Many people dread adding another birthday candle to their cake each year. Aging carries with it negative connotations because of the health issues that arise with each passing year. The good news is there are dietary changes you can make to help combat the effects of aging. Add these eight foods to your regular diet to maximize your body’s potential as you age.
Fruits and Vegetables
One of the struggles of an aging body is a slower metabolism. Most people exacerbate this problem by consuming far too much sucrose. What is sucrose? In simple terms, it is table sugar. In today’s day and age, it is added to most foods, including the obvious cakes and brownies, and the less obvious ketchup and BBQ sauce. It’s difficult to avoid it completely, and luckily, you don’t have to! Sucrose also occurs naturally in fruits and vegetables, two essential elements of a healthy diet as you age. Consuming a diet full of fresh produce can lower your risk of heart disease, improve memory and protect against strokes and certain types of cancer.
Nuts may be small, but they pack a powerful punch when it comes to anti-aging. They have the power to protect your brain as you age. They also protect against several age-related maladies, including strokes, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Whole grains are rich in B-vitamins, a vital component to protect your brain with each passing year. Take a walk on the wild side and branch out to try the many whole grain options available. Brown rice, whole oats and quinoa all make fantastic additions to a healthy and tasty diet.
Digestive tracts tend to slow down with the passing of time, leading to constipation. Fight this common problem with a diet rich in fiber. A good goal is to aim for 20-30 grams a day. Fiber also has the added benefit of lowering your cholesterol and helping to manage your weight. Try adding nuts, whole grains and lots of fruits and vegetables to your daily menu.
Maintaining muscle mass grows more difficult with each birthday and strong muscles are imperative to your health as you age. Incorporating lean protein into each meal will give your body the building blocks it needs to grow these muscles. Make a point to get most of your protein from naturally occurring sources instead of from powders and bars, which lack other essential nutrients.
Omega-3 fatty acids are a super food for your brain, and the best source to get this power-packed food is from fatty fish. Salmon, tuna and herring all make the list of fish that helps you age gracefully. For best results, put it on your plate at least two times a week. Your brain will thank you for fighting against potential Alzheimer’s disease.
One well-known risk of an aging body, especially for women, is decreased bone density and strength. Osteoporosis plagues millions of elderly people, but you don’t have to sit idly by and allow it to happen. Adding plenty of fat-free and low-fat dairy products to your diet can help stave off the effects of aging on your bones. Milk, yogurt, cheese and even ice cream are all excellent options. Dairy products carry the added benefit of being a great source of protein, as well.
Did you know that your body loses its ability to signal thirst as you age? Even though you might not feel thirsty, water is the most essential ingredient to a healthy body, no matter your age. Water helps to regulate your mood and your body temperature. It increases your ability to focus and helps to cushion your joints. Consuming at least eight glasses a day will improve your health in no time.
When you make the correct dietary choices, age is just a number. Focusing on a diet geared toward improving your health can ensure that your “golden years” truly are golden.