Anti Aging Foods to Add to Your Diet
I don't think anyone ever wants to look older. Fortunately, making healthy food choices can help add years to your life and slow the aging process. Obviously your genetic makeup has a lot to do with how long you live and how well you age, but by staying active and eating nutrient rich foods you can help slow the aging process and ward off age-related illnesses such as bone loss, heart disease, and diabetes. Anti-aging foods are easier to incorporate into your diet than you may think. Now, let's look at some suggestions for anti-aging foods that you should add to your regular diet.
Spinach and other dark leafy greens such as kale, turnip greens, collard greens, and romaine lettuce are prime sources of lutein and zeaxanthin, both of which help protect your eyes from the damaging effects of the sun’s ultraviolet rays.
They also contain a significant amount of vitamin K, a nutrient known to help reduce bone loss and therefore helps prevent fractures as people age. Spinach and kale are also packed with antioxidants like beta carotene (a nutrient scientists believe helps fight aging as well as cancer), sulforaphane and vitamin C.
And, if you don’t like the greens listed above, you can eat broccoli or any other vegetable containing isothiocyanates, a cancer-fighting compound. They work on the body’s genes, cutting off ones that feed diseases like cancer and turning on good cancer-fighting genes. As a matter of fact, research has shown that men eating more than one serving of these types of vegetables per week are at a lower risk for contracting prostate cancer.
Berries of all colors are rich in antioxidants. That means they fight free radicals, the molecules that are known to cause extensive cell damage as well as inflammation (the kind of inflammation that could cause any number of chronic illnesses ranging from cancer and osteoporosis to diabetes, and more).
According to recent research blueberries have the potential to provide memory-boosting nutrients as well, which may help in the fight against Alzheimer’s.
Years ago, researchers traveled to Crete, a Greek Isle, to find out why the residents lived so long and aged so well. They found that the monounsaturated fats in the olive oil they readily consumed were largely responsible for the population’s low rates of heart disease and cancer. Today we also know that olive oil contains polyphenols, powerful antioxidants that may help prevent age-related diseases.
Fish Rich in Omega-3
Fatty fish such as salmon and tuna are high in omega-3s, a highly potent anti-inflammatory. What do you do if you can’t eat fish? You can find plenty of omega-3s from plant sources such as walnuts and flaxseed, which can be added into baked goods, or sprinkled over yogurt or breakfast cereal.
At one time, there were reported to be more people 100 years and older per capita in Georgia than in any other country in the world. Their longevity was attributed to eating a lot of yogurt.
While science has never completely proven the correlation between yogurt and youth, there’s no arguing that yogurt is highly rich in calcium, which helps fight osteoporosis, and contains “good bacteria” that helps digest your food, fight microbes, and keep your intestines nice and healthy.
Eaten in moderation, nuts are a wonderful source of “good fat,” and some are very rich in vitamin E which can help with conditions like acne, eczema, and other skin conditions.
Researchers who have studied Seventh-Day Adventists, a religious denomination that stresses a vegetarian diet as well as a healthy lifestyle, found that those members of the community who ate nuts gained, on average, an extra two to three years of life. Since nuts are rich sources of unsaturated fats, they provide benefits similar to those found in olive oil.
This amazing and delicious fruit is not only wonderful when added to salads, it also contains a very high amount of healthy oleic acid as well as monounsaturated fat, which helps protect cells from free radical damage. These fats not only improve the look of your skin, they may also improve bone density and mental acuity while decreasing oxidative stress, thus providing a healthy cellular environment.
Virtually all are terrific sources of antioxidants, the powerful nutrient that helps destroy free radicals before they can cause harm to the healthy cells in our bodies. Without healthy cells, the body suffers a collapse in collagen and protein, both of which promote hair growth as well as glowing skin.
Vintners the world over are celebrating the latest research showing that resveratrol, a chemical present in red wine, has anti-aging properties. Made with the dark skin and seeds of grapes, red wine is polyphenol rich, another antioxidant that includes resveratrol.
Most physicians say that one glass of red wine per day for women and two for men (i.e. drinking in moderation) not only protects against heart disease, diabetes, and age-related memory loss, but may also trigger genes that slow cellular aging.
Eat chocolate and look younger? Yes, chocolate is a part of anti aging foods. That combination may just send me to heaven! Now I can indulge my sweet tooth and do something really good for my skin, because dark chocolate contains a type of flavonoid called epicatechin. It can help with increased blood flow to the skin, which helps improve skin texture and reduce inflammation.
The next time you go to the grocery store, head to the produce aisle, the candy aisle and the wine aisle, fill your cart with these anti aging foods, and enjoy delicious meals while staying healthy.