From the moment of conception, the human body is aging. And while it cannot be stopped, it’s possible to influence how quickly the body ages. One of the most significant ways is through diet. Think of every bite as a deposit into the bank of health, with nutrient-rich foods being valuable currency. And remember your body is dependent on the food you eat; clean eating that is processed or genetically modified food AKA GMO gives you unhealthy benefits.
So what are the kind of foods that promotes healthy aging?
The 20-somethings are accustomed to quick and convenient food. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always mean healthy most of the time. Convenience foods can be high in calories, sugar, salt and fat. A high-protein diet with lean meats, dairy, fish and vegetables is highly recommended.
Many in the 30s are in the pink of health including myself and are untouched by the visible signs of aging. Unfortunately, many also are preoccupied with work, family and entertainment. As a result, health is often neglected. A 2014 survey by Health Promotion Board suggested that an average Singaporean only meets dietary guidelines 21 days out of a year. Almost all fall short of Vitamin E and more than half of Singaporeans surveyed do not meet the needs of magnesium, folate and zinc. Taking a multivitamin daily helps supply the nutrients needed to support healthy aging.
Most in the 40s are careful in avoiding foods high in refined sugar like soda, candy and pastries. In this decade, the likelihood of becoming overweight or obese sharply rises, and with it comes with health risks, mostly notably type 2 diabetes. Weight gain is largely preventable by following a healthy diet and exercising. A healthy diet that consists of complex carbohydrates and dietary fiber can help manage sugar and weight. Complex Carbohydrates are found in foods such as peas, beans, whole grains, and vegetables. Both simple and complex carbohydrates are turned to glucose (blood sugar) in the body and are used as energy.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the leading cause of death among men and women, trumping cancer, stroke and diabetes. Being over the age of 50 increases the risk. While some factors cannot be mitigated, diet and exercise are effective tools for preventing heart disease. The American Heart Association recommends eating fish at least two times per week (or taking a daily supplement) to increase intake of omega-3 fatty acids.
For 60s and older, Alzheimer is the disease that has no cure but focused on delaying, slowing and preventing symptoms. The 60s and older are prone to getting Alzheimer hence invest with nutrition is the promise. Consume daily with Vitamin E, have healthy balanced meals and do activities that support brain health.
No matter the decade of life, invest wisely with nutrition. Let’s start now!
Karen is also a contributor for In The Loop Singapore.