Let’s start by dispelling a common myth about aging – Very few people actually die of old age; rather they die of diseases associated with old age, such as Alzheimer’s disease, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, musculoskeletal disorders and various cancers. This need not be the case. Neither do we have to accept that wrinkly, sagging skin, thinning hair, weight gain, poor mobility and low energy are an inevitable part of aging – it’s not necessarily so!
The good news is that making informed nutritional choices, eating a healthy whole food diet that’s full of the best anti-aging foods including antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and essential fats, maintaining a healthy weight, and keeping physically fit can all be extremely useful tools for enhancing your vitality and longevity. They really can help you live to a healthy old age with a strong immune system while keeping you free from disease and subsequent medications. As you age, you can be slim, trim, and brimming with energy! Making healthy choices is the natural anti aging key that will help you look younger than your years with radiant skin, lustrous hair, and a youthful, active mind! Now that’s something to smile about! 🙂
Avocados are a true anti-aging superfood. Very few other foods have such skin-loving qualities, but that’s not all. Avocados are high in vitamin E, a potent antioxidant that boosts the immune system, keeps skin healthy and helps prevent heart disease. They are a good source of Lutein, a phytonutrient that helps protect against eye cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. Their high monounsaturated fat content has been linked to reduced LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and some studies suggest may lower the risk of breast cancer. Avocados contain vitamins C, B6 and folate and are one of the richest food sources of Glutathione, the body’s naturally occurring master antioxidant, adequate levels of which are vital for anti aging.
Colourful berries, such as blueberries, are among the best cell-nourishing and protecting foods available, as they are high in vitamins, phytonutrients, and phenolic compounds such as anthocyanins (which give fruit their red or purplish colour). They slow the reproduction of rogue cells and immobilise mutated cells, which helps us to age gracefully and healthfully and remain vital. They also contain compounds that may help to reduce inflammation and strengthen the body’s collagen tissue.
Oily fish like wild salmon is one of my favorite anti-aging foods. They are treasure troves of nutrients that support you in many ways as far as anti-aging is concerned. 2-3 servings of oily fish per week provides protection from inflammatory conditions such as arthritis and heart disease. The essential omega-3 fatty acids contained therein are also cardioprotective as they help reduce blood viscosity, thus minimizing the risks for arteriosclerosis. Regular intake of oily fish also reduces LDL (bad) cholesterol and raises HDL (good) cholesterol. Research also shows that the essential fats in oily fish can help prevent cognitive decline and they lubricate the skin and hair from the inside out. Finally, wild salmon is an excellent natural source of immune boosting vitamin D. By consuming oily fish you are covering most of the anti-aging bases with one food!
Dark Leafy Greens
Leafy greens such as spinach and kale are packed with cancer-fighting antioxidants such as beta-carotene and vitamin C. Dark leafy greens are a valuable source of folate, which research shows can dramatically improve short-term memory. Folate also helps protect against cancer and heart disease by slowing down wear and tear on DNA. Leafy greens also have a very high ORAC score, which stands for Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity. This is a measurement of a food’s ability to neutralize the free radicals that cause damage in the body and speed up the aging process. The higher the ORAC score, the better a food is, so keep packing munching those leafy greens in salads, juices and stir fries as part of your anti-aging regime.
The Mediterranean diet is thought to be one of the healthiest diets in the world. It consists mainly of fruits, vegetables, fish, olives and olive oil. Many studies have focused on the beneficial effects of olive oil, as part of the Mediterranean diet, and the findings were that it can help protect against arteriosclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, certain cancers, diabetes and cognitive decline. It also appears to be beneficial in fighting inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. It’s thought to help with excess weight gain by blocking an enzyme known as ‘fatty acid synthase‘ that creates fat from stored carbohydrates. As if all that wasn’t enough, encourages beneficial gut bacteria to flourish. Use liberally in salad dressings, as a dip and drizzled over vegetables. Not recommended for cooking at high heats. Always opt for extra virgin and cold pressed where possible.
