Healthy Foods For Aging Gracefully
Eating healthily and staying active are key ingredients to aging gracefully. While there are no magic diets or anti-aging recipes, there are things that you can do to improve your overall health and decrease inflammation within your muscles and joints. Physical activity will always be the greatest thing that you can do for your long-term health, but exercise means very little without the proper diet.
As we age our muscles naturally become weaker, we experience decreased brain function, and conditions such as heart disease, osteoporosis and cancer become risk factors in our lives. An executive physical with a concierge physician once a year can help to determine whether you’re at risk for these conditions. Additionally, maintaining a healthy lifestyle can significantly decrease your risk.
By consciously choosing the right foods we can create amazing positive change within our bodies. We are what we eat, and every time we pollute our body with fast food we increase stress on our immune system, affect blood flow and heart rate, and increase our risk for certain chronic conditions. The following are fundamental food guidelines for a healthy diet:
- Water is the secret to living healthy; drink plenty of it. Water is essential for hydrating the skin, muscles, and every other organ of the body.
- Nuts and whole grains provide fiber, B vitamins and contain phytonutrient content which has been proven to consume molecules that play a role in the onset of certain illnesses that are associated with aging.
- Fruits, vegetables and yogurt are wonderful additions to your healthy diet.
- Fish are full of omega-3 fatty acids, which work wonders fighting inflammation within the body.
- Sugar should not be a part of your healthy diet. Avoid an over-indulgence of foods made from flour, as well as soda.
Ultimately, no one type of food will alter the aging process or magically vanish wrinkles, but maintaining a healthy diet that includes nutrition basics for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks will have a positive effect on your body.
As we age, inflammation becomes a factor in our lives, affecting everything from joint pain to mobility. What you eat determines how inflammation affects your body, and by choosing foods that are rich in antioxidants you can actually reduce inflammation. The opposite also affects inflammation, and choosing foods that are “pro-inflammatory” can wreak havoc on your body.
Pro-inflammatory foods are foods that will not only increase inflammation, but they will also increase your pain and increase your overall risk for certain chronic conditions associated with aging. Over-indulging on saturated fats can increase inflammation, as well as high-sugar foods such as pastries, sodas and candy.
Anti-inflammatory foods include fish, a, canola oil, and lean poultry. Blueberries and strawberries are packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory molecules, as well as 100% fruit juices. If you are worried you are eating too much inflammatory food then you can always buy turmeric powder online as one of its many health benefits is that it is anti-inflammatory.
Changing Your Diet
Your concierge doctor will help to set you on the right path to eating healthy, but change is hard for many people and will take time. It will probably take a few nutritional consultations with your physician and a few ‘practice’ grocery shopping trips before the new diet becomes natural and easy. So take it one step at a time:
- Try whole food markets or farmer’s markets for healthy food options. Changing your diet might also involve altering your shopping routines in order to broaden your horizons to include new foods. Shop on the perimeter of the store, avoiding packaged foods found in interior aisles.
- Invest in cookbooks or consult online recipe sites for healthier cooking options. Talk to your physician about favorite recipes as well as friends and family. Be smart about the recipes you choose. Stick to low-carb, low-calorie recipes that are high in the foods mentioned above.
- Planning out your meals can help you avoid that last-second-dinner that is usually unhealthy and full of processed foods.
- Eating with company will keep you focused on engaging conversation and will cause you to eat slower, which ultimately means you will eat less.
Speak to your concierge doctor to get started on the process of eating healthy and protecting your body for the aging process.
With offices in Los Angeles, California and Richmond, Virginia, SignatureMD (signaturemd.com) is one of the nation’s largest firms providing initial conversion and ongoing support services to concierge medicine physicians. SignatureMD currently partners with over 200 affiliated primary care physicians and specialists across 35 states, and its network is rapidly expanding.