As we age, many of us look for help to delay the process in some way. A diet high in nutrient-rich foods such as dairy, fruits, vegetables and whole grains is the anti-aging prescription for glowing skin, a sharper mind, strong bones and a healthy heart. As a Registered Dietitian, I love sharing that the fountain of youth is as close as the kitchen. Incorporate these foods into your daily diet to foster healthy aging and improve vitality throughout the years.
- Fruits and Vegetables: Eating at least five servings of fruits and vegetables each day is one of the best ways to defend against aging. Not only are fruits and vegetables low in calories and high in fiber, they are packed with vitamins A and C, which help maintain healthy skin, eyesight and even boost brainpower. Fruits and vegetables are also packed with antioxidants, which protect against cell damage and help prevent chronic diseases including cancer, Alzheimer’s, heart disease and diabetes.
- Milk, Cheese and Yogurt: Dairy foods taste delicious and are packed with high-quality protein and essential anti-aging nutrients, including calcium and vitamin D.
As we age, muscle mass decreases and with muscle loss comes a decrease in muscle strength, leading to falls and an overall decline in health, making it important that we consume enough high-quality protein.
Additionally, it is estimated that one in two women and one in four men will break a bone due to osteoporosis in their lifetime. Milk, cheese and yogurt are the main food source of calcium for most people in the US. Enjoying dairy foods throughout the lifespan can help ensure a lifetime of strong bones.
Lactose Intolerant? Try lactose-free milk, which is real dairy milk, minus the lactose. Reach for yogurt that contains live and active cultures, which help the body digest the lactose, and low-lactose hard cheeses like cheddar, swiss and mozzarella.
- Whole Grains: Whole grains are important because they contain all the naturally occurring nutrients of the grain seed and are typically higher in nutrients such as fiber, potassium, magnesium, B vitamins and vitamin E, all nutrients that are important in maintaining a healthy immune system, forming new cells and carrying oxygen in the blood. Additionally, whole grains contain dietary fiber, which not only fills us up, but also plays a part in lowering the risk of heart disease, stroke, obesity and Type 2 Diabetes.
Healthy aging starts from the inside out. Filling your shopping cart with nutrient-rich foods, including dairy, fruits, vegetables and whole grains, can help you lose weight, live longer and look and feel younger. Click here for delicious, nutrient-rich recipes.
Laura Buxenbaum, MPH, RD, LDN