Eclectic Anti Aging

5 Lifestyle Factors That Contribute to a Decline in Brain Function

Your lifestyle can contribute to either having a healthy brain that functions well – or cause your brain to decline in powers such as memory, cognitive and focus. Bad habits such as eating a poor diet, too much alcohol, stress and not getting enough sleep can greatly affect the brain’s function and become worse as you age.

Some lifestyle factors which can affect your brain function and cause it to decline are:

1. Lack of exercise – If you live a sedentary lifestyle, you risk a decline in brain function as well as a decline in your physical health. It all works together – if your body isn’t physically fit, your brain will suffer because of a lack of stimulation that produces healthy endorphins.

Studies have shown that physical activity is connected to mental sharpness and a healthy flow of blood through the circulatory system, which includes the brain.

2. Poor diet choices – Another benefit of a healthy diet besides keeping your weight at a desirable level is that the nutrients you enjoy affect the brain by fighting against free radicals that cause inflammation and deterioration of brain functions.

Obesity and bad health from a poor diet may result in long-term diseases such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. A diet such as the Mediterranean is well rounded and keeps the oxygen flowing uninhibited through the pathways of the brain.

3. Lack of sleep – Sleep may become a problem – especially as you age. It can be caused from responsibilities which keep you up and going, stress that keeps you thinking negative thoughts or physical or mental impairments.

Lack of sleep can greatly affect your brain function by causing lack of focus, memory loss, irritability and fatigue. Your brain performs poorly when these factors keep you from getting enough sleep.

4. Lack of socialization and feelings of isolation – These two lifestyle factors go hand-in-hand when a person isolates himself and doesn’t socialize with friends and family. This lifestyle usually happens as you age, retirement occurs and friends and family drift away or pass away. Illness may also be a factor in this type of lifestyle and both can cause the brain to deteriorate.

5. Too much stress – Stress can come in many forms, but if it lasts too long and is very severe, it can begin to cause both physical and mental problems. Think about ways you can alter your lifestyle to get rid of some stress in your life.

Take time for your brain to rest and rejuvenate itself. You’ll find that your focus and cognitive powers will be improved – and your brain will have the energy to function as it should.

Other bad habits that might contribute to a decline in brain function include smoking and drinking alcohol in excess. Check your lifestyle to see if your brain may be suffering some decline because of bad habits you’ve developed.

5 Things That Take a Toll on Your Skin

The first thing that comes to mind for most of us when thinking about what may harm the skin is the sun. Still, the population seems obsessed with tanning and lying in the sun for hours at a time. The toll on your skin is tremendous.

But there are other factors to take into consideration which may act to harm the skin. Here are five factors – other than sun – which can wreak havoc with the skin:

1. Lack of hydration. Water is essential to keep the skin supple and moist. Water helps digestion and circulation – two elements important to a clear, healthy skin. Without water, no organ in your body will function as it should and since the skin is an organ, it will become dry and wrinkly if not properly hydrated.

2. Age. You can’t do a lot about getting older, but you can be aware of the inevitable changes which occur with age and address those problems. You can combat aging skin by keeping it hydrated with water, clean and supple by using the correct moisturizer.

3. Cold and windy climate. Winter is detrimental to your skin’s condition unless you prepare properly for it. Dry and itchy skin is the results of a brutal winter, but a good moisturizer and proper skin care will help combat these conditions.

4. Pollution. One of the silent problems for your skin is living in a polluted area of the world. Pollutants such as chemicals in the air break down your skin by attacking its natural protection mechanisms. Always cleanse your face thoroughly and be sure to keep hydrated and moisturized.

5. Diet and exercise. One without the other negates part of the positive aspects of each. If you practice a diet lacking in nutrients you may experience malnutrition, which affects the skin, hair and nails. Exercise helps distribute the good nutrients in your diet to aid circulation and provide oxygen to the skin.

There are other factors – such as hormones, genes, smoking, alcohol and stress, which definitely take a toll on the health of your skin. Some (such as genes) you can’t help, but you can use the latest scientific findings and beauty treatments to combat the harmful results.

If you constantly neglect your skin, you’ll be exacerbating the effects of everything you can’t control – such as air pollution. Maintain a good skin care regimen – both inside and out – to ensure your skin keeps its elasticity and glow.

Anti-Aging Supplements That Have Science Backing Them Up

There are a few anti-aging supplements that have gotten the attention of the public because scientific studies actually back up the fact that they help reduce the effects of aging on your body – and mind.

For example, PLE (Polypodium Leucotomos Extract) has been proven to protect your delicate skin from discoloration, sagging and sun damage. The extract is derived from a Central American fern and is said to increase the dose of radiation from the sun that it takes to burn your skin.

Studies are now being performed about the possibility that PLE may prevent skin cancer. Vitamin C is another supplement which has been proven to prevent wrinkles and help your skin glow by decreasing stress in cells – helping them grow and produce naturally.

