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5 Foods Which Can Make You Look And Feel Older Than You Are

5 Foods Which Can Make You Look And Feel Older Than You Are

What You Eat And Drink Can Affect How You Look And Feel

In an age where food really matters, there are specific kinds of foods that contain specific kinds of ingredients that will do your body only harm should you continue to consume them on daily basis.

We can no longer ignore what we eat as it endangers our health and ages us faster than we can blink. By eliminating these foods or bringing the intake to a minimum we will be able to not only see the waistlines shrinking but also find ourselves looking and feeling a whole lot better overall.

What is the secret to staying “Forever young”? Let’s get to it and see what needs to be altered from our daily diet.

1. Hydrogenated Oils or Trans Fats

muffins

    Seriously, these components have swallowed up America whole with practically contaminating everything from cookies to fried foods to “healthy” snacks, you name it—it’s probably there.

    These oils turn into an unhealthy fat storage, or trans fats, and have been long linked as a direct contributor to heart disease and obesity rates in this country. Nonetheless, people continue to choose foods that they are used to because old habits die-hard, it is comforting, and most, cost less.

    So how many potato chips can you eat or baked goods, or your favorite snacks? Well turns out that if you read the label and the trans fat IN A SERVING is less than 0.5 grams, the actual food label will read ZERO trans fat, according with the Mayo Clinic.

    Therefore, if the ingredient states partially hydrogenated or hydrogenated-anything-oil you should know to either not eat it or limit the intake.

    Hello cholesterol hike! Remember Margarine verses Butter?

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    We have been fed with nonsense for over forty years, and if you cannot do without a taste of butter always choose butter over margarine.

    Assistant Professor of medicine Timothy Harlan, M.D. at Tulane University School of Medicine said that trans fat cases inflammation, and he explained that aging a “chronic inflammatory state” in itself, and reassured that one can look older by consuming trans fats regularly.

    Back to butter–trans fat intake is 3.3 g verses 15 g that is in margarine. The “bad” fats will cause obesity, spikes in cholesterol and high blood pressure.

    Through these health problems alone a person is bound to age faster. The FDA had finally recognized that hydrogenated oils are not safe for consumption…Really? Thanks, it’s been a while, let me get my arteries cleaned up here…

    Bottom line is–read your labels, and change your habits or it will not be the only thing that will be dying pretty hard here…

    2. High fructose corn syrup or HFCS

      We ARE going here! This GMO (Generically Modified Organism) ingredient is literally pushed in to everything that we eat.

      The heavy consumption of HFCS causes obesity, liver failure, heart disease, tooth decay…shall I keep going? Listen, if you want more sugar I’d rather have you eat apples all day long and dark chocolate. The HFCS is toxic to your body, there is really zero benefits in it but gazillion damages.

      Sodas, and all kinds of non-organic drinks contain it, so do your cookies, jams and almost anything out there that is why reading your labels is essential.

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      Dr. George Bray (North American Association for the Study of Obesity) had long called for dangers of obesity from the HFCS, especially from the soft drinks. A 20-ounce Pepsi bottle equates to 17 teaspoons of sugar in accordance with the Chicago Tribune.

      The HFCS has clear and present dangers due to the amount of fructose it contains—average of 80 percent in comparison to table sugar that has 50 percent of fructose. It’s easy—since there’s more fructose in HFCS, it goes straight to your liver, causing liver damage called “fatty liver” that is affecting over 70 million people.

      In addition to the health issues that are mentioned earlier, the rising amount of sugar intake has been also associated with hypertension, metabolic syndromes and insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes, among the few.

      Daily high amounts can lead to “accelerated aging” as well, states Dr. Mark Hayman, a Director of Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine. Not convinced still? Listen, you don’t have to be an expert in this field to read about all the negative things the HFCS brings to you.

      Too much sugar is not good period, but HFCS brings you a quadruple dosage of what you should not have, and it has been called a “silent killer” for a reason. Yes, healthier foods are more expensive, but the price you pay today for them will be the price you will not have to pay for your health tomorrow.

      3. Refined Salt

        By now it is common knowledge that salt adds to water retention in your body, but this is not the only problem here. The Russians call salt the ultimate “white death”.

        This is because salt is a contributor to hypertension or a raised blood pressure, which directly causes: heart failure, kidney stones, water retention, a link to stomach cancer among the few. Excess salt leads to skin puffiness and swelling says Dr. Gillian McKeith in her book “You Are What You Eat”.

        However, how much salt you should have is dependent on how healthy you are and your diet.

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        If you are under 50, says the Harvard Medical School, and you are in a great health and have no high blood pressure then you do not have to worry about salt intake’s dangers. What you must do is to avoid high salt and processed foods.

        The HMS also says that the folks with high blood pressure and diabetes should not have more than 2300 mg of sodium, or 1 teaspoon a day.

        Perfect example of foods to completely avoid is the Top Ramen, which alone has over 700 mg of sodium in one soup, in ONE!!! PS: The chicken flavored one has 890 to 910 mg…Yes, you heard this right! Therefore, please choose wisely, salt only if necessary, and salt less!

        4. Processed Meats

          Your daily lunchmeats such as deli, prosciutto, bacon (YES, sorry!) and sausages usually contain various but heavy amounts of preservatives which can cause skin irritations and inflammation.

          Eating more of red meat also is able to interrupt your body’s ability to produce collagen, states Health.com, so this alone can age your appearance greatly, since collagen is what keeps our skin looking younger, firmer, and healthier.

          Hefty consumption of red meats can also lead towards a heart disease, as they are high in saturated fat.

          The lead author Dr. An Pan of the Harvard School of Public Health study on red meat and mortality rates had concluded a direct association and evidence of eating high amounts of red meat with the coronary heart disease, stroke and some cancers (NIH.org—National Institute of Health). Hence, limit on deli meats and substitute with fish or turkey breast pieces instead. While bacon may be good for your soul it certainly is not good for your body or arteries. Stay heavy on veggies and you will never age faster than you need to.

          5. Alcohol

            As much as we all love a little cocktail here and there, we must not forget that alcohol is processed through the liver. The healthier the liver is the longer we will live, and the better we shall look.

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            We are not talking about having a glass of wine a day. We are talking about having several drinks a day or more. Our liver processes toxins when we drink alcohol but it needs time to repair. Whatever contaminants your liver had not time to process will come out on to your skin.

            Acne, possibly of rosacea and wrinkles are all skin-aging results from the built up toxins from the liver, and since alcohol is considered a toxin, these are the possible side effects, explains Dr. Ariel Ostad from the American Academy of Dermatology.

            Alcohol even makes salty and fatty foods taste better and triggers the urge for more, so we are back at eating foods that age us faster. Lastly, frequent alcohol consumption will dehydrate the body, and can lead to a more serious and deadly liver disease such as Cirrhosis.

            So how much is “safe” to drink? The Harvard School of Public Health tells us no more than one drink per day for women and two for men (not hard liquor).

            With all that said, choose carefully, read the labels, avoid heavy indulging into the above foods and ingredients. Always choose veggies and fruits to satisfy your hunger, sugar and soul. Be well.

            Featured photo credit: Woven Baskets of Joy/ GM Yogma via flic.kr

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            Published on November 14, 2018

            Why You Suffer from Constant Fatigue and How to Deal with It

            Why You Suffer from Constant Fatigue and How to Deal with It

            With our busy, always on lives, it seems that more and more of us are facing constant tiredness and fatigue on a regular basis.

            For many people, they just take this in their stride as part of modern life, but for others the impact can be crippling and can have a serious effect on their sense of wellbeing, health and productivity.

            In this article, I’ll share some of the most common causes of constant tiredness and fatigue and give you some guidance and action steps you can take to overcome some of the symptoms of fatigue.

            Why Am I Feeling Fatigued?

