A well-balanced anti-aging diet can not only help you lose weight, live a long and healthy life, but also turn back the clock and help you look younger.
Anti-aging diet tips
- Double up on veggies. A serving is 1/2 cup, so add more servings.
- Make your plate colorful by adding other vegetables such as red pepper and cauliflower on top of green veggies.
- Add super fruits such as cherries and berries into your cereal, yogurt or smoothies.
- Nuts are heart-healthy, enjoying one serving of nuts and seeds 4-5 times a week. The recommended serving size for nuts without shell is 2 Tbsps. or 30 ml as one serving and for shelled nuts is 60 ml or ¼ cup as one serving.
- Have a glass of wine or eat red grapes more often, not only to protect your heart but also enhance the anti-aging power.
- Enjoy a piece of dark chocolate as a snack on a regular basis, not the ones loaded with sugar, you could also add cocoa powder to your baking foods to enjoy more health benefits.
- Eat fish more often, at least twice a week, choose those omega-3 rich fatty fish.
Whole gains such as oats, quinoa, barley, wheat, and brown rice are rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals.There are two types of fibers: soluble fiber and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber dissolves in water and insoluble fiber does not. Health benefits of fiber include cholesterol reduction, blood sugar improvement, weight control, and a healthy gut.
- Soluble fiber delays the emptying of your stomach and makes you feel full longer, which helps control weight.Sources of soluble fiber are oatmeal, lentils, beans, peas, nuts, some fruits and vegetables, flaxseeds, psyllium, etc.
- Insoluble fibers are considered gut-healthy fiber because they have a laxative effect and appear to help food pass more quickly through the stomach and intestines, which helps prevent constipation.Sources of insoluble fiber are whole grains, wheat bran, brown rice, barley, leafy vegetables, etc.
The key is to make sure the grains you’re eating are not refined because the refining process takes away many essential vitamins and minerals that can benefit your health.
Beans and lentils
Beans are an excellent source of plant-based protein; they are also loaded with fiber and rich in antioxidants and vitamins and minerals such as iron and vitamin B group. Beans are an excellent age-protecting alternative, especially for vegetarians.
Beans and cancer prevention
Genistein is a phytoestrogen and belongs to the family of isoflavones, found in fava beans and soy beans, etc. Phytoestrogens are estrogen-like chemicals present in some plants. Studies have shown the consumption of genistein in the diet has been linked to decreased rates of metastatic cancer including prostate cancer.,
Beans and blood Sugar control and weight management
Beans are low glycemic foods which release their sugars more slowly and steadily, acting a constant source of energy. The Glycemic Index, or GI, describes the difference by ranking carbohydrates according to their effect on our blood glucose levels. Low GI carbohydrate foods, the ones that produce only small fluctuations in our blood sugar levels, help maintain weight loss and reduce insulin resistance. Health benefits of low GI foods include:
- Help weight loss and weight maintenance, reduce hunger and keep you full longer
- Increase the body’s sensitivity to insulin
- Improve diabetes management and reduce the risk of heart disease
Beans and lentils are inexpensive and easy to prepare.
Tips for cooking beans
- Rinse uncooked beans and leave them to soak overnight. Soaking loosens the skins and releases the gas causing agent. This process makes them easier to digest.
- Adding salt or acidic ingredients to the beans during cooking will make them difficult to soften, so you should add them at the end of the cooking process.
- Serving size: 3/4 cup of cooked beans is one serving size based on Canada Food Guide.
- Some beans are easier to digest than others. You could try different ones to see which one agrees with you the most. In general, Indian pulses, such as split mung beans (mung dhal) and red lentils (masoor dhal) are easy to digest. Pinto beans, black-eyed peas, black beans and chick peas are mild, navy beans and brown lentils may be harder to digest.
- When cooking beans, discard the soaking water and use fresh water. Bring them to a boil and remove the foam on top, boil beans for about ten minutes uncovered to releases gaseous chemicals such as oligosaccharides or short chains of sugars. Humans don’t have all of the required enzymes to break down oligosaccharides into smaller sugars, this leads to undigested sugars entering the large intestine. The bacteria in the large intestine break down sugars and release gas.
- Herbs and spices make beans much easier to digest because they are packed with vitamins, minerals and chemicals that may alter the chemistry of food, such as fennel, coriander, cumin, ginger, turmeric, thyme, bay leaf, basil, rosemary, etc. Adding a few fennel seeds, or a slice of ginger or a bay leaf can help make beans more digestible.
- Canned beans are more likely to cause gas than the cooked ones because they are not cooked the same way as recommended. It is a good idea to drain and rinse them before eating to remove extra salt.
For another super food that is high in fiber and a good source of protein, read The Secret of Amazing Health Benefits-Coconut Flour and Coconut Oil.
