For years, scientists believed aging was a foregone conclusion and out of our control. However, we have more authority over the aging process than previously thought. Part of aging has more to do with the stress and the functioning of your cells than it does with the number of candles on your birthday cake. The best way to protect cells involves the consumption of antioxidants, many of which are available in plant-based foods.
Antioxidants and Aging
By now, you’ve probably heard the buzz about antioxidants. Antioxidants are potent compounds that counteract free radical damage to your cells. They support an overall healthy lifestyle by boosting cellular health and encouraging healthy aging in more ways than one. Below are the top anti-aging antioxidants to try.
1. Astragalus Root
A compound in astragalus root, TAT2, stimulates your cells to produce telomerase, an enzyme that aids telomere repair. Telomeres occur within each cell, and short ones indicate damaged DNA. They are one of the key contributors to increased cellular aging. Astragalus root also supports the liver’s toxin-removing actions. They stimulate increased urine flow, which flushes the kidneys and prevents toxin buildup.
The French Paradox — they drink abundant red wine, yet have lower rates of heart disease — made resveratrol famous. It's now known for its role in promoting longevity. Present in red wine, grapes and grape juice, and dark chocolate, resveratrol is unique among antioxidants for its ability to cross the blood-brain barrier. In doing so, it can deliver potent soothing properties and free radical scavenging actions directly to brain cells. Its effect even mimic caloric restriction (like intermittent fasting), a proven anti-aging dietary strategy.
Similar to resveratrol in function, pterostilbene may even be a more powerful antioxidant. Like resveratrol, it mimics caloric restriction which slows aging and promotes healing. Researchers have found it very effective for protecting and rejuvenating brain cells and promoting normal blood sugar and cholesterol.
4. Pyrroloquinoline Quinone (PQQ)
Often called PQQ Na, this non-protein co-enzyme facilitates cellular metabolic processes and stimulates mitochondrial regeneration, an essential factor in slowing the aging process. It also neutralizes free radicals and reactive oxygen species compounds that expedite physical aging. 
Every cell in the body requires Coenzyme Q10 to produce ATP. As a factor in the metabolic process, it acts as an antioxidant to neutralize free radicals protecting the cell, DNA, and mitochondria from oxidative damage. Combining CoQ10 with PQQ has proven even more effective than each individually. With Global Healing's CoQ10 & BioPQQ® with Shilajit, you get the benefit of both power-antioxidants. Shilajit, a nutrient-rich compound from the Himalayas, enriches bioavailability of the antioxidants.
6. Digestive and Systemic Enzymes
Digestive enzymes work only in the digestive tract, while systemic enzymes support digestion and also enter the bloodstream to clear toxins and irritants. Systemic enzymes support immune function and countless other processes in the body.
7. Alpha Lipoic Acid
Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) comes in two forms, r-lipoic acid (the most bioavailable and bioactive form) and s-lipoic acid. Lipoic acid plays a crucial role in mitochondrial energy creation which makes it an important part of the cellular life cycle. Inadequate levels lead to faster aging. Like other compounds used in mitochondrial processes, alpha-lipoic acid possesses a strong antioxidant effect.
8. Pomegranate Extract
9. Tibetan Rhodiola
Tibetan monks consider Rhodiola the supreme herb. Two potent compounds in the herb – salidroside and rosavin – act as antioxidants, protect nerves and brain cells, encourage physical performance, and boost feelings of wellbeing.
Points to Remember
The human body naturally produces several of these antioxidants: CoQ10, PQQ, R-lipoic acid, and the digestive and systemic enzymes. However, these same antioxidants decline naturally with age, making supplementation helpful.
Often, environmental and dietary toxins (such as HFCS, aspartame, MSG, etc.) overload the body’s stores of these native antioxidants. This leads to less than stellar health in more ways than one.
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- Denise McCormack and David McFadden. A Review of Pterostilbene Antioxidant Activity and Disease Modification. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2013; 2013: 575482.
- Zhang JJ1, Zhang RF, Meng XK. Protective effect of pyrroloquinoline quinone against Abeta-induced neurotoxicity in human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells. Neurosci Lett. 2009 Oct 30;464(3):165-9. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2009.08.037.
- Liu W1, Ma H, Frost L, Yuan T, Dain JA, Seeram NP. Pomegranate phenolics inhibit formation of advanced glycation endproducts by scavenging reactive carbonyl species. Food Funct. 2014 Sep 18.
†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.