13 Natural Remedies That Can Help Slow Down Aging
Pharmacies are stocked with products that claims to solve aging ailments, but some of the best remedies are as natural as can be.
Considering our body is made up of nearly 60 percent of the stuff, it seems common sense that drinking enough water could improve our life expectancy. "Drinking adequate water to stay hydrated helps assist in digestion by keeping our gut moist and lubricated, helping our bodies carry nutrition to our cells, as well as in the ridding of waste products," says Barbara Joy Jones, DO, Gwinnett Medical Center-affiliated physician. "Aesthetically, it helps keep our skin looking like a fresh grape versus a dehydrated raisin." Learn more about the benefits of drinking water. Some brands of mineral water even offer magnesium, calcium, and phosphate.
“Probiotics are 'good' gut bacteria that provide many health benefits when part of a healthy diet and supplementation regimen, from immune system integrity to even producing certain vitamins," explains Roger Adams, PhD, personal trainer, doctor of nutrition, and owner of eatrightfitness. "Research has also indicated that probiotics may help improve certain skin conditions like eczema, improve urinary tract health, and even lessen allergy symptoms," says Adams. While you can get probiotics in many of the foods you eat, such as yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut, and kefer, you can also up your daily dose with over-the-counter supplements. Here are 13 probiotic foods to add to your diet.
You’ve probably noticed that collagen is an ingredient in numerous skin care products on the shelves today, but it’s also found in the body naturally—in joints, bones, muscles, and tendons. "It's the major protein in the body that binds tissues together, and is also known as the body’s scaffolding or supporting structure," explains Dr. Adams. The only issue is that, as we age, our body's production of collagen starts to decline, which leads to physical signs of aging such as wrinkles. Taking a collagen supplement, or consuming any protein source rich in proline and glycine, may help increase your body's production. However, Dr. Adams recommends ensuring that your collagen supplement comes from a reputable company. Find out if collagen pills for skin, hair, and bone health really work.
This golden ancient spice that gives curry its yellow color has a slew of anti-aging benefits, specifically anti-inflammatory and antioxidant protective perks. "The active ingredient, a compound called curcumin, has been found to prevent cognitive decline," says David Friedman, ND, DC, doctor of naturopathy, clinical nutritionist, and chiropractic neurologist. In other words, if you want to have a sharp mind through the decades, take turmeric. But that's not all, Dr. Friedman points out: Studies also show turmeric to be helpful in reversing many of the chronic illnesses associated with aging like heart disease, Alzheimer's, diabetes and cancer. This is what happens when you eat more turmeric.
If you're good about staying out of the sun, the downside could mean that you're not synthesizing enough vitamin D—which is actually a hormone that plays a key role in almost all organ systems in the body, explains Olivia Rose, ND, a naturopathic doctor in Toronto, Canada. "From prevention and treatment of heart disease, osteoporosis, muscle pain and weakness, joint pain, memory issues, prevention of cold and flu, as well as the prevention of cancer and more, optimal levels of vitamin D in the blood should be around 120 nmol/L," she says. "Older adults also make vitamin D less efficiently than younger individuals, therefore supplementation is key." Here's how to know if you should get your vitamin D levels checked.
Coconut oil's benefits have been getting a lot of attention—it is incredibly nutrient-dense, and people around the globe use it as a natural remedy for a myriad of ailments. In particular, Dr. Adams explains, coconut oil is a good source of antioxidants, which help fight diseases like cancer, heart disease, joint pain and inflammation, and aging. While he does not recommend taking coconut oil in large amounts, due to the potential negative aspect that it may raise bad LDL cholesterol, he encourages clients to use it sparingly in cooking to impart different flavors and add variety to their diets. Check out these 8 extraordinary uses for coconut oil around the house.
Omega-3 fatty acids
This heart-healthy fat is essential to good health with a laundry list of benefits, such as improving eye, brain, and heart health and fighting depression and anxiety. "Omega-3s, found naturally in the diet in fatty fish like salmon, albacore tuna, mackerel and sardines, and also in other sources like chia, flax, and walnuts, are important for helping our body reduce inflammation, improve heart health, and maintain healthy skin," says Dr. Adams. "Omega-3s are also critical for brain functioning and some research shows supplementation may be beneficial during pregnancy for fetal brain and eye development." He usually recommends clients take 2.5-3 grams of omega-3 per day, but to be sure to consume with food to increase absorption and minimize any gastrointestinal upset. Learn more about how omega-3 rich foods add years to your life.
For centuries, healers have hailed this beverage as a longevity booster. In fact, one study published in the Annals of Epidemiology found that individuals who consume green tea on a regular basis are at a lower risk for heart disease and premature death. Additionally, green tea has brain-boosting benefits—it seems to enhance memory and increase attention. Aim to drink one to two cups of green tea daily, ideally in place of your coffee. Here's what you need to know about matcha green tea.
Perhaps the most appealing natural anti-aging remedy, dark chocolate may keep you young thanks to its rich antioxidant content. One study from the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology showed antioxidants in dark chocolate—mainly flavonoids—protect the brain from age-related cognitive decline. What's more, Dr. Friedman notes, eating dark chocolate regularly can have positive effects on the skin by reducing facial wrinkles, helping protect against sun exposure, and improving skin elasticity. Learn more about the health benefits of dark chocolate.
These yummy, round berries are more than delicious: They also contain an age-defying antioxidant called anthocyanin, which research has found to possess powerful anti-inflammatory effects. "In addition, blueberries increase brain signaling, which improves memory and helps balance glucose levels, which may combat neurodegeneration linked to Alzheimer's disease," says Dr. Friedman. "Also, research from the Harvard School of Public Health shows regular consumption of blueberries can reduce the risk of heart attack in women by 32 percent." These are 10 of the healthiest fruits for your body.
You may have heard about the anxiety-reducing and sleep-enhancing benefits of CBD oil, but did you know it can improve circulation, reduce heart issues, and prevent the kind of high blood pressure linked to aging? "CBD oil derived from cannabis has been shown to reduce blood pressure and improve circulation, although there have not been a lot of studies because cannabis has been illegal for many years," says Lynn Anderson, PhD, ND, a naturopathic doctor and yoga therapist. "CBD oil removes the THC, which is the compound that causes the 'high' for cannabis," she explains. You can learn more about CBD oil, here.
This oil, a byproduct of wine-making, also serves as an anti-aging remedy, according to Dr. Rose. "Used topically, grapeseed oil can strengthen hair strands when added to your regular hair conditioning regimen and it can also be used as an all-natural makeup remover, which will also help reduce the appearance of fine lines due to its incredible antioxidant properties," she says. "Grapeseed oil is rich in vitamin E, a vitamin and antioxidant known to be helpful for the prevention of heart disease, particularly when it's consumed as food." She recommends using it straight or adding a few drops to your favorite moisturizer or adding a teaspoon to a facial mask of ripe avocados. These are the safest cooking oils to use for every type of meal.
This root vegetable that's native to subtropical climates, mostly South America, is rich in carbohydrates and serves as an excellent source of fiber, vitamin C, potassium, and folate (an essential nutrient for pregnant women). It also happens to help with creaking joints, a sign of arthritis. "Arthritis, like many diseases, is inflammation-related, and yucca root extract happens to be an ancient natural remedy for inflammation," says Dr. Anderson. "Yucca is a good source of saponins, which may have anti-arthritic properties by suppressing intestinal protozoa which may have a role in joint inflammation." Next: These are the 13 foods you should never, ever eat raw.
Disclaimer: Every product is independently selected by our editors. If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission.