HEALTHY AGING AT ANY AGE
“More than anything else you do, the way you eat tells your body how healthy you want to be”
Dharma Singh Khalsa, MD, author of “Food as Medicine”
Unfortunately, the accumulation of damage doesn’t begin to show until we hit our thirties and forties and by then it can be harder to reverse (but not necessarily impossible). Aging is a result of accumulating loss of functional cells. Supplying your body with all the nutrients it needs may help to slow down this process and improve your overall health.
15-20% of aging is genetically predetermined so that means 80-85% is within our control!
70% of cancers are diet and lifestyle related
50% of heart disease is diet related
One of the most common causes of cell damages, aging and potential illness are “free radicals”. These can be found in air pollution, cigarette smoke, fried/burnt foods and pesticides. They attack/damage our cell’s genetic code which results in fewer functioning cells and the body loses resistance to colds, infections and disease.
Our bodies are exposed to free radicals throughout our life, but damage seems to increase as we age. Antioxidants, which fight free radicals, are found in vitamins, minerals, enzymes and phytochemicals. People who maintain the highest blood levels of antioxidant nutrients are also likely to live longer and healthier.
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
Since 1970s many studies have shown that diets rich in antioxidants:
- Prevent disease and premature aging
- Stimulate the immune system to protect body from disease and infection
- Decrease age-related memory loss and loss of mental function
Reducing Premature Aging:
- Eat foods that are a source of antioxidants
- Minimize exposure to anything in the environment that generates free radicals
This will reduce premature aging and age-related diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, arthritis, cataracts etc.
Eating plenty of “power foods” has been seen to raise blood antioxidant levels by 10-15%! Eat a lot of prunes, raisins, blueberries, blackberries, kale, strawberries, spinach, raspberries, Brussels sprouts, plums, alfalfa sprouts, broccoli, oranges, red grapes, red bell pepper, cherries, kiwi, pink grapefruit and onion.
However, the benefits depend on how the food’s antioxidants are absorbed and utilized in the body:
- Fruits and vegetables are the richest sources so double your current intake of these! (Consume 2 servings at each meal and at least 1 at each snack)
- Drink green/white tea, and have red wine, but in moderation
- Eat nuts
- Choose whole grain options (bread, pasta, rice)
- Add red and black beans to soups and salads
- Add frozen fruit to smoothies
- Add pureed fruit as a topping to pancakes and yogurt
- Add fruit to muffins or bread
- Use fruit as a topping on cereals
- Have a stir-fry to increase vegetables intake
Weight loss of just 10% (if you are classified as overweight), can have significant health implications, and reduce your risk of future health complications.
Regional Nutrition Manager
Holmes Place Switzerland