Aging is inevitable, so why not do it gracefully and look and feel the best you can? The first step toward good health and aging is to eat right. As you age, a lot of things change, from your energy level and physique, to your skin and hair. If you want to age in the healthiest way possible, it all starts with what you eat. Here are some foods below to start adding to your diet.
This healthy seed facilitates the development of connective tissues and repairs cells with its rich vitamin B12 content. The magnesium in quinoa promotes healthier skin cell and hair growth. Quinoa even helps the body stay hydrated which is important if you want to maintain youthful skin.
Many South American dishes use quinoa as an ingredient, but you can also use the seed in chili, meatloaf and chicken recipes. Another great aspect of quinoa is that it is gluten-free, which makes it the perfect alternative if you have a sensitivity to grain products.
This low-glycemic food source can prevent the onset of diabetes that sometimes comes with aging. These lower glycemic levels can also improve skin appearance by keeping acne and wrinkles at bay. Many skincare creams sold in stores also contain oats.
The natural plant chemicals in oats can further help prevent cellular damage. You can get a hearty serving of oats by eating oatmeal for breakfast or using oats to make muffins or cookies. Applying oatmeal directly to the skin is another great way to fight skin aging.
Beans and Nuts
Many types of beans are known for their anti-aging properties. The vitamin B, potassium and iron found in beans can slow the aging process naturally. Soy and kidney beans are especially beneficial to eat because of their genistein and protease inhibitors that can prevent certain cancers and keep you healthy into your golden years. Beans go great with many Mexican dishes, casseroles and salads.
Try adding more beans to your regular diet and you will fill up, get lots of protein, and get all those anti-aging nutrients.
Here are some benefits of eating beans:
They can be a good protein alternative when you are on a vegetarian or plant-based diet.
They help to bulk up meals and make you fuller for longer.
Brazil nuts, in particular, work well in fighting aging by replenishing selenium levels that naturally decline as you get older. More selenium in the body can help with brain functioning. Selenium also plays an important role in DNA synthesis and can reduce oxidative damage and the development of certain infections.
Eating more of these nuts is also a great way to help control your cholesterol levels. Brazil nuts can be eaten whole by themselves or added to fruitcakes or other desserts.
Fruits and Veggies
In addition to its high antioxidant and monounsaturated fat content, avocados contain boron, which promotes better bone density. The fiber in avocados also helps the body rid itself of toxins that contribute to aging. Avocados can be sliced to use as burger toppings or made into a scrumptious guacamole dip.
Who doesn't love avocado? You can make a healthy guacamole dip for your whole grain crackers or cut up veggies, or enjoy half an avocado with whole wheat toast in the morning for avocado toast. They also happen to be a great source of fiber, and are the type of fat that helps to fill you up.
Vitamins C and E along with the other antioxidants found in blueberries can protect your body's cells and keep you looking and feeling younger. These antioxidants are able to combat the effects of free radicals that are known to cause cell damage. Blueberries can be eaten on their own or added to cold cereal, oatmeal or smoothies for a tasty treat.
Blueberries are easy to add to your daily foods, even if you are not in the habit of eating them. Whether you choose to make a banana blueberry smoothie, or just top your yogurt in the morning with the berries, you will start to enjoy having them regularly.
Eating figs can increase your vitamin A, E and K intakes and safeguard your body against certain degenerative diseases. These vitamins also have the power to prevent diabetes, which is a common problem among the aging population. Heart rate and blood pressure can be controlled more effectively due to the high potassium content in figs.
The antioxidants in figs can even help with liver health. High copper levels in figs facilitate red blood cell production. Figs work well in cakes and other desserts or can be used to make spreads for breads and crackers.
The plentiful lutein and beta-carotenes in spinach work to protect the skin from sun damage and help it retain its elasticity. Eating more spinach can also keep your eyesight protected as you age and may even reverse some of the effects of macular degeneration. Spinach is a great supplement to a salad and additionally works well in some soups and casseroles.
If you are not a fan of spinach, don't worry! You can easily add it to different types of foods and not worry so much about the taste. Here are some different ideas:
Make a salad with mixed greens, including spinach and your favorite greens along with it.
Try a handful of spinach in your breakfast smoothie.
Use spinach in your omelets or scrambled eggs with other veggies.
All types of peppers can slow the aging process, but bell peppers are particularly beneficial for maintaining vitality. Their vitamin C can help boost immune system functioning, promote better protein metabolism and heal wounds faster. Age-related macular degeneration and heart disease can further be slowed with the peppersí increased antioxidant levels. Stir-fry dishes, stews and pizzas can all taste better with the addition of bell peppers.
In addition to containing vitamin C and other antioxidants, other health benefits can be found specifically in pomegranate seeds. The juice is these seeds contains ellagic acid, which is a polyphenol compound that combats the harmful effects of free radicals. Collagen can be preserved with the punicalagin that is found in these seeds.
You can slice a pomegranate into slices for a delicious snack or help yourself to a cup of raw pomegranate seeds.
Here's to aging gracefully and taking care of your health from the inside out!
To your health & happiness,