Fighting Father Time with botox, expensive skin care creams and plastic surgery is costly to both your wallet and body. Many of these options have unforeseeable risks and dangerous side effects. While aging is an inevitable part of life, natural food sources can keep you healthy as you age.
A lot of what you eat affects how slowly or quickly your biological clock ticks. Food is fuel for the body, as gasoline is fuel for an engine, and some fuels are better than others. Choose the right fuel by eating the top 10 foods that keep you healthy as you age.
Coconut oil is soothing to both the skin and mind. The beauty industry prizes coconut oil as a moisturizer, but it’s been used for thousands of years medicinally. Organic coconut oil is packed with antioxidants that can help ward off free radicals and delay the signs of aging. Just as important, coconut oil is a rich supply of medium-chain fatty acids (MCADs), which are regarded as a secondary fuel source for the brain. Neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s disease deprive the brain of the fuel necessary to function. MCADs have been shown to improve brain function in adults with mild forms of Alzheimer’s. The MCADs in coconut oil can serve as a preventive measure against neurological diseases no matter how many years you have under your belt.
Walnuts are a simple food with many benefits. They are a gem for rare antioxidants that fight cellular damage with age. In addition, they are an excellent source for omega-3s, which are important because they cannot be made by the body. Just ¼ a cup of walnuts has 91 percent of the daily recommended intake for omega-3 fats. For this and many others reasons, walnuts have been shown to keep the mind sharp. A study at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA found that adults who consumed walnuts consistently performed better on various cognitive tests than adults who did not consume walnuts, regardless of age, gender and ethnicity. In other words, if you want keep your brain healthy, better crack open a walnut.
Blueberries are distinguished by their color, but they won’t make you feel blue. Blueberries are an excellent source for antioxidants, and have been shown to improve cognitive function and boost longevity. In particular, compounds in blueberries known as flavonoids can improve both short-term and long-term memory, according to a study published in the journal Free Radical Biology & Medicine. The study paves new lines of research that examines how diets high in flavonoids can be used to treat a host of neurological disorders that accompany age.
There are lots of reasons to love olive oil. Among all the conflicting information there is about cooking oils, it is generally agreed that extra-virgin olive oil is a great source for antioxidants and healthy fats. Commonly used as a skin moisturizer, olive oil has been shown to boost cognitive function and memory better than a low-fat diet. A study involving 447 men and woman aged 67 on average traced the cognitive decline of the participants who ate a Mediterranean diet with olive oil versus a low-fat diet for four years. At the close of the study, the participants took a variety of cognitive tests that scored their memory, attention span and abstract thinking abilities. The researchers found that people with a low fat diet had a significant decline in brain function scores, whereas brain function scores significantly increased in people on a Mediterranean diet with olive oil. These findings suggest that olive oil can help stave off age-related cognitive decline.
Believe it or not, cinnamon is a good way to keep you healthy as you age. Cinnamon has antioxidants, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that can protect the body against free radicals, repair damaged tissue and treat infections. With these properties in place, cinnamon is a spice that really does spice up your life, regardless of age.
Whether it’s a fruit or vegetable, tomatoes are definitely a superfood. They are a great source for B6, folate and thiamin; however, the healing ability behind the tomato goes to the antioxidant lycopene, which gives them their red stocking color. The antioxidant wards off free radicals by night and protects skin from the sun by day. Lycopene shields tissue from oxidation that can cause sunburns and crease wrinkles.
Turning beauty inward, these red plums are also a boost for brain power. As a force against free radicals, lycopene also protects the brain, which is susceptible to free radicals. Free radicals cause inflammation, which leads to aging and degenerative diseases. Lycopene tackles inflammation by the roots by regulating genes that foster inflammation and brain development. Tomatoes are easy to incorporate into your diet, since they are already used in a wide spectrum of foods.
Garlic can help maintain young-looking skin and even help prevent deadly brain tumors. A compound in garlic known as diallyl trisulfide may reduce the proliferation of cancer cells in patients with glioblastoma, the deadliest brain tumor. Glioblastoma cancerss have a network of pathways inside them that allow them to grow and divide. A study that made the cover of the August 2013 issue of the Journal of Neuro-Oncology found that garlic-derived organo-sulfur compound work in more than one pathway to block cancer cells that conglomerate into brain tumors. In addition to preventing neurodegenerative diseases, the sulfur in garlic gives skin a natural glow by stimulating blood circulation. In short, aged garlic soothes an aging body and mind.
Prunes are recognized for having lots of fiber, so they tend to be conflated as a laxative. Extending the confinements of your personal digestive tract, however, dried prunes have a myriad of health benefits. They contain an impressive amount of vitamin K and beta-carotene, which work together as a force against the aging effects of free radicals.
The flavanoids in prune juice have been shown to provide protection against cognitive impairment that accompanies age, like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. The phytonutrients in plums help reduce the inflammation in regions of the brain associated with learning and memory.
As a natural source for omega-3 fatty acids, kale qualifies as a brain food. Sea food is a source for omega-3 fatty acids, but kale is the source for omega-3 fats for fish, which means you can pass the shrimp and source the fatty acids from its roots.
Approximately 60 percent of the brain is made of fat. Fortunately, omega-3 fatty acids are a healthy source of fat. They can play an integral grow in preventing cognitive impairment and boosting human longevity. It is well established in the medical literature that omega-3s can stop age-related decline and pathology. Research suggests that omega-3s reverse cell shrinkage and cell death regardless of age, which was once thought to be impossible.
In addition being a pulse for neurons, a small amount of kale has a huge amount of nutrients: One cup of kale has 547 micrograms of vitamin K, which is a staggering 684 percent of an adult’s recommended daily allowance. The impressive amounts of calcium and iron in kale also help keep bones strong and healthy throughout life.
Avocados are a pinnacle source for omega-3 fatty acids. The bulk of fat in avocados is oleic acid, which is the source for many of its health benefits. This monounsaturated fatty acid has been shown to help reduce inflammation and build the myelin that wraps around the axons of neurons. The myelin helps increase the speed of information processing throughout the body, which boosts all cognitive and nervous functions.
Avocados are consumed as a topping, spread or dip, so they are easy to add to your diet. It has also been used as a skin moisturizer and facial mask. The antioxidants loaded in avocados help preserve youthful looking skin. In addition, for reasons that aren’t completely understood, avocados seem to be able to ease symptoms of arthritis, which is very common in the aging adult population.
It should be noted that not a single food on this list works alone; they work together like a symphony. Consuming a wide range of nutrient-dense plant-based foods will help keep you healthy as you age both externally and internally.