Does flying actually age you?

There was a study recently that revealed flying leads to DNA damage and actually ages you. I must agree because after my last 3 flights in the course of a week during which I’m sure I can count several more grey hairs and a few more lines on my face.

A hiccup of faith

Recently I was flying from Calgary to San Diego, the flight ended up being over three hours delayed, which I innocently attributed to bad weather since my husband had just driven through a snow storm to get me to the airport. Once I was settled nicely in my seat the reason for our delay was announced – there had been a mechanical problem that needed fixing. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m always relieved when they catch mechanical problems on the ground and not when we’re in mid-flight but I had a little hiccup of faith for a moment and hoped the mechanics were more rested and refreshed than I was at the moment. Oddly my mind was more comfortable with the thought of a storm delay – like that’s a better reason!

Okay God, what’s up with all this drama?

Only a few days later I was flying from San Diego to Arizona for a brief stay there before returning to Canada. Somehow I managed to lose my passport in the San Diego airport…yikes! In situations where drama is presenting itself in my life I always like to ask for guidance with the question “Okay God, what do I need to learn from this experience?” Well I had the pleasure of asking that question for 5 days before I had my passport back in my hands – which happened to be on the day of my return flight to Calgary – the expression “by the skin of her teeth” comes to mind!

Being completely at ease now that my entry back into Canada was now firmly in my grip I buckled up for what turned out to be the most turbulent three-hour flight of my life. Drinks were flying, people were screaming and the flight attendants were hunkered down on the floor of the aircraft for nearly 20 minutes, a sight I’ve never seen in all my years of flying. Of course we made it safely home or I wouldn’t be writing this but I could feel the stress of this past trip stripping away my youth and vibrancy with every bump…but fortunately not the famous calm in a crisis I’m known for!

Here’s the good news

I’m not at all surprised to learn, even without these stress-filled events, that flying indeed ages you. Of course there is some good news – because there is always good news here at Courage to be Healthy™ – there is an easy way to protect yourself.

Of the 82 male pilots researched in the study, those eating a diet high in (but not the highest) foods such as citrus fruit and green leafy veggies – specifically foods high in vitamin C and E, beta-carotene, beta cryptoxanthin, and lutein-zeaxanthin – had about 40% less damage to their DNA. Those consuming the highest level of these foods had far less damage – 73% less!

So eat your fresh, raw (rich in living enzymes) and anti-oxidant rich foods in abundance – especially when you’re participating in something humans weren’t intended to do – like flying way up there exposed to ionizing radiation and EMFs.

One last little tip

Also look for the learning in events that appear to be drama or crisis. Are you playing the victim or do you use these moments as opportunities to find that place of calm within (or better put – faith in a higher source) and reclaim your personal power over your thoughts and choices in every situation. As Lena Horne once said “It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it.”