How to Get the Upper Hand on the Two Types of Aging

aa-6.jpgBy easing into a good anti-aging diet and dealing with harmful environmental factors, we can begin to achieve much better anti-aging results in far less time

There are two types of aging processes at work that make us feel and look older, and each presents its own set of problems. By understanding that we age from the inside out — called ‘intrinsic’ aging — as well as from the outside in — called ‘extrinsic’ aging — we can get a better handle on achieving our anti-aging goals.

Most of us have our attention on the intrinsic aging process, the supposedly natural progression into old age — along with all its signs and discomforts — caused by our unique internal, genetic programming. This is the process that gave rise to comments like, “As far as aging goes, it matters who your parents were.” While this is true in many respects, it’s not completely out of our control.

Science has opened new doors leading to exciting new solutions that promise someday to alter even genetic programming. Meanwhile, a good anti-aging diet, exercise program and progressive mental and emotional outlook can all have a profoundly positive effect on changing intrinsic aging processes formerly considered absolute.

Extrinsic aging, on the other hand, comes from all those external stress factors in our environment that add to the burden on our bodies and minds that accelerates aging.

Here are some of the extrinsic aging factors that any anti-aging program needs to seriously confront and try to deal with:

  • Polluted air and water
  • Processed foods loaded with additives and preservatives
  • GMOs (genetically modified organisms) a part of most foods today
  • Depleted soils that yield mineral-deficient fruits, vegetables, roots and legumes
  • Fruits and vegetables laden with toxic chemicals
  • Synthetic rather than natural hormone supplements
  • Overuse of antibiotics and other drugs — most or all of which have side effects ranging from mild to severe
  • Beef, pork, lamb and chicken raised in cages and force-fed unnatural processed foods that contain even more drugs, hormones and antibiotics
  • Fish from man-made ‘fish farms’ fed unnatural processed foods that contain even more drugs and dangerous toxins
  • Seafood with high mercury levels
  • Households crammed with poisons used to clean our dishes, floors, walls and clothes, not to mention toxic scents and perfumes
  • Sedentary lifestyles that speed the road to aging

The solution to these and many other extrinsic aging factors — as well as the intrinsic aging factors mentioned earlier — rests solely in our hands. Knowing that some of our favorite foods, habits, hobbies and haunts may be shaving years off our lives means that we can, if we really want to, begin to turn things around.

Something as simple as shopping for organic meat and produce can make a significant difference in how we feel in just a few days. Adding a good multivitamin and mineral supplement with special anti-aging ingredients like lutein and lycopene is another very good start.

Another essential may be ginkgo biloba, which can sharpen our minds and improve our memories. Ginkgo is produced from the maidenhair tree — a plant that is utterly unique in nature. In China, where it has been used therapeutically for centuries, there are ginkgo trees that are said to be 1,500 years old still standing near ancient temples. Ginkgo’s special flavinoids enhance circulation to the brain and extremities, provide antioxidant protection against free radicals, and protect against platelet formation (clotting) in our arteries. And various recent trials indicate that ginkgo shows promise in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

There is a wealth of information on this website about nutrition and lifestyle choices that can contribute to health and longevity. Getting started is as easy as looking what’s on your plate and asking, “Is this part of a sensible anti-aging diet?”

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