Have you ever wondered why some people never seem to show the effects of age? I mean, take me, Adaptogenie, for example. I’m a couple thousand years old and I still look fabulous. What’s my secret? Of course, you already know the answer…adaptogens!
Here’s the really good news. You have access to the same amazing plants as a genie and you can receive all the benefits of their incredible anti-aging properties. But before compiling a list of the best youth promoting adaptogens, let’s look at the research that has been done surrounding the aging process.
For thousands of years the Chinese have had a tradition of anti-aging practices that involve diet, exercise, sexual practices and herbal formulas. All of these are used in combination to slow down the aging process and contribute to an active and healthy old age.
The ancient Taoists saw aging in remarkably modern terms. They believed that people are born with a finite amount of qi and that this was dependent on their parents. In modern science this corresponds to your genes. They then discussed how to supplement this qi by eating well, exercising and getting sufficient rest. All this good advice is now part of an emerging field called epigenetics, which is the study of how your environment and your choices can influence your genetic code.
According to more recent research, here are a few of the modern factors that can contribute to premature aging:
- Stress. This includes work stress, unsupportive relationships and poor work/life balance
- Eating foods lacking in nutrients, including foods that can cause inflammation such as alcohol, coffee and, for some people, wheat. The additives in processed foods have been shown to accelerate aging in mice, so to keep your body feeling young, limit foods made in a factory and instead stock up on unprocessed foods.
- Not eating enough nutritious foods. If I could give you one anti-aging tip it would be to eat as many fruits and veggies as you can in a broad range of colors.
- Lack of sleep. A 1999 study conducted by the University of Chicago and published in the Lancet found that cutting down from 8 hours of sleep a night to 4 hours produced significant hormonal changes and had an effect on glucose tolerance. “We found that the metabolic and endocrine changes resulting from a significant sleep debt mimic many of the hallmarks of aging,” said Eve Van Cauter, Ph.D., professor of medicine at the University of Chicago and director of the study.
- Lack of exercise. Regular exercise can slow down the effects of aging on many of your body’s systems. It’s most important effect is on the heart where it slows down resting heart rate and increases pumping capacity. It also lowers blood pressure and makes the heart muscle and blood vessels less stiff. On top of that exercise increases red blood cells and decreases the blood’s viscosity.
- Environmental toxins. Many of the chemicals found in household cleaners, soaps, shampoos, deodorants and cosmetics have been found to be endocrine disruptors and can contribute to premature aging. Isn’t it ironic that the cream we buy to reduce wrinkles may well contain additives that are making us age from the inside out.
So, if the aging process can be delayed through good nutrition and relieving stress, adaptogens should be at the top of everyone’s plan for health and longevity.
Here are 5 adaptogens that have been scientifically proven to help you look younger and stay more active.
- Ginseng – In Chinese herbology Ginseng is a qi tonic so it has long been priced for giving energy and increasing vitality. It seems to offset the effects of stress on the body and there is good scientific evidence that ginseng improves the immune system.
- Cordyceps – High in anti-oxidents, Cordyceps has been used for thousands of years in China where it is revered for it’s immune boosting properties and it’s ability to enhance energy. Recent research has shown that coryceps can reverse some of the effects of aging in mice.
- Rhodiola – Widely used by Russian athletes and cosmonauts to improve energy and performance, rhodiola helps your body manage stress. It is calming and plays a role in normalizing heart rate after stress or exercise.
- Ashwagandha – High in anti-oxidents and used in Ayurvedic medicine for its infection fighting properties, ashwagandha is also used to address depression and reduce the effects of stress.
- Holy Basil – Another ayurvedic herb, holy basil supports the cardiovascular system, balances insulin and even improves the moisture level of the skin. It helps to reduce the effects of stress by lowering cortisol levels.
I can’t promise that by adding the these 5 amazing plants to your daily regimen that you’ll live as long as Adaptogenie, but I am confident that you’ll notice a difference in both the way you look and the way you feel. Hey, age is just a number right?