By Donna Gates, as seen on:

Everyone wants to look younger and feel younger.

When we are young our bodies bounce back easily from the multitude of stressors we put upon it every day. As we age, there is less bounce. There is less bounce in our skin, less resilience in our immune system, and even less elasticity in our blood vessels. Our joints may become stiff and our mental perspective is sometimes a little less flexible.

You could say that this is all a natural part of aging. But what about when all this begins to happen at 35 or 40 years old? What is speeding up the aging process for so many of us? The answer is in what you eat.

Sugar is one of the most aging substances that we consume. And, as a nation, we consume lots of it. A big part of this excessive consumption has to do with the hidden sugars found in sauces, deli meats, snack foods and other savory premade foods. Then there are all the little sugary additions that we regularly stir into our morning coffee, finish off a meal with, or munch on for a mid-afternoon energy lift. Even the “healthy” sugars found in organic snack bars and dried fruit chews are still sugar.

Refined or not, sugar is sugar. And once in the body, too much sugar from any source does the same thing: it ages the body.

Sugar ages the body from the inside out. The more sugar we eat, the more we encourage the next generation of wrinkles to pop up. The effect of sugar on the skin has something to do with what sugars do once they meet protein molecules. Proteins are found throughout the body because they are a fundamental building matrix. Even blood cells are protein rich! A cross-link between sugar and protein is brittle and at a certain point, becomes irreversible. This brittle cross-link creates a lot of instability in tissue that is meant to be flexible and pliable.

Of course, no one wants wrinkles or sagging skin. But what about joints that are stiff and painful to move? Or blood vessels that no longer distribute nutrients to tissues? Or arteries that slowly narrow with atherosclerotic plaque?

Fortunately, traditionally fermented foods are easy to make and one of the most anti-aging foods that you can put into your body.

Believe it or not, fermented vegetables like traditionally made kimchee and sauerkraut can actually curb cravings for sugar. Coconut water kefir is thirst quenching, revitalizing, and instantly takes away the urge for sugar by giving your body what it really wants. Which is fuel and energy.

Give it a try. The next time your energy is dragging and you feel like reaching for a sugar-filled energy bar, try sipping on fermented coconut water. You will be happy you did and your cells will thank you!

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