The cells are more apt to regenerate and make your skin vibrant and healthy. Coenzyme Q10 also protects against wrinkling of skin and helps your internal health and well-being.

It’s an antioxidant that reduces cellular damage that the environment and a poor diet can cause and helps promote new cell growth. Another supplement that can help you remain young both inside and out is Vitamin E.

Scientists have proven that it helps prevent sun damage and can make your skin appear more youthful. Skin regeneration it causes can also help your dead skin slough off.

Glucosamine has been proven to combat sagging and wrinkling skin – actually reducing wrinkles and lines by 34% in studies performed with the supplement. It’s been called a “building block for skin-plumping hyaluronic acid.”

Many supplements are designed to help you prevent aging from the inside out. If you’re not getting the proper diet and live with harmful environmental factors such as pollution and lots of sun, you may need certain supplements which have been proven to help with the situation.

For example, research shows that your body needs coenzyme Q10 to keep functioning properly. Because this supplement decreases with age, it’s vitally important to maintain the proper levels as you age by taking supplements.

It’s important that you take the proper dosage of any supplement. Consult with your doctor if you’re unsure about how much or which ones to take. Discuss your lifestyle with him or her and together, you can come up with a common sense approach about which and how many supplements you should take.

Anti-aging supplements really can keep you feeling and looking young. Study them carefully and choose which ones are right for you.

Are the Changes in Your Sleep Patterns Caused By Aging?

Hormones, stress and changes in sleep cycles after you retire can wreak havoc with your sleep patterns, making you feel groggy and ineffective during the day and preventing you from getting enough sleep at night.

If you’re having problems with your sleep patterns, it may help to know how they can affect you and how you can overcome those caused by aging. During the nighttime hours, you usually experience both light and deep sleep. Dreaming (REM) sleep is also part of the cycle and can occur many times.

As you age, the sleep patterns change and you may find it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep. Wakening during the night is a common problem and can be caused by changing physical patterns or inability to shut off the thinking process.

Seniors average awakening during the night as many as three or four times. Need to urinate, discomfort in bed or a chronic disease which makes it difficult to maintain sleep could be the culprits.

As you age, you may get enough sleep in terms of time, but you don’t feel like it because it wasn’t good quality sleep. This type of sleep deprivation can cause seniors to become depressed or develop a chronic health condition and should be addressed before it gets that far.

Many think that sleep problems are a part of aging and seniors may not mention it to their health care providers. Unfortunately, changes in your sleep patterns as you age can cause side effects that you don’t want to happen.

Depression, congestive heart failure, GERD (gastroesophogeal reflux) and sleep apnea can wreak havoc on the elderly’s sleep patterns. Medications are available to help most of these chronic conditions.

Unfortunately, medications are sometimes a cause, rather than a cure, for recurring sleep disorders. Some may cause restless leg syndrome (the urge to move your legs when trying to relax) and those medications used for arthritis could interfere with normal sleep patterns.

Explore ways to develop healthy sleep patterns as you age and seek methods to help you relax other than medication. Environment and lifestyle play important parts in how well you sleep at night.

Also, keep active during the day. When you go to bed after a day of activities or work, you tend to sleep better than if you had no stimulation at all. Also, maintain contact with friends and family. An active social life can help you relax much more during the nighttime hours.

B Vitamins That Boost Your Body’s Ability to Fight Aging

B vitamins can help prevent premature aging and also rejuvenate your skin and your health. When you understand how B vitamins operate, you’ll want to check out the various types of B vitamins available and which supplements you’ll want to ingest.

Unfortunately, you probably don’t get enough B vitamins unless you adhere rigidly to a diet rich in this nutrient. Vitamin B is complex and each type contributes to your well-being in a different way.

Some help reduce the risk of cancer, another may help stabilize the nervous system and others may enhance your skin or help your metabolism function properly. Vitamin B also encourages the development of red blood cells and combats the harmful results of stress.

Vitamins B6 and B12 are two of the most effective vitamins that can help your skin look younger and healthier. You can get them in your diet by eating foods such as greens (spinach and mustard), fish, garlic, eggs, milk and others.

Probiotics is another way to assist your anti-aging regimen. They contain vitamin B and B12 and are found in fermented foods and drinks and such foods as yogurt and help you resist diseases and slows the aging process.

Since B vitamins are diluted by water, it’s difficult to get too much – so overdosing isn’t a problem. You should know that Vitamin B12 is found in animal products, so if you’re a vegetarian or vegan, you may need supplements getting enough.

If you don’t get enough vitamin B, you may develop a vitamin deficiency and that could result in lowering your body’s immune system which helps fight illness and diseases. Your organs’ functions depend on B vitamins to stay healthy and robust.

Nutritional aspects of B vitamins include Thiamine, also known as Vitamin B1, Niacin, better known as vitamin B3, Pantothenic Acid, or Vitamin B5, Cobalamin, which is commonly called B12, Pyridoxine – or Vitamin B6, Inositol, which is actually B8, Biotin – important for hair and nails, which is B7, Folic Acid – or Vitamin B9 and Riboflavin – also known as Vitamin B2.

