Each year we find something out about ourselves that we hadn’t noticed before. We’re not as energetic as we used to be, we find more pains that we had never felt before, and even the smaller fonts in our favorite books have begun to become uncomfortable to ready. It may be a scary thought, but it’s an undeniable fact that everyone gets older. Thankfully there are steps that can be taken to reduce the effects of aging, so never fear, your health doesn’t have to be taken away simply because you’ve gotten a little older. One of the easiest and most important things we can do to help ourselves is to switch up our diet to include more nutritional foods. Below is a quick guide to some foods that will be able to help you age with grace.
Can Broccoli Help Slow the Aging Process?
Being forced to eat broccoli as a child feels like a universal pain shared amongst many adults and kids, yet our parents were right to make us accept the miniature edible tree. The superfood that’s known as broccoli is chock full of nutrients and vitamins, including:
- Vitamin K: A necessity for protein function and the prevention of blood clots.
- Vitamin C: It produces collagen to help cuts and wounds heal, as well as aids in the prevention of colds and flus.
- Fiber: Helps regulate your digestion and maintain cholesterol levels.
- Potassium: An important electrolyte that assists in major bodily functions, such as blood pressure control, water balance, muscle contractions, and maintaining nerve function.
Alongside the nutritional benefits it’s also been shown, through numerous studies, to aid in the prevention of serious illnesses, including cancer. Including this food into your regular diet by most any means, baking it into a casserole, steaming it, whatever, will leave you feeling better in no time!
Are Beets Useful to Slow Aging?
If you’re in the market for preventing illnesses, beets are considered to be an essential source for boosting the immune system. They’re an excellent source of betaine, a nutrient which works similar to a shield for proteins, cells, and enzymes, protecting them against outside environmental forces. Betaine will also protect your internal organs by reinforcing the nearby muscle tissue, and even aid in fighting inflammation.
Eating beets can actually increase your stamina as well. They are believed to aid in turning nitrates into nitric oxide, which increases the tolerance to high-intensity exercises, and reduces the oxygen cost of low-intensity exercises. If you find yourself feeling sluggish then a cup of beet juice or a beet addition to your next salad may perk you up.
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How does Ginger Affect the Aging Process?
When we’ve felt nauseous in the past many of us likely turned to ginger ale, and that’s because ginger is a popular spice that helps regulate digestion. However, it has loads of other benefits as well! An example would be that if you took it daily you’d find your muscles aren’t struggling with soreness nearly as much, and you’re even protecting yourself against degenerative diseases like osteoarthritis. Even joint stiffness can be soothed by this pain relieving spice. Along with this, studies have also found that ginger is beneficial to women who experience menstrual pain (dysmenorrhea). In one study they concluded that women who took 1 gram of ginger powder each day for the first 3 days of their menstrual period felt the same levels of relief as other pain medication, including ibuprofen.
There are also studies currently being conducted to examine the effects of ginger on patients with alzheimer’s and other brain degenerative diseases. While research on this can’t be completely confirmed at this time, there is currently merit to the idea that ginger has a direct effect of enhanced brain function, and can even be used as a preventative for age-related declines in brain activity.
Are Oysters Useful for Feeling Younger?
Oysters are a delicious shellfish that contain many nutrients commonly associated with anti-inflammatory benefits, including Vitamin A, E, C, Zinc and Iron, but it also contains an important fatty acid not found in most superfoods: Omega-3.
Most of the traditional American diets lack omega-3, which is commonly found in seafood. Arguably one of the most important fatty acids for your body, it’s found in abundance in oysters. Along with lowering the risk of heart disease by loving triglyceride levels, it’s also able to soothe some of the stiffness caused by rheumatoid arthritis. While the studies are still inconclusive, it’s also thought to help people who suffer from asthma.
Much like ginger, omega-3 can help with your mental health. Studies have concluded that those with omega-3 in their diets have less depression and anxiety than those who don’t. It may also reduce symptoms in those who suffer from ADD/ADHD, and may even aid in memory loss. This isn’t certain at this time and isn’t recommended to replace current medications, but current studies have shown at least positive influences on brain function.
How Do Blueberries Affect Aging?
One of the most important benefits of blueberries is maintaining healthy bones. They are high in iron, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, zinc and Vitamin K, which when working together creates a cocktail ideal for maintaining bone structure and strength. The zinc and iron also aid in maintaining elasticity in joints and bones, and Vitamin K improves calcium absorption while also reducing calcium loss that’s often brought on by the aging process.
If you suffer from diabetes, type 1 and 2, then you most certainly want to work these into your diet. In studies, it has been discovered that blueberries lower blood glucose in type 1 patients, and improve blood sugar, lipids and insulin levels in type 2 patients. On top of this, your risk of getting type 2 later on is greatly lowered if you’re eating blueberries on a regular basis.
Do Tomatoes Slow Aging?
