A diet rich in uncooked, wholesome food will be a major determining factor in your health and well-being as you age. Keep in mind, youth enhancing nutrients are destroyed during processing, storage and exposure to heat. It is also important to reduce your exposure to artificial additives and salt. Artificial additives, chemicals, hormones and antibiotics in our food are suspected and have been proven to cause serious problems to the health of the body including cancer, growing resistance to antibiotics when we need them, and hormone disturbers.
It is recommended we eat five portions of fruit and vegetables daily. Following the basic rules of nutrition can help prevent the diseases of aging such as stroke, heart disease, high cholesterol and Alzheimer’s. Fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants, the nutrients in food which help ward off disease and aging. How can you eat this much fruit a day? It is not that difficult. You can add sliced fruit to your wholegrain cereal in the morning, snack on apples or bananas or dried fruits in the day and eat fresh fruit cocktail for dessert.
Brightly colored red, yellow, orange and dark green vegetables are the healthiest. Try vegetables such as red, yellow, orange peppers, broccoli, kale, spinach, sweet potatoes and carrots which are full of antioxidant carotenoids that provide protection against DNA damage, age-related eye problems, cancer and heart disease. Eating vegetables in the raw state are best or cooking with extra virgin olive oil which helps aid absorption of nutrients. Your meal plate should contain a lot of vegetables and just a small portion of meat or fish.
Eating Naturally: Eat Clean Meal Plan
Eating organic, free range meat and chicken will prevent you from ingesting excess hormones and unnecessary antibiotics. If you ever wonder why and how the “super bugs” – infections resistant to traditional antibiotic therapy got into our system, you have no further to look than our grocery stores and corporate farming.
Variety is the spice of life and diversity on your dinner plate is essential. Eating a varied diet will ensure you get the nutrients you need because just one food will not give you all the nutrients you need. Best to think like a vegetarian – not necessarily becoming one if you don’t wish to – because vegetarians are 20% less likely to die a premature death than meat eaters. Eating more stir fries, casseroles and soups will help you eat less meat.
Eating less meat also means you should eat more fish. Aim to eat fish such as salmon, trout, mackerel and halibut will provide you with the Omega 3 Fatty Acids necessary for your health. Fish should be eaten three times a week minimum for optimum health benefits.
Eating healthily, eating more raw foods and avoiding fad diets, reducing processed foods and bad fats will help you in your battle against excess weight, maintaining health and fighting the diseases of aging. Two of the healthiest eating styles in the world are the Okinwa and the Mediterranean diets. It takes the same amount of effort to eat well as it does to eat “garbage food”, a label we give to a diet laden with bad fats, processed food and chemical additives. It’s the choice you make about how you want to feel and about taking care of Number One – You and Your Body.
Top Diets For Long Life
What are the best and healthiest anti-aging diets to follow? What should we eat to prevent aging and the diseases that accompany aging? The best diets and the healthiest diets to follow to fight aging include:
- The Mediterranean Diet
- The Okinwa Diet
- The Macrobiotic Diet
The macrobiotic diet, a method of eating that Madonna (who has the energy level and body of a 25 year old) follows is a very healthy diet, rich in phytoestrogens, plant based foods and fish. However, it is a difficult diet to follow in our busy lives unless you have a macrobiotic chef who shops and cooks for you.
The Okinwa diet is a plant based diet with less calories than the average western diet is rich in phytoestrogens. This way of eating will make you feel healthier and look younger no matter what age you actually are. A recent news article on the BBC news site reported that Japanese women live the longest, (click here to read) and their menopausal symptoms are few, if non-existent.
The eating plan of the Okinwa diet includes:
- Fish – Tuna, Salmon, Mackerel, any fresh water fish which is high in Omega-3 fatty acids – known to reduce heart attacks
- 7 servings of vegetables and fruits
- 7 servings of whole grains
- 2 servings of calcium
- 2 servings of soy products, tofu, soy beans and soy flour
- 6 glasses of water
- 6 cups of green tea – which is full of antioxidants – read our article about the health benefits of green tea by clicking here.
The most pleasurable method of eating and also the most researched is the Mediterranean diet. Rich in fruit, vegetables, whole grains and fish, the diet has been shown to cut the risk of tissue inflammation, lung disease, heart attacks, Alzheimer’s disease, and asthma and respiratory allergies in children. The diet has low levels of sugar, animal fats and nitrates, unlike the western diet which is high in meat, sugar content and processed foods. The Mediterranean style of eating is rich with flavonoids and anti-oxidants.