Each of these nutrients are unique, but act together to contribute to your body’s overall health. Your skin can also benefit from B vitamins. B12 can rejuvenate your skin and help it produce new cells and slough off the old ones. B12 is also known to boost brain acuity by helping develop brain cells and to improve memory.

Some B vitamins can be found in liquid moisturizer form to help keep your skin soft and supple and prevent dryness, fine lines and wrinkles. A blood test can verify if you’re getting enough vitamin B in your normal diet plan or if you need to enhance it with supplements.

Be Open to Altering Your Skincare Regimen as You Age

Growing older doesn’t mean you have to be plagued with wrinkles, age spots and dry skin. Altering your skincare regimen a bit can make all the difference in keeping your skin healthy and youthful.

As you age, you can no longer get away with going to bed without cleansing and moisturizing your face. It’s imperative that you remove makeup and the pollution that has clogged your pores each night and moisturize your skin with the proper product.

Your skin becomes thinner because it loses fat as you age. Veins are more prominent and bumps and bruises can take longer to heal. Guarding against injuries is important to keep your skin clear and vital.

If you tan – give it up. As you age, it no longer makes sense to spend hours in the sun or use chemicals to darken your skin. The sun causes wrinkles, dry skin, itching and dehydration – especially in your later years.

One of the best things you can do for your skin as you age is drinking enough water. Hydration is vitally important to your entire body, but especially to your outer organ –the skin.

Stopping smoking and practice relieving stress to also help you better care for your skin. Using too much perfume, taking hot baths, using too much soap or antiperspirant can also make your skin appear dryer and add wrinkles.

A good moisturizer, cream or ointment should be used on your skin every day to ensure it stays soft and supple. Also, bathe in warm water rather than hot and no bath oils. A humidifier is helpful to your skin – especially if you live in a dry climate or use air conditioning or heating in your home.

Age spots and skin tags (small, flesh-colored growths) are mostly caused by spending too much time in the sun. Always wear protective clothing and a broad-spectrum sunscreen when you’re outdoors.

Many skincare products simply don’t work. It’s best to consult your dermatologist if you’re worried about wrinkles, skin cancers or spots. He or she can correctly guide you to the proper skin care products.

Avoid products which contain too much perfume or which may contain too many acidic chemicals for aging skin. If a product causes your skin to itch or turn red, stop using it immediately.

Take care of your skin when you’re young and you’ll have fewer problems as you age. Alter your skin care regimen as the years go by to address and alleviate possible problems in the future.

Beauty Tips Are Not One Size Fits All

Each of us is unique in the way our skin operates and how it deals with elements, both inside and out. We all have different diets and live in various places where the climate is either nice or harmful to our skin.

But there are a few things that are good for all of us to use as beauty tips, which will enhance your routine and help you look fresher and more well-groomed. One is to exfoliate your skin on a regular basis.

Unless you have skin problems which require medical attention, exfoliation is one beauty tip that can get rid of dead skin cells that make your skin appear dry and dull. It doesn’t do much good to lather your skin with moisturizer when dead skin is present.

Rest is another element that’s essential to glowing skin and bright eyes. That’s why it’s called beauty sleep. Your bodily cells renew themselves when you rest and help you look refreshed during the day.

If you have trouble getting your beauty sleep, try some things to help you relax before bedtime. Deep-breathing exercises, avoiding heavy meals and alcohol and a warm bath with some added aromatherapy oil can help you get in the mood for a good night’s rest.

Alcohol and cigarettes aren’t conducive to anyone’s beauty and can significantly harm your skin. The toxins which are contained in cigarettes not only affect your lungs – they’re brutal to your skin. Alcohol causes drying of the skin.

They say your hair is your crowning glory and you can boost the strength and beauty of your hair by eating protein-rich foods which increase the keratin (structural component) of your hair. It’s also good for your nails. Eggs, nuts, meat and seeds are all filled with natural protein that’s good for hair and nails.

Another beauty tip that all of us can benefit from is to groom your eyebrows. You can go from looking bushy to beautiful in just a few moments and bring focus to your eyes. There are many ways to groom brows – plucking, waxing and threading – so choose one you prefer.

Another beauty tip that can enhance everyone’s natural glow is exercise. It boosts your circulation, providing enhanced mental acuity, helps with sleeping better and can make you a happier and healthier person.

Finally, all of us can benefit from protecting the skin from the elements. Sun, wind and cold can dry out the skin and make it itchy and pale. Always wear sunscreen and moisturizer and hydrate your skin and body by drinking plenty of water.

Dementia Versus Alzheimer’s: How Big Is Your Risk?

Unfortunately, risk factors for dementia and Alzheimer’s, such as age, history of family and genetic heritage can’t be altered, but you may be able to address some of the other factors involved and buy yourself some time or stave off the loss of brain function that comes from simple lifestyle factors.

