By Olivia Janisch

If you are under thirty you are young, if you are over thirty you are old. Period.

How many people actually believe this? Well, my understanding is that age is just a number, and youth is available to whoever so choses it.

Youth is not an easy metric to measure. I’ve met people in their twenties, grumpy and tired, who’re already sick of life, while I’ve met scuba diving seventy-year-olds who see every new experience with the eyes of a child.

It is up to each one of us to choose and nourish our youth. Youth comes in the form of light heartedness, the willingness to try new things, good sleep, a strong immune system, healthy skin, and a joy that shines from within.

Here are some ways to nourish your youth, and to prove to anyone that no matter how old they are, they have the choice to tap into their own.

1. Eliminate toxins

Toxins lead to oxidative stress, which is thought to be involved in the development of cancer, Alzheimers, heart failure, and visible signs of aging, to name a few.

There are toxins we can’t control, like pollution and unsafe chemicals used in buildings. More importantly, however, are the toxins we can protect ourselves from. These are pesticides, hydrogenated oils, artificial sweeteners, antibiotics and hormones in animal products, and harmful ingredients in your body and cleaning products.

All toxins interfere with the healthy functioning of our bodies and brains, and accelerate aging. The cleaner the food and products you expose yourself to, the more youthful you will look and feel.

The easiest way to do this is to eat mostly whole, organic, unprocessed foods, and to support farmers who responsibly raise their animals free from hormones and rBGH. Purchasing body and cleaning products that are certified to be free from harmful toxins is another excellent way to reduce your exposure to toxins, as the skin absorbs everything it’s exposed to.

2. Incorporate foods that support your youth

Foods rich in antioxidants and omega-3s can help slow, reduce, and even reverse signs of aging.

Antioxidants reverse the effects of oxidative stress, are potent protectors against disease, and contribute to a healthy and youthful complexion. Incorporate them into your diet with citrus fruits, carrots, tomatoes, leafy greens, and green tea.

Omega-3s are potent anti-inflammatories, which reduce the effects of undesirable substances in our systems from outside toxins and poor diet. They’re absolutely essential for a sharp mind and healthy brain, so load up on walnut, avocados, olive oil, coconut oil, flax seed, and mercury free wild-caught salmon.

3. Relax

Being in a constant state of stress is probably one of the worst things we can do for ourselves. It’s not unusual for people to be completely sleep deprived, burning the candle from both sides with no end in sight.

This kind of constant struggle wears us down physically and emotionally, and takes a big toll on our immune systems. A non-stop lifestyle significantly accelerates aging, and certainly doesn’t let us enjoy the present.

Yes, work hard, but make sure to take time to check in with yourself and nurture the body that does so much to support your amazing ambitions.

Expose yourself to new experiences, smile, take care of your health, and feel your youth shine through, at any age.

Photo credit André Spieker

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