An anti aging diet is the most effective way to slow down the hands of time and help you hold on to your youth just a little bit longer. Research has shown just how powerful food can be in either accelerating or slowing the aging process.
Even cosmetic companies have grabbed onto this information and now add everything from pomegranates to soy, orange oil, and goji berries to their products.
If using a cucumber mask or an olive oil scrub can help retain your youthful appearance, imagine how much more effective the right diet plan could be at fighting the wrinkles, fatigue, aches, and pains so often associated with growing older.
As with any diet plan, there are things that you should eat and things that you should avoid. Studies have shown that there are certain factors that contribute to aging and what you put into your body can actually be the cause of certain conditions that may speed up the clock.
What causes aging?
Doctors have defined many causes of aging, and it has been found that most of these factors can be addressed – at least in part – by changing the way you eat.
Inflammation: Many doctors now believe that chronic inflammation is the root cause of most illness and disease. An inflammatory response is your body's way of healing itself, but sometimes this immune system doesn't shut off and will actually begin to damage healthy cells and tissue.
This not only ages your skin, but may also lead to other age-related sicknesses such as cancer, Alzheimer's, heart disease, and arthritis. By eliminating refined carbohydrates and high sugar foods and replacing them with anti-inflammatory choices such a fruits and vegetables, you can reduce inflammation so that your body can repair the damage and begin the healing process.
Hormones: Hormonal changes, especially during pregnancy and menopause, can often cause many signs of aging such as fatigue, wrinkles, poor concentration, achy joints, weight gain, hair loss, and declining muscle mass. Refined and processed foods will interfere with hormone production and contribute to imbalances.
When you choose to eat a healthy anti aging diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids, beans, and vegetables you will be giving your body what it needs to balance hormones and keep you looking younger longer.
Free Radical Damage: Basically, free radicals are molecules that damage healthy cells. This process is known as oxidative stress – or oxidation – and causes cell death, changes in DNA, and chronic disease.
Many scientists believe that it is one of the main contributors to the effects of aging, so the best way to slow the aging process is to reduce the amount of oxidative stress. How do you do that? My eating plenty of antioxidants. When you load up on berries and green veggies you are giving your body the weapons it needs to fight free radicals and keep you healthy.
Stress: Numerous studies have proven that chronic stress can make you sick, increase free radical damage, age your brain, affect your sleeping patterns, and cause wrinkles. While there are many ways to manage stress, what you eat can actually help your ability to cope.
Choices such as bananas, whole grains, and chamomile tea will have a calming effect on the body, thus improving your ability to handle stress while also reducing the risk of skin damage that leads to premature aging.
Weak Digestion: Poor digestion is often caused by an equally poor diet and can lead to a toxic build up that causes fatigue, depression, reduced immunity, insomnia, weak bones, and unhealthy or wrinkled skin.By following an anti aging diet that has you eating foods that promote healthy digestion, you can remove age-accelerating toxins, lose weight, and feel more energized.
Lack of exercise: This is a main cause of premature aging. Anti-aging exercises can keep your muscle toned, your bones strong, and your skin firm. However, many people claim that they just don't have the energy to go to the gym or fit weight lifting into their already exhausting days.
By reducing the amount of processed foods and caffeine you consume, and replacing these with energy-packed protein shakes, fresh produce, and whole grains, you will likely find that your energy levels are restored and you will feel more motivated to take care of your health.
Foods to Avoid
Processed Sugar: Sugar can cause nerve and cellular damage,
wrinkles, fatigue, moods swings, poor concentration, insomnia, and sore joints.
In short, it accelerates the aging process, so avoid it as much as possible.
Opt for an unrefined or unprocessed choice instead such as coconut sugar, pure
maple syrup, or fruit juices.
Salt: Salt contributes to chronic inflammation which is the
underlying cause of many signs of aging. If necessary, use Himalayan rock salt
or pure sea salt.
Fast Foods: Most fast food choices are full of unhealthy fats,
sugar, and salt that speed up aging.
Processed Food: Many processed foods trade nutrition for convenience. They are usually packed full of chemicals, preservatives, salt, and sugar which increase free radical activity and accelerate aging.
Certain Meats: Some meats contain sulfites, nitrates, preservatives and added salts – not to mention the antibiotics and hormones. Avoid smoked meats, ham, bacon, deli meats, and hot dogs that can cause cancer, inflammation, and other signs of aging. Try to limit your choices to fish, and free-range or organic chicken and turkey.
Unhealthy Oils: Trans fats, and processed, refined, or hydrogenated oils will cause inflammation, hormonal imbalance, increase cholesterol levels, and affect the pH balance of the body. Choose cold-pressed, virgin options such as olive, coconut, or sesame oils instead.
Anti Aging Diet Foods to Eat
Fruits and Vegetables: Fruits and veggies are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that will protect your body from aging – both inside and out!
Whole Grains: Whole grains are a great source of vitamin B, magnesium, iron, and antioxidants. And, did you know that oats contain silicic acid that can plump up the skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Fatty Fish: Oily fish is packed full of Omega-3 fatty acids which are very effective for fighting free radicals and preventing the damage that often causes aging. Salmon, mackerel, albacore tuna, sardines, and lake trout are your best choices.
Nuts and Seeds: Almonds contain protein, vitamin E, and essential oils that support skin repair and help prevent wrinkles. Walnuts are great for heart health. Pumpkin seeds are a good source of zinc, a mineral that is often lacking in most diets.
Water: Dehydrated skin looks more wrinkled and aged. Drinking plenty of water will plump the skin and clear toxins from your systems so that your complexion looks younger and your body feels more energized.
Red Wine: Many studies have shown that red wine is full of antioxidants that help with circulation and improve heart health.
Lean Proteins: Protein is necessary for collagen production so it is important that you include it in your anti aging diet. To keep fat levels down, choose skinless poultry, egg whites, or fish. There is also a great variety of plant-based proteins appropriate for vegetarians and vegans such as brown rices, beans, lentils, quinoa, and legumes.
I will continue to share ideas about diet and exercise that have helped me along the way. If you have any questions I can help you with, or if you have any ideas you want to share, feel free to contact me or visit our Q&A forum.