What are the best foods for an anti-aging diet?

Blueberries in gin syrup (Photo by thebittenword.com - BB-CY)

Blueberries in gin syrup (Photo by thebittenword.com - CC-BY)

Nutrient-rich foods are the centerpiece of an anti-aging diet. Lean proteins, whole grains, nuts, beans, and fruits and vegetables provide the building blocks of a healthy diet as we age. Whole foods are loaded with vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, healthy fats, and fiber which can help keep the body young and defend against disease.

Some of the foods which have gained the attention of the medical community for their anti-aging properties are listed below.

Fish is an excellent source of lean, high-quality protein and essential fatty acids. Fatty fish (salmon, tuna, sardines) contain omega-3 fatty acids which are vital to maintaining a healthy heart and supple skin. Research has shown that eating fish rich in omega-3’s plays a significant role in decreasing the risk of developing macular degeneration and helps slow cognitive decline.

Fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that are essential to good health. Antioxidants like lycopene and vitamin C are especially important in fighting the symptoms of aging by keeping the skin healthy and promoting collagen production. Leafy greens and broccoli contain the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, which have been associated with eye health. The soluble fiber in fruits and vegetables also supports heart health by keeping weight under control and lowering harmful LDL cholesterol.

Low-fat dairy products are an excellent source of calcium for bone health. The probiotic bacteria in yogurt and kefir also promotes intestinal health. Other valuable sources of calcium are leafy greens like spinach, broccoli and kale, and canned salmon and sardines, which contain calcium in the edible bones.

Whole grains are a good source of Vitamin E, fiber and antioxidants which are essential ingredients for cardiovascular health. Research has shown decreased stroke and heart attack risk with a modest two and a half servings of whole grains per day. The fiber in grains is also vital to intestinal health.

And here are two more super foods that should be included in any anti-aging diet!

Blueberries are ranked #1 among plant foods for their antioxidant power. Researchers have documented their positive anti-aging benefits in improved memory and motor function. A half a cup of blueberries contains the equivalent antioxidant power of five servings of other fruits and vegetables.

Garlic is considered one of nature’s most potent anti-aging foods for cardiovascular health, cancer prevention, viral and bacterial protection, and healthy skin and hair. The allicin compound in garlic provides the most benefit when consumed fresh and finely chopped, or when consumed as in its aged form as a supplement.

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