Dementia is defined as a decline in mental acuity that eventually impedes your lifestyle. Dementia is associated with memory loss – and Alzheimer’s (memory loss from aging) is a form of dementia.

Some risk factors involved with dementia include damage to the brain. If you’ve had a concussion or other accident or condition which affects your brain function, you could have a greater risk for dementia.

In some cases, the brain is unable to communicate from cell to cell, inhibiting your behavior, feelings and think patterns. Symptoms include inability to focus or reason and problems with language and memory.

There’s a big misconception about memory loss. It scares people when they misplace their keys or forget why they entered a room. But memory loss doesn’t necessarily mean that you have Alzheimer’s disease. There are certain changes in the brain which indicate Alzheimer’s disease and must be diagnosed by testing from a health care professional.

Dementia may be caused by several other factors than injuries to the brain. If you experience severe depression, take a medication with memory loss side effects, ingest alcohol in excess or experience thyroid problems, you may be at risk for developing dementia.

Vitamin deficiency is also a risk factor in dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. As you age, you should be tested periodically for both changes in your thyroid gland and for any vitamin deficiency problems.

There is also a real connection between the heart and the brain when it comes to your risk for developing dementia. Your brain depends on the network of blood vessels to keep it healthy.

If you’re experiencing heart problems, you could be losing a percentage of the oxygen your blood carries to the brain – making it more difficult for the brain to function properly. Be sure to monitor your heart problems for signs that you’re not getting enough oxygen to the brain.

Symptoms of the heart interfering with brain function may include high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol and diabetes. Take steps now to improve your health and prevent some of the risks associated with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

How Exercising Your Brain Can Stave Off Memory Loss

Exercising the brain is every bit as important as exercising your body for your overall health and to stave off memory loss and the risks of dementia and/or Alzheimer’s disease.

Your memory is totally dependent on the strength and health of your brain and staying mentally sharp as you age is going to play a huge factor in your future mental acuity. It’s easier to stay sharp when you’re young and studying and working, but when you retire or cut down on activities, it may not be as easy.

It’s possible to boost your brain power no matter what your age. Your brain can benefit from exercise at any age, the same as your body can. The proper stimulation can open those neural paths to any amount of learning you want and enhance your memory.

Exercising your brain can be as simple as studying a language or learning something new. It may take more of an effort than when you were younger, but the results are well worth it.

Challenge yourself with brain-boosting activities which mandate your attention and your time. Get outside of your comfort zone and engage in an activity that’s unfamiliar to the skills you’ve already developed.

When you’ve mastered a new skill, don’t forget to reward yourself. That communicates to the brain that you’re enjoying the benefits of the skill or activity and that it’s enjoyable and very satisfying to you.

Also, exercise your body at the same time you’re exercising your brain. Physical exercise releases chemicals in the brain which can greatly enhance your brain power and memorization abilities.

Make sure you get plenty of sleep as you age. Sleep is the brain’s elixir and can have a huge effect on your creativity, energy, focus and ability to think critically and perform at your best.

Keeping in touch and socializing with friends and family may also serve to stave off memory loss. Humans are a social species and isolation may lead to depression and loneliness that could have an effect on your brain and memory skills.

Minimize stress in your life. Stress can affect the aging in mental and physical ways. Learn some stress-reducing methods you can use on a regular basis and make plans to get rid of stress factors that could lead to memory and physical problems.

You’ve likely heard the old adage, “if you don’t use it, you lose it.” That’s never been more relevant than as it applies to exercising the brain. Change your routine, learn something new and challenge your brain to keep memory loss at bay.

How to Combat Insomnia as You Get Older

Insomnia is a sleep condition which can affect your health and well-being – especially as you age. Aging causes many hormonal and lifestyle changes which cause you to wake up earlier or not sleep as well as you once did.

Insomnia, however, isn’t a normal part of the aging process and should be addressed as soon as you notice the condition. Sleep is vitally important to seniors to keep healthy, both in body and mental acuity and a lack of it shouldn’t be shrugged off as unimportant.

Ridding your lifestyle of bad habits is one way to combat insomnia and move toward getting the quality sleep you need. One bad habit is to go to bed with thoughts of anxiety or worry. Stress about experiences or happenings in your life can greatly affect your sleep patterns.

You may be taking certain medications that cause lack of sleep and can progress into full blow insomnia. Inform your health care provider if you suspect that medications may be causing your insomnia.

Lack of exercise and a poor diet may exacerbate sleeplessness. Also, eating (or exercising) just before bedtime can keep you awake. Try to finish both exercising and dining from two to four hours before you turn in at night.

Sleeping environment can also be a factor in bouts with insomnia. If you sleep with a pet, a heavy snorer (or someone with sleep apnea) or have a television or gaming device in your bedroom, it may contribute to your lack of sleep.

Improve your daytime activities and habits to promote better sleep at night. Engaging in social activities with family and friends is a relaxing way to spend a day and prepare your body for the sleep it needs.

