Monday, April 15, 2019 1:00 am
Eat healthy to age gracefully, dietitian urges
What if you were 60 but felt more like you were 30? Consider taking charge of your nutrition by adding in foods that help you feel decades younger.
“What you eat and drink can have a tremendous impact on how you look and feel,” says Dawn Jackson Blatner, registered dietitian and nutritionist. “Eating healthy is important at any age, but as you get older, certain foods can have a powerful impact on your overall well-being.”
Jackson Blatner's top picks for food that fight aging include:
“Try substituting fish into meals a few times a week,” says Jackson Blatner. “Americans tend to eat less fish than people in other parts of the world and they are missing out on great-tasting protein that's packed with omega-3s.”
Omega-3s support brain and heart health, important issues as you age. Mayo Clinic doctors believe that omega-3s reduce the risk of dying of heart disease.
“Fatty fish like salmon, tuna, sardines and mackerel are good options,” she says. “Try buying wild-caught versus farm-raised when possible.”
“Antioxidants protect your cells from damage and support a strong immune system,” Jackson Blatner says. “This is incredibly important as you age so you can stay healthy and feel younger.”
Packed with vitamins C and E, berries are a superfood great for snacking and cooking. Try eating an array of colorful berries each week to give your body the antioxidants it craves. Blueberries are particularly well-known for their antioxidant properties.
“Sprinkle some in yogurt, make a smoothie, add some to a salad or eat as a healthy dessert,” she says.
“Pack your plate with cruciferous vegetables as you age,” she says. “These are members of the cabbage family and include broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, bok choy and kale.”
These tasty greens are great fresh or cooked, providing plenty of fiber to help keep your digestion on track, which is a concern for many as they age. And the National Cancer Institute states cruciferous vegetables may help reduce the risk of some cancers.
“These dark-green powerhouses pack a nutritional punch ... so discover recipes that include cruciferous vegetables and other 'anti-aging' foods.”
“Many people don't realize the benefits of eating eggs, and when you choose the right type of egg, you get higher levels of omega-3s, B12, and vitamin E, all nutrients needed for healthy aging,” she says.
Our ability to absorb energizing B12 decreases with age, so getting B12 in places like eggs is important. Also important in eggs is the antioxidant vitamin E, which can act like an internal “sunscreen” to protect skin from sun damage and help skin age more gracefully.