Foods for Healthy Aging

Photo of Daisy Whitbread Written by Daisy Whitbread
BSc (Hons) MSc DipION
Photo of Dr. Nicolette Natale Medically Reviewed by
Dr. Nicolette Natale
Evidence Based. References sourced from PubMed.
Foods for Healthy Aging

Once believed to be down to our genes, several scientific and dietary studies listed in this article show that lifestyle factors can play a big part in how we age.

This is empowering news means we have much more influence on the rate at which we age than previously thought.

Health issues as we get older include cardiovascular health, joint and bone health, preserving good eyesight, maintaining memory and cognitive function, cancer prevention, and cosmetic issues, such as skin aging. The following foods listed below provide benefits in these areas.

While no single food can have "anti-aging" powers, following a healthy, balanced diet is one of the most powerful ways to preserve good health as we get older. Eating the foods listed below is a great way to start adding foods to your diet to help increase your healthspan and longevity.

Tips for Healthy Aging

  • Follow a plant-based diet which is lower in the amino acid methionine. Methionine restriction is correlated with increased healthspan and healthy aging.
  • Manage stress - stress accelerates ageing, so including stress-relieving techniques such as exercise, yoga, meditation or breathing exercises is especially beneficial as we get older.
  • Exercise - people over 65 who take regular moderate exercise reduce their risk of dementia by a third. Daily walking has been shown to increase neurone survival and growth of new neurones in the hippocampus, which is the area of the brain related to memory and learning.
  • Yoga improves flexibility and balance, both important factors to maintain as we get older. Yoga is also fantastic as it increases strength and agility and helps minimise age-associated muscle loss. It can also help manage stress.
  • Learning a new skill changes the structure of the brain, helping it to form new connections between cells and resulting in better functioning. Learning a musical instrument or a language are particularly good for stimulating new brain connections.
  • Sleep - one of the most anti-ageing things you can do is to get a good night's sleep. The majority of cellular healing and repair takes place while we sleep, so it is vital for healthy ageing. Sleep deprivation is known to impair insulin sensitivity and increase blood sugar levels leading to the formation of AGE (advanced glycation end products) in the body, which are substances that accelerate cellular ageing.
  • Sugar increases biomarkers of aging. It raises blood sugar levels, increasing AGE formation, oxidative stress and inflammation; all processes involved in ageing and disease. Try to eliminate or minimise refined, added sugars.
  • Finally, avoid smoking and limit alcohol consumption - both are associated with an increased risk of certain cancers and other age-related conditions, as well as causing free-radical damage and premature ageing of the skin.

Data Sources and References

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