We know what a healthy diet looks like. If you regularly consume a good amount of vegetables and fruit, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats, and avoid the not-so-good stuff like sugary and salty processed foods, your diet is on track. But besides giving us energy and keeping us healthy, certain foods can do a lot more: in fact, foods can help us stay healthy as we age and ensure that we don’t face any major health problems as we get older. Check out these 10 anti-aging foods and make sure to include them in your work lunches and snacks so you can age gracefully and feel forever young.
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There’s a reason blueberries are called superfoods: these tiny blue berries are incredibly good for you thanks to their antioxidants. These fight against heart disease and cancer. Blueberries will ensure that you don’t suffer from diabetes as you get older. That’s good news since predictions are that 2050 will see ½ of adults who reside in the United States facing this health problem. Diabetes takes years off your life. Your brain will stay healthy as you age if you make blueberries a regular part of your diet, since they contain flavonoids which keep the cells in your body talking to each other and functioning normally. Flavonoids fight against memory-related disorders, so they’re especially useful as we age.
Salmon is a popular easy weeknight dinner choice even for those who don’t love fish since it doesn’t have a particularly “fishy” taste. But salmon can keep you young, too, thanks to its high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. Since your body doesn’t create omega-3 fatty acids, you need to get them from what you eat. Eating a health-promoting fat such as salmon will enable your body to use vitamins D, A and E. Eating salmon can help you feel more alert and more able to focus, so it’s a good choice to bring to work for lunch, too. It will improve your memory as you age, ensure the cells in your body are functioning, and stop any negative changes in your cognitive ability. And if that’s not enough: a professor at UCLA has suggested that dementia and depression can be stopped from a diet full of omega-3 fatty acids. Cognitive decline has been linked to not having enough DHA, which is the omega-3 fatty acid found in salmon.
Make sure you bring some almonds with you to the office for a mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack. Almonds are considered to be a powerful anti-aging food. One reason to eat almonds is they are a healthy source of fat, like salmon. The polyunsaturated fats found in almonds have omega-6s which will decrease your cholesterol, and keeping your cholesterol levels down is an important part of healthy aging. Without keeping those levels in check, you’re setting yourself up for heart problems later on. Research from the New England Journal of Medicine found that you will have a longer life if you eat nuts daily. As a bonus, your likeliness of having heart problems or cancer will also decrease. Almonds have vitamin E which repair your cells and is considered to be an antioxidant. Almonds are also a good source of magnesium which will keep your bones strong.
What green is more popular and trendy than kale right now? Kale may be having a moment in the culinary world, and this leafy green vegetable definitely deserves all the hype. Kale is a powerful anti-aging food because it will keep you both mentally and physically strong. Kale’s Vitamin K is responsible for our strong bones. And like salmon, kale helps you focus. The memory loss and cognitive issues that can result from aging can be fought if you consume enough kale. Kale has lutein which is pretty powerful: it will ensure that you don’t develop cataracts or macular degeneration. So you can feel confident that when you bring your favorite raw kale salad to work for lunch, you’re slowing down the aging process, too.
5. Whole Grains
If you love a veggie-packed quinoa salad for lunch or regularly enjoy some whole grain crackers with hummus as your 3 p.m. snack, you’re in luck. Research from the Harvard School of Public Health has discovered that the consumption of whole grains means you have a decreased chance of death due to heart problems or any other disease. Brown rice and oats were considered to be among the healthiest of the grains you could eat, so enjoy some black beans and brown rice for lunch and heat up some oatmeal in the office kitchen for breakfast at your desk or a mid-morning snack. Experts think the amount of bran in whole grains is what makes them so good for you. Barley is another smart whole grain choice to consume: it will ensure your blood pressure stays at a healthy level thanks to its magnesium and potassium. Oats are thought to fight cancer, too, thanks to their levels of selenium which is thought to ensure that your skin has no tumor formation.
6. Olive Oil
Feel free to pour some olive oil over your leafy greens on your lunch break: olive oil is another amazing anti-aging food. Like salmon and nuts, olive oil has the kind of fat that you want and research has shown that consuming this fat ensures that you remember things well and that your brain is operating as it should. Olive oil will also make sure that your cholesterol levels don’t creep up, which is why it’s recommended as good oil to sauté and fry with.
Avocados contain the best kind of you fat you could consume. Our brains are actually made up of 60 per cent fat which explains why we need to eat healthy fat as part of our diet. The fat found in avocados will help your body take in minerals and vitamins from the other foods you’re eating. And as a bonus, it will also make your skin look good. Avocados are an excellent choice as a salad topper or even as a creamy base for your morning smoothie, so make sure you bring this powerful anti-aging fruit to work with you. They’re also very filling so you will feel satisfied from a small amount, which will help keep your weight in check (you don’t want to be eating an entire avocado every day for lunch).
How about a sweet, creamy fruit smoothie for an afternoon snack? Bring one with almond milk, protein powder, and your choice of fruit to work to enjoy as a pick-me-up at your desk - but make sure you include some flaxseeds. Flaxseeds have lignans which are those amazing cancer-fighting antioxidants that will ensure you age as healthfully as possible. These tiny brown seeds are thought to help ensure that your blood sugar levels are healthy and to prevent anything from heart disease to cancer (lung cancer in particular). A great reason to make flaxseeds a part of your daily smoothie routine.
9. Low-fat Dairy
We want strong bones as we age in order to prevent osteoporosis and the consumption of dairy products will help us prevent that. We’re looking to consume enough calcium, folate, and vitamins B12, E, D and A, all of which can be found in dairy. So feel free to enjoy some fruit and yogurt to stop those afternoon hunger pangs or enjoy a glass of milk at lunch. Ensuring that the milk and yogurt you’re eating are low in fat will keep calories in check. If you’re allergic to dairy products or are vegan, you can still get calcium from almond milk and soy milk, along with certain vegetables like kale and broccoli. And you will reap the same anti-aging benefits from those foods, too, since you’re still getting the same nutrients.
10. Dark Chocolate
Does that 2 p.m. chocolate craving get you down every day? You can stop feeling bad about your sweet tooth and start enjoying a small piece of dark chocolate after lunch or later on in the day, because dark chocolate is actually good for you. This sweet treat has antioxidants which have powerful anti-aging properties. In fact, dark chocolate is thought to have more of these cancer-fighting gems than even blueberries do. That’s a pretty good reason to enjoy some daily.
See Also: 5 Ways To Eat More Veggies
Making sure that we stay healthy as we get older means consuming a proper, healthy diet, but we can make sure we put our best foot forward if we consume certain foods. Check out these top 10 anti-aging foods, ranging from fatty salmon to buttery avocados to sweet blueberries, and bring these foods to the office every single day. Your health will thank you - and your skin just might develop a glow, too.