‘Staying Young Through Nutrition’

Ageing is inevitable, or that’s the perceived wisdom. However, science is now proving that steps can be taken to stay young, or at least a little younger, forever, and much of the current advice revolves around diet.

Too many carbonated drinks can age the body faster than smoking, making parts of it more or less five years older biologically, whilst a Mediterranean diet, vitamin-rich seaweed and a few cups of coffee may help to prolong your life considerably. And this is not fad diet advice plucked out of a glossy magazine; it is given by Dr Elizabeth Blackburn, a Nobel prize-winning biologist who discovered telomeres, the ‘shoelace caps’ at the end of chromosomes that govern how well or badly someone will age.

There are many foods available that help to prolong life, with five of the most potent below:

1. Oysters will ward off age-related muscle loss and protect eyesight.

2. Green tea is high in antioxidants that can improve the function of both the body and the brain.

3. Grapes are packed with anthocyanins which help to fight arthritis, as well as being able to boost collagen in the retina, which protects the eyes against age-related macular degeneration.

4. Sardines are packed with bone building calcium and skeletal-strengthening vitamin D, which helps to prevent osteoporosis and keeps the body strong for life.

5. Walnuts are full of antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids that can significantly reduce the risk of heart disease.

Of course, it’s no good living a long life if you’re not happy, and there are plenty of foods to boost your mood, from egg yolks through to sweet potato. There has been a myth going round for a few years now that egg yolks contain too much fat. This is wrong. They do contain fat, but it is the right kind of fat. In addition, they contain choline, which helps to form a protective sheath over some of our nerves, helping the brain to communicate more quickly. Egg yolks are also important in forming the concentration and memory neurotransmitter, acetylcholine. And egg yolks are best if you enjoy them runny!

It may also surprise you to learn that sweet potatoes relieve anxiety because they contain magnesium and B6. They’re good for the skin too, which is a nice bonus.

What’s more, you should serve at least seven portions of fruits and vegetables daily, particularly those containing potassium, such as bananas, leafy greens, potatoes (skin on), dates, citrus fruits, tomatoes and beans.

You can stay young looking throughout your life if you follow some very basic lifestyle habits, and the most important of these is eating the right food!

  • By Bilal Al Halabi, Al Halabi Ref. & Kitchen Equipment www.al-halabi.com



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