Turmeric is the ‘superspice’ for anyone exposed to high amounts of pollutants and stress, turmeric prevents aging, improves circulation, reduces inflammation, heals wounds and protects the liver and bowels.Turmeric is high in antioxidants and has been shown to increase glutathione levels, effectively reversing cellular damage. Turmeric is a potent life extender. It has become well known as a superb anti-inflammatory. It nourishes the heart and purifies the blood flow, reducing levels of cholesterol and plaque. Its powerful anti-oxidant activity encourages cell regeneration whilst also protecting them from further damage. It reduces inflammation caused by arachidonic acid present in rheumatoid and osteoarthritis. It stimulates the circulation to the heart and through the liver, reducing cholesterol and plaque build up. Turmeric’s ability to offer protection against free radicals and neurological degeneration help to ward off dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
One of nature’s most potent cellular and whole-body detoxifiers and rejuvenators, wheat grass juice simultaneously cleanses and rebuilds. This is of special importance for slowing ageing and preventing degenerative disease. Wheatgrass is high in antioxidants and has been shown to increase glutathione levels, effectively reversing any cellular damage.The glutathione enzyme is involved in many other cellular roles apart from the neutralization of free radicals, including DNA formation and repair, cellular proliferations and the maintenance of the immune function. Thus, it is an important factor in the aging process: if the level of glutathione drops, the level of aging increases. Grass juices are the best way to absorb the nutritional benefits of healing grasses as humans are unable to digest the cellulose and fibre within the grass itself. One of the components that makes wheat grass juice so special is its high chlorophyll content. Chlorophyll hosts a wealth of benefits including nourishing red blood cells, effective cleansing, alkalising as well as being a potent antioxidant. Wheat Grass is also brimming with Vitamins A, B12, E and K and minerals (iron, magnesium, calcium) to help support fundamental metabolic processes.
Ashwagandha is a calming tonic adaptogen. Adaptogens improve overall well-being through optimising the functioning of all your organs. Adaptogens such as ashwagandha, increase energy, increase inner strength, improve libido, balance the stress response, improve blood sugar levels, optimise protein synthesis and reduce inflammatory cortisol levels. Tonic adaptogens like ashwagandha will calm the nerves and restore endocrine functioning. Human clinical trials show that Ashwagandha balances the primary markers of ageing: C-reactive protein (CRP) goes down, insulin down, Advanced Glycation End (AGE) products down, serum cortisol down, Luteinizing Hormone (LH) and Testosterone up, Follicular Stimulating Hormone (FSH) and Prolactin down, Dehydroepiantrosterone (DHEA) 35% up; haemoglobin up, iron up, nail calcium up, sperm motility and volume up, Antioxidant; Lipid Peroxide levels down, Super Oxide Dismutase (SOD) and Catalase up in 30 days.
Chlorophyll is nature’s life-force food. The ‘green’ in green plants such as chlorella comes from chlorophyll and brings a wealth of revitalizing properties. Chlorophyll helps to rejuvenate tissues and organs. Its high levels of RNA and DNA nucleic acids nourish cellular renewal, thus helping to delay ageing. Chlorophyll’s ability to neutralise oxidative stressors means that it can reduce chemical and environmental oxidative damage and help to increase vitality. By normalizing intestinal flora, it assists digestion and improves digestion.
CoQ10 is a vitamin-like, fat-soluble nutrient that functions as an essential component of the mitochondrial electron transport chain in the production of ATP, the molecule powering all of your cells. The reduced form of CoQ10 is called ubiquinol and is more readily absorbed by the body. It’s needed by every cell in the body for energy production and the highest energy requiring cells, like neurons and heart cells, require the highest amounts of the molecule. Ubiquinol is also a powerful antioxidant, inhibiting lipid oxidation in mitochondrial membranes. It has cardioprotective, cell protective, and neuroprotective properties and is one of the most important anti-aging nutrients. Unfortunately, levels drop with age, so supplementing can be very beneficial to energy levels and overall health.
80% of the immune system lies in the gut, which is home to the trillions of beneficial gut bacteria that keep our immune system in check. Keeping a healthy balance of beneficial gut bacteria is vital to a healthy functioning immune system, which in turn will help prevent age-related diseases. There are a number of reasons why gut bacteria can fall out of balance; prolonged antibiotic use, consuming a poor diet high in processed, refined and sugary foods, stress, excess alcohol or a combination of them all. To keep a happy balance of gut bacteria as part of your anti-aging regime, it’s a good idea to supplement with a broad spectrum probiotic formula from time to time and regularly consume probiotic-rich foods such as natural yogurt, kefir or sauerkraut.