We are all a bit afraid of getting older – much like we are afraid of anything we are unfamiliar with. But can we ever hope to hold on to the health and vigorousness of our younger years? And can anti-aging vitamins and supplements help us do it?
Often marketed as nothing short of a miracle, these products promise anything from firmer and smoother skin to combating the disease and frailness that comes with old age.
Since the FDA does not regulate the production and distribution of supplements, there is sadly no way of knowing what you are actually getting. As a result, scams and serious health hazards have been made public on more than one occasion.
Before you decide to supplement your diet and take on some extra vitamins, let’s take a look at how they can help your efforts to maintain good health and strength as you age.
The benefits of vitamins and supplements
As we get older, the body naturally starts to decay, and there’s no other way of putting it. It becomes less adept at keeping illness at bay, our quality of life starts to suffer, and we are simply not as perky and youthful as we used to be.
Getting all of the nutrients our bodies need to function properly will help combat this process, slow it down, and make it more pleasant, but it will not stop it. There is simply no way to pause the clock and remain quite the same – not with supplements alone, that is.
Eating a balanced diet is the number one step you need to be taking – and supplements are there to support that effort. Getting all of your daily requirements will help:
- reduce the appearance of wrinkles
- regulate blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease
- boost collagen production in the skin, keeping it firmer and softer
- support your immune system
- maintain energy levels
Which vitamins should you be taking?
Often, the most difficult question is knowing which supplements and vitamins have what kind of an effect on your anti-aging efforts. Let’s explore the best choices:
This is an antioxidant that helps defend the body against free radicals. Since they are a major contributor to aging, adding vitamin A to your diet will help you combat them.
Another antioxidant, which is most often hailed as an aid in preventing and curing the common cold and the flu, but it also has a great effect on the skin. Like vitamin A, it combats free radicals and prevents them from wreaking havoc on your body. As it can commonly be found in vegetables and citrus fruits, you may need to up your intake of these foods rather than supplement.
Often known as the sunshine vitamin, vitamin D impacts the aging process in more than one way.
First, it has anti-inflammatory properties, which helps combat the stress in our bodies that contributes to the formation of free radicals.
Second, it helps the absorption of calcium, which, in turn, promotes bone health. A lack of vitamin D is also connected to an increased risk of diabetes and heart disease, so getting enough of it is key. If you are looking for an anti-aging vitamin, this should be at the top of your list.
Several of the B vitamins can help you slow the aging process.
Vitamin B3 helps form the co-enzymes that maintain moisture levels in our skin, balance the production of oils, and promote skin circulation. It also helps increase collagen and decrease glycan production, which helps reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
B6 has an important role to play in skin cell repair too, and our red blood cells need it to function properly. B6 can also help you combat adult acne.
B9, also known as folic acid, helps cell growth and contributes to a glowing and radiant complexion. It also helps detoxify the body and get rid of the chemicals and toxins that cause free radical formation.
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This is the most important antioxidant, as it protects the membranes of cells and prevents damage.
How to stay safe when choosing vitamins and supplements
As the supplement market is so unregulated, you need to practice some vigilance when shopping. In short, you’ll want to ensure that you’re only getting what you need, and that what you’re about to put in your body is of the highest quality.
Start by researching a brand before you make your purchase, and see what kind of a reputation they have. Read the reviews of others and see how your expectations match what others have experienced.
If you prefer, you can even make your own capsules, as opposed to shopping from other brands. That way, you will know exactly what you are putting into your body, and that nothing harmful is added to the mixture.
If you experience any unpleasant side effects, stop taking the supplement immediately.
Remember that supplements are meant to be an addition to a healthy diet, not a silver bullet for eternal youth. If you treat them as such, there is no reason why you shouldn’t reap their fullest benefits.