3 Healthy Foods That Support Healthy Aging
Want a delicious meal that supports healthy aging? Make sure the menu includes an appetizer of Brazil nuts, an entrée of broiled cod and a dessert featuring fresh blueberries. The glutathione, selenium and antioxidants in those three foods are proven health boosters for older people.
Let's look at the three foods on this "super menu" and explore their age-defying health benefits:
Brazil Nuts - Brazil nuts are one of the best food sources of glutathione, a powerful antioxidant that can protect the cells from harmful free radicals and toxins. Glutathione can help the body repair cell damage that is caused by years of environmental pollution, chronic stress and diseases. It supports the white blood cells that are essential for a healthy immune system. Fortunately, Brazil nuts are inexpensive, easy to find and require little or no preparation.
Cod - This white, flaky, mild-flavored fish is delicious when broiled or baked with lemon and herbs. More importantly, it contains plentiful amounts of selenium, an essential trace mineral that has been shown to slow down the aging process. A 3 ounce serving of cod provides 58 percent of the recommended daily requirements of selenium. Studies have shown that selenium can help prevent many diseases including cancer and cardiovascular disease. Cod is also rich in vitamins A and D and omega-3 fatty acids. Cod is available at most grocery stores. It can be poached, baked or broiled. Most nutrition experts recommend including lean fish in the diet at least three times per week.
Blueberries - Often referred to as the little berry that packs the big punch, the blueberry is an amazing nutritional gift from Mother Nature. The blue color of the berry comes from powerful antioxidants that protect the body from age-related degenerative diseases. Antioxidants are plant-based phytochemicals. Blueberries also strengthen neuron signals which help improve memory and reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease. Blueberries are so sweet and delicious that it is easy to include them in your daily diet. Add them to your breakfast cereal, mix with yogurt or serve for dessert drizzled with honey or low-fat whipped cream.
In addition to the age-defying foods listed above, make sure your diet includes plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Opt for low-fat recipes and include plenty of whole grains in your daily nutrition plan. Use alcohol only in moderation, avoid caffeine and limit your intake of sugar. Good nutrition can help reduce the risks of age-related maladies such as osteoporosis, heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Consider adding nutritional supplements to your daily regimen to ensure you are getting the vital nutrients that you need.
Better health care and improved standards of living have helped increase the life expectancy for older adults. Proper nutritional support combined with a healthy lifestyle can provide the foundation for a long, healthy life.