Getting older can be a beautiful thing, and it’s ultimately something we can be grateful for as proof that we can live another day. But, let’s be real, some days getting old can be a real drag. Your body goes through many kinds of changes, both external and internal, and it can be a frustrating experience, especially because aging can be a risk factor for so many different diseases. Luckily, there are superfoods you can eat regularly to help slow this process down.
“Superfood” is a term that comes up quite often, but what does it really mean? According to the Cleveland Clinic, there’s no clear way to determine what is and isn’t considered a superfood, but it’s basically anything that provides many different nutrients and stays healthy. lower end of calories. While superfoods are great to include in your diet at any time, there are specific choices that contain nutrients linked to slowing the aging process.
“Some of our nutritional needs can change with age, so including specific superfoods in your diet can help people live healthy lives as they age,” says Lauren Manaker, MS, RDNdietitian and author First Time Mom Pregnancy Cookbook And Fuel male fertility.
We were curious what those specific superfoods would be, so we asked a few of our experts for their thoughts. And while there are plenty of superfoods out there to help slow aging in your 50s, 60s, 60s, and beyond, we wanted to focus specifically on the years after your 40s. For one thing, your 40s are the perfect time to start building healthy habits so you can make those changes in your later decades. Additionally, your body begins to experience specific changes in your midlife, such as loss of muscle mass, hormonal changes related to menopause, and size changes related to bone and muscle changes.
Read on to learn about some of the superfoods our dietitians recommend you start incorporating into your diet while you’re in your 40s to slow aging. Then be sure to check out The Best Supplements to Slow Aging.
“Free radicals attack healthy cells in the body, and this damage is thought to contribute to inflammation and the buildup of oxidative stress,” Manaker explains. “Collectively, this may accelerate aging at the cellular level, while playing a fundamental role in promoting chronic disease, including heart disease and cancer. Health professionals recommend foods high in antioxidants to help protect healthy cells from free radical damage in the body. “
Luckily, Manaker tells us that pistachios are known to help fight these free radicals with their antioxidant abilities. “A study conducted by Cornell University and published in the journal Nutrients found that pistachios have a high antioxidant capacity, with the antioxidant capacity of pistachios rivaling that of popular foods containing antioxidants, including blueberries, pomegranates, etc.
“Data shows that eating just a handful of pistachios as part of a normal diet can positively affect cellular aging and longevity in people with pre-diabetes,” adds Manaker. “And pistachios also contain lutein, an antioxidant carotenoid that helps support eye health.”
Another wonderful superfood to help slow the aging process is salmon, along with many other types of oily fish. “Salmon is an excellent source of lean protein, an important nutrient for maintaining muscle mass, and is especially important for older adults,” says Lisa Young, Ph.D., RDNauthor of Finally full, finally thin and a member of our Medical Expert Council. “It’s also high in omega-3 fatty acids, which may reduce the risk of heart disease.”
Indeed, a study published in Neurology found that people in their 40s and 50s whose red blood cells contained higher levels of omega-3s had better cognitive functioning and better overall brain structure than those with lower omega-3 levels.
If you’re a fan of cranberries or cranberry juice, you’re in luck because this superfood has been found to help slow aging.
“Cranberries are packed with plant compounds that may help slow the aging process, especially when focusing on cognitive aging,” Manaker says. “Data shows that consuming what amounts to a small cup of cranberries every day over a three-month period can improve memory performance and neural functioning.”
In addition to the cognitive benefits this fruit can give you, “cranberries are also a source of vitamin C, a nutrient that can help fight the effects of free radicals on aging skin,” Manaker says.
According to Young, tomatoes are an important superfood to help slow aging. “Some red foods, like tomatoes, contain the antioxidant lycopene, which fights free radicals that come with aging,” she says. Lycopene, which is a plant compound also found in watermelon and pink grapefruit, is known for its multiple health benefits.
A high intake of lycopene has been shown to help lower cholesterol, improve cardiovascular health and reduce the risk of heart disease, reduce the risk of stroke and even reduce the risk of prostate cancer. prostate in men. And, in addition to all of these benefits against age-related diseases, lycopene is known to help reduce photo damage to the skin.
“Strawberries are a source of vitamin C and plant compounds,” says Manaker.
According to a study published in the Alzheimer’s Disease Journal, getting enough vitamin C can help protect you against age-related cognitive decline. In fact, they go further by saying that making sure you eat a balanced diet and get vitamin C through your food may be more effective than taking supplements.
“Some data specifically show that eating berries more than twice a week can delay cognitive aging by up to 2.5 years,” Manaker says.
Young adds that “berries may also help protect our cells against free radical damage and also reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer.”
Dark green leafy vegetables
“Leafy green vegetables such as kale and spinach are rich in vitamins E and K, which may prevent memory loss and help reduce aging in our brains,” says Young.
The research certainly backs that up too. In a study published by the American Academy of Neurologyit was concluded that one serving of leafy greens per day was associated with less age-related cognitive decline.
But the benefits of dark leafy greens don’t stop there. Not only do dark leafy greens help your cognitive health as you age, but according to Young, “these greens contain carotenoids, which can help protect the eyes from oxidative damage, and spinach is also rich in vitamins. A and C antioxidants, which can help protect the heart.”
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