The Anti-Aging Diet: Eating to Maintain Well-Being
Diet and Aging
The aging process does and will inevitably occur, but you do have some control over the nature of your body’s transformation. As the body ages several changes occur that make it more prone to the signs of aging, such as thinning hair and skin, poorer digestion, and a weakened immune system. Toxins and waste from food and the environment accumulate over the years. Less nutrients are absorbed from food. The body, from sun exposed skin to an overburdened liver, is less capable of protecting itself, dealing with stress, and regenerating new, healthy tissue.
Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet, well-suited to providing the nutrition that an aging body requires, is one positive step you can take to preserve your health. Learn how to counteract waste build-up, poor nutrient absorption, and lowered defenses through eating an anti-aging diet.
One of the most important aspects of health at any age is removing waste from the body. Focusing on cleansing will support the organs of elimination, allowing the body to maintain a state of balance on its own. Excess waste leads to slower liver function, age spots, blemished skin, poor digestion, lowered energy levels, and cell damage. Going on one to three day detox diets is one way to remove toxins, but making healthy sources of fiber and water a daily habit is also important.
What cleansing foods can be part of a diet to slow the aging process? Cleansing foods include high fiber foods and hydrating foods. Eat plenty of whole grains, nuts, legumes, and seeds for fiber. Fresh fruits and vegetables are also good sources of fiber as well as water. Drink at least eight glasses of purified water each day.
How to incorporate cleansing foods into a diet for anti-aging? Try starting your day with oatmeal or whole grain bread. Snack on nuts. Eat tofu or beans as a source of protein at least three times a week. Drink fresh juices such as cucumber, apple, beet, tomato, pineapple, and
papaya and eat a cleansing salad of dark leafy greens every day.
As the body does not absorb as many vitamins and minerals later in life it is even more important to include nutrient-dense foods in the diet to ensure proper nutrition. Omega-3 oils are also important for promoting new cell growth and nourishing the brain and heart. Cultured foods improve digestion and support nutrient assimilation. The following are foods and herbs that can be added to the diet to supply concentrated sources of much needed nutrition:
- Sea greens
- Dandelion greens
- Flaxseed oil
- Evening primrose oil
- Hemp seed oil
- Fish and seafood
- Raw fruits and vegetables
- Yogurt, kefir, miso, and tempeh
Another aspect of good nutrition as you age is supplying plenty of compounds to protect cells from free radical damage. This means consuming antioxidant-rich foods, and foods that are high in important minerals such as silica, sulfur, potassium, and germanium. Eating a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables will supply these anti-aging compounds, as well as enzymes to support immune health. The following are important protecting foods:
While consuming beneficial foods is essential for an anti-aging diet it is also important to avoid foods that are difficult to digest or that lead to imbalance and a build-up of waste. Try to minimize sugary foods, salt, processed products, white flour products, red meat, and caffeine. A glass of red wine does have its health benefits but in general alcohol should be avoided.
The aging process does happen, but through eating the right foods and supplying enough nutrition you can provide your body the optimal diet for well-being as you age.
Balch, Phyllis, CNC. “Prescription for Nutritional Healing, 4th Edition.” (The Penguin Group, 2006).
Page, Linda. “Healthy Healing: A Guide to Self-Healing for Everyone, 11th Edition” (Traditional Wisdom, 2003).
photo by Izyan Yob
photo by Peter Lindberg
photo by Steffan Zahn