An anti aging diet is the greatest secret and the foundation for great health and a youthful look. Our diet should be rich in anti aging nutrition. That was the most important lesson that I learned those many years ago when I was so sick and tired! It's also some of the best anti aging advice that I can give you!
The anti aging diet is the foundation for great health, glowing skin, and a slim body. What you eat becomes the building blocks for every cell in your body. Cells make up your muscles, your organs, your skin, your hair and your nails. What building materials are you using as the foundation for your health?
When I was sick and tired many years ago, I was eating the Standard American Diet. This seemed like a good idea at the time, because everyone around me was eating the same type of diet. The doctors that I spoke to said that my diet wouldn't make me sick. But I learned differently. My diet was the foundation of my health (or in this case it was the foundation for my illness!) So, instead, I changed to an anti aging diet or an ideal diet.
There are many ideas on exactly what makes up a good health promoting diet. A healthy diet basically means, good, healthy nutrients going into our bodies. When we eat processed food that is low in nutrition, our body begins to break down over time. Not only are we not getting the nutrients that we need, but we are ingesting toxins and chemicals which cause additional problems. No wonder so many people are sick today!
Instead, eating fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, healthy protein and some properly prepared grains promote health and fewer illnesses. You may already know this, but the devil is in the details on this one. What exactly are healthy fats?
What is healthy protein? How much should we eat? Are eggs a health food or something to be avoided at all costs?
Fotunately, we don't have to guess as to the answers. There has been extensive research that leads the way in helping us to understand the answers to these questions.
Many years ago in the 1930's there was a dentist by the name of Dr. Weston Price who began to notice that his patients were no longer as healthy as they once were (yes - even back then!) He decided to research what made various groups of people eating traditional diets around the world healthy. He studied 10 groups of people around the world, and sent samples of their foods back to laboratories in the U.S. to find out what was in their food to make them so healthy. What he found was while some of the foods varied, each of these groups of people had a basic diet in common.
First of all, all 10 groups ate a traditional diet. One without processed foods, sugars and processed fats. They all ate some animal products, vegetables and healthy fats. Some of the animal products were eaten raw such as raw milk, raw seafood etc. They all ate some fermented or cultured foods as well.
If this type of diet doesn't sound too good or too appetizing, it is the diet that most people ate before the industrialization of our modern foods. The individual foods may vary, but the general principles were the same in healthy groups of people throughout the world. In more recent times, similar diets that have been studied include the Mediterranean diet and the Okinawa diet. There still are some people today that eat these traditional diets and the result is exceptional health.
Today more and more people are understanding the value of a more traditional, whole, unprocessed diet. Learn more about this ideal anti aging diet.
Okay what does this mean to us today? How can we eat a more traditional anti aging diet?
The best place to begin is by removing as much processed food from our diets. Processed food would include food that has been changed from it's natural state and comes in a box, package or can. Processed foods have had most of the nutrients removed and many chemicals added back in to make up for the lack of nutrients and taste.
What should we eat? An ideal diet includes:
Today, many scientists believe that the following greatly contributes to aging:
1. Free radicals
Read more on free radicals and antioxidants
3. Loss of enzymes
What can we do to counteract the effects of free radicals, inflammation and a lack of enzymes? Fortunately, nature has provided us with an answer that slows the aging process and gives us high levels of antioxidants and enzymes. This is an important part of an anti aging diet.
Antioxidants are vitamins and other substances that supply missing electrons for unstable molecules (free radicals) in order to prevent free radical damage from external and internal sources. Antioxidants stop free radicals in their tracks! Some examples of antioxidants include vitamins A, C, and E, and alpha-lipoic acid.
Antioxidants can be found throughout nature primarily in brightly colored fruits and vegetables, herbs and spices. The deep orange of a carrot, the purple/blue color of blueberries or the bright red of a tomato indicates that it is antioxidant rich.
One of the ways antioxidant power can be measured is by the ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) number. This measurement was developed by scientists at the National Institutes of Health. They believe that the higher the ORAC number, the higher the antioxidants in a given food. The higher the antioxidant level, the more effectively free radicals are neutralized.
For example blueberries have an ORAC number of 6,552, while red leaf lettuce has an ORAC number of 2380. Read more about ORAC numbers and the anti aging diet.
Fortunately, fruits and vegetables not only provide us with abundant antioxidants to stop the free radicals, but <em>raw</em> fruits and vegetables also provide us with the enzymes that we need to digest our food and so preserve our own internal enzymes.
I know what you are thinking - there is no way to eat only raw fruits and vegetables! While eating more raw fruits and vegetables is a good idea, for most of us, eating only raw fruits and vegetables just isn't practical. Most of us eat cooked foods as well. But cooked or processed foods are void of enzymes. This greatly increases our need for additional enzymes.
If we eat cooked foods, we need a way to supplement our enzymes. We can preserve our own enzymes by using digestive enzyme supplements when we eat cooked food. This supplies those needed enzymes to digest the cooked food, while saving our own internal enzymes for other important metabolic processes in our bodies. Digestive enzymes are an important part of an anti aging diet.
It is important that our body maintains a slightly alkaline pH balance for optimum health.
Learn more about why it is important to maintain a slightly alkaline pH balance.
Another issue that we face today is that our food is not as high in vitamins and minerals as it was 50 years ago. This is thought to be because of the depletion of minerals in our soil today. After World War II, farmers began using more and more pesticides. These pesticides have contributed to the depletion of valuable nutrients from our soil which in turn depletes the nutrients in our food. Rich, healthy food comes from vitamin and mineral rich soil.
Another way to get healthy nutrients into our diet is through cultured or fermented foods.
Learn more about the importance of cultured or fermented foods.
In addition to our food becoming more depleted of vitamins and minerals, it is also increasingly filled with chemicals. Have you ever read the ingredients list on a bottled or boxed food product? My guess is that you wouldn't recognize many of the ingredients listed on the label. That is because they are manmade chemicals and not food!
Not only do chemical additives cause us increased health problems, but there is a theory that the more chemicals that we put into our body, the fatter we become. This is because these chemicals are recognized by our body as toxins. When the body encounters toxins, it likes to store them in fat. By storing toxins in fat, our body is insulating and protecting us from the toxin. So, the more toxins, the more fat is needed to store them!
Chemicals and additives in our food are not a part of an anti aging diet!
If our food has fewer nutrients today than in years past, how can we fill the gap with more nutrients, antioxidants and enzymes? Fortunately, there are a number of superfoods and superfood supplements on the market today that can provide high levels of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and enzymes.
Looking for another way to get more fruits and vegetables? Try juicing them! Or try whipping up a green smoothie! By drinking fresh raw vegetable juices, you will give your body an infusion of vitamins, minerals and enzymes. Your skin will glow and you will get a boost of energy.
Learn more about green smoothies
Today we often consume too many processed and unhealthy fats. We should be consuming healthy fats, such as extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil and butter from grass fed cows. Instead, we often consume too many processed omega-6 fats and saturated fats from grain fed animal products. (Grass fed/free range animal products have a healthier fat ratio and additional benefits.) These unhealthy fats contribute to a number of illnesses.
What are the best anti aging foods? The foods that have the best anti aging benefits? As scientists have studied the world's healthiest populations, they seem to have 2 things in common. The first is a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, and a diet free of processed foods. The second is regular exercise. An example of this type of diet and lifestyle is the Mediterranean Diet. It is made up of
Read more about recent research on the Mediterranean Diet
The bottom line is, you are what you eat! And in order to have a health body, we need to have a diet filled with an abundant amount of antioxidant and enzyme rich food. This is an anti aging diet!
The building materials in an anti aging diet primarily come in the form of raw fruits and vegetables with some cooked vegetables, protein (wild fish, free range chicken, grass fed beef), nuts and seeds, healthy fats and some whole grains.
This type of anti aging diet not only contains an abundance of antioxidants and enzymes, but these food are also full of phytonutrients.
Phytonutrients are a class of nutrients that are believed to have health protecting properties. There are hundreds and thousands of phytonutrients that are in fruits and vegetables. Some have been identified, but there are thought to be hundreds of compounds that have not yet been identified. That is why it is so important to eat whole foods! You want to be able to get all the phytonutrients as well as the antioxidants and the enzymes that are available.
Eat a healthy anti aging diet such as the Mediterranean Diet. Eat as many raw fruits and vegetable as possible - they are great anti aging foods. Eat as little processed food as possible. When eating cooked foods, you may want to supplement your meals with digestive enzymes to conserve your own internal enzymes. Add select superfoods and fresh vegetable juices to your diet to get concentrated anti aging nutrients.
Remember, what you eat today becomes the building materials for your body tomorrow! Eat a healthy anti aging diet and the construction of your body will be strong and beautiful!
Try a Mediterranean favorite - a seafood paella recipe!
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