Top 8 Eating Tips to Minimize Aging and Related ConditionsNectari
Well, it’s inevitable, we all age. Some age faster than others and may have some more serious age related conditions. According to the Functional Food Centre in Dallas Texas, the hot topic of discussion for their scheduled 2017 conference at Harvard Medical School will be on “Functional Foods for Chronic Diseases”.
Experts and leaders of medicine, biology and food industry specialists will share thoughts, ideas and research regarding dietary interventions of functional foods in a joint effort to combat chronic diseases. “The rate of chronic disease contraction is steadily rising at an alarming rate year by year. Currently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates one out of every two Americans suffers from a chronic disease.
It is estimated that 80 to 90% of cancer cases are preventable, 40% of which are nutrition related; therefore, almost half of cancer cases are preventable through specialized nutrition and preventative interventions.” To further support the importance of preventing and reversing disease through nutritional and natural methods, click on this link featuring Joel Fuhrman, M.D., New York Times best-selling author and nutritional researcher, entitled ‘I Love Nutritional Science’. video
Here are top eight eating tips to try to help minimize aging and related conditions.
Eat a Rainbow of Fruits and Vegetables in Season:
Try to eat organic foods when possible, this limits your pesticide exposure and any pesky toxins from entering your body and aging you quicker. Try to eat a “rainbow” of coloured fruits and vegetables every day, so you get a variety of essential vitamins and nutrients naturally. This means eating a variety of coloured produce. For example, yellow fruits and vegetables can include avocado, bananas, lemons and limes. Orange can include clementine’s, sweet potatoes, carrots, squash and orange peppers. Red can include radishes, tomatoes, pomegranate, strawberries and raspberries. Purple can include eggplant, beets and blueberries. Green can include spinach, broccoli, kale, cucumbers, sprouts, kiwis, green grapes and green juices.
Limit your consumption of animal and saturated fats and eat the “good fats”:
The average American diet is about 50-percent fats, mostly saturated fats, the animal fats that harden at room temperature. (Jensen, 159). These saturated fats come from animal meat, especially red meat. These along with trans fats in some packaged and processed foods may contribute to conditions such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol and other health problems.
Try to replace these with lean meats such as wild fish or salmon, grass fed beef or antibiotic free chicken or turkey. This little change will go a long way and you can actually taste the difference.
- You may be asking, what are the good fats?
- The good fats include oils such as cold pressed olive oil, avocado oil, pumpkin seed and coconut oil. Good fats can also come from whole foods such as avocado, raw nuts such as walnuts and almonds, seeds such as pumpkin or flax seeds and fish such as salmon and sardines.
Limit your intake of refined sugar and know your alternatives:
By avoiding or limiting your sugar consumption, you can minimize your chances of developing Type 2 Diabetes, weight gain and obesity. Be conscious that sugar is highly addictive. Sugar can be disguised as other words than just plain ‘sugar’ on packaged goods. Other hidden sugar sources include anything ending in ‘ose’ such as glucose, sucrose, maltose, fructose and lactose or corn syrup. If you must use a sweetener, use a more natural sugar in moderation. More natural options can include raw unpasteurized honey, stevia, maple syrup, molasses, coconut sugar, dates or figs. You can also replace your sweetener by using real fruit such as blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, currents or goji berries. Remember, try to use these alternatives in moderation
Limit your intake of refined carbohydrates and try better choices:
Your body breaks down carbohydrate into glucose. This raises your blood glucose levels. Excess carbohydrates can contribute to diabetes and obesity.
- Refined carbohydrates include most baked goods and starches made with refined flour such as white bread, bagels, salted crackers and cookies. Instead try whole grain foods such as flour, bread and crackers with ingredients such as flax seed, quinoa, amaranth, brown rice or einkorn flour (a low gluten wheat flour). Or try non-starchy carbohydrates and vegetables such as asparagus, celery, green beans, squash, tomatoes, mushrooms and onions. Top 10 Anti-Aging Superfoodssummarizes some of the tips mentioned. video
Watch your sodium intake especially in packaged foods:
Try to limit your intake of sodium, aka table salt. Table salt is obtained from non-living sources and is inorganic. Excess sodium in the diet could contribute to high blood pressure, dehydration and high cholesterol. Try Himalayan sea salt or Celtic sea salt which are more beneficial to the body, since they contain some minerals. If you must use salt, try adding it after you have tasted your food, instead of cooking with it out of habit.