Tomatoes are pretty common. They seem to compliment everything, including burgers, salads, pastas, sandwiches, etc., so working them into your regular diet is actually pretty easy. Of course, you shouldn’t count them out as a superfood just because they’re so common.
Tomatoes contain a pretty regular line-up of vitamins and minerals like Vitamin C, K and potassium, but more importantly, they contain an antioxidant known as lycopene, whose major job is to reduce risk of heart disease and cancer. There’s a good chance you already have tomatoes in your diet, but you might want to consider increasing their presence so that you can get the most benefits from them.
How do Black Beans Affect the Aging Process?
Black beans are essentially the legume equivalent of blueberries, as they focus mainly on maintaining health bone elasticity and structure. However, unlike blueberries, black beans have higher concentrations of fiber, folate and Vitamin B6. The fiber in black beans helps lower the total amount of cholesterol in the blood and decrease the risk of heart disease, while Vitamin B6 and folate prevent the build-up of a compound known as homocysteine, one of the leading components to heart disease.
As well, black beans contain saponins and quercetin, which both aid in cardioprotection. The natural anti-inflammatory properties of quercetin appear to reduce the risk of atherosclerosis while protecting against damage typically caused by low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. Research also suggests that saponins help lower blood lipid and blood cholesterol levels, which prevents damage to the heart and blood vessels.
Does Guava Slow Aging?
Guava is rich in Vitamin C, containing roughly the same amount in your average orange, but is lower in sugar and carbohydrates, making this fruit more diabetic friendly. It’s also higher in manganese, which helps absorb nutrients more efficiently into your body.
What makes guava interesting is its benefits to wards skin complexion. Guava pulp contains Vitamin C, but it also has carotene, which helps reduce age-related macular degeneration and UV sensitivity, so it can be found in most cosmetic care lotions. Guavas are also about 81% water, so they aid in skin hydration.
How does Kale Affect the Aging Process?
One of the most nutritious foods available are the stalks you often see being used as garnish. Kale contains all the same vitamins and minerals located in all the entries on this list, but has the highest Vitamin K content of them all. Kale is an amazing overall superfood, and the benefits include skincare, eyecare, brain-function, dietary regulation, disease prevention, and more. It’s also been noted that in recent studies the participants who added one of two servings of kale daily into their diet had a cognitive ability that was equivalent to the subjects that were 11 years their junior. If you’re going to put any of these superfoods into your diet, it should be kale. The benefits are impossible to deny.
Do Sweet Potatoes Slow Aging?
Few foods can stand up to sweet potatoes when it comes to skincare. Due to their richness in it, you only need 1,600 micrograms, or 3.5 ounces to achieve almost 90% of your daily need for Vitamin A. If you want that youthful glow in your skin without the added risk of excess exposure to UV rays then you’ll want to add this food to your diet.
They also contain a healthy amount of Vitamin D, which not only reinforces bone structure, but regulates mood and stress more effectively, meaning that you’ll have more energy and drive throughout the day.
Do Whole Grains Affect Aging?
Your average slice of white, sourdough and potato breads contain very little nutritional value, which you can fix by switching to whole grains. They have a higher fiber content, and because they’re made with more wholesome ingredients like oatmeal, barley, brown rice, etc., they have higher amounts of good carbohydrates, which means lower blood pressure and cholesterol.
One of the leading causes of obesity in America is the overconsumption of processed bread products. Due to the high fiber content in whole grains you’ll find they help regulate weight, and can even promote weight loss, all while lowering your risk for type 2 diabetes.
How does Spinach Affect Aging?
Spinach is the more slightly reserved yet still tough-looking cousin of kale. It’s low in fat, can lower cholesterol, and is high in niacin, zinc, protein, fiber, Vitamins A, C, E, K, and B6, thiamin, calcium, folate, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, copper, potassium, and manganese.
Abundant flavonoids in spinach act as antioxidants to keep cholesterol from oxidizing and protect your body, especially in the colon. The folate aids the cardiovascular system, and the magnesium aids in lowering blood pressure. As seen in studies, spinach will also help to maintain your vigorous mental clarity, memory, and vigorous brain function.
Do Grapes Affect Aging?
Grapes are a great source of antioxidants that help your body thrive. They are commonly thought to reduce your risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity later on in life. While not as nutritious as some of the other items on the list, they still act as a great means by which you could prevent some of the common issues experienced during aging.
Some studies have led scientists to believe the resveratrol can protect against diabetic neuropathy and retinopathy, conditions which are caused by poorly controlled diabetes and that severely affect vision. A study where rats with diabetes were treated with resveratrol for two weeks found that the effects of diabetic neuropathy were reduced.
Researchers have also found resveratrol to be beneficial for treating alzheimer’s disease, relieving hot flashes and mood swings associated with menopause, and improving blood glucose control, however large studies using human subjects are still needed to confirm these findings.