How Nutrition Affects Aging
You don’t have to be approaching your senior years to be thinking about the aging process. No matter how old you are, taking care of your body is always important and can help you look and feel your best. Since aging happens from the inside out, focusing on the foods you put into your body is the best place to begin and plays a role in all aspects of your health as you age.
Here are Some of the Best Nutrients to Focus On:
These include vitamins C and E as well as selenium and many other plant compounds. Antioxidants work on a cellular level to help protect against the negative effects of aging by fighting off free radicals that can damage your body. Eating a diet rich in antioxidants can help improve the look and feel of your skin, protect against vision problems, boost brain health, protect against memory loss, and reduce your likelihood of developing heart conditions and other ailments that come along with aging.
💡 Where to find them: Colorful fruits and vegetables including citrus fruits, berries, tomatoes, carrots, beets, leafy greens, and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and brussels sprouts. In addition, nuts, seeds, green tea, and even dark chocolate are good sources of antioxidants.
Collagen is one of the building blocks of your skin. It can help keep it looking youthful by improving its elasticity and protecting against wrinkles and other visible signs of aging. Collagen also helps keep your joints flexible and bones strong and may help protect against arthritis and bone loss that become more common with age. You can read more about collagen in this post!
💡 Where to find it: Bone broth, slow-cooked, bone-in meats, and collagen supplements.
This Slow Cooker Homemade Bone Broth is collagen in a warm, soothing cup!
Too much inflammation can wreak havoc on nearly all parts of your body and can speed up the aging process. Since inflammation also increases with age, it’s key to include more anti-inflammatory foods in your diet to help your whole body both feel and look younger.
💡 Where to find them: Food rich in anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids include salmon, tuna, herring, cod liver oil, walnuts, chia, and flax seeds. Berries, avocados, grapes, turmeric, green tea, olive oil, and tomatoes also have strong anti-inflammatory properties. In addition, avoid eating fried and highly processed foods or those high in added sugars, which can all lead to more inflammation in your body.
Your skin, hair, nails, and muscles all require protein. Therefore, not eating enough protein can lead to signs of aging in each of these areas and is linked to a loss of muscle strength and functionality that can occur as you age. To get the most benefits from protein, make sure you’re spreading out your intake throughout the day and properly refueling after intense exercise.
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Staying hydrated has endless benefits, including helping you look and feel younger. Being dehydrated can cause your skin to become dry, tight, and flaky while being adequately hydrated can help keep it looking brighter and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Hydration can also improve digestion, which can worsen with age. Since it is common for the sense of thirst to weaken with age, it is imperative to focus on hydration even more so as you get older.
💡 How to get enough water: Aim to drink at least half of your body weight in ounces of water per day. For more information and tips on staying hydrated, check out this post!
In addition, don’t forget about things like wearing sunscreen and getting enough exercise. These practices help protect your skin and other parts of your body, both inside and out.
Whether you’re in your 20’s, 40’s, 60’s, or beyond, you can help fight the effects of aging every day by focusing on what you put on your plate.