Foods That Keep You Young
Aging is inevitable, but if you are eating the right foods, you can help yourself feel young for a longer period of time. A healthy lifestyle including a balanced, nutritious diet and plenty of exercise keep you looking and feeling young and in great shape. There are tons of foods that benefit you when it comes to aging, but here are four of our very favorites.
The old adage “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” is pretty spot on; apples contain a range of health benefits two of which are improving your body’s immune system and digestive functioning. The vitamin C content in apples provides anti-aging effects while also helping your immune system fight diseases. As you age your digestive system tends to slow down, but eating foods that are high in fiber, like apples, boost your digestive system to keep your healthy.
Grapes are one of the best fruits you can eat to help slow down the aging process. Technically classified as berries, grapes are packed with antioxidants, flavonoids, polyphenols and potassium. One of the greatest things you can do for your body as you age is to decrease your sodium intake and increase the amount of potassium you get. Potassium is associated with lowered risks of stroke, lowered blood pressure, the prevention of losing bone mineral density and decreased risks of heart disease. Grapes contain the flavonoid quercetin, which is a natural anti-inflammatory. Quercetin benefits you as you age by reducing the risk of atherosclerosis, a disease of the arteries by a buildup of plaque, and is thought to have anti-cancer benefits, although more human studies are needed. Polyphenols in grapes also work to lower your blood pressure and reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. Lastly, the polyphenol resveratrol helps to protect your body against heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes. As if that wasn’t enough, resveratrol is also a key player in keeping your skin looking young and healthy.
There’s a reason you hear about kale all the time, it’s truly a superfood and it can help combat aging. Kale is an incredibly nutrient dense food and comes with very little calories; a one-cup serving of cooked kale contains only 36 calories. Kale contains vitamins K, A, E and B vitamins 1, 2, 3 and 6 in addition to manganese, copper, calcium, potassium, iron, fiber, omega-3 fatty acids and folate. Kale is rich in antioxidants and the beta-carotene and lutein content protect your body against oxidative damage from free radicals. It is also thought that kale helps protect against cancers such as breast, colon, bladder, prostate and ovaries.
Nuts in moderation are great for your health and walnuts may be the most beneficial of them all. Walnuts are full of protein, healthy fats, fiber, antioxidants and a host of vitamins and minerals. One of the most frustrating parts of aging is the loss of mental sharpness and walnuts help fight this. Walnuts contain omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E, melatonin and antioxidants that all slow cognitive decline. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that those whose diets included a healthy amount of nuts showed that body mass index, body weight and waist circumference were controlled among the groups of individuals who consumed a healthy amount of nuts. Additionally, the amino acid l-arginine can provide vascular benefits to those who are at risk of or have heart disease.
Eating a varied diet full of lean proteins, fresh produce and whole grains is one of the greatest things you can do for your body at any age. Selecting foods that have amazing nutritional content, like the four above, help keep you healthy and young.