Also, do things which improve your mood and promote a positive outlook on life. Helping others is always a good way to help you see how fortunate you are compared to others and to boost your self-esteem.

Sunlight is important to regulating melatonin in your body (the chemical which helps you sleep). Keep blinds and shades open during the day and venture outside to promote your dose of sun. If you know you’re not getting enough sun, think about getting a light box to provide the therapy you’re not getting on your own.

Caffeine, smoking and alcohol should be stopped or drastically reduced – especially if you suspect they’re interfering with healthy sleep patterns or the quality of your sleep. Quality of sleep is a good indication of your overall health. Be sure you get enough.

How to Gain Energy and Lose Weight as You Age

How do you keep your energy up and your weight down as you age? It all depends on how effective your metabolism is working to burn fat and provide the energy you need to stay active.

You may be consuming the same amount of calories you did when you were younger, but still gaining wait – and your energy may be waning much more rapidly than you’d like. You still want to be active and maintain your weight and something’s just not working.

Adjusting your food intake or the types of foods you eat is necessary as you age. You may also want to concentrate on different types of exercises than in the past to keep your metabolism revved up as much as possible.

As you age, it’s important that you reassess your diet and exercise plans – especially if you’re noticing the pounds creep on and have much less energy than usual. An aging body doesn’t react the same to any efforts you might expend, so it may be necessary to change your strategy.

Menopause is a phenomenon that causes weight gain and low energy. These rapidly changing hormones can wreak havoc with your muscle tone, weight and energy level. This is why women tend to put on weight more easily than men during the aging process.

You don’t need as many calories as you age, but you may be eating the same. Try to ingest smaller portions and eat a more balanced diet with lower calorie foods to keep your weight in check.

It’s likely that you don’t move around as much as when you were young because life isn’t as hectic and you have more time for relaxation. Many physicians are recommending the Mediterranean diet plan to seniors for more energy and weight maintenance and loss.

The Mediterranean diet places more of an emphasis on whole grains, healthy fats, veggies and fruit, which are usually lower in calories and provide more energy to help you exercise more.

Choose an exercise you love to participate in. You may want to enjoy less demanding types such as Yoga or a dance class. If you enjoy it, you’ll keep at it and that’s the key to maintaining your fitness level.

Unfortunately, there’s no magic bullet to maintaining or losing weight as you age or keeping the energy level you once had. The key continues to be found in diet and exercise, but the benefits you’ll enjoy are numerous.

How to Stay Stress-Free as You Get Older

Stress is a part of any life. Even good stress can play games with your mind and body, make you tired and ruin your mindset for enjoying life. As you age, your body isn’t as able as it once was to defend itself against the damage that stress hormones can cause.

Both physical and emotional trauma can be strenuous for seniors and the impact on your body and mind can be difficult to overcome. It doesn’t happen to everyone, but there are ways to ensure you prevent or overcome the stresses that life brings.

Physical stress can come in the form of not being as energetic as you once were – or not being able to fit in clothes you once wore because your waistline is growing. Emotional stress may happen if a spouse passes away, a move occurs that takes you away from friends and family – and much more.

One way you can combat stresses of life as you age is to stay connected to friends and family, choose a form of exercise you can do and enjoy and adhere to a diet rich in the nutrients that will keep you healthy as you age.

When you feel worried or stressed out in your later years, it may be more difficult to overcome. The trick is to stay active, both mentally and physically. It’s thought that high degrees of stress can cause diseases such as cardiovascular – and even Alzheimer’s disease.

The extra cortisol throughout the years may damage a part of the brain called the hippocampus – the area that’s designated for storing and retrieving memories. And, scientific studies have proven that women are more apt to be affected by stress overloads than men.

Seek stress management methods if you are aging and experiencing a great deal of stress in your life. Besides your diet and a regular amount of exercise, maintain a positive mindset and learn to push negative thoughts out of your mind when they first occur.

Stress management techniques may also include becoming involved with a hobby, learning a new language or studying a subject you like by taking classes, becoming involved with a group of people with the same interests and anything else that you may enjoy and that gets your mind off the stress in your life.

Keep in mind that anything which reduces the effects of stress on your body and mind can add years to your life and ensure that you maintain a good quality of life as you age.

Probiotics Help You Look and Feel Younger

If you haven’t heard about the benefits of adding probiotics to your diet, you may have been under a rock for years. Probiotics may not be the fountain of youth, but they can definitely boost your health and help you look and feel younger.

Probiotics are the positive bacteria found in your body that help prevent – and treat illnesses. When you have a healthy digestive tract, your immune system benefits enormously and you tend to have a healthier glow and feel younger than you are.

Physicians often prescribe probiotics to help with digestive problems such as GERD or indigestion and you can get them in supplements or foods such as yogurt and even chocolate.

Probiotics keep you young and healthy by several methods. You lose much of the beneficial bacteria in your body by just living life – and lose even more when you take antibiotics and don’t practice eating a good and healthy diet plan.