Berries such as blueberries, raspberries, cranberries, strawberries are super foods that are rich in antioxidants, such as flavonols and anthocyanins, which inhibit the oxidation process and protect healthy cells from damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are highly reactive chemicals that can damage cells. The damage caused by free radicals, especially the damage to DNA, maybe the cause of cancer and other health conditions. Antioxidants are chemicals that react and neutralize free radicals, and, therefore, prevent them from causing damage. Anthocyanins are pigments that belong to flavonoids, they present in vibrant colors such as red, purple, or blue. Out of all berries chokeberries (Aronia) seem to have the highest concentrations of anthocyanins. Other high content sources are black raspberries, blueberries, cherries, red raspberries and acai berries. Darker berries especially those that are black berries and blue berries seem to provide the best anti-aging benefits because they have a higher concentration of antioxidants.
Studies have shown that anthocyanin-rich foods are associated with lower insulin and inflammation levels, which help protect against cancer and diabetes.
Berries are also an excellent source of vitamins especially Vitamin C. Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that can give your skin a younger-looking. It has been used in dermatology to treat and prevent skin changes associated with photo-ageing and hyper-pigmentation. In addition, vitamin C helps repair damaged body tissues and has been linked to skin cancer prevention.
Anthocyanin, Flavanol and Proanthocyanidin Content of Selected Foods (mg/100g or 100 ml*)
|Blood orange juice||3-10||–||–|
|Apple, red delicious with peel||1-4||2-12||89-148|
|Celery hearts, green||–||–||–|
|Chili peppers, green||–||–||–|
|Lemon juice, fresh||–||–||–|
|Grapefruit juice, fresh||–||–||–|
|Orange juice, fresh||–||–||–|
*per 100 g (fresh weight) or 100 ml (liquids); 100 grams is equivalent to about 3.5 ounces; 100 ml is equivalent to about 3.5 fluid ounces.
Omega-3 fatty acids in fatty fish such as salmon, oysters, trout and tuna offer many anti-aging benefits. They help improve your blood cholesterol profile and protect against heart disease. Omega-3 fatty acids such as DHA and EPA can reduce inflammatory signaling by increasing the production of anti-inflammatory prostaglandins and reducing the formation of pro-inflammatory ones, which helps reduce inflammations in the body, such as in the blood vessels and joints; therefore, they may help reduce joint pain and improve symptoms of asthma, which are related to inflammation. In addition, omega-3 fatty acids have health benefits in other medical conditions, such as depression and cognitive function including dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids are fatty fish salmon, sardines, tuna oyster, mackerel, hempseeds, flax seeds, and walnuts, etc.
For more information about anti-inflammatory diet, read Why Are You Suffering from PMS (Premenstrual Syndromes) and Sugar Cravings? And 23 Tips to Fix It!
Fish is also a great source of protein and is low in saturated fat. Based on the recommendation from the American Heart Association, enjoy omega-3-rich fish twice a week.
Grapes and red wine
Resveratrol is a powerful anti-oxidant and anti-aging component found in the skin of red grapes, red wine, berries, peanuts and Japanese knotweed, etc.
Studies have shown that resveratrol may contribute to potential anticarcinogenic properties in given circumstances.
Resveratrol has also shown beneficial effects against heart disease such as atherosclerosis, hypertension, ischemia and heart failure by protecting the arteries and the lining of blood vessels.
If you are pregnant, you should consult your doctor before taking resveratrol supplement or resveratrol combined with other “bioflavonoids” as nutrition supplements because there maybe an associated risk of the impact on the fetus.
Dark chocolate is loaded with antioxidants that can slowdown the aging process and help you look younger. When it comes to anti-aging, it is the dark chocolate that provides the greatest benefits compared to other chocolates because the refining process of making other kinds of chocolate actually removes most of the powerful antioxidant-flavanols. Dark chocolate also has high concentration of other anti-oxidants such as polyphenols and catechins. Cocoa beans are used to make dark chocolate, and they have high concentration of antioxidant-flavanols and other anti-oxidants.One study showed that cocoa and dark chocolate contain more antioxidant activity than fruits that are tested including blueberries and Acai berries.
Studies show that eating dark chocolate can help lower your blood pressure. The flavanols in dark chocolate can stimulate the lining of arteries-endothelium to produce Nitric Oxide (NO), which is a gas, it sends signals to the arteries to relax, and this helps decrease the resistance to blood flow and improves blood flow, therefore reduces blood pressure.
The powerful antioxidants in dark chocolate protect lipoproteins against oxidative damage in the blood steam, which helps lower oxidized LDL, improve your cholesterol profile and protect you against heart disease.,,
Dark chocolate also helps keep your blood vessels healthy to protect you against type 2 diabetes. Studies have shown that the flavonoids in dark chocolate help reduce insulin resistance so your body can use insulin more efficiently. In addition, dark chocolate has a low glycemic index, which prevents blood sugar spikes and stabilizes blood sugar levels.
