Stress and Aging
Stress is a powerful trigger for the ugly aging signs to crop up. When people are stressed, their physical and mental health is at stake; significant manifestations in their appearance will clearly make each passing day dreadful.
To live a long, healthy, and happy life, people should get rid of stress, for whatever it takes. Avoiding mental and emotional stress will keep the body’s vibrancy and youthfulness.
To understand the impact of stress to the body, here is a little helpful background:
The endocrine system works hand-in-hand with the nervous system in performing several critical tasks. The neuroendocrine system, as the two systems are more commonly known, is responsible for maintaining the body’s internal steady state or homeostasis. This includes nutrition, metabolism, excretion, water and salt balances. It also helps regulate growth, development, and reproduction. It also produces, uses, and stores energy.
The neuroendocrine system is designed to help ensure each individual’s safety from external or internal threats. The hormones most responsible for this task are called stress hormones.
In addition, there have been studies that suggest that the imbalance in the HPA axis is responsible for some detrimental effects. The glucocorticoid (GC) hypersecretion (overproduction of steroids), which occurs when the HPA axis is activated, results in a number of diseases, including obesity, Alzheimer’s, AIDS, dementia, and depression.
There is also a recent study at the University of California suggesting stress as a trigger for accelerated aging in all aspects. This is because stress increases the heart rate, weakens the immune system, and heightens the cholesterol level in the long run.
The increase in cholesterol levels related to stress is alarming because it is a known risk factor for heart and circulatory disease, the number one killer of both men and women in the United States.
Stress promotes the formation of body fats by producing more energy in the form of fatty acids. It also requires the liver to secrete more LDL-C, which are transported to other tissues of the body. It also interferes with the body’s ability to get rid of cholesterol. It also triggers inflammatory cascades that also lead to an increase in cholesterol production.
Fighting Stress with Supplements
Significant lifestyle modification is the key to a healthier, happier, and longer life. With the help of the following supplements, stress can be fought one-handed.
In a study conducted among marathon runners in 2001, Vitamin C showed significant effects on high cortisol levels that are brought about by physical stress.
Omega-3 Fish Oil
Fish oil is known to provide a wide range of health benefits. One of them is its ability to lower high cortisol levels, helping individuals cope with psychological stress. It also helps prevent a number of mental disorders and disturbances such as depression, bipolar disorder, aggression, Alzheimer’s disease, memory loss, and learning difficulties. In fact, studies made it clear that these mental conditions as well as a bunch of others are rooted from or are exacerbated by the nutritional habits of Americans. The genetic aspect and the environmental risk factors of those diseases are nothing but secondary.
It may seem far-fetched but a few meals rich with the Omega-3 fatty acid or a supplement of fish oil significantly leads to a number of health and cosmetic benefits. Omega-3 is enriched with anti-aging nutrients as well as potent agents for good mental health.
The way to go, along with making significant lifestyle changes, is to make food choices that are high in Omega-3 fatty acid and low in inflammatory Omega-6 fatty acid. An anti-inflammatory diet, which is high in protein and low in carbohydrates, can help realize dietary goals without having to struggle. It must be understood that intake of wrong carbohydrates, mainly from sugary and starchy foods, does not only promote risk factors for degenerative diseases such as diabetes, cancer, obesity, and Alzheimer’s. It also makes the skin, the subcutaneous fat, bones, and the muscles age faster than usual. This is quite easy, as easy as counting 1-2-3!
Load up on fatty cold-water fish such as salmon, sardines, anchovies, trout, herring, and sablefish. Take fish oil capsules daily. Then, avoid those that are high in Omega-6, which are mainly processed, frozen, and fast foods. Instead, switch to the heart-friendly EVOO, which is high in anti-inflammatory monounsaturated fats and is a potent anti-inflammatory antioxidant.