The main benefit to probiotics to your body is that they move food through your digestive system efficiently and rapidly. They’re capable of assisting you if you have a condition such as IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), eczema and urinary or vaginal problems.

Mainly, probiotics can help to keep your “good” and “harmful” bacteria in check and working as it should to keep you healthy and your body functioning properly. Two kinds of probiotics exist – Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium.

Lactobacillus is the one most people consume from fermented foods and yogurt. These probiotics can be very advantageous to those who are intolerant of lactose – found in milk.

Bifidobacterium can be found in many dairy products and will ease issues associated with IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and other stomach and digestive tract problems. Make sure you check with your doctor about dosage.

Scientific evidence shows that you can prevent illnesses and even treat some of them by ingesting food and supplements which contain a certain type of live bacteria. Fermented foods such as sauerkraut and yogurt contain these beneficial microorganisms from which you can gain a ton of benefits.

By helping to prevent such disorders and diseases as GERD and IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), probiotics can add years to your life and help your immune system resist other diseases which can make you feel and look older than you really are. Learn all you can about probiotics and how they may help you regulate your digestive systems easily and naturally.

Seven Superfoods That Serve Up a Healthy Brain Boost

Exercising the brain by challenging it with puzzles and other methods isn’t the only way to maintain brain health. There are some foods you should add to your diet plan which will boost your brain power and also add to your overall physical good health.

The seven most popular superfoods which have been proven to boost brain power include:

1. Walnuts – Eating a handful of walnuts increases the amount of omega-3 fatty acids which are essential to the proper functioning of the brain’s neurotransmitters.

2. Wild Salmon – Our brains consist of approximately 60% fat and require fatty acids to keep its ability to function properly. Wild salmon contains DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) which provides the ability to resist Alzheimer’s disease and to prevent inflammation in the body and mind.

3. Tomatoes – Tomatoes contain lycopene, a fighter of free radical damage to the brain cells which normally affect dementia. They can also reduce risk of stroke and improve your mental acuity.

4. Broccoli – High in the nutrient, choline, which helps with the continued growth of brain cells and connecting neurotransmitters, broccoli is also rich in Vitamin K which helps in brain functioning such as cognitive skills.

5. Green tea – Known for years to help the neurotransmitters in the brain communicate with each other, green tea can effectively boost your concentration ability as well as prevent dementia. Drinking two to three cups of green tea per day may also reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease.

6. Turmeric – Adding some turmeric to your diet can help to keep your brain active and strong and also help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Sprinkle some turmeric over your food or add it to beverages. This healthy spice contains curcumin, which is essential to brain health.

7. Dark Chocolate – Your entire body can benefit from the addition of dark chocolate to your diet plan. It’s especially good for the brain because of its powerful antioxidants and also contains flavonoids which increase blood circulation – especially to the brain.

Another food which can significantly play a role in the health of your brain is acorn squash, which contains the B12 vitamin and folic acid – both which help prevent nerve damage and shrinkage of the brain.

Blueberries are also known to keep your brain at its very best with the flavonoids it contains which protect against free radicals and also play a significant part in improving cognitive skills and boosting memory. Add these brain power foods to your diet plan to stave off the effects that aging has on your brain and body.

Socialization and Isolation Issues as You Age

It’s okay to enjoy your alone time, and revel in having the time to read a good book or listen to music without interference. But, when you become lonely or feel isolated from the rest of the world or community, it may become a risk factor for your health and well-being.

Studies show that seniors who feel isolated and lonely have a greater risk of early death. Social contact is important as you age and is a powerful predictor of your future longevity.

As you age, you’re bound to lose some of the people who were close to you. Friends, family members and your spouse may pass away or move and your feelings of loneliness may increase to a level that leaves you isolated and depressed.

There are other ways besides mentally, that the devastating effects of loneliness and isolation can affect your life. One is that isolation can make you more vulnerable to what is known as elder abuse.

If no one is watching over your welfare as you age, it’s easier for predators to take advantage. Long-term health care may become necessary for lonely and isolated seniors.

This decision will provide the senior with much-needed contact with others. There are many services which strive to care for and support seniors, both physically and mentally.

Isolation of seniors also makes them more susceptible to cognitive decline and can lead to dementia or even Alzheimer’s disease. We are social creatures and need others in our lives.

When that need isn’t being met, the results can be both physical and mental decline. Long-term illnesses may also occur when seniors perceive loneliness and isolation. Studies prove that such conditions as mobility issues, depression, arthritis and long diseases such as COPD often occur when seniors are isolated.

High blood pressure can also become a factor in loneliness and isolation issues with seniors. Over a four year period, studies show an increase in the systolic blood pressure in seniors who are isolated and lonely.

Look for signs of depression in seniors and keep tabs on whether he or she is becoming more isolated because of mobility issues or inevitable loss of family members, friends or a spouse.

