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Healthy Aging–Senior Moments Anyone

1.  Markers of Aging

There are many common markers of aging that we experience but we do not know why. These can help us understand what is going on in the body when we claim “senior moments.” Senior moments are things like walking into a room and forgetting why you went there; or maybe the cat’s got your tongue and you can’t find the words you’re looking for.

Some common markers of aging that go right in line with those senior moments include:

  • Loss of muscle mass and strength
  • Decreased metabolism and increased body fat percentage
  • Increased bone loss
  • Changes in cholesterol and HDL levels
  • Increased blood sugar levels
  • Imbalanced body thermostat
  • And the inability to use oxygen efficiently

2. Causes of Aging

The two main reasons why we age are oxidative stress (our bodies are rusting) and inflammation. Oxidation is a chemical reaction in which electrons or hydrogen are transferred from a substance to an oxidizing agent producing free radicals that cause cell death. This happens more consistently when there is a lack of antioxidants to scavenge these free radicals. Secondly, body wide inflammation is the body’s immune response to foreign invaders or food sensitivities. Another process that has been identified by medicine is known as glycation, where excess glucose combines with protein to fuel the inflammatory process, also contributing to cell death, 50 times over.

Prevalent reasons this happens are exposure and consumption of toxins, our genetics, poor diet and a gastrointestinal system that is out of balance (ex. A condition known as leaky gut) So why do these things have an impact? The author of Power Up Your Brain and Grain Brain, Mr. David Perlmutter, M.D., FACN, board certified neurologist and author, helps us to understand what is going on in our bodies. Basically the foods we eat, specifically the sugars and the glutens (gluten proteins from wheat type grains), create free radicals within our bodies in turn damaging our DNA and causing cell death and promote the inflammatory process. So the last stack of pancakes with maple flavored corn syrup may not be the best choice for breakfast as far as your brain in concerned. A breakfast of an egg frittata and a side of fresh fruit, would be a healthier choice to power up your brain.

Still think that what we eat doesn’t matter?

The best way to work towards keeping your brain healthy is to eat a diet full of fresh, produce (organic as much as possible), avoid eating foods high in sugar, avoid eating a lot of processed foods (look for non GMO labels), eat lean proteins (preferably wild caught or grass fed) and get in some good, healthy fats!

Stay tuned for what good, healthy fats are in one of our following blogs!

 

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