From an anti-aging perspective, most leading scientist and researchers agree that food can be used as a “drug” to defer aging. This involves the re-orientation of your thinking so that you treat food with the same respect you treat a drug. That is, take only what you need and take it with care.
As your body matures, your basal metabolic rate decreases. In other words, your body’s idle speed slows down. The same amount of food intake during old age is more likely to be converted into fat than protein. As you age, your calorie intake should be restricted to minimize the accumulation of fat, yet be sufficient to provide enough nutrients for your body to function optimally.
Staying youthful is equal to staying healthy. They go hand in hand. And staying healthy is governed, to a large degree, by your daily habits of eating. If eating habits have become just habits with little thought put into them, your diet will probably be unbalanced in nutrients and calories. Keep in mind that quality of life starts at the level of nourishment for each of your cells.
Followings are simple tips that are especially useful if your focus has not been on a balanced diet before:
Be aware of the amount of calories you need to maintain your ideal weight. 5 to 10 percent below ideal body weight is a good target to shoot for.
Eat like a king at breakfast, a prince at lunch and a pauper at dinner. Breakfast is the most important meal. It provides you nutrients to start the day and you have all day to burn off the calories. Dinner should be the lightest meal because there is less time for the meal to be digested and the calories to be burned off, as you will soon be going to sleep.
You should chew your food at least 20 times before swallowing. One way to restrict calorie intake without feeling deprived is to eat slowly, savoring each mouthful. To eat slowly means you will no longer gulp your food, washing each mouthful down with fluid. Instead, you will chew each mouthful thoroughly so that it is easy to swallow without additional fluids.
Reduce overall fat and sugar intake as they provide only empty calories, calories without other beneficial nutrients, resulting in a calorie-dense diet. The anti-aging diet, on the other hand, is a nutrient-dense diet, meaning every calorie comes with other nutrients as well. That is one reason that fruit is recommended as the major source of sweetness in your diet, since the calories fruit contains is accompanied by vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytochemicals and various kinds of fibers, which are essential for anti-aging and for keeping the body youthful.
Whole foods are more nutritious than refined. That means using whole grains like 100 percent whole wheat bread and brown rice rather than white bread or rice, oats, and whole grain cereals rather than puffed rice, or sugared flakes and puffs. It means using the whole fruit rather than just the juice, though a little juice has its place. The refining process removes fiber, which, although not a nutrient, has many anti-aging effects. Besides providing more nutrition, whole foods also help you maintain a steady blood sugar level.
Eat a variety from the plant foods. Eat from each group – fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts and seeds. And within the fruit group, eat a variety. Within the vegetable group, eat vegetables of all different colors; eat leafy vegetables, vegetables with stems, flowers, roots, and those that surround their seeds (like squash and tomatoes, which are technically fruit). And for grains, there are more than just wheat and corn. There are oats, rye, barley, rice, triticale and others. There are also hundreds of legumes. There are split peas, regular peas, navy, kidney, lima and garbanzo beans, and of course, soybeans and lentils. By doing this, you will be less likely to miss out on any necessary vitamins, minerals or phytochemicals.
You do not need vast amounts of protein in your diet. Experiment with meat substitutes or non-animal protein foods such as tofu and legumes. Eat more fish, chicken and very little red meat. Vegetable proteins are perfectly adequate. The amino acids that might be low in grains are supplied in legumes, and vice versa, which is another reason to eat a variety of foods. Grains and legumes do not have to be eaten at the same meal. Any time during the same day works well. All proteins, from whatever source, are broken down and remade into our own unique proteins. Further, plant proteins are free of cholesterol, and saturated fats and the toxins that are found in animal protein sources.
Include organically grown foods in your diet. Chemically laden food is a burden to the body. Even small amounts of toxin accumulate and eventually wear down the body organs and cause premature aging.
Drink at least 8 glasses of water every day in order to remain healthy. Water helps you to get rid of the toxins and unwanted waste materials from your body. It also keeps you hydrated, helping to prevent premature aging of the skin and joints.
Allergy prone individuals should avoid milk and other dairy products because dairy products are mucous-forming and have a high potential for allergic reactions. Plain low fat yogurt, however, is beneficial for the intestinal tract. The beneficial bacteria found in the yogurt digest the milk sugars, and maintain the health of the intestine by promoting absorption of nutrients that are crucial for anti-aging.
Avoid drinking coffee, black tea, cola type sodas or anything else that contains caffeine because caffeine causes unnecessary stimulation of the nervous system.
The best way to lose excess weight is eliminate saturated fat and excessive protein and sugar from your diet. These foods create free radicals in your liver, while making you feel sluggish.