Prevent Aging with Good Nutrition

The central issue with aging isn’t avoiding it, but doing it well. As you age, you want to maintain your youthful health and vigor – not to mention your appearance – and good nutrition can help you do this. There are also studies suggesting that good nutrition can also help prevent some of the conditions we traditionally associate with aging, including hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, and even age-related dementia. The following are some ways you can make the clock move more slowly with good food choices:

Fruit choices –

Apples can help reduce your risk of stroke, your chance of dying from a heart attack and may help prevent some types of cancer, including lung cancer.
Avocados are a good source of healthy monounsaturated fat, potassium, fiber, folic acid and vitamin E. They can also help lower your cholesterol, protect your eyes, and help prevent prostate cancer.
Blueberries are a powerhouse food for maintaining memory function and coordination. Their potent antioxidants help to slow the effects of aging associated with free radical damage.
Cherries – specifically Montmorency cherries – contain melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep that’s produced in lessening amounts as we age. There’s some indication that a lack of melatonin may also contribute to Alzheimer’s disease.
Tomatoes contain lycopene, which may help prevent cancer and heart attacks.

Vegetables –

Broccoli can help fight cancer, and is a good source of fiber, potassium and beta carotene, all of which lower your risk of developing heart disease.
Chicory has more vitamin A than any other salad green, and also contains the compound inulin, which studies have shown may help prevent colon cancer.
Kale contains lutein, which helps your eyes and helps prevent heart disease.
Onions can help reduce your risk of cancer and their sulfur compounds may help lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Pumpkins are another powerhouse vegetable that contain both alpha and beta carotene. The seeds are a good source of zinc, and may help prevent benign prostate enlargement, a condition that’s common in men as they age.

Nuts and Seeds –

Almonds are a great source of magnesium, which helps keep your heart healthy. Like avocados, they’re good sources of monounsaturated fat, fiber and vitamin E and can help prevent colon cancer and lower your cholesterol.
Brazil nuts are a good source of cancer-fighting selenium, as well as healthy monounsaturated fat, fiber and vitamin E.
Flaxseeds are a good source of omega 3 fatty acids. These fatty acids are essential for proper brain function. To reap the benefits, ground flaxseed meal can easily be added to many baked goods.
Walnuts are a natural source of two essential fatty acids which may help decrease your risk of having a stroke. Walnuts, which contain good unsaturated fat, were also shown to reduce cholesterol in one study.

Desserts and Sweets –

Cocoa is actually good for you – it has antioxidant properties and can help reduce cholesterol. So don’t feel guilty about indulging in a small amount of good quality dark chocolate every once in awhile.
Honey is also a good choice for sweetening foods because of its antibacterial properties. Honey also contains antioxidants, but because it’s high in calories, should be used sparingly.

In addition to choosing these healthy anti-aging foods, be sure to eat a balanced diet with lean sources of protein, low-fat dairy and whole grains to keep your body healthy for the long run.