How to look good at 100!

In today’s world, most of us are obsessed with beauty. Unfortunately, this usually means looking at beauty externally rather than internally. External beauty is a reflection of our internal health and I usually advise that we begin by looking at our internal terrain.

Whatever is going on in our internal environment is ultimately reflected in how flawless, vibrant and healthy our skin is. When our cells regenerate they need the right conditions – a clean toxic-free environment, oxygen and nutrients in order to regenerate correctly. This can be best described by the work of Dr. Alexis Carrel, Noble prize-winner who stated:

“The cell is immortal, it is merely the fluid in which it floats that degenerates. Renew this fluid at regular intervals, give the cell what it requires for nutrition, and as far as we know, the pulsation of life can go on forever”.

Dr. Carrel kept a chicken heart cell alive for 28 years, far outliving the lifespan of a chicken, which is 7-12 years. The cells did not die of ageing, they died as a result of the laboratory assistant forgetting to clean the cells external terrain. I suspect he didn’t keep his job for long after that!

So what else causes our cells to die prematurely? Why does cell turnover have to slow down as we revolve around the sun? What causes the decline in collagen, elasticity and wrinkles?

I will try to answer these questions as simply as possible in layman’s terms. For cells to regenerate successfully they need three things:

1. Water

2. Nutrients

3. Oxygen

Water is vital for cells. I always advise that we drink three litres of fresh, clean drinking water every day, not including teas and vegetable juices. It is prudent not to drink tap water if we are to live a long and youthful life. Our tap water contains fluoride, chlorine and heavy metals which the water filtration system in the UK is unable to get rid of. It also contains traces of pesticides, chemicals, cement, narcotics and pharmaceuticals. The authorities will argue that they are in such small amounts that they affect us very minimally but I would argue that this, along with all of the other stresses we put on our bodies, are responsible for our premature ageing and other diseases.

The answer is simple. Drink glass-bottled water, never plastic, and/or buy a water filter for the home. The latter is relatively inexpensive and does save an incredible amount of money compared to buying bottled water. Water is the first line of defence when it comes to cleaning our internal terrain and getting rid of toxins and waste material. It also keeps our cells well hydrated and looking youthful.

We also need nutrients in the form of amino acids, lipids, micro-nutrients, vitamins, minerals and the right types of fats. Every second our cells replace one million cells, therefore we have to continuously have the right building blocks for our cells if they are to regenerate perfectly.

This is the reason why our nutrition is paramount and we need to source the best raw ingredients possible (apologies for going on about organic food but I truly believe there is no other way). Non-organic food contains pesticides, in some cases it is irradiated to kill some, if not most, of the enzymes within the food which allows the food to last longer without going off, in short giving it a longer shelf life.

So what are the daily choices we make that affect the daily rate of our skin and what can we do as individuals and as family members to ensure we not only nourish ourselves but also our families to the best of our abilities? We have to be aware of what products we are buying and bringing into our home. Organic chemical free toiletries, cosmetics and chemical free cleaning products are essential. Unfortunately most of the best-known products on the market all contain petroleum derivatives, especially beauty products and the irony is that these products are put on the market to make us look better. I have listed below a list of the most dangerous ones.

PCBs (Polychlorinated Biphenyls) – banned for decades but still present in our environment. PCBs have been known to cause cancer and impair foetal development. Farm raised salmon are fed ground up fish that have absorbed PCBs so I would stick to wild fish wherever possible.

Pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and insecticides are all carcinogenic, hence the reason I advocate organic food. Some of the risks associated with these are nerve damage, birth defects, Parkinsons Disease and malabsorption.

You should also avoid the following: Parabens, Methylparabens, Benzoate, Alkyl Parahydroxy, Fragrance, Lisoparaben, Butyl Paraben, Propylene Glycol, Propylparaben, FD&C color pigments, Benzene, Petrolatum, Parafin.

The list is endless but I have only added what I think are the most dangerous.

All of these toxins cause inflammation and it is my opinion that inflammation is the major cause of disease and premature ageing. So lowering inflammation is the key, consuming foods such as sugar, processed foods and rancid fats triggers inflammatory responses within the body. So the best way to avoid all of these toxins is to eat free-range organic meats, if I had to pick just two they would always be eggs and chicken. Try to stick to wild fish, avoid processed foods, clean your home with natural cleaning products such as vinegar, lemon and bicarbonate of soda; ozone is also an amazing cleaning product. Use natural brands of toiletries, especially your tooth paste, making sure it has no chalk, SLF and sodium fluoride (I can hear the screams now – “What, no fluoride in our toothpaste?” I suggest you do your own research on this one). Also avoid artificial air fresheners, dryer sheets and fabric softeners etc.

Try to get plenty of safe sun exposure to boost vitamin D levels and your immune system. 15 minutes a day should be fine but try not to have a shower for two hours after sun exposure to allow the vitamin D produced on the skin to soak through into your system.

Eating yourself young

Juicing is a great way to remain young and in some cases reverse the ageing process. My favourite juice recipe is: Pineapple, Turmeric, Ginger, Lemon, Wild Kale. Try for the most part to cook at home and when eating out learn to make the right choices when it comes to sauces. Avoid the microwave at all costs and do not be shy to ask when eating out if your food as ever been in the microwave. Use honey and stevia instead of sugar and add things like sauerkraut to your meals – not only is it full of digestive enzymes but it gets rid of the sugar cravings at the end of your meals.

Last but not least, sleep. There is no way around it, sleep is vitally important when it comes to looking younger. When we sleep we release growth hormone which aids in our healing and regeneration process.

If you follow this advice, while I can’t guarantee you will live to be 100 years old, I can say with confidence that you will be one of the freshest- faced, most sprightly people in that old folk’s home!