8 bad habits you need to get rid of to slow down aging

Although aging is a natural process and cannot be prevented, there are various factors that accelerate aging.

A number of experts revealed to Fox News the most common unhealthy behaviors that accelerate the aging process and offered some advice on how to avoid them.

1. Smoking

Several studies have shown that smoking shortens lifespan.

“Smoking accelerates aging by exposing you to harmful chemicals, reducing oxygen supply, destroying collagen, and increasing oxidative stress,” says Obstetrician-Gynecologist at Age Rejuvenation in Florida. said Dr. Dawn Erickson, Medical Director. “Smoking accelerates aging by exposing you to harmful chemicals, reducing oxygen supply, destroying collagen, and increasing oxidative stress.” The harmful effects of tobacco extend beyond lung health; This is because it “accelerates skin aging and increases the risk of periodontal disease and tooth loss.”

Dr. Brett Osborn, a Florida neurologist, added that smoking introduces toxins that weaken skin elasticity and collagen production, leading to the appearance of wrinkles.

Experts agree that the quickest solution to all of these health problems is to quit smoking immediately.

2. Excessive sun exposure

Erickson pointed out that excessive exposure to sunlight can damage the skin’s DNA and cause aging, which causes wrinkles, sagging, and age spots.

Dr Osborne warns that overexposure to sunlight increases the risk of skin cancers such as basal cell carcinoma and melanoma, which can be fatal.

“To protect your skin, use a high SPF sunscreen regularly, wear protective clothing and avoid peak sun exposure,” Osborne advised.

In addition to keeping the skin moisturized and using antioxidants such as vitamins C and E.

3. Malnutrition

Experts agree that a diet deficient in nutrients accelerates the aging process.

Dr Erickson warned that a diet high in processed foods, sugar and unhealthy fats can cause inflammation, destroy collagen and accelerate skin aging.

Osborn added that processed foods and a diet high in sugar can cause inflammation and free radical damage.

To reduce the signs of aging, experts recommend eating a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean protein, anti-inflammatory fats (omega-3 and omega-9) and low on the glycemic index. is recommended.

“The antioxidants found in these foods fight free radical damage, as do antioxidant supplements such as vitamin C, green tea, and omega-3 fatty acids,” Osborn says.

4. Don’t exercise

“Lack of physical activity contributes to aging by causing muscle loss, bone density loss, weight gain, and cardiovascular problems,” Erickson says.

She emphasized that regular physical activity is essential to maintain muscle mass, circulation, and cognitive health as we age.

According to Osborne, “Exercise turns on more than 100 genes associated with longevity, so don’t skip it. It’s good for your body and mind.”

5. Excessive drinking

Mr Osborne warned that alcohol dehydrates the skin and can cause liver damage and cognitive impairment.

He added: “Alcohol also causes problems in regulating blood sugar levels and is closely associated with obesity. Alcohol is a cytotoxic substance and therefore accelerates the aging process.”

Dr. Erickson confirmed that excessive alcohol consumption accelerates aging by causing dehydration, nutrient depletion, inflammation, liver damage, and collagen breakdown.

As with smoking, the solution is to stop or reduce alcohol intake, experts say.

6. Chronic stress

While some stress is normal and healthy, chronic high levels of stress can shorten telomeres. Telomeres are protein structures in DNA that “play an important role in cell fate and aging by fine-tuning the cellular response to stress and stimulating cell growth.” Previous Fundamentals of Cell Division and DNA Damage It becomes. ” says the National Institutes of Health.

“Chronic stress can worsen skin conditions, affect mental health, and lead to accelerated aging,” Erickson says.

Long-term stress can affect the body’s ability to repair itself, leading to premature aging, Osborn said.

“Aging is a state of increased inflammation, and when the body’s ability to produce cortisol and reduce inflammation is exhausted, it takes over unchecked,” he explained.

Osborne said stress management techniques such as mindfulness, meditation, therapy and regular physical activity can reduce stress.

7. Lack of sleep

Dr. Erickson pointed out that sleep deprivation reduces skin health, increases inflammation, causes hormonal imbalances, and accelerates the aging process.

“Sleep deprivation also interferes with cellular repair and affects cognitive function,” she says.

“Sleep is critical to the body’s regeneration process, and if you’re not sleeping, it’s harder to regenerate,” Osborne added.

To improve your sleep health, Osborn suggested setting a regular schedule, creating a relaxing environment, and avoiding stimulants before bed.

8. Poor oral hygiene

Erickson warned that poor oral hygiene can lead to periodontal disease, tooth loss, tooth stains and bad breath, which accelerates aging.

She added: “Gum disease and tooth loss not only affect your oral health, but also your overall health, which contributes to aging.”

Ideal oral hygiene requires regular dental checkups, proper brushing and flossing, and the use of antibacterial mouthwashes, Osborn said.

New research has revealed that food preferences can have a big impact not only on your physical health, but also on your brain health.

A balanced diet that includes balanced amounts of vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, and moderate amounts of dairy, eggs, and fish is associated with improved brain health.

Research published in the journal Nature Mental Health shows that a balanced diet leads to better cognitive function and lower gray matter volume in the brain, which is associated with intelligence, compared to people who eat a less diverse diet. It is also associated with an increase in .

Lead author Professor Jianfeng Feng from the University of Warwick highlighted the importance of setting healthy eating preferences early in life.

“Eating a healthy, balanced diet from an early age is critical to healthy development. Fostering the development of a healthy, balanced diet requires family and school involvement,” he said. Both should provide a variety of nutritious meals and create an environment that supports physical and mental health.”

During the study, researchers analyzed the dietary choices of 181,990 UK Biobank participants, as well as the results of various physical assessments, including cognitive function, blood tests, brain imaging, and genetics.

The team collected each person’s dietary preferences through an online survey, which they categorized into 10 groups (alcohol, fruit, meat, etc.).

Participants were divided into four groups: those eating a no-starch or low-starch diet (subtype 1), vegetarians (subtype 2), and those eating a high-protein, low-fiber diet (subtype 3), and those who eat a balanced diet (subtype 2). subtype 4).

A type of artificial intelligence called machine learning has helped researchers analyze large datasets.

The results showed that people who ate a balanced diet showed better mental health and better cognitive function compared to the other three subtypes.

The study points to the need for gradual adjustments in diet, especially for people accustomed to tasty but nutrient-poor foods.

Researchers suggest that by slowly reducing sugar and fat intake over time, people may naturally gravitate toward healthier food choices.

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