In addition, dark chocolate also contains a high concentration of minerals such as iron, magnesium, copper and manganese. Potassium counters the effect of sodium (salt) to help reduce high blood pressure and benefit your heart health, iron helps prevent iron deficiency anemia, and magnesium helps prevent high blood pressure and muscle weakness. There are other chemical compounds in dark chocolate such as phenylethylamine (PEA) that have a positive effect on your mood and cognitive health. PEA is associated with the release of endorphins, which lead to increased mood, so eating dark chocolate may make you feel happier. Cocoa offer many anti-aging benefits including improving cognitive function in elderly people with mental impairment.
Nuts are considered as nutrients dense foods. Although nuts are high in calories and fat, they contain healthy fats including monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fats, especiallyomega-3 fatty acids, which not only protect your heart but also have anti-inflammatory effect.Nuts have low glycemic index, which helps stabilize your blood sugar levels and keep you full longer. In addition, Nuts contain protein and many other vitamins and minerals that can benefit your health. Researchers suggest that a diet containing appropriate amount of healthy fats can actually help you lose weight and reduce your risk of heart disease. They’re also a good source of vitamins and minerals, including iron, zinc, selenium, which helps lower blood pressure; vitamin E, which helps prevent cell damage; and calcium to maintain strong bones.
The key is the amount of the nuts you are eating. The recommended serving size for nuts without the shell is 2 Tbsps. or 30 ml as one serving and for shelled nuts is 60 ml or ¼ cup as one serving. You should choose those with no added salt or sugar and enjoy one serving of nuts daily, which can bring you many health benefits.
For another good source of omega-3, read Chia seeds.
Vegetables are a great source of vitamins and minerals such as vitamins A and C, potassium and calcium, also rich in fiber and packed with anti-oxidants and they work at a broad range to fight against free radicals and slow down the aging process. Lutein and zeaxanthin, found in colorful fruits and vegetables such as carrots, kale, and spinach, belong to the family of carotenoids. According to the American Optometric Association, regular intake of these nutrients may reduce the incidence of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.
The name of cruciferous vegetables came from New Latin, so named because of the shape of their flowers, which have four petals and resemble a cross. Examples of cruciferous vegetables are cauliflowers, cabbage, bokchoy, broccoli and similar green leafy vegetables such as kale and collard greens. They are high in Vitamin C and fiber and rich in other nutrients and phytochemicals such as glucosinolates, which are the precursors to powerful anti-cancer compounds.
Studies have shown that the compounds in cruciferous vegetables such as indole-3-carbinol and sulforaphane exhibit anti-estrogenic effects, which help prevent breast cancer. In addition, breast cancer survivors who eat cruciferous vegetables regularly have a lower risk of cancer recurrence.
Anti-aging health products
Purium’sApothe-Cherry™ is made from Sour/Tart Cherries, which are nature’s most nutritionally dense food. They contain a wide variety of antioxidants and phyto-chemicals, and each serving contains 7,000 ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) units. The health benefits include:
- Contains melatonin, which may help balance circadian rhythms for proper sleep
- May support healthy joint function
- Promotes healthy uric acid metabolism
- Is a rich source of anti-oxidants
- Can help prevent or even reverse premature aging
- Valko M, Leibfritz D, Moncol J, et al. Free radicals and antioxidants in normal physiological functions and human disease. International Journal of Biochemistry & Cell Biology 2007; 39(1):44-84.
- Fortmann SP, Burda BU, Senger CA, et al. Vitamin and mineral supplements in the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease and cancer: an updated systematic evidence review for the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Annals of Internal Medicine 2013.
- Leone S, Cornetta T, Basso E, Cozzi R (September 2010). “Resveratrol induces DNA double-strand breaks through human topoisomerase II interaction”. Cancer Lett.295 (2): 167–72.doi:10.1016/j.canlet.2010.02.022. PMID 20304553
- Stephen J Crozier*, Amy G Preston, et al.Cacao seeds are a “Super Fruit”: A comparative analysis of various fruit powders and products. Chemistry Central Journal2011, 5:5. Doi:10.1186/1752-153X-5-5
- Bosetti C, Filomeno M, Riso P, et al. Cruciferous vegetables and cancer risk in a network of case-control studies.Ann Oncol2012.
- Nechuta SJ, Lu W, Cai H, et al: Cruciferous Vegetable Intake After Diagnosis of Breast Cancer and Survival: a Report From the Shanghai Breast Cancer Survival Study. Abstract #LB-322. In Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research; 2012 Mar 31-Apr 4. Chicago, Il; 2012
The way you think, the way you behave, the way you eat, can influence your life by 30 to 50 years. – Deep Chopra