We all want to stay young forever – only that does not happen. But if you spot that first wrinkle around your eyes, don’t just panic yet. There are ways to slow down the ageing process so you feel and look younger than your years. Before you start buying anti-aging creams, go for a change in your diet and incorporate foods that are high in antioxidants. Here is your complete guide to staying young with a healthy anti-aging diet.
Guard Against Muscle Loss
The first thing you need to know about ageing is the loss of muscle mass that we all suffer from as the years pile on. Till the age of 30, our body builds lean muscles and during this time we are at the fittest. As the years add on, the gradual loss of muscle mass begins and by the time we are in our 60’s the loss becomes quite evident in our body structure and composition.
It is this loss which makes the human body look old – and diminishes its stamina and strength. With the loss of muscle mass, the human body tends to lose bone tissue that results in the culmination of thinner and fragile bones prone to fractures. This is a completely natural process and while there is no way to reverse it, there is a way to slow it down. As the loss of lean muscle mass is at the core of ageing, we can arrest the process to a great extent by replenishing our body with proteins to help build lean tissues and slow the loss.
More Proteins For Lean Muscles
Consuming more proteins is a surefire way of slowing down the process of ageing. But how much protein do you really need? The Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) indicates a protein requirement of 0.8 gms per kg of body weight per day. Roughly, that amounts for about 56 gm per day for males and 46 gms per day for females (If you workout, then you may need more – remember that this is just a very generic proportion)
Going by this, for an average man of say 50 years, there is a requirement of 90 gms of protein per day. Good, you get the idea. So where can this protein come from? It can come from foods such as meat, eggs, fish or if you are vegetarian, from pulses, paneer and nuts. or even from the protein shake or supplement, you take.
A Good Hearty Breakfast
What is even more important is the time of day that you consume the proteins at. Typically, you need to take a high protein diet in the morning with your breakfast. Unfortunately, we either skip breakfast or load ourselves with carbohydrates at breakfast and gorge on proteins at dinner. Studies show that breakfast consists of 16 percent of the day’s protein intake and dinner gets a whopping 42 per cent share.
Reverse this trend and make time for a good hearty breakfast consisting of an optimal 30 per cent. Why 30 percent? Because that is the magic number when you body can process the proteins to hit muscle synthesis at its highest score.
It may not be necessary to increase your protein intake per day. Simply distribute it in a way that you get the maximum benefit from your protein rich diet.
Ageing occurs due to the process of oxidation of body cells. Certain foods such as tomatoes are high on antioxidants that reduce the risk of cancers and helps to slow the body’s ageing mechanism. Here are some foods that have been a part of the anti-aging diet for a very long time.
Olive oil has monounsaturated fats that are good for your heart and health and is a rich source of polyphenols that slow the ageing process.
Blueberries have high amounts of anti-oxidants and have been proved to aid in improving motor skills and memory functions that tend to diminish with age.
A good source of proteins, yoghurt is rich in probiotics and helps in digestion too. The good bacteria in yoghurt helps in better absorption of proteins and other foods.
Fish is rich in Omega-3 fats that help to lower cholesterol and keeps the heart healthy. The protein in fish helps to arrest muscle loss that occurs with age.
Dark Chocolate which has at least 70 percent cocoa content is good for the blood vessels. Cocoa contains flavanols that have been known to keep the arteries healthy.
Nuts are a rich source of vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants. As they contain a high amount of unsaturated fats, they are considered good for the heart and other organs of the body. Aim for at least 1 ounce of assorted nuts 5 times a week. Not recommended if you are allergic, though.
Water is a life saver, in more ways than one. The adult human body is made up of 50-60 percent water and it is important to keep it hydrated to allow for the cells to function properly. Drink at least 6 glasses of water a day thirsty or not. Prefer plain water to artificially flavoured varieties. Remember that plain water helps you lose weight and has no calories.
Broccoli & Tomatoes
High on vitamins, anti-oxidants and fibre, broccoli and tomatoes are a combination that no one should miss out on. Have a bowl of salad with generous quantities of tomatoes and broccoli at least three times a week.
Last but not the least, start early with your anti-aging diet. The idea is to slow down the ageing process and the sooner you start, the better it will be. Eat healthy and stay active to shave off those years from your body, inside and out.