Experts have always advocated a healthy diet for a disease-free life but can there be a connection between our food and how we age? Indeed. According to research some foods not only contribute to good health but also act as natural ant ageing agents. Certain foods not only help staying younger for long but also slows the ageing.
Ageing is reflected in the skin
Although ageing is a regularly occurring phenomenon and all the internal body parts go through ageing, it is the skin which shows first signs of ageing.
According to Diet and Skin Aging—From the Perspective of Food Nutrition, published in Nutrients Journal in 2020, food serves as the very foundation of human existence, providing the essential nutrients necessary for growth and sustenance. It is through the diet that individuals from diverse ethnicities, religions, nationalities, and culinary cultures find both nourishment and an avenue for self-expression. The link between nutrition and skin health is undeniable, as the nourishment we provide our bodies play a vital role in maintaining the integrity and vitality of our skin throughout various stages of life. From combating ageing to managing skin conditions, our nutritional levels and dietary choices have the power to both repair and potentially harm our precious skin.
Foods and diets that are claimed to slow ageing
Food items and day to day diet regimes, several research claims slow the human ageing process. there are many such items identified and listed by the Nutraceuticals article, Food Antioxidants and Aging: Theory, Current Evidence and Perspectives, published in August 2022. The authors include the food regimes followed by Mediterranean, Nordic, and Japanese diets and list out some food items that work wonders in this direction.
Recognized as one of the most popular diets associated with health and longevity, the Mediterranean diet is characterized by its emphasis on vegetables, legumes, fruits, nuts, grains, seafood, olive oil, and moderate wine consumption. This dietary pattern is low in saturated fats, dairy products, and meat. A study conducted by Crous-Bou et al. observed that higher Mediterranean diet scores were associated with longer telomeres in healthy women, reinforcing the potential anti-ageing effects of this diet.
The article also gives reference to the Nordic diet, characterized by low levels of processed foods and featuring yoghurt, berries, whole grain bread, oatmeal, apples/pears, root vegetables, cabbage, and fish/shellfish, which has been reported to lower mortality rates.
Japan, renowned for its longevity rates, has drawn attention to the relationship between the Japanese diet and ageing. Japanese foods, including rice, miso (fermented soy) soup, seaweed, cucumber, green and yellow vegetables, fish, green tea, beef, pork, and coffee, were associated with prolonged survival, according to the authors.
Fruits and vegetables
Specific fruits and vegetables abundant in the Mediterranean diet have also been linked to ageing. Cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli and cabbage, have also shown a strong association with reduced mortality risk, according to the article.
Nuts, a staple in the Mediterranean diet, have been consumed worldwide and are associated with numerous health benefits. A cohort study of US women observed that nut consumption led to favourable changes in plasma lipids, inflammation, and glucose metabolism, resulting in a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease-related mortality.
Some tips recommended for a healthy and younger-looking body
Authors of Ageing and anti ageing diet, published in the International Journal of Home Science recommend anti-ageing diet tips which can help in maintaining a younger-looking body:
Maintain ideal weight
Aim for 5-10% below ideal body weight for anti-ageing benefits.
Reduce fat and sugar
Cut back on refined carbohydrates, fried food, and overall fat and sugar intake.
Embrace complex carbohydrates and vegetables
Opt for fibre-rich complex carbs and prioritize vegetables over bread, rice, and corn.
Choose non-animal protein sources
Incorporate meat substitutes, beans, and miso instead of heavy reliance on red meats.
Include organic foods
Minimize exposure to chemical-laden foods by opting for organically grown options.
Hydrate with water
Drink an optimum quantity of water daily to flush out toxins and maintain overall health.
Avoid dairy products if you are prone to allergies, but plain low-fat yoghurt can benefit intestinal health.
Use water filters
Install good-quality filters for your home water supply to remove contaminants and chemicals.
Cut back on caffeine
Avoid coffee, tea, and caffeinated beverages, as they can contribute to oxidative damage and premature ageing.
Choose nutrient-dense, small meals
Opt for six small meals throughout the day to maintain stable blood sugar levels and promote healthy blood vessels.
Prioritize weight loss
Focus on eliminating saturated fats, excessive protein, and sugar to support weight loss and overall vitality.
By following these dietary guidelines, individuals can provide their bodies with essential nutrients, antioxidants, and fibre, while minimizing the intake of harmful substances. These dietary choices can help combat the ageing process, support cardiovascular health, maintain stable blood sugar levels, and promote overall vitality. Although ageing is a natural part of life, adopting a healthy diet can significantly contribute to graceful ageing and enhance the overall quality of life.