Everyone loves to eat, and nobody wants to look older. Luckily, there are ways to eat that slow the signs of the body’s natural aging process. The outward signs of aging include wrinkled skin, brittle hair and often dark circles under the eyes. The inward signs of aging for the body include a more sluggish digestion and less thorough circulation of blood.
Certain powerful foods contain essential nutrients that specifically target these — and other — signs of aging to keep you looking and feeling younger. A good rule of thumb is to eat a wide variety of organically grown fruits and vegetables and eat high-quality lean proteins such as legumes, poultry and fish. Fruits and vegetables provide invaluable plant compounds and antioxidants that fight aging, improve immunity and create a feeling of vitality in the body and mind. Combining nutritionally dense foods with sensible diet can be part of a long term plan to stay slim and fit as you age. These five foods are particularly high in healthful compounds that support vibrant health and have been proven to stall several of the signs of aging.
Blueberries Help You Beat the Biology of Aging
Fruits that are very dark in color are generally very high in antioxidants — compounds that protect the body from degeneration. Antioxidants prevent free-radicals from overwhelming the body.
Free-radicals are linked to an increased prevalence of cancers and other diseases. Blueberries are high in antioxidants as well as in vitamins C and E. The small, unassuming blueberry has been linked with improving memory and cognition as well as increasing immunity to the common cold. Blueberries are easy to add to one’s daily diet and can be sprinkled on cereal or gently warmed in hot cereal. They appear frequently in muffins and scones and can be made into a delicious jam. Adding more blueberries to your diet as you age can help you protect your brain function and your joints from degenerating as you age. The small, delightful berries also have copious benefits for protecting eyesight — another body function that tends to deteriorate with age.
Coffee Can Sharpen Your Mind and Help You Stay Active
Your morning cup of java might be one of your best nutritional allies in the aging process. In terms of its anti-aging qualities, coffee is a veritable superfood. Coffee beans are similar to blueberries in that their dark color is proof of their high antioxidant content. The antioxidants in coffee can help repair cellular damaged caused by free-radicals, so drinking a moderate amount of coffee on a daily basis can be part of your powerful anti-aging nutritional profile.
Coffee also contains caffeine, which has qualities other than just giving you that stimulating morning jolt. Caffeine has been proven to help prevent Parkinson’s disease and other age-related brain disorders. Studies have linked coffee with improving life expectancy in several surprising ways, and coffee has been proven to reduce the prevalence of heart disease, gallstones and diabetes when used in moderation along with a healthy diet.
Nuts are Nutritional Powerhouses
Nutritionally dense and protein-filled, nuts can be a powerful source of anti-aging nutrients. Consuming nuts has been linked to potential benefits for memory protection, cancer and diabetes.
Just a handful of nuts each day can provide numerous health benefits. Delicious ways to enjoy nuts include sprinkling them on cereal or eating them as part of a homemade trail mix. Almonds, cashews and walnuts all provide healthy fats and powerful anti-aging phytonutrients.
Beans for Your Beauty (and Brawn!)
Providing a lean source of protein and other valuable plant nutrients, beans support muscle tone and metabolism as you age. Beans are one of the best sources of plant protein, and are often used by vegetarians as a main protein source. Kidney beans, garbanzo beans, fava beans and black-eyed-peas can all provide the basis for a hearty, protein-packed and anti-aging meal.
Don’t feel Guilty About Eating Chocolate
Dark chocolate can be incorporated daily as part of your healthy anti-aging diet plan. Chocolate contains molecules called cocoa flavanols that have been proven to slow down the process of aging. It’s important to choose chocolate that is at least 40 percent cacao, as many varieties of commercially available chocolate are packed with sugar. The benefits are in the cacao itself. Another tasty way to include the benefits of chocolate in your diet is to sprinkle pure cacao powder into a banana smoothie.