How the healthy foods you eat today serve you well into old age.
Squeeze in Omega-3s
Some nutritionists call it the anti-aging fat: Omega-3s help cells function properly, lower cholesterol, and fight inflammation, and in turn can reduce risk of cancer, heart attack, and stroke. A Journal of Nutrition study found that one omega-3, DHA (found in cold-water, fatty fish), is particularly helpful for maintaining the health of aging brains. Incorporate two 3-ounce servings of salmon, lake trout, herring, or other fatty fish in your weekly diet. Include daily servings of omega-3s from other sources, such as flaxseed, spinach, kale, or walnuts.
Fill up with fiber
The daily recommendation for fiber is 25 to 35 grams per day, but most Americans eat half of that or less. Not a good idea: Fiber may protect against cancer, promote heart health, and keep blood sugar levels steady. In an American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study, researchers found that each additional 10 grams of dietary fiber consumed daily reduced the risk of death from coronary heart disease by 17 percent. To increase your consumption, try fiber powerhouses like cooked lentils (8 grams per ½ cup), raspberries (8 grams per cup), or cooked chickpeas (6 grams per ½ cup). Find out about 49 anti-aging foods that could add years to your life.
Commit to eating a variety of colors
You already know colorful foods are healthy, but the trick is fitting in a variety of vibrant fruits and vegetables. (Eating plenty of carrots alone won’t get you all the nutrients you need.) Produce is packed with antioxidants, which slow the aging process by protecting cells from damage. But some antioxidants, like vitamin C, are water-soluble. That means they remain in the body for only four to six hours, and need to be replenished regularly. Include a fruit or veggie with every meal and snack, and aim to have at least three different colors each day.