Updated: Jan 11
People have been searching for the fountain of youth for centuries. We may as well face it: Everyone wants to look and feel younger, or at least healthier. What if I told you your diet plays a role in the aging process?
You may have heard this already, and maybe you've made changes in what you eat based on that information, but are you making the best changes? Do they consider your age and other health conditions? Here are some great food choices that can help fight biological aging processes.
5 Delicious Foods To Combat Aging
Walnuts are a great addition to your diet. They are high in protein, so they are especially great for seniors looking to cut back on animal-based fats and proteins. Plus, they are loaded with Omega-3 fatty acids, which has been shown by research to improve heart health and fight aging processes.
Nuts are easy to add to your diet: they can be added to salads, eaten as a mid-day snack, or, in some cases, eaten as a nut "butter." They require no refrigeration, so they are incredibly convenient and portable. It's best to eat nuts raw to get the most benefits from them.
Walnuts aren't the only nuts with health benefits. For example, almonds are exceptionally high in vitamin E, which is excellent for skin repair.
If you aren't familiar with pomegranates, make plans to change that now. Packed with antioxidants and flavonoids, these odd-looking fruits are an anti-aging superfood! Check out this Orange Pomegranate Salmon recipe for a healthy way to incorporate pomegranates into your diet. Including Omega-rich salmon is an excellent way for seniors to pair foods to fight aging.
Speaking of flavonoids, blueberries contain a powerful antioxidant flavonoid that works at the molecular level to reverse the effects of aging. Try mixing blueberries into plain yogurt (another great anti-aging food) for a quick breakfast, or tossing a few frozen berries into your blender with banana, kiwi, and not milk for a healthy smoothie.
A list of delicious and healthy foods to fight aging wouldn't be complete without chocolate. But, before you run out and stock up on candy bars, take a minute to consider quantities and types of chocolate.
Dark chocolate is the gold standard for anti-aging benefits. Look for varieties, like these, that are more than 60% cocoa. Even their "milk" chocolate bar is still 53% cocoa, a far cry from the bars you ate as a kid. Pair them with some excellent red wine, and you have an anti-aging combo that is both delicious and good for you.
This is the number one food to fight aging. Our bodies are more than 60% water, and we cannot go more than a day or two without it. Water flushes toxins from our bodies, keeps electrolytes in the body balanced, and helps our skin stay soft and smooth. In addition, it is readily available and inexpensive.
So while it's not technically a food, water is one of the best things you can put in your body.
As we age, our bodies don't signal thirst as well, even though water is just as important. Also, concerns about bladder control or frequent urination keep some people from drinking as much as they should. Dehydration can cause confusion, dizziness, and headaches. More serious complications include seizures and abnormalities in heart rhythms.
So don't wait until you feel thirsty - make sure you are drinking at least 4 or 5 glasses of water every day. Check out this page from the National Institute on Aging for some great tips to incorporate water into your daily routine.
There are so many great foods that we simply couldn't cover all of them here. Some of the best are beans, melons, red wine, green tea, and avocados. Look for a follow-up post covering these great food items and ways to incorporate them into your regular meals.
Incorporating Delicious Foods to Fight Aging into Your Meals
Being healthy does not mean adopting a fad diet or changing your lifestyle overnight. While those may work for a few folks, chances are they will leave you feeling frustrated, deprived, and generally unsatisfied.
Instead, try incorporating these delicious foods to fight aging into your routine in small ways, like these:
Sprinkle a few berries into your yogurt or cereal in the morning
Drink a whole glass of water with your daily pills
Snack on a handful of raw walnuts instead of sugary trail mix
Personally, I add some unsweetened dark cocoa to my chili to boost its health benefits (and taste).
Change can be fun, and small changes can have a big impact. Before long, you will notice the benefits of these changes, and making a few more will be simple and painless. If you have a favorite recipe that uses these age-fighting foods, please share it! Likewise, if you have questions or comments, please leave them below, and I will do my very best to answer them.