Since the beginning of time, man has been on an endless search of the legendary “elixir of life.” It would seem that nobody wanted to be a victim of this natural process of life called aging. Interestingly, research has brought us several foods found to be more effective at fighting aging than most other foods. The following list contains the best food items to choose in your quest to stay young and vibrant as long as possible:
1. Fruits and vegetables – Indeed, weight watchers would attest to the magic in fruits and vegetables as a daily staple. After all, produce is always high in nutrients while being low in calories and being filling on the stomach. But do you know that fruits and vegetables are also tops when it comes to anti-aging benefits? Among the most recommended produce choices are blueberries, which has high potential for boosting memory. Then again, all berries are known for being rich in antioxidants, which fight free radicals, or molecules that lead to cell damage and may be connected to chronic inflammation. The type of inflammation associated with aging is considered to be a cause of many chronic diseases, including heart disease, cancer, and other aging-related conditions. In addition to helping your internal health, your outer beauty will also benefit from the high vitamin C content of berries. Meanwhile, spinach as well as other dark green leafy vegetables are great for keeping your eyesight sharp, thanks to their high levels of zeaxanthin and lutein, pigments in plants that protect one’s eyes from harmful UV rays. Vitamin K is another nutrient that green leafy veggies are high in, which plays a crucial role in preventing bone loss and fractures.
2. Protein – While dieters may steer clear of protein during their teen years and early adulthood, it is actually a critical nutrient particularly for people past their 40s. This is because muscle mass will begin to drop by a maximum of 1% per year from that time onwards. When this happens, metabolism becomes slower, which results in weight being put on much more easily. Muscle boosts metabolism, so you will do well to stock up on protein. Of course, be sure you stick to skinless turkey or chicken breast, lean cuts of pork and beef, beans, seafood, and eggs. Dairy is also a great plus for your diet, such as yogurt, fat-free milk, and low-fat cheeses. Another advantage of stocking up on dairy is that it helps lower the risk of gum disease and tooth loss, thanks to the calcium content. On a side note, understand that adding calcium to your diet will do little to build bone mass when you are not getting sufficient protein.
3. Fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids – Fatty acids found in seafood are known for quenching chronic inflammation. Research has found that omega-3 acids actually work on a part of the brain that affects moods, giving people a healthier outlook in life. You can opt for fish like tuna and salmon, as they are found to have the kind of fatty acids that works best in curbing inflammation. Plant sources with omega-3 include flaxseed and walnuts.
4. Whole grains – Research has shown that diets high in whole grains work best in keeping a person stay slim, owing in large part to the role of fiber in controlling appetite. In addition, it is also known to give significant protection against many diseases associated with aging, including heart conditions and diabetes. This is largely due to the many minerals, vitamins, plant chemicals, and fiber found in whole grains, which refined grains do not boast of having, as they lose these nutrients during the manufacturing process.
5. Red wine – Red wine is well known for being a potent antioxidant and dampener for inflammation. It is also known as a protector of a person’s arteries. Of course, the recommended dose would be about five ounces a day, as more may actually do more harm than good.
Of course, one’s aging process will not solely be limited to food intake, as lifestyle choices also play a vital role in how fast you age. Still, making wise food choices will definitely be better than choosing to gorge on junk food, and then lamenting the wrinkles you find in the mirror every other day.