Your cells have expiration dates, which means your body does as well. And when your body is under attack from holiday stress?by the extra spending, hectic schedules, visiting relatives, and not-so-healthy food choices?it can accelerate the aging process. Luckily, there are anti-aging strategies you can easily incorporate into even the busiest holiday season. These include using a nutrient called NR to support your sirtuins (the body?s so-called longevity enzymes).
?If you?re still not convinced that stress ages you, look at photos of U.S. presidents before and after four years in office,? observes alternative health expert and best-selling author Bryce Wylde. He explains that the three most observable signs of aging are:
- Deterioration: Visible wrinkles, lines, and pores
- Decent: Drooping and sagging; looking tired and worn
- Deflation: Lack of contour or when we begin to look hollow
This is your DNA on stress
Wylde describes how the anxiety over finding the perfect gifts, and a diet filled with too many holiday goodies, may lead to DNA damage. ?Your telomeres exist to protect your chromosomes from making mistakes as they divide. With each cell division, your telomeres get shorter and less effective. Free radicals, emotional stress, and oxidative stress can all shorten telomeres.?
He adds, ?Free radicals and Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) can damage cells, speed up the aging process, decrease life span, and lessen quality of life. Worst of all, when you’re stressed out you ramp them up exponentially!?
Luckily we are equipped with sirtuins. ?These are a type of protein that help regulate our lifespan,? Wylde explains. ?Sirtuins play an essential role in the cellular response to environmental and emotional stress and in promoting DNA repair. A lot of recent attention has also been given to the role of sirtuins in aging.?
Anti-aging foods and nutrients
Wylde says that it?s smart to load up on vitamin B-rich foods when you?re feeling stressed. ?Dark, leafy greens, asparagus, chicken, fish, bananas, and seafood are all good choices for replenishing your cellular energy and supporting cellular functions. But you can?t eat yourself young.?
He adds, ?Studies done on slowing the aging process suggest that we should aim to consume slightly?about 200 calories?under our caloric demands to keep free radicals under control. This may add years to your life expectancy. It does however come at the cost of being chronically hungry for all those extra years.?
So it?s back to supporting our longevity enzymes: our sirtuins. ?For sirtuins to work, they depend on a co-enzyme called NAD+. And to effectively and efficiently make NAD+, your body needs a special type of vitamin B3 called Nicotinamide Riboside, or NR.
?When we are stressed out, such as during the upcoming holiday season, your demands for NAD+ go way up. In effect, when you are stressed, you age faster. You can ramp up your NAD+ production by supplementing with NR. A recent human study showed that NR supplement increased NAD+ levels by 33 percent in 8 hours.?
Other natural ways to reduce holiday stress
Wylde says stress reduction isn?t a matter of changing one thing. It often involves examining every area of your life. His advice includes:
Track your stressors. ?Keep a journal for a week or two to identify which situations create the most stress and how you respond to them.?
Develop healthy responses. Instead of attempting to fight stress with fast food or alcohol, do your best to make healthy choices when you feel the tension rise. This might include deep breathing. Techniques such as meditation, deep breathing exercises and mindfulness (a state in which you actively observe present experiences and thoughts without judging them) can also help melt away stress.?
Establish boundaries. ?In today?s digital world, it’s easy to feel pressure to be available 24 hours a day. Establish work/life boundaries for yourself. That might mean making a rule not to check email from home in the evening, or not answering the phone during dinner.?
Take time to recharge. ?To avoid the negative effects of chronic stress and burnout, we need time to replenish and return to our pre-stress level of functioning.?
Supplement your diet with NR. ?Give yourself an energy edge at the cellular level, while also helping to defray the effects of stress on your DNA.?
Exercise. ?Yoga can be an excellent choice, but any form of physical activity is beneficial as a stress buster.
Getting enough good-quality sleep. ?This is important for effective stress management.?
Get some support. ?Accepting help from trusted friends and family members can improve your ability to manage stress. Your employer may also have stress management resources available.?
He concludes that, ?It?s important for your health to protect your body against the destructive, age-accelerating effects of free radicals and stress less this season.? And you?ll be thankful when you see a more stress-free reflection in the mirror next January.
Bryce Wylde, BSc, DHMHS, Homeopath, is known as a leading alternative health expert. Bryce Wylde is a highly knowledgeable and respected natural healthcare clinician whose specialty is homeopathy, clinical nutrition, supplementation, and botanical medicine and whose focus is routed within functional medicine. Wylde began his official on-air television hosting career with CTV in early 2008 starting on the CP24 news channel with his own hour-long highly rated weekly television show, Wylde on Health.