We all hate the bodily changes that come with age. How is it that we all feel 20 in our minds, yet are betrayed by those wrinkles on the face in the mirror? You can’t stop the clock, but there are plenty of steps that you can take to look and feel great as the hands keep moving!
You may think that this is going to be a fluff piece about getting rid of wrinkles, but you’re wrong.
Aging is more than just getting a few lines around your eyes; it affects the way you move and the way you think. Being able to move well and think quickly may be two of your greatest tools in a survival situation. Looking young while you’re using those tools is just a bonus!
It’s true that if you don’t move it, you lose it. You need to be doing at least 30 minutes of cardio and 30 minutes of strength training at least 3 days per week in order to maintain endurance and muscle mass.
The immediate benefits of being physically fit in a survival situation are obvious, but exercising also helps keep your bones healthy. Oh, and you know those saggy areas? It gets rid of those, too.
Exercise doesn’t necessarily have to take place at a gym; you can walk or jog around the neighborhood, do lawn work or housework, or play a sport. Hiking is a great way to get your exercise and to teach your kids survival skills at the same time.
Smoking cigarettes ages your body at an astounding rate. It creates wrinkles around your mouth and creates oxidation in your body that leads to other forms of aging such as wrinkles and mental decline. Obviously, it inhibits your ability to breathe, too.
Smoking is the antithesis to physical fitness and youth and will make you look and feel old way before your time. Quit.
Yes, eating well is the solution to everything, it seems, but it’s true. The antioxidants in fruits and vegetables fight aging at the cellular level by attaching to free radicals that contribute to disease and the signs of aging. Proper nutrition is your first step in looking and feeling younger naturally.
We’ll talk a bit more about good anti-aging foods in the coming paragraphs.
Coconut oil was a fad five years ago. Now it’s a staple in many pantries and medicine cabinets because it works. Coconut oil has been used for centuries by Mediterranean and Caribbean women as moisturizers, and the results are amazing. Those women look young forever.
It’s a natural sunscreen and moisturizer, both of which contribute to young, healthy skin. Coconut oil is great as a moisturizer, but its anti-aging properties extend well beyond that.
Coconut oil is a medium-chain triglyceride, which means that it’s processed by your body more as a sugar than as a fat so it’s a good source of quick energy. It also doesn’t raise your bad cholesterol, so it helps keep your cardiovascular system healthy. Oh, and it’s obviously vegetarian, of that’s a concern for you.
Make your own soaps, deodorants, toothpaste, and skin care items using coconut oil as a base to save money, avoid chemicals, and look great!
Yogurt helps you stay young in a couple of ways. It provides good bacteria, known as probiotics, that keep your gut healthy and your digestive tract functioning smoothly. It’s also a good source of protein, which helps keep your skin and hair looking great.
Yogurt can be used on your skin, too. The lactic acid in it acts as a mild acid peel that sloughs off old, gray skin and lets new skin shine through. You can even make yogurt at home, so it will be available as long as you have access to cow or goat milk in a survival situation.
Vitamin C, especially in the form of citrus fruits, is a great tool to have in your anti-aging arsenal.
First, vitamin C helps your body produce collagen, one of the two proteins that are most associated with aging. Collagen helps to hold your skin in place, for lack of a better explanation, so that it doesn’t begin to sag.
Next, vitamin C helps in the production of elastin, the other anti-aging protein. Elastin is what keeps your skin stretchy and pliable so that it bounces back instead of just hanging there loosely.
Vitamin C is also a powerful antioxidant that helps fight those free radicals that we talked about earlier.
Foods rich in vitamin c include berries, sweet potatoes, leafy greens, red, yellow and orange peppers, tomatoes and citrus fruits. Include plenty of these in your survival garden to help you stay young and healthy.
Vitamins B and E promote collagen production, too. Shoot for plenty of green leafy veggies, cauliflower, broccoli, beans, nuts, and seeds.
Yes, I realize that I already discussed citrus fruits in terms of vitamin C. What I didn’t mention is that citrus juice is acidic and makes a great facial peel. Mix it with honey and milk or yogurt and it makes one heck of a wrinkle-fighting mask.
Lemon juice also helps fade age spots. Since lemon juice is also great for canning, healing, and even making invisible ink, it’s earned a spot on your uncommon survival items list.
Gelatin is a protein that is formed when collagen breaks down, and it can also help rebuild it. Commercially, you can find it in gelatin desserts. It’s sourced from animals, including cows, pigs, fish, and poultry and is that clear layer that congeals on top of the broth when you cook it.
All of this time, you scraped that off when it could have been making you look younger!
You can also extract gelatin from cooking meat and bones until the marrow, connective tissue (aka gristle) breaks down. There are a ton of other health benefits to bone broth or beef broth besides anti-aging.
This stuff is practically magical. In addition to being a soothing agent for burns, it has many health benefits. It’s a common ingredient in many alternative remedies because it’s so versatile but when it comes to aging, it’s a must-have.
Aloe promotes collagen production and the malic acid in it improves skin elasticity and reduces wrinkles and fine lines. The zinc present in aloe shrinks pores so that your skin looks younger and there are long-chain sugar molecules called mucopolysaccharides that promote collagen production and keep your skin moist.
If you think about it, these traits are probably what make aloe so great for burns and healing, too.
Seriously, when it comes to skin aging, the monkeys have it right. Bananas are rich in potassium and vitamins B, C, and E, which all contribute to great skin. Since they’re packed with antioxidants that stop aging from the inside, feel free to eat even more bananas than you smear on your face.
Drinking a glass of red wine daily can help you stay young. The antioxidants, particularly resveratrol, have been shown to reduce the signs of aging such as wrinkles, and it also promotes heart health and fights wrinkles from the inside.
Personally, I agree with the research that says the relaxing effect of a glass of red wine helps fight aging and disease. Cheers. Relax, have a glass of wine, and feel yourself getting younger. Want to have some real fun? Make your own wine.
This little green gem isn’t called a superfood for nothin’. It’s packed with healthy fats that promote brain health and antioxidants that fight wrinkle-causing free radicals.
Avocados are also rich in vitamins and minerals, including vitamins B, C, E, K, selenium, zinc, folate, and beta-carotene that nourish and repair damaged cells while promoting the growth of new cells.
They’re great for you internally and externally. Incorporate them into your diet and use them in your facial masks.
Brain health is a huge part of remaining young and sharp. It’s also what may keep you alive in a survival situation. Your brain quite literally functions on Omega 3 fatty acids, and it’s estimated that at least 70 percent of Americans are deficient.
Omega 3s build brain cell membranes, promote new brain cell production, reduce brain inflammation, and actively work to prevent dementia and the chemical disruptions that cause depression and other mood disorders.
Physically, omega 3s help prevent such diseases as arthritis and also help keep your skin looking great. I could go on and on about how necessary omega 3s are to your health and longevity but that’s a completely different article. Some good sources of omega 3s include fatty fish such as salmon and tuna, flax seeds, eggs, and even some legumes.
We all want to look marvelously youthful but more importantly, we want to remain healthy, mobile, and alert. There are many great foods that contribute to overall health, but remember that there are things to avoid, too.
Fast food, processed foods, fried foods and fatty foods (unless it’s good fat) cause free radicals that contribute to disease and wrinkles. These garbage foods work as hard to make you look and feel old as the good foods do to make you young and healthy.
Skip the drive-thru and grab a bag of black cherries (which should also definitely be on your list!) on your way home or to play some baseball. Move it, don’t lose it!
If you have any other great ideas for staying young naturally, tell us about it in the comments section below!
This article has been written by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia.