A lot of people say that “true beauty is on the inside.”
However, as a scientist and board-certified gynecologist, I know that how old someone looks – regardless of their actual age – offers insight into their overall health. In fact, someone famously said that your skin is a mirror of your mind.
Allow me to explain.
Accelerated aging occurs when the hormones that build muscle and bone decline more quickly than the hormones that break down tissue to provide energy. The result: Cells experience more wear and tear, less repair, and we feel and look older than our age. The goal is to have your breakdown in proportion to your repair, or even better, more repair than breakdown.
I’m going to share with you three of my favorite anti-aging “prescriptions.” The best part? They’re all cheaper than Botox (save your money for the Jimmy Choos).
1. Catch the “angel train”.
Go to sleep before 10pm, and you’ll double the rejuvenating effectiveness of that night’s sleep. Getting enough sleep is certainly important when it comes to avoiding dark undereye circles and general exhaustion, but quality sleep specifically between the hours of 10pm and midnight have been shown to be powerfully effective when it comes to cell repair.*
2. Stress less (and mind your cortisol).
High stress and, as a result, high cortisol, result in elevated blood sugar. This is linked to pre-diabetes and accelerated aging. I want to save your adrenal glands and your cortisol reserves! I consider cortisol to be the “bad boyfriend” hormone — the one in college or high school that you knew you shouldn’t date, but you did anyway (and it ended poorly).
When it comes to reducing stress, you’ve got lots of options:
- Practice yoga a few times a week (as a yoga instructor, I have to say this is my favorite)
- Meditate or practice deep breathing, several minutes a day
- Add fish oil to your daily vitamin list
- Reduce your caffeine intake
- Have a little (low sugar, high quality) dark chocolate
3. Get your metabolism working for you.
Low thyroid and, as a result, a slow metabolism doesn’t just cause weight gain; it can also be a factor in when it comes to energy levels, hair loss, mental acuity, and mood. And nothing makes you feel older than being overweight, bald, foggy, and cranky. Low thyroid over an extended period of time is also associated with delayed reflexes and a greater risk of Alzheimer’s disease.¹
In order to get your thyroid back into the sweet spot, here are some strategies that have made a big difference for my patients:
- Take probiotics! Endocrine disruptors – like Bis-Phenol A and phthalates – from your environment. These are often found in plastic water bottles and lining cans of food. Recent data shows a probiotic prevents your absorption of BPA.
- See if you have a gluten sensitivity or gluten intolerance. Both can wreak havoc on your ability to absorb important nutrients and exacerbate low thyroid. Try a GF or low carb diet for a few weeks and see if your energy levels and weight loss improve.
- Add some Vitamin A and Vitamin D to your list of daily supplements. Both are critical for correct thyroid function.
This advice is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to reclaiming your youth and balancing your hormones, but these strategies are some serious needle-movers. And needle-avoiders – no Botox for my tribe!
* Source: Dr. Oz on cell repair.
Read more posts by Sara Gottfried, M.D., JenningsWire blogger.