            Fatigue is extreme tiredness resulting from mental or physical exertion or illness.  It is a reduction in the efficiency of a muscle or organ after prolonged activity.[1]

            It can affect anyone, and most adults will experience fatigue at some point in their life. 

            For many people, fatigue is caused by a combination of lifestyle, social, psychological and general wellbeing issues rather than an underlying medical condition.

            Although fatigue is sometimes described as tiredness, it is different to just feeling tired or sleepy. Everyone feels tired at some point, but this is usually resolved with a nap or a few nights of good sleep. Someone who is sleepy may also feel temporarily refreshed after exercising. If you are getting enough sleep, good nutrition and exercising regularly but still find it hard to perform, concentrate or be motivated at your normal levels, you may be experiencing a level of fatigue that needs further investigation. 

            Symptoms of Fatigue

            Fatigue can cause a vast range of physical, mental and emotional symptoms including:

            • chronic tiredness, exhaustion or sleepiness
            • mental blocks
            • lack of motivation
            • headache
            • dizziness
            • muscle weakness
            • slowed reflexes and responses
            • impaired decision-making and judgement
            • moodiness, such as irritability
            • impaired hand-to-eye coordination
            • reduced immune system function
            • blurry vision
            • short-term memory problems
            • poor concentration
            • reduced ability to pay attention to the situation at hand

            Causes of Fatigue

            The wide range of causes that can trigger fatigue include:

            • Medical causes: Constant exhaustion, tiredness and fatigue may be a sign of an underlying illness, such as a thyroid disorder, heart disease, anemia or diabetes.
            • Lifestyle-related causes: Being overweight and a lack of regular exercise can lead to feelings of fatigue.  Lack of sleep and overcommitting can also create feelings of excessive tiredness and fatigue.
            • Workplace-related causes: Workplace and financial stress in a variety of forms can lead to feelings of fatigue.
            • Emotional concerns and stress: Fatigue is a common symptom of mental health problems, such as depression and grief, and may be accompanied by other signs and symptoms, including irritability and lack of motivation.

            Fatigue can also be caused by a number of factors working in combination.

            Medical Causes of Fatigue

            If you have made lifestyle changes to increase your energy and still feel exhausted and fatigued, it may be time to seek guidance from your doctor.

            Here are a few examples of illnesses that can cause ongoing fatigue. Seek medical advice if you suspect you have a health problem:

            Anemia

            Anemia is a condition in which you don’t have enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to the body’s tissues. It is a common cause of fatigue in women.

            Having anemia may make you feel tired and weak.

            There are many forms of anemia, each with its own cause. Anemia can be temporary or long term, and it can range from mild to severe.[2]

            Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

            Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a condition that can cause persistent, unexplained fatigue that interferes with daily activities for more than six months.

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            This is a chronic condition with no one-size-fits-all treatment, but lifestyle changes can often help ease some symptoms of fatigue.[3]

            Diabetes

            Diabetes can cause fatigue with either high or low blood sugars. When your sugars are high, they remain in the bloodstream instead of being used for energy, which makes you feel fatigued. Low blood sugar (glucose) means you may not have enough fuel for energy, also causing fatigue.[4]

            Sleep Apnea

            Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder where sufferers briefly stop breathing for short periods during sleep. Most people are not aware this is happening, but it can cause loud snoring, and daytime fatigue.

            Being overweight, smoking, and drinking alcohol can all worsen the symptoms of sleep apnea.[5]

            Thyroid disease

            An underactive thyroid gland means you have too little thyroid hormone (thyroxine) in your body. This makes you feel tired and you could also put on weight and have aching muscles and dry skin.[6]

            Common lifestyle factors that can cause fatigue include:

            • Lack of sleep
            • Too much sleep 
            • Alcohol and drugs 
            • Sleep disturbances 
            • Lack of regular exercise and sedentary behaviour 
            • Poor diet 

            Common workplace issues that can cause fatigue include:

            • Shift work: Our body is designed to sleep during the night. A shift worker may confuse their circadian clock by working when their body is programmed to be asleep.
            • Poor workplace practices: This may include long work hours, hard physical labour, irregular working hours (such as rotating shifts), a stressful work environment, boredom or working alone. 
            • Workplace stress – This can be caused by a wide range of factors including job dissatisfaction, heavy workload, conflicts with bosses or colleagues, bullying, or threats to job security.
            • Burnout: This could be striving too hard on one area of your life while neglecting others, which leads to a life that feels out of balance.

            Psychological Causes of Fatigue

            Psychological factors are present in many cases of extreme tiredness and fatigue.  These may include:

            • Depression: Depression is characterised by severe and prolonged feelings of sadness, dejection and hopelessness. People who are depressed commonly experience chronic fatigue.
            • Anxiety and stress: Someone who is constantly anxious or stressed keeps their body in overdrive. The constant flooding of adrenaline exhausts the body, and fatigue sets in.
            • Grief: Losing a loved one causes a wide range of emotions including shock, guilt, depression, despair and loneliness.

            How to Tackle Constant Fatigue

            Here are 12 ways you can start tackling the causes of fatigue and start feeling more energetic.

            1. Tell The Truth

            Some people can numb themselves to the fact that they are overtired or fatigued all the time. In the long run, this won’t help you.

            To give you the best chance to overcome or eliminate fatigue, you must diagnose and tell the truth about the things that are draining your energy, making you tired or causing constant fatigue.

            Once you’re honest with yourself about the activities you’re doing in your life that you find irritating, energy-draining, and make you tired on a regular basis you can make a commitment to stop doing them.

            The help that you need to overcome fatigue is available to you, but not until you tell the truth about it. The first person you have to sell on getting rid of the causes of fatigue is yourself.

            One starting point is to diagnose the symptoms. When you start feeling stressed, overtired or just not operating at your normal energy levels make a note of:

            • How you feel
            • What time of day it is
            • What may have contributed to your fatigue
            • How your mind and body reacts

            This analysis may help you identify, understand and then eliminate very specific causes.

            2. Reduce Your Commitments

            When we have too many things on our plate personally and professionally, we can feel overstretched, causing physical and mental fatigue.

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            If you have committed to things you really don’t want to do, this causes irritability and low emotional engagement. Stack these up throughout your day and week, then your stress levels will rise.

            When these commitments have deadlines associated with them, you may be trying to cram in far too much in a short period of time.  This creates more stress and can affect your decision making ability.

            Start being realistic about how much you can get done. Either reduce the commitments you have or give yourself more time to complete them in.

            3. Get Clear On Your Priorities

            If working on your list of to-do’s or goals becomes too overwhelming, start reducing and prioritizing the things that matter most.

            Start with prioritizing just 3 things every day. When you complete those 3 things, you’ll get a rush of energy and your confidence will grow.

            If you’re trying to juggle too many things and are multi-tasking, your energy levels will drop and you’ll struggle to maintain focus.

            Unfinished projects can make you self-critical and feel guilty which drops energy levels further, creating inaction.

            Make a list of your 3 MIT (Most Important Tasks) for the next day before you go to bed. This will stop you overcommitting and get you excited about what the next day can bring.

            4. Express More Gratitude

            Gratitude and confidence are heavily linked. Just being thankful for what you have and what you’ve achieved increases confidence and makes you feel more optimistic.

            It can help you improve your sense of wellbeing, which can bring on feelings of joy and enthusiasm.

            Try starting a gratitude journal or just note down 3 things you’re grateful for every day.

            5. Focus On Yourself

            Exhaustion and fatigue can arrive by focusing solely on other people’s needs all the time, rather than worrying about and focusing on what you need (and want).

            There are work commitments, family commitments, social commitments. You may start with the best intentions, to put in your best performance at work, to be an amazing parent and friend, to simply help others.

            But sometimes, we extend ourselves too much and go beyond our personal limits to help others. That’s when constant exhaustion can creep up on us.  Which can make us more fatigued.

            We all want to help and do our best for others, but there needs to be some balance. We also need to take some time out just for ourselves to recharge and rejuvenate.

