Did you know that by eating the right foods you can actually look and feel years younger? Science shows that proper nutrition can actually turn back the clock and slow down the aging process. A diet rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory foods will help do just that. Incorporating these healthy guidelines will get you on the path to looking and feeling your very best.
Organic Foods: Reduce the chemical stress on your immune system, liver, and kidneys by choosing predominantly organic produces. Also, choose to consume organic, range fed poultry, daily, and eggs. Grass-fed, hormone and antibiotic-free organic beef is also the best choice.
Protein: Protein will help keep you full and satisfied, and it also helps to better control blood sugars and insulin levels. Remember to never eat a carbohydrate alone. Always pair it with lean protein or a heart healthy fat.
Colorful Fruits & Vegetables: Brightly pigmented produce such as blueberries, peppers, and dark leafy greens are rich in powerful phytonutrients and antioxidant compounds that act synergistaically to fight aging.
Fiber: Fiber promotes regularity and creates a favorable environment for healthy gut bacteria. Good sources can be found in fruit (especially berries), vegetables, legumes, and whole grains. Fiber also helps to moderate blood sugar levels and, subsequently, insulin levels as well.
Healthy Fats: Omega 3 Fats act as powerful anti-inflammatory. They can be found in fresh or frozen wild salmon, sardines packed in water, herring, black cod, flaxseeds and chia seeds. A fish oil supplement (EPA and DHA) which provides a daily dosage of two to three grams is recommended. Additional heart healthy fats include olive oil, canola oil, avocados, and nuts (especially walnuts, cashews, and almonds).
Spices & Herbs: Season your meals with powerful anti-inflammatory and immune boosting compounds found in garlic, ginger, and turmeric.
Water: Our bodies are composed of about 60% water. Daily activities deplete this resource which must be replenished. In fact, many people walk around in a state of mild dehydration and aren’t aware of it. Try to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day. The added benefit is softer, more vibrant looking skin.
Saturated & Trans Fats: Reduce you intake of butter, high-fat meats, and high-fat dairy. Avoid all trans fats which can be found in many foods containing margarine, vegetable shortening, or anything made with hydrogenated oils. Read nutrition labels carefully.
Salt & Processed Foods: Avoid convenience foods that are laden with sodium, high fructose corn syrup, enriched flour, and hydrogenated oils. These foods are pro-inflammatory, and increase the chemical load on the body.
Artificial Sweeteners, Additives, Flavorings, & Colorings: These ingredients are also pro-inflammatory and can affect insulin levels, which can convert unused calories to fat causing you to gain weight and have an increase in cravings for more sugar.
Sugar & Refined Grains: These foods can trigger weight gain, inflammation, and sugar imbalances. Ditch the sweetened beverages, candies, sweets, white bread, refined pasta, white rice, and most packaged snack foods.
Discover Food Intolerances & Sensitivities: Identifying and treating food allergies and intolerances can be critical for warding off inflammation and preventing age related disease. Talk with your physician or registered dietitian to see if food allergies are undermining your health.
Originally from PRO Pulse March-April 2013
By Acacia Wright