Our eating habits affect our quality of life. Eat too many of the wrong types of food and you are opening yourself up to many potential health related problems. On the other hand, by eating the right kinds of food, you are helping yourself lead a healthier and longer life. In fact, eating these “super foods” will help you to look and feel younger too.
The golden rule of healthy foods is to eat raw, buy organic, and avoid processed. Cooking destroys vitamins and nutrients in food, so eating foods raw, when possible, is recommended. Organic foods are generally agreed to be a healthier alternative because they are free from chemicals and other contaminants.
Avoid packaged and commercially prepared foods as much as possible. Stay away from sugar and refined carbohydrates. Dermatologist Dr. Fredric Brandt believes that sugar breaks down elastin and collagen in the skin, causing premature aging. He thinks you can turn back the clock by ten years and improve the texture, tone and radiance of your skin, simply by reducing the amount of sugar that you eat. (Dr. Brandt counts Madonna and Cher among his clients, so he definitely has some believers in his theory.)
A diet that is rich in fiber, whole grains and antioxidants will keep you looking and feeling younger. Most of us know about fiber and whole grains, but what exactly are antioxidants? Well, antioxidants are vitamins and nutrients. They are so highly regarded because they are thought to protect against damage to the heart, arteries and other tissues. Not only that, they are also capable of repairing damage that has already occurred in cells.
Foods rich in antioxidants include most of the berry family with blueberries topping the list. Kiwi has been recognized for its unusual combination of health promoting substances as well. Apples, cherries and plums are almost as highly rated as berries, so be sure to include them in your anti-aging diet. All vegetables contain varying levels of antioxidants as well as lots of nutrients, especially green leafy vegetables, with beans, artichokes and broccoli having high levels.
The good news for snack lovers is that nuts are considered a healthy food. Pecans, hazelnuts, almonds, and walnuts are especially good for you because they contain Omega 3 fats, which are great for the heart. For those who don’t enjoy eating fish, which are prized for their Omega 3 fats, nuts make a wonderful substitute. Nuts are high in calories, so a little go a long way.
Even better news for snack lovers is that chocolate has made the list of “good for you” foods. Dark chocolate in particular has healthy benefits for us. Only eat a small amount of it though or the excess calories you consume may outweigh the health benefits.
And to wash all this delicious food down, your best choices are water or green tea. Water is the number one beverage choice. We need it to hydrate the skin and wash toxins from our body. Not consuming enough water will lead to a tired, lethargic feeling and a less than glowing appearance. Drinking a cup or two a day of green tea daily is beneficial. Not only will it burn extra calories, it’s just plain good for you.
Make wise choices in your daily diet and you will be on the road to looking and feeling younger before you know it. And, as Martha Stewart would say, “That’s a good thing.”