While there is no actual fountain of youth, many dietary choices that you make can help keep you feeling youthful and healthy even as you age. This is especially true if you can make these dietary choices part of a lifestyle which includes regular exercise, good stress management and hydration. The foods below are excellent for protecting your body from the free radical damage which speeds up the aging process and for staving off many serious age-related conditions as well.
Researchers studying the dietary habits of the inhabitant on the island of Crete in the Mediterranean came to the conclusion that the reason why there was such a low incidence of heart disease and cancer in this population was because of their high consumption of olive oil. Olive oil is a rich source of health monounsaturated fats which support heart healthy by lowering bad cholesterol and raising the good; its antioxidant properties also fight oxidation damage that can come with aging.
The citizens of the former Soviet republic of Georgia have some of the highest numbers of centenarians in the world. Those who studied this group believed that one of the reasons for this was their high consumption of yogurt, which is a staple of the Georgian diet. Yogurt helps the body stay young by strengthening the bones with calcium and the muscles with protein; its probiotic content also helps promote a health digestive and immune system.
The Inuit, one of the native peoples of Alaska, have extremely low incidence of heart disease. Researchers who studied them believe that this was in part because of the extremely high consumption of fish, especially fatty fish like salmon. This is because of the high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids which can powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties which support long-term heart health.
Many studies have been done on the Kuna people who live in the San Blas Islands off the Panamanian coast, due to the fact that they have around one-tenth of the chance of developing heart disease than mainlanders. It is believed that this is due to the fact that they make a beverage containing a high amount of cocoa, which is rich in flavonoids that support healthy blood vessels and lower the risk of serious conditions like cognitive decline, high blood pressure, renal disease and diabetes.
Studies done on Seventh Day Adventists, a Christian denomination which puts a heavy emphasis on healthy living and following a vegetarian diet, reveal that those who consume large quantities of nuts gain, on average, an extra two and a half years of life. Because nuts are also high in monounsaturated fats, they have the same effect on heart health as that of olive oil, as well as being a rich source of vitamins, minerals and protein.
The five foods mentioned above are ones that you should seriously consider the next time you are in the grocery store. Regular consumption of them has shown to help slow down the aging process through antioxidant powers and to decrease the risk of serious, age-related conditions like heart disease. In short, they are a delicious and healthy way to keep your body young!