Living alone doesn’t necessarily lead to feelings of isolation, but it can be a factor if the senior doesn’t often engage in social activities. The statistics that prove the detrimental effects of isolation and poor socialization are alarming, but early intervention can help lessen the effects and bring a positive outlook to most seniors.

Taking Advantage of Naps to Increase Your Overall Sleep Stores

Inspirational author, Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy (A.K.A. SARK) wrote in her book, Inspiration Sandwich, “All at once, you sail away into a nap, where tangled nerves are untied and where time stops.” What a great way to relax and to increase your sleep stores.

Many people fall into the category of short period sleepers (also called polyphasic sleepers) and divide their days into two categories – sleep and wakefulness. Good naps during the day are believed to promote work performance, mood and alertness. That could be why many cultures include naps as an integral part of their lifestyles.

If you nap during the day, you’re in good company. Churchill, John F. Kennedy, Einstein and Ronald Reagan were all fans of napping during the day. Although napping doesn’t replace a good night’s sleep, nappers are usually found to be in good health and maintain their mental acuity far into old age.

There are three types of naps – one is planned. This involves knowing the time and place you’re going to nap and napping even though you may not be sleepy. This is a good technique if you’re planning to be up late or planning an evening where you’ll need your energy levels to be up.

Emergency napping can occur at any place and any time. You may feel you can’t continue at your job or activity until you shut down your mind and body for a few minutes or hours. Those who drive trucks or operate heavy machinery often use this technique to increase their sleep stores.

You may be a habitual napper if you take a nap each day and approximately at the same time. After lunch is a time when many seniors take naps and restore their mental acuity and energy for the remainder of the day.

Naps can actually help the learning process and benefit your brain’s memory function. One study divided people into two groups. Both memorized flash cards to test their memories. One group took a nap afterward and the other did not. Afterward, the group that had taken a nap remembered the cards much better than the other.

Taking naps give your body a head start to the remainder of the day and helps your brain and body deal with issues better. Naps also encourage better function of the heart, hormonal balance and basic cell repair and restoration.

The Mediterranean population includes naps in their daily routine as well as a diet and lifestyle rich in nutrients, sunshine and socializing with friends and family. As a nation, we’ve come to think of naps as wasting time. Rethink your feelings about naps. Try taking one once in awhile and see if it might be something that works wonders for you.

The Key to Happiness and Preventing Premature Aging

Happiness and preventing premature aging go hand in hand. No one wants to enter their later years in an unhappy situation from being physically and mentally unstable. Aging is a natural part of life, but there are many ways you can age gracefully – or rapidly.

Everyone is different in what makes him or her happy and also in how to keep the best health possible. When you know what you need to maintain good health and an active mind and body, you have power to combat the effects of premature aging.

The first thing you should know about preventing premature aging and maintaining your happiness is to strive to develop a positive attitude. Hope and optimism are essential to developing a positive attitude and that will make you happier and reduce the possibility of health problems such as arthritis, high blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases.

Anger defeats happiness and can help to form deep lines which will be easier remembered by the muscles. A more relaxed and happy state of mind relates to a more relaxed face – one that’s glowing with happiness and health.

Three things that can destroy your efforts to prevent premature aging are smoking, drinking too much alcohol and harmful sleep patterns. Health problems are sure to attack your mind and body when you reduce the amount of nutrients you must have as you age by engaging in these three bad habits.

Climate and skin hydration are also paramount in preventing premature aging and keeping a positive attitude. As you age, drinking plenty of water should be first on your list of staying young – and protecting your skin by using sunscreen and keeping it covered during wind and cold.

A diet rich in the nutrients you need for your particular body and mind is also imperative to prevent premature aging. Another benefit from enjoying a healthy diet plan is that your body works better and that makes you a happier and more satisfied person.

Watch your weight as you age. Keep in mind that your metabolism slows as you age and you may have to change your diet and exercise regimen to meet the demands of the slow-down.

Seek help if you encounter physical and mental problems, but try natural remedies if possible to alleviate any stress or difficulties rather than powerful drugs, which can wreak havoc on your health and mental well-being.

Making proper choices about your life and how you live it are also keys to maintaining your happiness, good health and good looks during the aging process. Slow down if you need to. Enjoy life to the fullest and you’ll enter your later years happy and satisfied.

The Myth About Needing Less Sleep as You Age

Teenagers seem to sleep an excessive amount of time, but their changing bodies need the rest. The same fact is true for seniors. It’s a myth that we need less sleep as we age and getting less sleep may actually cause a decline in brain function.

Medical scientists now know that getting the same amount of sleep you enjoyed when you were younger may help stave off age-related problems such as overall health and a decline in cognitive and memory functions.

One problem with seniors getting enough sleep is that they tend to sleep “lighter” and don’t get the same quality of sleep as before. The benefits for seniors of getting enough sleep range from staving off health problems to maintaining cognitive brain function well into the later years.

