These balanced eating rules will help your body defy the effects of time
Growing older is inevitable, but looking your age is not — and slashing years off your aging body starts with eating the right foods.
A healthy diet loaded with lean protein and whole grains will allow you to retain muscle tone but lose excess fat as you age, while plenty of antioxidant-rich fruits and veggies will help stave off those wrinkles.
Here’s a list of simple to-dos to keep you younger-looking, younger-feeling:
1. Say yes to whole grains
The waistlines of middle-aged people who ate white bread and other white carbohydrates expanded three times more than those who ate wholemeal foods, according to an American research.
2. See fish as your ally
Fish is a great source of the protein leptin, which acts like a hormone in the body and controls your appetite so you don’t overeat. Oily fish such as salmon contains high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which are potent wrinkle-fighters at any age. In fact, the ‘fish facelift diet’ was created as a result of this.
3. Bacteria buddies
After you turn 35, levels of friendly gut bacteria drop significantly, leaving you at an increased risk of sluggish digestion and bloating. To combat this, have a probiotic drink or yoghurt every day.
4. Moisturise from within
As you get older your skin becomes drier and flakier as the oil glands produce smaller amounts of natural moisturiser. Your skin also becomes less elastic, causing fine lines to develop. Eating foods containing healthy, natural oils, such as avocado, nuts, seeds and olive oil can have a softening and plumping effect on skin.
5. Ditch the biscuit
For every decade you age once you turn 30, your body needs around one per cent fewer calories. The good news is you can easily drop these calories just by stopping your mid-morning biscuits or not having that extra slice of toast.
6. Snack with care
Treats between meals tend to have heaps of calories crammed into small mouthfuls and will ensure you pile weight on around your middle and thighs — a dead giveaway of your true age. Foods such as ice cream, crisps, chocolate and fizzy drinks all fall into this category, so limit them to a twice-a-week treat and snack instead on a platter of brightly coloured fruits.
7. Go easy on the booze
Reduce your alcohol intake to a small glass of red wine with dinner at weekends only. Not only is booze brimming with calories, drinking too much alcohol dehydrates skin and can age you prematurely.
8. Stop skipping meals
This is a habit women tend to hang on to all their life, but you can get away with it in your 20s. In your 30s and 40s, all those decades of emergency dieting will have slowed your metabolism down permanently, making it tough to stay slim. Never go without food for more than three hours.
9. Antioxidant-rich foods
Fruit, veggies and nuts contain powerful anti-ageing chemicals to keep you youthful.
10. Slash your salt intake
Too much salt is bad for your body, as it causes water retention, leaving you heavy and sluggish. Besides, with age, the body’s ability to shift excess fluid also slows down. Cutting down salt will decrease this bloating. Beware of hidden sources of salt — often found in ready meals, soups and bread.