Wish you could age backward? You know – become your own version of Benjamin Button? Well, to a degree, you can! Essentially, to reverse the signs of aging (and become a more youthful, radiant version of yourself), in today’s guide, you’ll discover two of the secrets to anti-aging: antioxidants and autophagy.
What are antioxidants?
To start with, antioxidants are one of the most important forms of vital nutrients that your diet (and even skincare regime) should incorporate. These super-powerful youth-boosting natural molecules work to combat free radicals that happen in your cells. In non-scientific terms, think of it like the superheroes fighting (and winning against) the bad guys that wreak havoc on your system. You get the picture.
As explained by Harvard Health, ” “Antioxidant” is a general term for any compound that can counteract unstable molecules called free radicals that damage DNA, cell membranes, and other parts of cells. Because free radicals lack a full complement of electrons, they steal electrons from other molecules and damage those molecules in the process. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals by giving up some of their own electrons. In making this sacrifice, they act as a natural “off” switch for the free radicals. This helps break a chain reaction that can affect other molecules in the cell and other cells in the body.”
So, now that you understand the fundamentals of antioxidants, you’re probably asking yourself – how can I add them into my routine? Well, it’s quite simple! To start with, plant-based foods (such as vegetables and fruits) contain a high amount of antioxidants.
A few of my favorite superfoods (that regularly get touted in articles and research as the “must-have” foods for healthy living) include broccoli, kale, garlic, onions, sweet potatoes, blueberries, and grapes. These are a few of the go-to foods that I stock in my refrigerator every week. Not to mention, I focus on clean beauty products that are infused with antioxidant-based ingredients, to boost their efficacy.
In addition to plant-based foods, another high source of antioxidants is found in green tea. Not only does this help to boost your energy (naturally), but it’s also incredibly powerful in defending your body against unhealthy or potentially cancerous cells, thanks to the ECGC and polyphenols. In addition to which, green tea (and these other superfoods) are known to boost your body’s natural autophagy process, which is the second secret to anti-aging.
What is autophagy?
A few weeks ago, I learned about the concept of autophagy through a renowned wellness supplement CEO and best-selling author, Naomi Whittel (who wrote the book Glow15: A Science-Based Plan to Lose Weight, Revitalize Your Skin, and Invigorate Your Life). As I love learning about nutrition, wellness, and strategies for looking (and feeling) our best, I found her research to be incredibly inspiring.
In her must-read book, she explains how our body naturally undergoes a process called autophagy, which essentially helps to detoxify and renew our cells. Imagine it’s like your body’s built-in clean-up crew that comes in every day to throw out the trash and tidy up what’s left.
Well, the reason why learning how to turn on/off our autophagy process is that it’s directly linked with our body’s ability to go into peak performance mode (or not). It not only helps to prevent illnesses and diseases, but it also helps our skin glow, enhances our metabolic function (and burns fat), and reverses our biological age.
She says, “If waste and toxins are not properly disposed of, our cell functions degrade and decline, resulting in everything from dull skin to lackluster energy to weight gain to age-related diseases. This is exactly what autophagy, your cellular self-cleaner, addresses. It literally means “self-eating” because your cells eat away their own junk. The result? Cleaner, younger, healthier cells.”
So, the easiest way to look at this dynamic duo is to think of antioxidants as your offensive team, while autophagy acts as your defense. Both are essential in helping your body win the game of youth and vitality.
A big part of the book focuses on nutrition, which is a key to boosting both antioxidants and the body’s natural ability to undergo the autophagy process. She highly recommends drinking green tea, consuming coconut oil, and Ceylon cinnamon (on a daily basis). She also suggests focusing on the superfoods that I’ve outlined above, which help your body naturally detox even more. Aside from boosting your nutritional intake, the book discusses the benefits of incorporating intermittent fasting and protein cycling into your routine.
By increasing your antioxidant intake and learning how to turn on/off your autophagy process, you can start to notice increased energy, renewed wellness, and more radiant, younger-looking skin. If you’re interested in learning more about these anti-aging secrets, I encourage you to check out the book Glow15. It’s a great read and is full of helpful information.
[Disclaimer: Affiliate links included. This post is not sponsored; all opinions are my own. This post is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to diagnose or treat any health issue.]