Thanks to scientific and medical advances, we are living longer than ever before. More and more research is showing that eating the right foods can significantly slow the aging process, so that you can live longer and enjoy life more. Keep reading to discover the foods that you should be eating to help protect your health and keep your golden years truly golden.
There are definite benefits to growing older. In fact, the wisdom that we gain with age allows many of us to feel happier as we get older. On the other hand, we feel that our bodies are beginning to betray us. We aren’t as tall, as strong, and as fast as we used to be. Bones creak when we get out of bed in the morning, and we develop chronic diseases such as arthritis, diabetes, and heart problems. But there is something you can do to prevent, manage, and even reverse age-related problems—and it has to do with the food you eat.
What Does Rust Have to Do With Aging?
You might know that rust forms when oxidation happens to iron and steel. When metal is exposed to water, the oxygen reacts with the chemicals in the metal and the surface starts to break down, forming rust. But did you know that oxidation happens in our bodies as well?
Oxidation is caused by free radicals. We accumulate free radicals in our bodies in many ways: from toxins and pollutants in the air, water, and the food we eat. The oxidation of these free radicals can contribute to obesity, diabetes, cancer, and heart disease, as well as the aging process.
How Can We Fight Back Against Oxidation?
Anti-aging foods are rich in antioxidants that combat free radicals and the oxidization and inflammation they cause. These foods give your body the ammunition it needs to counteract the damage of the free radicals. Here are some vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that have antioxidant power:
- Vitamins C, D, and E found in various fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.
- Selenium and zinc work with the body’s natural antioxidant enzyme defense system.
- Vitamins K1 and K2 and the minerals calcium, magnesium, and potassium from green leafy vegetables, fermented soy, legumes, and nuts, keep blood pressure balanced and bones strong.
- Omega-3 fatty acids, found in certain green leafy vegetables, algae, nuts, seeds, and fatty fish are known to combat inflammation and protect brain function throughout the lifespan.
- Carbohydrate foods low in simple sugars and high in fibers help maintain blood glucose and insulin levels, reducing inflammation and free radicals.
- Nutraceuticals, nutrients with beneficial health effects, include various vitamins, minerals, fats, and non-animal food components known as ‘phytochemicals’ or ‘phytonutrients,’ found in fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices, as well as algae and mushrooms.
Now that we know what vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to look for, and how they combat the aging process, let’s talk about the specific foods you should be eating for maximum anti-aging benefits. Click here to read Part 2, where we’ll get into these foods in depth.