In order to age gracefully, one needs to seriously consider making long-term lifestyle changes. Diet is a crucial factor that determines a person’s biological age. Picking out healthy food items over those that promote age-related diseases and chronic ailments will help you in your quest to turn back the hands of time.
There are numerous anti-aging diet programs that are flying around; each has their own set of strengths and weaknesses. Before picking out a program, there are a few food basics that you should know in order to identify which diets are based on scientific studies and which are nothing but bits and pieces of unhealthy thoughtless diet guidelines.
First off, it should be clear that an anti-aging diet is not synonymous to weight loss diet. The former only include food items that are meant to fight the signs of physical and physiologic signs of aging. Although weight loss is one benefit of regular intake of age-defying foods, an anti-aging diet concentrates on healthy eating. Following a sensible anti-aging diet not only induces loss of excess weight, but more so increases health and well-being.
Fruits and Vegetables
Almost all diet programs that promote anti-aging include a host of fruits and vegetables that need to be consumed regularly. This is for the reason that fruits and veggies are known to have the highest concentration of antioxidants, natural chemicals that are known to effectively eliminate free radicals.
As one ages, the amount of free radicals in the body increases as well. Free radicals are molecules that induce inflammation and eventual destruction at the cellular level. The accumulation of free radicals result in a condition called oxidative stress. Oxidative stress manifests itself through the development of both physical and physiologic signs of aging like the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and age-related diseases. Free radicals can also impair mental and cognitive functions.
Fruits and vegetables are high in phytonutrients that efficiently combat free radicals while supplying the body with the much needed vitamins and minerals that promote cell repair and recovery. Brightly colored fruits and vegetables are packed with minerals that are needed to protect the organs from degenerative diseases and boost overall immune function. Without a steady supply of fruits and vegetables, the body will not be able to have a fighting chance when free radicals attack the various organ systems in the body.
Fish and other Seafood items
Fatty fish like tuna and salmon have high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids which feature anti-inflammatory properties. It stops free radicals from invading cells, thus successfully inhibiting the effects of aging. It also supplies the body with the much needed protein to sustain energy for daily activities. In addition, Omega-3 fatty acid is a heart-friendly chemical that aids the cardiovascular system in efficient circulation and optimum cardiac function.
If you are allergic to seafood, do not despair, there are non-seafood items that are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids too. Dried nuts, flaxseed, flaxseed oil, cereals, and spices are known to be rich in Omega-3 fatty acids as well.
Refined or processed gains are stripped off vital nutrients that fight age-related diseases and cell inflammation. Carbohydrates from bread, pasta, and rice deliver energy that our body needs to fulfill vital bodily functions, but they also increase blood sugar levels in dangerous amounts. Insulin production is somehow impaired by a high-carbohydrate diet, thus making it highly likely for a person to develop Diabetes Mellitus Type II and heart disease.
Since carbohydrate is a primary source of energy, one should look for good carbs that can replace refined grains. Whole grains such as brown rice and cereals are known to contain germ wheat extracts that are high in fiber, iron, and B-complex minerals. These nutrients are crucial in cleansing the gastrointestinal tract of toxins and substances that may impede the absorption of foods that are high in antioxidants. Whole grains provide the same amount of energy as refined carbs without having the need to consume large amounts of it. This makes it an excellent and healthier replacement to refined and processed carbohydrates.
Most people forget to hydrate themselves often. Water is the most inexpensive substance that can help you in your quest to slow down time and reverse the signs of aging. Drinking more than 64 ounces of clean, mineral water daily, you are ensuring that your cells are getting the much needed hydration to function properly. Healthy cells can combat free radicals easily compared to dehydrated ones.
The medical community has established a list of Superfoods that are known to be keys to longevity. They supply the body with nutrients needed to ward off disease, boost immunity, and facilitate proper hormone regulation.
- Seeds and grain such as buckwheat
- Green food items such as wheatgrass
- Acai berry
- Garlic, onions, chives, shallots, and scallions (collectively known as Allium vegetables)
- Nuts and seeds
- Lentils and beans
- Yogurt and dairy products
It should be noted that aside from incorporating these anti-aging food items in your daily meal plan, there are other factors that you need to include in your newly-structured lifestyle. Exercise, stress management, and adequate rest are three other factors that play a crucial role in the aging process. The right balance of diet, exercise, and rest will result in a healthier you. Anti-aging may mean to look younger than your age for majority of people, but by simply being health\y, you are sure to enjoy a fuller and longer life.