Tips for putting the brakes on aging


"What ages us the most without any question is the inflammation in our body," Dr. Mehmet Oz says. "We're literally rusting away on the inside because we're exposed to oxidation. Not just from the sun, but from the foods that we eat."

Oz says food can do to us what rust does to a car. Oxidation is harmful and what you put in your gas tank is a big determiner of your quality and length of life.

"Antioxidants and anti-inflammatories are usually bundled together so it's a kind of a two-for-one deal," says Dr. Jonny Bowden, author of "The Most Effective Ways to Live Longer: The Surprising, Unbiased Truth About What You Should Do to Prevent Disease, Feel Great, and Have Optimum Health and Longevity."

Bowden, along with Oz, offer up a few anti-aging tips that can help you extend your life expectancy.

The first one is to aim for whole natural foods found in plants and certain proteins like wild salmon.

"When you walk into a grocery store you're walking into a pharmacy," Oz says. "Don't forget it. Those are powerful tools for you to be able to use."

Yet the mainstream American diet is bland, white, processed and loaded with empty calories. That type of diet creates oxidative damage and something called glycation.

"Anytime you mix a sugar with a protein, they glom on together and they make something taste really good," Bowden says.

Unfortunately, they also create something bad-char broiling and cooking at a high heat with sugar and protein makes an internal sticky mess, which Bowden likens to sugar in your gas tank.

"When it happens in the body, it increases the risk for diabetes, it ages the body, it slows things down," Bowden says.

The second anti-aging tip: cook foods at moderate heat. Think slow and low for best results.

The third tip is to rethink your portions.

"We eat until we're stuffed. We eat until there's no more food on the plate and we get these portions that would feed a small family for a week," Bowden says.

Those living to the age of 100 or beyond are generally trim, especially the men. It is attributed to making a lot of their meals at home and stopping the eating when they're 80 percent full.

"The Okinawans have a saying. It's called 'Hara hachi bu' and it means push yourself away from the table when you're about 75 to 80 percent full," Bowden says. "Anybody can do it and it doesn't really matter what you're eating. Just eat 75 percent of what you would normally eat."

The final tip for turning back the clock is to get off the couch and be active. Movement is imperative.

"We were meant to move," Bowden says. "We were not meant to get on the treadmill three time a week for 20 minutes. Really, exercise is probably the best anti-aging strategy on the planet."

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