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Your Diet and Aging

December 29, 2014

You know what they say: “You are what you eat.” What your diet comprises of can determine how well you age. While there are foods that you should favor, there are others that you should limit—if not stay away from entirely. Here are three of the worst foods for aging, as well as three of the best foods for potentially slowing down the aging process.

Foods That Speed Up Aging

Sugar: Sugar is perhaps the number one thing to watch out for. Too much of it damages your skin’s collagen and elastin, which keep your skin springy and free from wrinkles. Sugar also increases the risk of developing certain diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease and even cancer.

Fried Foods: Anything fried—especially deep-fried food items like French fries and potato chips—increases fat intake, and leads to oil build-up in your body. There’s also a possibility that it traps bacteria on your skin, which causes unsightly breakouts. Fried foods constitute a major risk of developing heart disease.

Processed Foods: Hot dogs, pepperoni, bacon, chocolate chips, crackers, and even certain bread brands are culprits here. Processed foods usually contain large amounts of salt and sugar. Processed meats in particular are high in saturated fats and nitrates, which can cause inflammation.

Foods That Slow Down Aging

Tomatoes: There’s a reason tomatoes are red. They get that color from lycopene, a pigment that has been known through medical research to make skin smoother. Lycopene can also protect the skin from sunburn. It’s not just tomatoes that have this carotenoid. You can also get lycopene from other fruits and vegetables, such as asparagus, carrots, guavas, pink grapefruit, watermelon, and red cabbage and red peppers.

Fish: Certain fish—most particularly salmon, tuna, and sardines—are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are known for several health benefits, such as reducing the risk of cancer, inflammation, and heart disease. Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), which is one of the omega-3 fats in fish, is known to preserve collagen, thus increasing the possibility of keeping skin fresh and firm. Another omega-3 fatty acid—which is known as docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA—helps prevent skin cancer through the reduction of inflammatory compounds that promote malignant tumor growth.

Oatmeal: B vitamins like riboflavin and thiamine help in keeping the skin looking fresh, while keeping away rashes. These vitamins can be found in considerable amounts in oatmeal, which is also an excellent source of fiber. Oatmeal—just like other whole grains that include brown rice, quinoa, and whole wheat breads and pastas—can also help curb inflammation.

Eating right is a key component to any healthy lifestyle. Make sure you are staying healthy both mentally and physically with the help from the caring staff at one of the senior living campuses by Concordia Lutheran Ministries. Our chefs and cooks will leave your mouth watering with their nutritious and delicious meals. At Concordia, we are proud to offer a variety of senior care services designed to cater to any need you may have to provide you with the most fulfilling senior living experience possible. Learn more about how we can help you live to your fullest potential by contacting a Concordia campus near you today!

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