Raise your hand if you are a big fan of premature ageing, disease, and death.

Yeah, not so much, right?

Yet, this is exactly what a massive amount of people are doing on a day to day basis, some knowingly and some unwittingly. If you’re reading this article right now, chances are you are interested in reversing the ageing and disease process, and maybe adding a decade or two to your life span through a healthy lifestyle.

Part of that can be accomplished by either completely avoiding or drastically limiting the following ten foods, behaviours, habits, and toxins. For damage that has already been done, a highly nourishing and cleansing diet (as found in the THRIVE Lifestyle Academy) will help remove toxic residues and feelings in potentially as little as 60 days.

Keep in mind this list could be much longer, but if you deal with these ten effectively, you are on the highway to health.


If you want to find The Fountain of Youth, you should search no further than good, clean water! Considering that the body is made up of approximately 70% water, it makes perfect sense that dehydration will create a pronounced ageing effect (often seen in the skin) and accelerate the disease process. There’s a reason why you can only live a few days without water.

Dr. Batmanghelidj, M.D. pointed out the significance of water in his popular book, Your Body’s Many Cries For Water. Having studied the effects of water on the human body for over twenty five years, he spent much of his life on educating people to properly hydrate themselves to avoid premature disease and death.

Dr. Batmanghelidj believed that chronic dehydration lead to many of today’s illnesses, such as heart disease, asthma, hypertension, lupus, and multiple sclerosis. He also pointed out that conditions such as arthritis were a cry for help from a body that is suffering from chronic dehydration:

“If you have chronic pain in the spine, hands, or legs, that means those joints are thirsting for water,” he said. “You are not drinking enough water. The pain is due to dehydrated joints, plus wear and tear, and the inability of the cartilage to repair the damage.”

Think of water as the “grease” in your body that helps every simple function work effectively, from your heart to your bowel movements. Without proper hydration, these things can slow down and grind to an uncomfortable stop.

It is also important to remember that dehydration can influence your cognitive abilities, and even mild levels can disrupt mood, concentration, alertness, and short term memory. Nothing makes you feel old like arthritic joints and a failing memory, so you can begin to appreciate the importance of proper hydration.

Now, the simplest way to fix this is not necessarily to drink more water, but rather, drink BETTER water. If you consume tap water, poorly filtered water, or water from plastic bottles, you are not being properly hydrated. Furthermore, if you are drinking reverse osmosis or distilled water without adding back in minerals, you are also effectively dehydrating yourself (even though it is cleaner and better than tap or most filtration systems).

Get the Big Berkey For Clean Mineralized Water

It is also important to note that to avoid dehydration you need to cut back on dehydrating foods and beverages like bread, meat, coffee, and alcohol. In combination with that, start eating more water dense fruits and vegetables, preferably in their raw form.

To get the complete picture on water consumption and optimal sources of it, read Guide To Drinking Water.


At this point, it probably shouldn’t come as a surprise that smoking is a major reason for accelerated ageing and disease. This comes mostly from conventionally made cigarettes, but there is also a negative effect from other smoking mediums.

So why is cigarette smoking so harmful to your ageing process and promotes untimely disease? Let me count the ways:

  • Cigarettes are more than just tobacco. In fact, there are a ridiculous amount of other toxic ingredients that are sure to pull the life out of you. Some of these toxic substances include arsenic, methane, butane, cadmium (batteries), toluene, ammonia, and methanol (rocket fuel). Mix this in with a (un)healthy dose of carbon monoxide and nicotine, and there’s no wonder they call them “cancer sticks”.

  • The carbon monoxide in cigarettes displaces oxygen in your body and your skin, and the nicotine reduces blood flow, which leaves your face dry and discoloured.

  • Cigarette smoking depletes essential nutrients that are important for your vitality and your skin, including vitamin C which helps protect and repair skin damage.

    • The cadmium in cigarettes is a well-known toxin that is particularly harmful to the kidneys. This may affect your urinary system, make you retain water, and promote bags and dark spots under your eyes.

    • Smoking is a leading cause of cancer, including lung, throat, mouth, esophageal, and skin cancer. In a 2001 study, smokers are three times as likely to develop squamous cell carcinoma than non-smokers.

    • Cigarette smoking is also extremely taxing to the thyroid, which is partly responsible for your energy, weight, hormonal balance, and metabolism. Decreased thyroid function can lower energy, make you more irritable, and cause your hair to thin and fall out.

      • The nicotine in cigarettes damage the fibres and connective tissue in your skin, causing it to lose elasticity and strength.

      • Smoking cigarettes can increase the risk of cataracts by 22% by putting oxidative stress on the lens of the eye.

