There is a saying "you are what you eat" which has been around for many decades and helps us as a reminder to eat healthy foods. Another saying is "you are as old as you feel" this is also a reminder for us to think young. But if you put them together: "You're as old as you eat" you'll have new phrase to remind you to eat a healthy, anti-aging diet. What this article will do is provide an overview of the type of diet that will help you look and feel younger and stave off the aging process.
How does a diet work to slow down aging?
No doubt you might be feeling skeptical. What fad diet is going to inform me that it does slow down the aging process? In fact this is no new diet whatsoever. It actually is a healthy diet that nutritionists and doctors have promoted for years. Here is why it will assist in slowing down the aging process. Free radicals are a major cause of aging. These are unstable molecules that are in the environment and within your bodies. An electron is missing from these molecules, and they search for a stable molecule to attach to and thereby steal the stable molecule's electron.
So the stable molecule becomes short of an electron, and then becomes a free radical also, and this process will continue its chain reaction in a never ending cycle. What these free radicals cause is oxidative stress, which will break down and cause damage to our cells, which will cause them (and in time us) to eventually die. We can't stop free radicals. You will find free radicals in pollution, cigarette smoke, sunlight, and they are produced when we digest food and when we breathe. But there is a defense against anti oxidants.
Antioxidants what are they?
Antioxidants are made up of nutrients and enzymes that are naturally made within the body which are designed to fight free radicals. Our bodies do age and fewer antioxidants will be produced as we age. This all part and parcel of biology. Once we are passed the age to reproduce, the body naturally breaks down and production of antioxidants slows. Fortunately we do have the ability to boost the antioxidants by eating specific foods that will replace the ones that have been lost.
Antioxidant and Nutrients.
You will find that some foods have been labeled as "high in antioxidants" as they are filled with antioxidant nutrients. Each type of nutrient serves a different antioxidant function. The two antioxidant vitamins are E and C. Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin, meaning it can only dissolve in fats, of which our cells are largely composed. Therefore, Vitamin E can protect the cell walls from free radicals trying to break the molecules apart. Vitamin C is a water-soluble antioxidant that actually works in conjunction with Vitamin E.
It battles with the free radicals within the watery parts of cells. Other antioxidant nutrients are Beta Carotene and Selenium. They stop singlet oxygen, this is an uncharged type of oxygen that is known to damage cells. Plus, they help to support enzymes (zinc, manganese, superoxide dismutase, catalase and glutathlone peroxidase) that are all major contributors to the blocking of oxidative stress.
Antioxidant rich foods
Vitamin E which is found in abundance in nuts such as peanuts, hazelnuts and almonds, oils such as sunflower, soybean, wheat germ, olive oil, dark green vegetables such as spinach, broccoli and fruits like mango, tomato and kiwi. Vitamin C is found in the citrus family of fruits but it can also be found in fruit and vegetables i.e. broccoli, cantaloupe, strawberries, tomatoes and potatoes. Beta Carotene is found in orange vegetables such as carrots, pumpkins and sweet potatoes, and dark green vegetables including spinach, collards, and lettuce. Foods high in selenium include fish, poultry, eggs, meat, mushrooms and grains.
Other Anti-Aging foods
Calcium (dairy, dark green vegetables and tofu), fiber (grains, beans, prunes), iron (meats, dark green vegetables) and omega 3 fatty acids (fish, seeds, natural oils) help the body continue to function and keep you energized. Also water is very important and consuming six to eight glasses of water daily will assist in keeping your skin hydrated and your heart healthy.