Foods included in the Metererranean diet:
- Eggs – less than four times per week
- Wine – in low to moderate amounts – it is rich in flavonoids with powerful oxidants
- Lots of fruits, vegetables, bread, potatoes, beans, nuts, seeds
- Olive Oil – a vital monounsaturated fat – known to lower cholesterol levels in the blood
- Fish, poultry, dairy products – low to moderate amounts
- Goat cheese – a good source of calcium
How to Add More Fiber in Your Diet
Getting enough fiber in your diet is often difficult and can lead to irregularity. Fiber is beneficial to your intestinal health, but can also help you lose weight, prevent disease and certain types of cancers.
Dietary fiber is found in vegetables, fruits, cereal, seeds and nuts. Fiber acts like a sponge and absorbs some of the cholesterol and fats in our bodies and then gets rid of them. It travels through the entire digestive system without being absorbed. It plays a vital role in our health.
High fiber foods also reduce your appetite by satiating hunger for a longer time period
With all these benefits, people in North America and Europe only eat about 10 grams of fiber per day. Daily recommended intake of fiber is actually30 grams a day. Eating 30 grams of fiber a day increases the benefits to our health. Along with eating this amount of fiber, you need to drink 8 glasses of water a day. Since fiber acts like a sponge, it needs to be accompanied by sufficient amount of water to perform effectively.
Ways to Increase Your Fiber Intake:
• Eat the peel from fruits and vegetables when possible.
• Add ¼ cup of wheat germ to recipes requiring breadcrumbs
• Use whole wheat flour when baking muffins, pancakes, cookies and cakes
• Add ground flax seeds to your banana breads, muffins and cakes
• Add dried fruits, fresh fruits or nuts to your yogurt
• Add legumes such as lentils, red beans, black beans, white beans, chick peas and hummous to your meals.
• Use nuts in cereals, muffins and salads
• Each meal plate should consist of 1/3 fruits or vegetables
• Eliminate white bread, and go for rye, multigrain, pumpernickel or whole wheat instead.
• Add wheat bran to your cereal
The Benefits of Exercise
One of the best tactics to fight aging and the diseases of aging is exercise. Externally, you will look better and be able to maintain an ideal body weight, but internally, regular exercise does so much more for the body.
The origins of chronic disease such as arthritis, cancer and heart disease can be traced to a lack of exercise and eating incorrectly. For maintaining a healthy heart, fighting the risk of high blood pressure, strokes and heart attacks, you need to exercise regularly. Regular exercise helps to prevent obesity and assists in maintaining hormonal balance. Because estrogen is created and stored in the fatty tissues, women with excess body fat suffer from insulin resistance. With insulin resistance – read our article here – sugar is not utilized by the body correctly. Research has shown that insulin plays a crucial role in the aging process. This causes imbalances in the adrenal glands which affects your hormone levels and reproductive organs. The end result is that your body is completely out of balance and this imbalance leads to the diseases of aging and premature aging. Read our article about hormonal balance by clicking here.
In addition, regular exercise helps to fight certain cancers such as colon, rectal and breast cancer. It can also conquer depression and insomnia. Exercise produces endorphins in the body. Endorphins are the “feel good” hormones which relieve stress and contribute to our sense of well-being. Exercise will relieve stress symptoms and over the long term, will lower high cortisol levels. What else can exercise assist in? By strengthening your muscles and bones, osteoporosis can be prevented. Read more about osteoporosis by clicking here.
The recommended amount of exercise is 20 – 30 minutes a day, five days a week. This can be as simple as brisk walking, yoga, bike riding or light weight lifting. Find a form of exercise that you love and stick with it!
Exercise is necessary at any age, but to fight the effects of aging and time on your body, working out at least 30 minutes a day for five days a week, is the minimum you will require to strengthen your muscles and bones, maintain good posture, bone density and joint mobility. Exercise also boosts the internal functioning of the cardiovascular system (lungs and heart) which enables all parts of the body to perform at its optimum as the years go by. Added to these benefits, exercise stimulates the production of a hormone known as the endorphins (the feel good hormones) which help fight depression and help you to feel positive and energetic.