      • Cigarette smoke damages the delicate cilia lining the inner walls of your lungs and irritate them to the point that they produce excessive mucous. As this mucous builds, respiration suffers.

      This is just a short list of how smoking can cause premature ageing, disease, and death. Ready to quit yet?


      Alcohol is very prevalent in our society, and is often the go to beverage of choice in a wide variety of situations. In fact it is heavily consumed in any celebration, or set back, and this categorizes the majority of human’s moods on a day to day basis.

      Although there has been several studies showing the benefits of alcohol, the drawbacks are more pronounced. Alcohol, after all, is a drug and with one to many wobbly pops comes the slurring, irrational behaviour, lack of balance, and headaches. This is certainly not the symptoms of a healthy choice.

      One of the primary reasons alcohol causes premature ageing, disease, and death is it’s effect on your liver. In order to metabolize alcohol, it has to turn ethanol (alcohol) into acetate, and that doesn’t happen without first converting ethanol into acetaldehyde. This compound is up to 30 times more toxic than ethanol itself, so it has no place being in the body. If your liver is not properly producing glutathione, a compound that transforms acetaldehyde into acetate, the liver’s detoxifying processes are put on hold while glutathione stores are attempted to be built back up. This mean that the noxious acetaldehyde in left circulating in your bloodstream.

      If your liver is compromised and your glutathione stores start to deteriorate, regular consumption of alcohol (especially more than one drink per hour) leads to more of this poisonous substance circulating in your bloodstream. This not only hurts the liver, but every organ and gland that is fed by your bloodstream. So effectively, this alcohol consumption pollutes your entire body and compromises all your body’s functions.

      Nothing accelerates prematures ageing, disease, and death more than introducing poison into your bloodstream.

      Find out the signs of liver damage, and how to heal it naturally.

      Chronic stress

      Chronic stress is a common complaint these days, as people attempt to keep up with the pace of life. Unfortunately, this usually results in poor work-life balance, bad eating habits, and an excess of legal drugs like coffee and alcohol.

      Stress has a number of negative effects on the body, many of them which will create premature ageing, disease, and death. One of the major components that facilitate this process is elevated cortisol.

      Cortisol is an adrenal hormone (often called the stress hormone) and if it stays abnormally high (such as in chronic stress conditions) it can become dangerous and contribute to long term health problems. It has been linked to adrenal fatigue, hormonal imbalances, heart disease, excessive blood sugar levels, elevated cholesterol, excess body fat (particularly around the midsection), and depressed sex hormone levels in both men and women. Those with rheumatoid arthritis or other autoimmune conditions have also been found to have high cortisol levels.

      Nothing makes a person feel old like being tired, moody, and achy, and high cortisol from chronic stress is sure to create many of these symptoms.


      This one should be obvious to most health enthusiasts by now, as sugar has been waging war on people’s health for decades. More specifically, white refined sugar that is found in baked goods, highly processed foods, and even “healthy” snacks.

      If there was on thing that has had the most detrimental effect on people’s health and has created many chronic and degenerative diseases, it’s sugar. Sugar feeds infections like candida and causes it to proliferate to extremely unhealthy levels, which in turn cascades into multiple disease processes. Sugar is also an excellent food source for cancer, an epidemic that is now being diagnosed in approximately 50% of the population in North America.

      Refined sugar consumption also suppresses brain derived neurotrophic factor, or BDNF, a very important growth hormone for the brain. This factor triggers new connections between neurons in the brain that are vital for memory function. Studies have shown low BDNF levels in patients with depression and schizophrenia, and the consumption of sugar could exacerbate those conditions by further contributing to those low levels.

      Refined sugar also increases inflammation, which can disrupt the digestive and immune systems. If this inflammation is chronic, it can lead to a higher risk of depression and schizophrenia. Dr. Ilardi, associate professor of psychology at University of Kansas, encourages depressed patients to remove refined sugar from their diets, and those who were willing to comply reported significant improvements in mental clarity and mood.

      Some of the other common chronic diseases that sugar consumption promotes include diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, obesity, arthritis, high blood pressure, and even dementia.

      To help keep that ageing and disease process to a minimum, severely restricting ALL added sugar is necessary. For those who are relatively healthy, stick to whole fruits for your sweet cravings, and try to eat them more seasonally. For those with candida overgrowth, cancer, or diabetes, avoiding high sugar fruits would be prudent.

      Highly processed fats

      Most everyone is familiar with processed foods and how they can create all kinds of health problems. One of the many harmful ingredients commonly found in these foods is highly processed fats.

      There are three processing techniques in particular that are a major cause of concern, and those are extraction, hydrogenation, and homogenization.

