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Natural Awakenings Washington DC Metro

Beauty is Not Just Skin Deep

Aug 30, 2015 09:59PM
by Dr. Isabel Sharkar
When it comes to aging gracefully, get glowing from the inside out and preserve what you have. By nourishing and supporting your cells at a cellular level, you can delay the signs of aging. As we age, our bodies develop deficiencies in key nutrients and if you have not incorporated regular detoxing as a part of your lifestyle chances are your toxic burden is high. As a result, low-level chronic inflammation may occur leading to serious, age-related diseases. However, no matter where you are at, there is hope.

First, it is important to understand the factors that accelerate aging. They include a poor diet filled with processed and refined food, sugar, overindulging in alcohol and cigarettes, poor sleep hygiene, lack of exercise and sweating, chemicals in food and personal hygiene products, dehydration, stress, negativity, worrying, toxic buildup from our environment and lastly blocked channels of elimination. Although all of these factors contribute to aging, you have the power to change them.

There are many things that we can do to keep our bodies young and healthy. However, the best anti-aging formula begins with the mind—the attitude you have about yourself as well as life in general. Maintain a positive outlook of innocence, wonder and awe. Stay curious with a carefree sense of adventure and take your responsibilities lightly. Happy people age well.

Next, a simple nutritional evaluation will reveal your body’s exact vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Let food be thy medicine and increase your antioxidant levels. By practicing intermittent fasting and caloric restriction, you eat less to live longer. Improve your diet, digestion and bowel movements.

Stay hydrated by drinking three liters of water per day, starting with one liter of water immediately upon waking up to flush out toxins. Drinking plenty of water maintains your skin’s moisture balance, lubricates your joints and keeps your cells supple. Refrain from smoking, it causes wrinkles and increase free radical damage in the body. Instead, practice deep breathing exercises to increase oxygen.

Did you know that stress alone could make you appear up to 10 years older? Take ownership of your stress and manage it through meditation, yoga and regular massages. Get your body moving, exercise and stretch. By sweating every day you are helping your body eliminate toxins. Exercising in the morning helps you sleep better at night. The best exercise regime is one that includes high intensity interval training for a half-hour three times a week, with low intensity walking, yoga and stretching on the days in between. Spend time outdoors and get some sun every day whenever possible.

Practice good sleep hygiene and stay away from electronics 90 minutes before bed, the blue light spectrum emitted from the screens decreases melatonin production and signals the brain to produce more daylight hormones, thus keeping you awake. Get to bed before 11 p.m. The deepest and most regenerative sleep occurs between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m., where you get the most melatonin secretion.

See a qualified holistic health practitioner and get a personally tailored health protocol individualized for you and your needs in delaying and reversing any signs of aging. It’s never too late to start.

Dr. Isabel Sharkar, ND, is a licensed naturopathic physician and co-owner of Indigo Integrative Health Clinic, in Georgetown. For more information, call 202-298-9131 or visit


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