For the longest, aging has conjured up images of feeble, sickly human beings beginning as early as the ripe young age of about 35 and extending beyond, which has caused many people to fear or downright hate the idea of aging. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, with today’s advancements in nutritional knowledge, which stresses the effect of nutrients on various body processes as well as how to eat for better health, it makes it easier for people to live healthier, stronger lives and delay the aging process through their diet.
Furthermore, as more and more people are adopting this holistic way of eating for improved health and longevity, think iconic legends like Christie Brinkley, Cher, Tom Cruise, and Denzel Washington, the results have even sparked the new coin phrase “30 is the new 20,” and so on, providing further proof of the beneficial effects of nutrition on aging.
To help stave off the aging process in your own life, simply try incorporating the following powerful antioxidant, nutrient-rich, scientifically proven foods and supplements into your diet each day for the perfect anti-aging dietary strategy.
Fish, especially salmon, is packed full of omega-3 fatty acids, which protect against heart disease as well as the accumulation of bad cholesterol in the arteries. Tilapia is a very good option as well, seeing as it’s cheap, eco sustainable, and rich in magnesium and potassium. They also help lower the blood pressure, protect eye health, improve brain function, and help regulate oil production in the skin for smooth, supple skin.
The American Heart Association recommends adding a 3.5-ounce serving of fatty fish, such as salmon, to your diet at least twice per week for a healthy dose of omega-3’s and proteins, which aid in the production of cells and tissues.
Olive oil contains powerful antioxidants called polyphenols, which help stave off many aged related diseases. It is also rich in monounsaturated fats, which have been shown to protect against heart disease, stroke, cancer, and inflammation. In fact, it has been a staple of the Mediterranean diet for centuries for its numerous health benefits.
Experts recommend adding about two tablespoons of olive oil to your foods and salads each day for increased disease protection.
Nuts are high in minerals, vitamins, antioxidants and other phytochemicals, which have been shown to protect against cancer, bad cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, and free radicals. They are also rich in unsaturated fats, so they provide the same heart health benefits as olive oil.
Just a handful of nuts added to your diet each day can help protect against premature aging and lower your risk of various diseases.
Whole grains contain B vitamins, riboflavin, and thiamine, which are good for the skin and helps protect against type 2 diabetes and some types of cancer. Furthermore, the high-fiber content in whole grains helps improve heart health, lowers bad cholesterol, and also helps keep you fuller longer, so you eat less and maintain a healthy weight.
Simply swap out processed white flour products for the whole grain version, including bread, pasta, oatmeal, brown rice, quinoa, and more, for increased health benefits.
Beans and Lentils
Beans and lentils, such as cannellini beans, black beans, chickpeas, split peas, and pinto beans, are rich in protein and nutrients, which are good for the skin. They are also high in fiber, which helps improve heart health, decrease the risk of developing cancer, and enables you to maintain a healthy weight.
Experts recommend consuming up to 3 cups of beans or lentils per week for improved overall health, and they can even be added to both savory and sweet dishes.
Tomatoes are packed full of lycopene, lutein, and beta-carotene, which are powerful antioxidants that help protect against free radicals. The nutrients in tomatoes also help protect your eyes against light damage, help prevent age-related macular degeneration, and help protect against cataracts.
Incorporate more tomatoes into your diet by adding them to sauces, sandwiches, salsas, and more. However, the key is to eat them cooked or stewed, which helps make the nutrients more readily available.
Vitamin B12 helps make DNA in cells and also helps keep the body’s nerve and blood cells healthy. It also helps protect against specific blood disorders, such as megaloblastic anemia. According to Rapid Tone, “Vitamin B12 is great for your metabolic functions, which are used to break down food and use them as energy or store them up as fat. Vitamin B12 also helps out various other systems in the body and allows them to work more effectively.”
Vitamin B12 is mainly found in beef liver, fish, eggs, poultry, clams, dairy products, and certain fortified breakfast foods. However, it can also be taken in supplement form for those who have trouble meeting their daily intake.
The amount of Vitamin B12 you need each day depends on your age; however, the average adult requires at least 2.4 mcg a day.
Blueberries contain compounds, which have been shown to mitigate oxidative damage and inflammation, the culprits behind many age-related deficits in motor function and memory. They are also rich in anthocyanins, which research suggests helps lower blood pressure and makes blood vessels more pliable.
Experts recommend consuming a cup of blueberries three times per week for added health benefits.
Red wine, which has been the subject of many nutritional studies, contains resveratrol, which is a compound that provides numerous health benefits, including trigger genes that retard cellular aging. It has also been shown to protect against age-related memory loss, diabetes, and heart disease. The key is to drink it in moderation, 1-1 1/2 glasses a day for women and 1-2 glasses per day for men, to enjoy its health benefits.
Dark chocolate contains high amounts of flavonols, which have been shown to help preserve healthy function of the blood vessels. Healthy blood vessels help decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes, dementia, kidney disease, and high blood pressure.
Experts recommend eating just a 1.6-ounce bar of dark chocolate daily to benefit from its effects.
Foods to Limit
Low-quality foods, such as those high in trans fats, can cause inflammation in the body, which can negatively impact the immune system and yield to various diseases. Meanwhile, excessive sugar, such as that found in processed pasta, bread, and baked goods, damage the skin’s collagen, which can cause the skin to sag and give way to wrinkles. They have also been linked to increased risk of diabetes and heart disease; therefore, you want to limit your intake of low-quality foods, such as potato chips, sugary pastries, processed meats, and meats high in saturated fats, and replace with them with more healthier options, which are good for your skin as well as your overall health.
Gone are the days of aging where you just simply let yourself go as you get older, it’s now common to take care of yourself throughout your entire life! Furthermore, these anti-aging dietary strategies make it easy to incorporate more nutritional food choices into your diet that help protect against many age-related diseases as well as help improve your overall health, so you continue to look and feel your best even in your latter years for a better quality of life.