Aging is the process of becoming older – aging represents the accumulation of changes in a human being over time (physical, psychological and social changes). Aging process/changes happen during every individual’s lifespan. Aging is the natural process which is considered as a risk factor for most human diseases. Health experts noted correlation between aging, genes and lifestyle.
Is it possible to slow down aging and prevent threatening diseases? Is it possible to have smooth save aging without age-related visible changes? Can modern medicine delay and/or prevent aging and thus age-related diseases?
The physical aging process can be influenced in a variety of ways including dietary and nutritional factors. Scientists noted that certain foods and specific diets can slow down natural physiological aging and keep our body biologically younger and healthier. Special healthy foods can help slow the aging process and perhaps even stave off age-related diseases, including osteoporosis, diabetes and heart disease.
Anti-aging foods – olive oil
Olive oil contains powerful antioxidants (polyphenols) which can help prevent age-related conditions and diseases. Scientists from SCS (Seven Countries Study) confirmed that the monounsaturated fats in olive oil were largely responsible for the low rates of heart disease and cancer on the Greek island of Crete.
Anti-aging foods – fish
It is well known that fish is rich of omega-3 fats, which help prevent cholesterol buildup in arteries and protect against abnormal heart rhythms. Omega-3 fats in fatty fish like salmon and tuna have the most potent anti-inflammatory effects – they not only fight inflammation but also prevent it. Actually the fatty acids in seafood help quench the flames of chronic inflammation. Mentioned properties of the fish are pretty useful in slowing down age-related inflammations and heart diseases.
Anti-aging foods – yogurt
It was noted that in countries with habits of daily use of yogurt the proportion of long living people is much higher comparing with most developed countries. Although the age-defying powers of yogurt never have been proven by scientists, yogurt is rich in calcium, which helps stave off osteoporosis and contains useful bacteria (so called “healthy bacteria” or “good bacteria”) that help maintain gut health and diminish the incidence of age-related intestinal dysfunctions and diseases.
Anti-aging foods – chocolate
Chocolate (cocoa, mainly dark chocolate) is unusually rich in flavanols that help preserve the healthy function of blood vessels and maintaining youthful blood vessels lowers risk of high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, kidney disease and dementia. Recent scientific studies noted that cocoa flavanols could fight inflammation, keep blood pressure in check, boost brain power and prevent platelets from clotting which could, in turn, prevent strokes and heart attacks (most dangerous age-related health conditions).
Anti-aging foods – nuts
Nuts are rich sources of unsaturated fats, vitamins, minerals and other phytochemicals, including antioxidants. All together they can fight free radicals (responsible for several diseases including cancer) and reduce the frequency of age-related diseases. Some experts suggest that those who eat nuts gain, on average, an extra two and a half years.
Anti-aging foods – berries
Berries’ (especially blueberries’) are full of antioxidants and vitamin C which can combat free radicals, molecules that can cause widespread cell damage and are linked to age-related chronic inflammation. Berries’ useful properties may mitigate inflammation and oxidative damage, which are associated with age-related deficits in memory and motor function. Laboratory experiments with rats clearly demonstrated positive effect of blueberries on duration of healthy life of animals.
The type of inflammation that contributes to aging is persistent and thought to be at the root of most chronic diseases including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, arthritis and osteoporosis.
Anti-aging foods – red wine
Several researchers confirmed that resveratrol (mainly from red wine and black grapes) is a potent antioxidant, inflammation damper and artery protector. In addition, laboratory experiments (animal research) suggested that increased amounts of resveratrol could counteract cell death in the heart and brain. All mentioned resveratrol benefits can be considered huge potential not only to slow down aging and prolong our life but also to protect from cancer and other dangerous life threatening diseases. It does not mean you should drink big volumes of red wine but one glass of red wine a day can be beneficial.
Anti-aging foods – coffee and tea
It is well known that coffee also contains antioxidants (chlorogenic acids) which might also play a protective role against age-related disorders. Coffee appears to lower the risk of diabetes (type 2) and Parkinson’s disease. It was noted that java drinkers (coffee from Indonesian island of Java) have a lower chance of dying from heart disease.
Health experts also recommend drinking tea regularly because tea may lower your risk of heart attacks, strengthen your immune system, protect tooth enamel, and help fight memory loss associated with aging. All kinds of tea leaves (green, black, white) have anti-aging properties – antioxidants (polyphenols), fluoride and caffeine.
Anti-aging foods – protein
After 40 our body needs more protein for boosting the metabolism, strengthening muscles and keeping us full (weight control). Health experts recommend eating plenty of skinless chicken and turkey breast, lean beef and pork, eggs, beans, lentils and seafood.
Anti-aging foods – greens
Vision is another age-related function which also needs protection. For keeping the vision clear and sharp, increase greens in your daily diet (spinach and/or any dark leafy greens). Green vegetables are source of lutein and zeaxanthin, plant pigments that protect eyes from the harmful effects of UV (ultraviolet light and radiation). Leafy greens are also rich in vitamin K, a nutrient that plays a role in reducing bone loss and preventing fractures.
Generally speaking, the Mediterranean diet full of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy and lean protein can be recommended as it helps fight inflammation and keep you looking younger.
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