How Your Body Stays Young

Posted by on Jan 19 in Healthy Aging, Healthy Aging, Men, Women

Do you know that your body is 15 ½ years old? You probably have had more birthdays than that – I certainly have.

“According to recent research, that’s the average age of your body – your  muscles and guts, anyway. You might think that you have been around since the  day you were born, but most of your body is a lot younger,” says Gaia Vince at New Scientist  magazine.

The reason the average age is 15 ½ years is because every day 432 billion cells die and are replaced with new cells. That is a lot of cells.

Last week for instance, I cut myself while chopping vegetables; that cut healed completely which means millions of cells were replaced.  It doesn’t stop there though:  all over my body, old cells are dying and are being  replaced. It’s happening in your body too.

Your gums, your red blood, cell your skin – almost everything.  This regeneration is happening right now, as you are reading this.

Fascinating Facts About the Regenerating Body:

•    Cells in our digestive system, from the stomach to the  large bowel, are replaced every 5 minutes.
•    Gums are  replaced every two weeks.
•    A new liver every five  months.
•    New covering of skin every four weeks.
•    Our red blood cells live 120 days.
•    Our heart is replaced every six to nine months.
•    Your  liver is capable of renewing and repairing from as little as 25 percent of its  tissue.
•    New studies are indicating that even brain cells may regenerate.

This is the miracle of the human body: the miracle of regeneration. The  body looks the same in the mirror every day, but this is only because we can’t  see the tiny parts being replaced.

That process makes me highly optimistic that you could have a better functioning body next year if you want, with less pain and more energy… if you take the right steps.

Is Your Body Degenerating Or Regenerating?

We know that in a fashion we are creating a new body by slowly getting new cells every day. The question is whether our new cells will be a healthier or  less healthy.

The quality of the new cells is dependent on the raw material, the food that  was available when the replacement cells were being formed. If you feed the body  the proper food and nutrition, the new cells being formed can actually be  stronger and healthier then the old cells ever were.

This is called regeneration. If you feed the body poorly, the result will be  cells of an inferior quality.  This is degeneration.

There are limits to this of course. Reasearchers estimate that 30 percent of  our health is determined by genetics.  You can do a LOT with 70 percent  though and even the expression of genetics has been shown to be moderated by the  environment.

The Big 5 Degenerators that steal our health:

1. Processed foods are dead food with calories but almost no  nutrients! All processed food is deficient in enzymes that are necessary for  digestion.  It fills your body, especially your liver, with chemicals that  are used to create a long shelf life for the products. Research by a team at the  London University College suggests that a diet high in processed food increases  the risk of depression.

2. Sugar is known as the “white death” for many  reasons. It depresses the immune system. Just one teaspoon of sugar depresses  the immune system for two hours. It depletes calcium. And we wonder why there is  so much osteoporosis! Sugar overworks the pancreas creating a roller coaster  effect. Sugar does not contain any vitamins or minerals, just lots of  fat-building calories.

3. Alcohol is toxic to the liver,  depletes B vitamins, depresses the nervous system, and inhibits the role of the  bone marrow’s job of regenerating blood cells.  Nerve connections between  brain cells are affected by alcohol which inhibits communication signals,  slowing down mental processing. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and  Alcoholism (NIAAA) says: “Two studies compared brain shrinkage in alcoholic men  and women and reported that male and female alcoholics both showed significantly  greater brain shrinkage than control subjects. Studies also showed that both men  and women have similar learning and memory problems as a result of heavy  drinking.” You can have fun and be silly without alcohol. I do.

4.  Caffeine (highly addictive) puts stress on the adrenal glands,  negatively affecting the nervous system, causing emotional fatigue. As a  diuretic it dehydrates the body and depletes calcium, magnesium, and  phosphorous. In some people it can increase blood pressure. Caffeine is not just  in coffee! One can of Coke has approximately 35 mg of caffeine. Other soda pops  have from 35 to 50 mg of caffeine, and they are full of sugar too.

5. Rancid fats and  oils (deep fried foods, baked goods) create free radicals which  injure cell membranes, enzymes and DNA. They stress the digestive system and the  liver and raise blood cholesterol. Fats and oils also contain 120 calories per  tablespoon.

Now you know what doesn’t work to create a healthy body.  Feed your  cells high quality food so that regeneration occurs.

Here’s a short list of items that supply the necessary environment for  high  quality regeneration. They cost less than most degenerators and  some won’t cost  you a penny.

The Big 5 Regenerators (Good Guys):

1. Fresh  vegetables are filled with vitamins and minerals and are good source of  phytochemicals that protect the body from disease and aging. They keep the body alkaline. Eat LOTS. They are the “heavyweights” in  regeneration.

2. Fresh fruits are filled with vitamins and  minerals, and are a good source of phytochemicals.

3. Whole  grains (brown rice, oats, buckwheat, barley, millet, quinoa) are a great source  of vitamins, minerals, good fiber and contain some protein.

4. Drink lots of pure water as it is needed  for digestion, circulation of body fluids and joint lubrication.

5.  Exercise. Nourishing friendships. Being in nature. Sleep. They are  important in regeneration too and each one is a subject on its own.

The best thing about regeneration is that you don’t have to think about what  your body is doing. All you have to do is set up the proper conditions and your  body will take care of everything else.

A healthy body has the ability to heal itself of all (or almost all) problems  if properly nourished. Thinking and worrying about it does not enhance the  process, it actually can slow it down. You might as well be a carefree teenager  just like your 15 ½-year-old body!

Final Factors in Staying Young:

Once the body has the basic raw materials for proper regeneration the next  step is how we use that body.
Equally important is  how we use the mind  that “drives” the body.

The body was not meant to sit idle. Neither was our mind. If you are not moving the body regularly, it will become toxic and acidic. Some health  professionals say you should not sit for more than one hour without getting up  and moving around. I personally like to move around outside so I can also get  the sunshine and fresh air.

*This article was contributed by Diana Herrington. For terrific healthy recipies, visit Diana’s website: Real Food for Life!