6 Foods for Healthy Aging

Your diet is a good place to start your graceful aging endeavors, as certain foods offer health benefits that can promote healthy aging. Add these foods to your plate – no matter what your age!

1. Vegetables. An excellent source of antioxidants, vegetables help counter oxidative stress, a process which can damage cells and may accelerate aging. Choose an array of vegetables covering all the colors of the spectrum. Make sure to include dark leafy greens such as spinach and kale, which help promote eye health.

2. Blueberries. Their active components are the anthocyanin pigments, the protective compounds that make the berries blue and are responsible for their antioxidant potency. Blueberries may improve motor skills and reverse age-related short-term memory loss, and may also protect the brain from stroke damage.

3. Soy. Studies indicate that women in Japan who eat soy regularly don’t suffer from hot flashes the way many western women do. The isoflavones in soy foods help balance hormone levels and have some mild estrogenic activity. Try tofu, soymilk, roasted soy nuts, tempeh, edamame, or miso.

4. Salmon. Wild-caught Alaskan salmon and canned sockeye salmon are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids, the anti-inflammatory, essential fats our bodies need for optimum health, and are a high-quality source of protein.

5. Turmeric and Ginger. Research suggests that turmeric, the major ingredient in American mustard and Indian curry, can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, and ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory agent that has also been linked to a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s.

6. Dark Chocolate. Chocolate provides polyphenols with high antioxidant activity, and the fat it contains is mostly stearic acid, which doesn’t raise cholesterol levels. It also contains compounds that are good for the heart: they reduce the stickiness of platelets, inhibiting blood clotting, and reducing the danger of coronary artery blockages. When buying, choose products with 70 percent or higher pure cocoa solids.

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