            6. Set Aside Rest and Recovery Time

            Whether it’s a couple of hours, a day off, a mini-break or a proper holiday, time off is essential to help us recover, recharge and refocus.

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            Recovery time helps fend off mental fatigue and allows us to simply kick back and relax.

            The key here, though, is to remove ourselves from the daily challenges that bring on tiredness and fatigue. Here’s how.

            Can you free yourself up completely from work and personal obligations to just rest and recover?

            7. Take a Power Nap

            When you’re feeling tired or fatigued and you have the ability to take a quick 20-minute nap, it could make a big difference to your performance for the rest of the day.

            Napping can improve learning, memory and boost your energy levels quickly.

            This article on the benefit of napping is a useful place to start if you want to learn more: How a 20-Minute Nap at Work Makes You Awake and Productive the Whole Day

            8. Take More Exercise

            The simple act of introducing some form of physical activity into your day can make a huge difference. It can boost energy levels, make you feel much better about yourself and can help you avoid fatigue.

            Find something that fits into your life, be that walking, going to the gym, running or swimming. 

            The key is to ensure the exercise is regular and that you are emotionally engaged and committed to stick with it.

            You could also walk more which will help clear your head and shift your focus away from stressful thoughts.

            9. Get More Quality Sleep

            To avoid tiredness, exhaustion and fatigue, getting enough quality sleep matters. 

            Your body needs sleep to recharge.  Getting the right amount of sleep every night can improve your health, reduce stress levels and help us improve our memory and learning skills.

            My previous article on The Benefits of Sleep You Need to Know will give you some action steps to start improving your sleep. 

            10. Improve Your Diet

            Heavy or fatty meals can make you feel sluggish and tired, whilst some foods or eating strategies do just the opposite.

            Our always on lives have us reaching for sweets or other sugary snacks to give us a burst of energy to keep going. Unfortunately, that boost fades quickly which can leave you feeling depleted and wanting more.

            On the other hand, whole grains and healthy unsaturated fats supply the reserves you can draw on throughout the day.

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            To keep energy up and steady, it’s a good idea to limit refined sugar and starches.

            Eating small meals and healthy snacks every few hours throughout the day provides a steady supply of nutrients to body and brain. It’s also important not to skip breakfast.

            Eating a balanced diet helps keep your blood sugar in a normal range and prevents that sluggish feeling when your blood sugar drops.

            11. Manage Your Stress Levels

            Stress is one of the leading causes of exhaustion and fatigue, and can seriously affect your health.

            When you have increased levels of stress at work and at home, it’s easy to feel exhausted all the time. 

            Identifying the causes of stress and then tackling the problems should be a priority. 

            My article on How to Help Anxiety When Life is Stressing You Out shares 16 strategies you can use to overcome stress.

            12. Get Hydrated

            Sometimes we can be so busy that we forget to keep ourselves fully hydrated.

            Water makes up about 60 percent of your body weight and is essential in maintaining our body’s basic functions.

            If we don’t have enough water, it can adversely affect our mental and physical performance, which leads to tiredness and fatigue.

            The recommended daily amount is around two litres a day, so to stay well hydrated keep a water bottle with you as much as possible.

            The Bottom Line

            These 12 tips can help you reduce your tiredness and feeling of fatigue.  Some will work better than others as we are all different, whilst others can be incorporated together in your daily life.

            If you’ve tried to make positive changes to reduce fatigue and you still feel tired and exhausted, it may be time to consider making an appointment with your doctor to discuss your condition.

            Featured photo credit: Annie Spratt via unsplash.com

            Reference

            [1]Oxford English Dictionary: Definition of fatigue
            [2]NHS Choices: 10 Reasons for feeling tired
            [3]Verywellhealth: What is chronic fatigue syndrome
            [4]Everyday Health: Why does type 2 diabetes make you feel tired
            [5]Mayo Clinic: Sleep apnea
            [6]Harvard Health: The lowdown on thyroid slowdown

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