Studies show that seniors suffer from quality of sleep – but, if they maintain the quantity of sleep they once had, they can likely keep both brains and bodies healthy. When seniors get less than six hours sleep, studies indicate that the ability to remember things and perform tasks is greatly reduced.

One thing that hampers seniors’ ability to get enough sleep is the amount of time it takes to fall asleep. Deep sleep is harder to achieve, therefore more sleep time may be required.

Naps during the day are a good thing for seniors, but be careful that it doesn’t interfere with the sleep you strive for during the night. Chances are, if you’re sleepy during the day, you likely need a nap.

Sleep is a requirement of healthy aging, just as a healthy diet and exercise contribute to the body and brain’s functioning. Be sure your lifestyle is conducive to getting enough sleep by limiting the amount you eat close to bedtime and the amount of alcohol you consume.

The role that sleep plays in the aging process isn’t fully understood. Some people may simply need less sleep than others. But, in most recent studies, it’s been found that health and vitality in young and old are dependent on getting enough sleep.

Sleep disorders can also play a part in the aging process. If you find yourself nodding off excessively during the day or experiencing insomnia at night, see a healthcare provider for more information on what could be a treatable condition.

Mainly, ensure a good night’s sleep by making sure your habits during the day are favorable to getting the Zs you need to stay healthy.

Why Many Seniors Crave a Career After Retirement

The new wave of baby boomers entering the nation’s retirement years, aren’t yet ready to accept retirement and have a strong desire to delve into a new career and keep busy and active.

One factor for seniors craving a career after retirement is financial. Unfortunately investments have taken hits that were unimaginable when in the beginning planning stages. Growth was counted on for retirement, but missed the mark.

Now, many seniors can’t afford to retire and maintain the living standards they’re used to. Some have to choose part time jobs to supplement their retirement income and some are choosing full-fledged careers and beginning again on the path to success.

This boomer generation isn’t like their fathers’ and grandfathers’ generations. They are likely healthier and mentally, more acute and have much more opportunity to begin again.

They’re living longer and the expectations of retiring isn’t the same as it used to be. Now, seniors want to continue working and socializing, building up the nest egg that has all but vanished in the previous decades.

Now, seniors also desire to stay active by working and meeting new friends. But, problems occur when these seniors realize that the work force now requires them to work longer and harder and they may have a disadvantage to millennials when it comes to tech skills.

Even the art of submitting a resume has changed. Now, employers prefer that applicants apply online, so seniors need to learn a new approach rather than listing their job skills chronologically.

Also, some employers don’t want to invest money training a person who may retire (for the second or third time) or develop health problems which often plague seniors. Being in good physical condition and making the most of your appearance is a plus when searching for a job after retirement.

The main reason seniors crave a career after retirement is that they’re simply not ready for a life void of significant work that they enjoy and that can make them feel valuable to themselves and the community.

Fortunately, there are workshops and organizations that can help seniors looking for a job or contemplating a career after retirement. After a long stint in the workforce, a senior may begin to study and enjoy something they’ve always longed to do. This new mindset for seniors helps keep them young and vital well into their senior years and can help the community in which they live by utilizing their talents and skills.

Why Some People Look Years Older Than They Really Are

It’s just a fact that some people age faster than others. Many factors go into this fact – weight, where they live, diet, exercise and overall health are just a few. Genes also play a large part in why some people look older than they are. If your parents and grandparents aged rapidly, you may too.

The first thing to examine in why people age as they do is to look at their medical history and present health. Functions of the lungs, immune system, metabolism, kidneys and liver play a part in the aging process just as HDL cholesterol and cardio-fitness.

Dental health and the eyes are also important in determining why people age differently than others. Your lifestyle has the most to do with how you age. If you take good care of your body, you can expect to look years younger even though other factors may not be in your favor.

Little tweaks you can make in your everyday routine can take years off your face body and add years to your life. You can interfere with the aging clock and set it back by changing some bad habits to good ones.

You’ll be amazed at how your looks improve when you stop bad habits such as smoking, drinking too much alcohol, adopting the proper diet and exercising. A good skin-care routine can also subtract years from your face.

Wrinkles and age spots may be prevented by hydrating your body and your skin. Use a proper moisturizer for your skin type and be sure to wear a powerful sunscreen when you venture out in the sun.

Sun drastically ages a person. When you’re young, you may spend hours lying in the sun, oblivious to the harmful effects those rays are having on your skin. As you age, you’ll see what damage has been done and may even suffer from skin cancer.

You’ve likely seen people who have spent hours in the sun from work or pleasure and have the deep lines and spotted face to show for it. The effects of the sun can be somewhat curtailed by a good skin routine, but not completely eradicated.

If you never exercise and get enough fresh air, you run a risk of looking older than you actually are. Exercise releases chemicals which enhance your mood and your health, keep your skin glowing and muscles and joints moving properly.

So get rid of bad habits, which affect your overall health, adapt a good diet and exercise program and wear sunscreen. You’ll be amazed at how many years you can knock off your appearance.