Anti-ageing food choices
A healthy, balanced diet plays an essential part in anti aging and preventing diseases such as cancer, dementia, diabetes and more. However, many Australians are not eating the recommended intake of foods that play a crucial role in anti aging and slowing degeneration of the body.
Many of the foods that are beneficial for anti aging contain antioxidants. Antioxidants combat free radicals, which are prime factors in triggering ageing by damaging DNA and causing disease. Although free radicals are unavoidable, antioxidants work to stabilise them and minimise damage from them.
Beneficial anti aging foods
Many of the antioxidants needed to reduce excessive free radicals come from phytonutrients. Phytonutrients enhance the effect of other antioxidants. Therefore, including sources of phytonutrients in every meal is beneficial for anti aging and longevity.
Rainbow foods for anti aging
Consuming an assortment of colourful fruits and vegetables ensures you receive a variety of phytonutrients and reap the anti aging and health benefits they offer:
- Blue and purple fruits and vegetables such as blueberries, eggplant, beetroot and blackberries get their colour from the antioxidants, anthocyanins and phenolics. These have been linked to reduced rates of colon cancer, inflammation and damaged blood vessel walls.
- Enjoy red foods such as tomatoes, capsicum, strawberries and watermelon. These are rich in lycopene, a phytonutrient antioxidant that can reduce rates of breast, prostate and bowel cancer.
- Yellow foods such as lemon, pineapple, pawpaw and squash contain limonene, lutein and bromelain. yellow foods help to lower risk for breast cancer, asthma, arthritis, stroke and skin cancer.
- Enjoy some green vegies such as peas, spinach and broccoli and experience the anti aging benefits. Greens are high in lutein and indoles. Lutein helps to reduce risk for skin cancer, prostate cancer and macular degeneration.
- Orange fruit and vegetables such as carrots, pumpkin and oranges are sources of beta-carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A. Deficiencies of this antioxidant nutrient have been linked to poor lung, eye and respiratory health.
- Foods such as brown rice, oats and wholemeal pasta play a beneficial role in anti aging. Brown foods are high in fibre and lignans. A high intake of lignans has been linked to a reduction in prostate, endometrial and breast cancers.
- White fruits and vegetables are essential in a healthy anti aging diet as they contain sulfides, which are important for liver detoxification and reducing free radicals. Onions, garlic and cauliflower are some of the many foods to choose from.
Remember, a healthy, anti aging diet must be balanced to achieve optimal results. A diet that contains complex carbohydrates, protein and very low levels of saturated or trans fats leads to a reduction in free radicals and greater anti aging benefits.
The following foods and ingredients encourage free radical production and should be avoided to ensure anti aging rather than its opposite.
- Preserved meats
- Artificial sweeteners
- Corn syrup and fructose
- Artificial colours and preservatives
- Genetically modified foods