Aging is a gradual, quiet process that happens to us all over time, yet some of us seem to age faster than others.
While our individual genes, medical histories, and lifestyles make a big difference in how we grow old, so does healthy living, regular exercise and staying active.
Even the food we eat affects the way we age. That is why many seniors are reimagining aging, eating a diet rich in anti-aging food to slow down the process of aging so they can look and feel younger.
Most seniors know a healthy diet includes lots of fruits and vegetables, proteins, whole grains, some dairy, healthy fats, plenty of water and not too much salt. But certain kinds of food impact the way our body ages. Eating some things can speed up the process of aging, while eating other things can actually slow it down. The trick is knowing the right food to eat, making smart menu choices and eating a healthy, nutritious diet rich in “anti-aging” food.
Many health-conscious seniors are now consuming an anti-aging diet enriched with antioxidants, healthy fats and vitamins to help delay the process of aging. Anti-aging food includes fruit, vegetables, nuts, fish, certain herbs, beans, olive oil, yogurt, dark chocolate and even a moderate amount of red wine. These seniors are also steering clear of food containing refined sugar, trans fat and hydrogenated oils, artificial sugar and artificial ingredients because they can speed up the aging process.
The best anti-aging food contains high levels of antioxidants. According to Webmd.com, antioxidants protect the body from damage caused by harmful molecules called free radicals. This damage can cause harmful conditions that accelerate aging. Antioxidants play a key role in preventing and/or managing blood vessel disease, cancer, macular degeneration, Alzheimer’s disease and arthritis-related conditions.
Fruit, especially berries like blueberries, cranberries and grapes, have high concentrations of antioxidants. Blueberries, wild ones in particular, are packed with antioxidants. Vegetables like tomatoes, carrots, spinach, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, broccoli, and radishes are also excellent sources, as are antioxidant-rich teas like green tea, white tea, oolong tea, rooibos tea, and black tea.
Even herbs have antioxidants and cleansing nutrients that slow the aging process. Turmeric and garlic contain loads of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds that help the digestive process and delay aging. Garlic has many age-defying qualities, reports Activebeat.com, and is often recommended in the fight against conditions like heart disease and hypertension.
Another excellent source of antioxidants and unsaturated fats are nuts, especially almonds, peanuts, and cashews. Nuts can reduce coronary disease, are low in saturated fats, the “bad” cholesterol ones, but high in unsaturated fats, the “good” cholesterol ones. Nuts are enriched with magnesium which plays an important role in slowing the aging process.
Salmon is full of healthy protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce inflammation and help slow the aging process. Wild salmon contains unrivaled levels of Vitamin D and astaxanthin, both powerful antioxidants that fight the signs of aging.
Beans are loaded with fiber, protein and anti-inflammatory compounds which ease the aging process. Red beans, black beans, and pinto beans contain the highest amounts of antioxidants. Olive oil contains monounsaturated fats, which helps lower the rate of heart disease and cancer, and powerful antioxidants that can prevent age-related diseases.
Other anti-aging food, recommended by Activebeat.com, includes:
- Yogurt – contains healthy bacteria known as probiotics which helps digestion and keeps inflammation from getting out of control. It is also rich in calcium which helps stave off osteoporosis;
- Flaxseed – high in omega-3 fatty acids, helps reduce inflammation;
- Red Wine – contains compound activating genes that slow cellular aging;
- Grass-Fed Dairy – contains Vitamin K2 which helps regulate calcium level in the body to help stave off aging; and
- Dark Chocolate – contains an antioxidant that can actually reverse cognitive aging.
Health conscious seniors are reimagining aging with an anti-aging diet to help delay the aging process. An anti-aging diet benefits a senior’s skin and body. It can give seniors a younger-looking appearance and keep them healthier longer.
By Janet Stidman Eveleth
Ms. Eveleth is a freelance writer in Towson, Maryland
Published in the Nov/Dec, 2017 Edition of Senior Digest, Baltimore County Dept of Aging
Reprinted with permission from both the Author and the Publisher