      In today’s extraction processes, oils are processed in large factories by crushing the oil-bearing seeds and heating them to 230-degrees Celsius. The oil is then squeezed out under immense pressure (10-20 tons per inch), which generates more heat. During this process the oils are also exposed to damaging light and oxygen.

      If this weren’t bad enough, in order to extract the last 10 percent of the oil from the crushed seeds, processors treat the pulp with solvents, usually hexane. This solvent is then boiled off, but up to 100 ppm may remain in the oil. Not only are these solvents toxic but they also retain the pesticides sticking to the seeds and grains before the processing even begins.

      This high-temperature processing causes the weak bonds of unsaturated fatty acids to break apart, creating dangerous free radicals. To add insult to injury, high temperatures and pressures destroy antioxidants such as vitamin E, which protect the body from free radicals. To make matters even worse, BHT and BHA are often added to these oils to replace the natural preservatives that were destroyed by the heat.

      With hydrogenation, polyunsaturated trans fats that are normally liquid at room temperature are turned into fats that are solid at room temperature. Prime examples of this process are margarine and shortening.

      To make these oils, manufactures start with the cheapest oils on the market, typically soy, corn, cottonseed, or canola (which are already rancid from the extraction process) and mix them with tiny metal particles like nickel oxide. The oil with this nickel catalyst are then exposed to hydrogen gas in a high pressure, high temperature reactor. Following that, soap-like emulsifiers and starch are squeezed into the mixture for better consistency and it is then subjected to high temperatures again to be steam-cleaned in order to remove its unpleasant odor.

      Finally, since the margarine is now a very unappetizing grey color, bleach is used to remove it. Dyes and strong flavors are then added to make it look like butter, and it is then packaged and marketed to appear healthy.

      Finally, homogenization is a process where the fat particles of cream are strained through tiny pores under great pressure (4000 lbs. per square inch), which results in the fat particles being so small they stay in suspension rather than rising to the top. This makes the fat and cholesterol more vulnerable to rancidity and oxidation, and research suggests that these homogenized fats may contribute to heart disease.

      As a result of this process, certain proteins can bypass the digestive process instead of being broken down for proper assimilation. Once in the bloodstream, these unaltered proteins can trigger autoimmune diseases like diabetes and multiple sclerosis.

      This should make it very clear that any highly processed oils that have undergone these treatments should be avoided at all costs to prevent premature ageing, disease, and even death.

      Artificial sweeteners

      Artificial sweeteners such as Splenda, Equal, Sweet ‘N Low, sucralose, aspartame, and most recently, AminoSweet are found in 6,000 products and consumed by more than 250 million people (Americans consuming about half). Artificial sweeteners can be found in found in sodas, yogurt, chewing gum, cooking sauces, tabletop sweeteners, flavored water, cereal, and sugar free products.

      Aspartame is a combination of chemicals, namely aspartic acid (an amino acid with excitatory effects on brain cells), methanol, and phenylalanine, and when broken down produces a compound that is a powerful brain-tumor-causing chemical.

      Aspartame consumption causes a variety of other symptoms including anxiety attacks, slurred speech, depression, and migraines.

      Stay away from these toxic nightmares at all costs.

      Low antioxidant diet

      Antioxidants have become a bit of a buzz word, but are legitimately a huge factor in the rate we age and develop disease. Unfortunately, the foods that contain these oxidation inhibiting substances are arguably the least purchased of all the foods at the grocery store. Instead, low antioxidants foods like processed grains, animal protein,  and dairy make up the lions share of food consumption, which severely limits antioxidant intake and drives up the the ageing and disease process.

      A low antioxidant diet will facilitate many health issues, including heart disease, cancer, and dementia. It will also inevitably make you age much quicker, and facilitate other varieties of diseases.

      To get rich sources of antioxidants (foods high in things substances like carotenoids, beta-carotene, lycopene, and vitamin C), you need to consider a wide variety of fruits and vegetables (the brighter, the better) like tomatoes, peppers, carrots, pumpkin seeds, sweet potatoes, pomegranates, strawberries, kale, broccoli, grapes, and squash. The more raw these foods are, the better! These types of high antioxidant foods can provide skin, heart, eye, memory, mood, and immune system benefits.

      For the highest antioxidant foods and the most benefits, consider:

      • Goji berries

      • Wild blueberries

      • Dark chocolate

        • Pecans

        • Artichoke

        • Elderberries

          • Kidney beans

          • Cranberries

          • Blackberries

            • Cilantro

            Also, don’t forget about herbs which have high antioxidant levels as well! Ten of the best  herbs for antioxidants include:

            • Clove

            • Cinnamon

            • Oregano

              • Turmeric

              • Cocoa

              • Cumin

                • Parsley

                • Basil

                • Ginger

                  • Thyme

                  It’s easy to find these items in most grocery stores, just spend more time in the whole foods, no label section.


                  With 100,000 deaths and 2 million injuries each year being caused by legal prescription drugs in the United States, and with 1.5 million Americans contracting cancer each year, eyebrows are now being seriously raised on the risks of prescription medication.

                  In fact, just a few years ago, according to a 10-year-long study, accidental overdose deaths in New Mexico caused by prescription drugs increased at a HIGHER RATE than those caused by illegal drugs – heroin and cocaine. That’s alarming.

                  Actual poisoning from prescription drugs has RISEN to become the second-largest cause of unintentional deaths in the US, according to the CDC. When did the increase really gain so much momentum? In its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, researchers found that deaths from prescription drugs nearly doubled in the US from 1999 to 2004. This mortality data was collected from the National Vital Statistics System.

                  On the alternative side of medicine, statistics from the U.S. National Poison Data System have revealed, in a 174-page detailed report, that the number of Americans actually killed in 2009 by vitamins, minerals, amino acids or herbal supplements was exactly zero. On top of that, data shows that not even one single death was caused by a dietary supplement in the prior year of 2008. The annual report published in the journal Clinical Toxicology shows zero deaths from taking any of the vitamins A, B, C, D or E. That full report also states zero deaths from any other vitamin.

                  With these kinds of statistics, it’s clear what is the most dangerous habit of all in causing premature death. So make a plan to eventually wean yourself off these toxic medications, and start embracing REAL medicine and a healthy lifestyle, like the THRIVE Lifestyle Academy.

                  Heavy metals

                  One of the most common but often unnoticed reasons for health issues is due to the accumulation of toxic heavy metals such as mercury, lead, aluminum, arsenic, and cadmium.

                  Mercury is one of the worst and is well known as a neurotoxin that can be found in metal fillings, pollution, fish, and flu shots.

                  Lead is also a big issue that people are exposed to through lead-based paint, water, batteries, rubber products, and more. Some symptoms related to lead toxicity include brain dysfunction, hypertension, and kidney disease.

                  Aluminum is another sinister heavy metal that you can find in antiperspirant, water, cookware, foil, over the counter drugs, baking powders, and table salt. It can cause illnesses such as Alzheimer’s, osteoporosis, nervousness, anemia, headaches, forgetfulness, speech disturbances, and decreased liver and kidney function.

                  Arsenic is mainly found in pesticides, hazardous waste sites, water, and factory farmed chicken! It has been linked to cancer of the bladder, lungs, skin, kidneys, liver, and prostate.

                  Cadmium can be found in food, water, industrial pollution, and cigarette smoke. Long term exposure to low levels can contribute to cancer, kidney disease, lung damage, and fragile bones.

                  Unfortunately, all of these heavy metals are known to accumulate and are very difficult to remove from the body. This makes avoidance of these exposure areas vitally important in order to avoid premature ageing, disease, and death.

                  There are certainly more perpetrators on this list of things that can cause premature ageing, disease, and death, and some of the notables include glyphosate, GMO foods, and conventionally produced animal products.

                  It can be intimidating at first on knowing where to start so you can avoid accelerating these processes and living a higher quality of life, but if you truly want to be informed and start to live the lifestyle that largely avoids these threats, look closely into the THRIVE Academy.

                  Join the THRIVE Academy!

                  Sources for this article include:

                  Why Water Is Key For Anti-Aging

                  15 Ways Smoking Ruins Your Looks

                  Smoking Kills (Your Organs): 6 Major Organs Damaged By Cigarette Smoke

                  Why Does Alcohol Cause Hangovers? The Answer May Change Your Drinking Forever…

                  Sick From Stress – The Cortisol Connection

                  What Diseases Come From Eating Too Much Sugar?

                  Five Ingredients That Poison Your Brain

                  Top 10 High Antioxidant Foods

                  Shocking U.S. Death Chart Reveals Root Cause Of Most Mortality Comes From Prescriptions And Food Chemicals

                  Five Common Metals To Avoid, and Where You’ll Find Them

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                  Derek Henry

                  Derek Henry, Founder of Healing the Body and the THRIVE Academy, used nutrition, supplementation, and a holistic lifestyle to naturally unravel 13 chronic disease conditions that conventional or alternative medical professionals couldn't help him resolve. As a result of this one-in-a-million health transformation and the knowledge acquired in the process, he now educates, coaches, and inspires others to transform their health through a natural and holistic approach. Since 2014, he has helped his THRIVE Academy participants heal over 20 different chronic disease conditions, primarily related to digestive and autoimmune concerns.

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