rapidly break down our health and vigor. Negative emotions are especially insidious. Even if a person is healthy in other respects - eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly - stress, fear, anguish, and ill-will relentlessly add invisible workloads to the day, sapping our strength and aging us prematurely.

People who look and feel ten years younger than the age revealed on their birth certificates have learned how to create a positive mental attitude. It's amazing how much bounce you can add to your step when you intentionally set about having a great day. Of course, this is not merely smoke and mirrors. Those who are intending to be young inside and outside take the necessary steps. They don't eat doughnuts (except on their free food days). They rarely consume fast food. They do eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. They do exercise regularly, some even doing some form of vigorous physical activity five or six times each week.1,2,3

These young-at-heart people get sufficient rest. They are willing to give up the attitudes, positions, and annoyances that do not serve their well-being. And many of them have discovered a natural healing method and philosophy that helps them to be well and stay well - chiropractic care.

Chiropractic is a smart, efficient form of health care. Chiropractic care helps remove physiologic obstacles to good health and helps your body learn how to maintain high levels of functioning. After beginning chiropractic care many people comment that they feel as if they've let go of a big weight they didn't know they'd been carrying around. People say they feel lighter and they have more energy. They sleep better. They even feel as if they're taller.

Others comment that they've become more effective at work and in their personal lives. As a result of chiropractic care their bodies are expending much less energy in wasteful and unnecessary physiologic activities. The result is more available resources to do - efficiently and well - what is necessary each day out in the world.

One wonderful outcome is the ongoing recovery of the youthful appearance and outlook we always want to maintain.

1Egger GJ, et al: The emergence of "lifestyle medicine" as a structured approach for management of chronic disease. Med J Aust 190(3):143-145, 2009
2Reinehr T, Roth CL: A new link between skeleton, obesity and insulin resistance: relationships between osteocalcin, leptin and insulin resistance in obese children before and after weight loss. Int J Obes (Lond) Epub Jan 12, 2010
3Cohen DL, et al: Cerebral blood flow effects of yoga training: preliminary evaluation of 4 cases. J Altern Complement Med 15(1):9-14, 2009
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