In addition, be aware of hidden salts in most packaged foods such as crackers, chips, canned and frozen foods. Alternatives to using salt is to include foods that are rich in sodium in your diet. Sodium rich foods include celery, beets, figs, goat’s milk, parsley, fish and seaweed (kelp). Another great alternative to using salt in your food is adding either fresh or dried herbs such as basil, thyme, oregano, sage, coriander, rosemary, garlic or pepper. These add extra flavour and give you some extra nutritional benefits.
Stay hydrated and drink adequate water daily, the optimal is six to eight 8 ounce glasses a day:
Try to space out drinking water throughout the day, drinking more heavily in the morning. If you have a weak bladder or get up frequently in the night to use the bathroom, limit your liquid consumption after 7 pm. Unfortunately, coffee, tea an caffeine containing beverages do not count as water. In fact, these can dehydrate you further.
- Water is so vital to our body and cellular health. It is said that ‘water is the cheapest form of medicine for a dehydrated body’. (Batmanghelidj,136). As we age, the water content in our body decreases. For the elderly, the mouth and body can be dry, therefore, it is important to address thirst and the need to drink water.
Include fibre in your diet to keep you regular. Fibre and water are the pillars to good digestion:
The National Cancer Institute recommends a diet that supplies 20 to 30 grams of fibre per day (Jensen, 157). By keeping the ‘plumbing regular’, this will contribute to better bowel and overall health. You will minimize the chances of constipation and unnecessary discomfort to say the least.
- Fibre is not just from bran flakes but can also be found in whole foods such as ½ cup of baked beans (8.8 grams of dietary fiber), kidney beans (7.3 grams), ½ cup of lentils (3.7 grams), an apple (3.5 grams), orange (2.6 grams) 1/2 cup of spinach (2.1 grams), ¾ cups of oatmeal (1.6 grams), ½ cup of brown rice (1 gram), almonds
- (10 nuts equal 1.1 grams) or 1 cup of popcorn (1 gram). (Jensen, 156-159)
This link echoes many of the food recommendations made so far. Top 10 Healthiest Foods. video
Chew your food, eat mindfully and enjoy:
It is important to chew your food, sounds simple enough but many of us literally inhale our food. Digestion actually starts in our mouth, not in our stomach. Chewing helps to activate natural enzymes that help to break down our food. It is suggested to chew your food to the consistency of ‘apple sauce’, then swallow. If we neglect to chew our food properly, this could contribute to gas, flatulence, bloating, heartburn, cramping and indigestion.
By mindful eating I am referring to eating when you are relaxed. Try not to eat when you are stressed, upset, in pain or on the go, as this can contribute to indigestion and other conditions. So, easy enough to eat mindfully – just chew your food, relax and enjoy.
Do you need to brush up on one or a few of your eating habits to minimize ageing and related conditions?
We just touched on some tips to get you started. Start small and don’t be discouraged if things seem hard at first. Don’t worry, remember, age is only a number and it’s how you feel inside and out that really counts. Leading a balanced lifestyle by incorporating these top eight eating habits along with some form of physical activity may help you to minimize the aging process. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), ‘nutrient intake and physical activity goals should contribute to reduce the burden of nutrition related diseases: obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, several forms of cancer, osteoporosis and dental disease.’ Click on this link for more information. video
My dad recently celebrated his 90th birthday, a real milestone. He has been my father, friend and mentor all my life. I continue to learn from his wisdom and when I asked him his secret to longevity, he replied to be humble, joyful and dance like no one’s watching. I asked him, what his favourite health tip above was. Naturally he replied, it is to stay positive, eat mindfully and enjoy your food!
BA, CNP, Certified Laughter Yoga Leader
Sharon received her designation of Holistic Nutritionist and Certified Nutritional Practitioner from the Institute of Holistic Nutrition with First Class Honours. Sharon is a lifelong ‘Foodie’ and has a passion for Jamaican, Asian and International cuisines. She has experience with herbs, juicing, sprouting, organic gardening and essential oils. Sharon is involved in several organizations to include Whole Hearted Food, Women in the Know, the Whole Child Network and uCarenet, a caregiver practitioner service. Sharon does private consultations to include Nutrition, Recipe, Lifestyle and Supplementation recommendations. Sharon has experience in writing and reviewing client protocols for various health conditions. She has successfully helped others with conditions such as cancer, Type 2 Diabetes, anxiety, fibroids and weight issues. Sharon is an empathetic professional who ‘whole heartedly’ helps others on their health journey. She maintains balance in her life through healthy eating, laughter, mindfulness and positivity.
Contact Sharon for personal consultations or education workshops at the following: