There are plenty of things we can’t control as we get older — our age, our height and our genetic makeup, for example. But there are also many factors we can control when it comes to slowing down the aging process. One of the most important is what we eat.
Food can be a powerful tool in promoting health and longevity. In fact, eating right can help you prevent age-related diseases such as heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s.
Here are our recommended healthy eating habits proven to slow aging:
- Add more fish to your diet. We’ve talked about the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids, but they’re so important we’re going to mention them again. These essential nutrients are great for your heart, but may also help slow the aging process by protecting your cells from damage that can increase your risk for cancer and other diseases. Omega-3s may help keep skin healthy and support brain function as you age.
Eat plenty of fruits and veggies. Fruits and vegetables are loaded with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that help keep skin healthy and protect against cell damage. They also help fight inflammation that can lead to heart disease and diabetes. They’re low in calories (which is great for weight control) and high in fiber (which helps lower cholesterol).
Less sugar. Eating sugar can speed up the aging process by damaging collagen (the protein that keeps skin smooth and elastic) and elastin (the protein that enables skin to snap back into place). A diet high in sugar can also lead to glycation end products (AGEs), which damage adjacent proteins in a way similar to what happens to iron when it rusts.
Eat proteins: Proteins help in repairing body tissues and cells, including the skin cells. Therefore, include plenty of protein-rich foods like eggs, fish, chicken and beans in your diet to slow down aging.