Contributed by: Rachana Arya
For several years, September has been recognized as Healthy Aging Month, providing practical ideas and inspiration for all adults to improve their overall wellness.
Delicious Additions to Help You Age Healthfully
Healthy ageing begins with wise food choices and a balanced diet. Optimal nutrition is the key element to a healthy lifestyle and can both slow and improve the ageing process.
It is a well-known fact that by eating a nutrient-packed diet, you can help slow the ageing process and perhaps even stave off age-related diseases.
Along with eating a nutritious diet full of whole, plant-based foods, consider the below-mentioned foods that support healthy ageing for older adults.
Extra virgin oil
Olive oil, and specifically extra virgin olive oil is one of the healthiest oils on earth. Studies show that it can help curb many aspects of the aging process. Extra virgin olive oil helps reduce chronic inflammation and oxidative damage caused by the attack of free radicals in the body, therefore slowing down the sign of ageing. It contains antioxidants such as tocopherols and beta carotene, as well as phenolic compounds with anti-inflammatory properties.
Monounsaturated fats (MUFAs) account for approximately 73% of olive oil. Observational studies suggest that a diet high in MUFAs may help reduce skin ageing due to the anti-inflammatory properties of these healthy fats. In fact, according to one study, people who ate a diet high in MUFAs from olive oil had a lower risk of severe skin ageing.
Consumption of olive oil has been linked to a lowered risk of chronic diseases, including:
This beverage has an immense nutritional and antioxidant profile. It has been demonstrated that green tea can help the body fight free radicals.
This is because green tea is loaded with a good number of polyphenols(antioxidants). It contains epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), catechins, and gallic acid that exhibit potent anticancer and antioxidant properties.
Growing evidence suggests that green tea polyphenols may help reduce external skin ageing caused by environmental stressors like the sun and pollution by scavenging free radicals before they damage the skin.
Drinking green tea may reduce your risk of:
- Heart disease
- Neurological decline
- Premature ageing
- Other chronic diseases
Fatty fish is a highly nutritious food that contains high-quality protein, iodine, and various vitamins and minerals that are essential to promote many aspects of good health.
Fatty species pack high levels of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids that are beneficial against heart disease, inflammation, and many other issues.
Scientists have identified a link between fatty fish consumption to a lower risk of the inflammation that damages the skin.
Plus, salmon and other fatty fish like herring, trout and sardines are high in vitamin D, a fat-soluble nutrient that many elderly people lack.
Finally, fish is high in selenium plays a role in DNA synthesis and repair and helps reduce and prevent skin damage and reduces the severity of skin diseases like psoriasis.
Salmon, one of the most popular types of fatty fish, contains a carotenoid antioxidant called astaxanthin that may help support your skin’s health.
Dark chocolate or cocoa
Dark chocolate is loaded with polyphenols, which act as antioxidants in the body. Furthermore, it is believed that a diet high in flavanols and other antioxidants can help protect the skin from sun damage and slow the ageing process.
In one study, people who drank a flavanol-rich cocoa beverage saw significant improvements in skin elasticity and facial wrinkles when compared to those in the control group.
The wealth of health benefits offered by dark chocolate is a lower risk of:
- Heart disease
- Type 2 diabetes
- Cognitive decline
Evidence strongly proves that flax seeds have remarkable health benefits. One of the most impressive flax seeds benefits is their ability to reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases such as heart disease and breast cancer.
Rich in lignans, a type of polyphenol with antioxidant properties, flax seeds have anti-ageing properties and can improve cellular health and hormonal balance.
They are also a great source of an omega-3 fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) that keeps ageing skin hydrated and youthful.
Studies have reported that women who consumed flax seeds or flax oil showed increased hydration and smoother skin.
Yoghurt has been shown to help curb many aspects of the ageing process, While the nutritional and health attributes of yoghurt in older adults are not well-documented, it is a well-known fact that yoghurt is rich in calcium and protein in the elderly which could potentially lead to enhancement in bone and muscle health, which helps stave off osteoporosis.
Yoghurt is an important source of good bacteria that support gut health and diminish the incidence of age-related intestinal illness.
Yoghurt consumption helps in improving muscle mass, bone and cardiovascular health, weight management, and metabolic diseases.
While the process of ageing is inevitable, the foods you eat can play a decisive role in healthy ageing. In particular, eating a nutrient-dense diet rich in vegetables, fruits, and whole grains can take care of age-related diseases and issues like decreased mobility, fatigue, and weakness.
Furthermore, you should also undergo preventive health checkups. These health checks give a complete report about your health, allowing you to take necessary precautionary measures to improve your well-being and keep a host of ailments at bay.
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