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Healthy aging, truth or myth

Marita Schauch, ND

Special to the Village News

Healthy aging is not a myth. Making choices daily to improve your health, no matter what age you start, will pay off as you feel your body’s power propelling you to live a long, healthy life. Let’s explore some healthy aging lifestyle tips and super nutrients that can aid us in living a healthy long, fulfilling life.

The foundations

Sleep is a major key to health and longevity. Turn off electronics a few hours before bed to prepare for rest. Restful sleep allows the body to rejuvenate, heal, and repair. Eat whole foods. Buy organic food and eat plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits each day, and be sure to add adequate amounts of clean, healthy proteins, like fish, chicken, legumes, and more.

Avoiding processed food and refined sugars also helps fuel a healthy body and mind. Move your body, walk, park farther from the store, find an exercise buddy, or join a walking or jogging group. Find something you enjoy so you have no trouble keeping active regularly. As little as 30 minutes a day can have a massive impact!

Glutathione and the body’s natural detoxifying system

Exposure to environmental toxins through agricultural practices, personal care products, and cleaning supplies has a profound effect on how we age and our longevity.

We can link the accumulation of heavy metals and toxins to increased rates of autoimmune diseases, Alzheimer’s disease, chronic fatigue, and reduced metabolic power, which significantly impacts our mitochondria, central to energy and metabolism. Even at low levels, these toxins leave the body feeling run down and sluggish.

The good news is that our bodies come equipped with a system to detox and remove toxins and heavy metals. This system is made up of three main organs, the liver, colon, and kidneys. The liver works hard to filter toxins from the food we eat before reaching the bloodstream. The colon works to flush these toxins out through solid waste.

The kidneys constantly work to filter the blood for any toxins and excrete them through urine. One of the key chemical components the body uses to detoxify itself is the nutrient glutathione, produced naturally by the liver. Without adequate glutathione levels, the body cannot correctly expel toxins, which means they accumulate in the body. 

You can find glutathione in food sources such as garlic, onions, and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, kale, and cabbage. Getting adequate amounts from food sources alone cannot always rectify a toxic overload. Supplementing with glutathione, alongside other lifestyle changes, is the most effective way to support your body’s return to balance.

The benefits of vitamin C

Vitamin C, also known as L-ascorbic acid, is an essential, water-soluble vitamin. In 2018, a study measured patients’ blood vitamin C concentrations over a period of 16 years. The conclusion of the 16-year trial showed that individuals whose blood samples contained the highest levels of vitamin C at the time blood was withdrawn were 25% less likely to die than those with the lowest levels.

The evidence was undeniable that vitamin C played a notable role in healthy aging and longevity. Most people can benefit from supplementing with vitamin C. Vitamin C supplements can be found in many forms, such as powders, capsules, tablets, sprays, etc. Look for liposomal technology to enhance absorption. Always check with your healthcare practitioner before adding new nutrients to your diet, especially at higher doses.

Stop premature aging with collagen and grape seed extract

Collagen is a protein that makes up the skin and connective tissue in your body and in animals, birds, and fish. It is often considered the “glue” that holds the whole body together. Benefits include improving skin elasticity, strengthening hair and nails, relieving joint pain, and improving bone strength. I like hydrolyzed bovine or marine collagen sources that provide the body with the main types of collagen.

Grape seed extract has been used as a remedy in Europe for thousands of years for hundreds of health conditions. Research shows that grape seed extract is good for circulation, cardiovascular conditions, and high cholesterol. Grape seed contains antioxidants that protect cells from deterioration and the skin from sun damage to prevent premature aging and support radiant, youthful skin.

Every day in my clinical practice, I assist patients in understanding that the power of aging well is in their hands. Once you make daily choices to move your body, clean up your diet, add a few essential supplements, and avoid processed food, I guarantee you’ll feel better, more energetic, and well on your way to living a long, active, healthy life.

Dr. Marita Schauch is the author of two books, “Making Sense of Women’s Health” and “Collagen Myths & Misconceptions.” She also co-wrote “The Adrenal Stress Connection.” In addition to her clinical practice, she lectures across North America educating people on positive lifestyle choices.


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