The food , we eat the meals , we enjoy the friends we enjoy it with , brings us much delight .
I think we all know that we should eat more whole foods , veggies and fruit and limit sugar , salt and processed foods that come in a box or from a fast food establishment .
I think we also can agree that it's often easier said than done , but it is so important to give some consideration to our current eating habits and see where we might make some upgrades .
Our lifestyle is the main driver of our health .
What we choose to eat will determine the quality of our years .
It's important that we enjoy what we eat .
We know that kale is a nutrient dense veggie powerhouse .
But if you don't like the way it tastes , they , that may not inspire you to eat more of it , what you choose and enjoy eating is highly personal .
So let's discuss some things that can influence all of us to make better choices , to support healthy aging .
If you have a specific health condition or concern , please be sure to consult and follow the recommendations of your health care provider as often as possible .
Eat real whole plant based foods such as fresh vegetables , fruit and whole grains .
These are living foods that won't live for weeks or months in your refrigerator or food pantry .
The life in food gives you life .
They provide building blocks for structure and function .
They're anti inflammatory and promote longevity .
Eat lots of different colors to obtain a wide range of antioxidants and for more brain power load up on leafy greens like spring mixed lettuce spinach and yes , Kale , a 2017 Rush University study of 1000 older adults found that when they ate just one cup of leafy greens per day , their cognitive health was 11 years younger than those who did not eat one cup of leafy greens per day .
I joke about the kale just because it's the veggie people love to bash on .
But the point is make an effort to enjoy at least one cup of leafy greens every day .
The second tip enjoy a small amount of healthy fats with each meal .
The food industry made fat a bad word .
But we need healthy fats for optimal aging .
Healthy fats include avocados , olives , nuts and seeds and cold pressed unprocessed oils .
They support optimal physical and cognitive function , improve cell membrane flexibility and transport and absorb fat soluble vitamins .
Did you know your brain is 60% fat gives new meaning to the term fat head ?
But in all seriousness , consuming healthy fats is vital for the structural and functional role in neurons .
You don't need a lot , but you do need a little with each meal .
Try an avocado on your sandwich or salad , add some seeds or nuts to your oatmeal .
We like sauteing , sliced almonds with frozen French , cut green beans .
In addition to small amounts of healthy fats , it's important to consume protein with each meal or snack .
Protein is the main component of the body .
Your cells hormones , neurotransmitters , enzymes and immune system protein helps to regain and maintain muscle and strength .
Along with working out with me and the Silver Sneakers team fish , chicken , beef and pork tend to be what comes to mind .
When we think of protein , you can also get protein from lots of plant based foods such as beans and lentils .
And uh of course , I could never leave out tofu , especially sauteed with chopped kale quinoa is an awesome grain .
It's packed with protein .
And did you know that vegetables such as broccoli , spinach and potatoes contain some protein if you can tolerate dairy , that can be a source of protein also .
So include protein with each meal or snack .
The next tip for healthy aging drink water , water is essential for our bodies and brain health .
Our joint cartilage is roughly 75% water .
So drink some water before you exercise , make sure you're well hydrated to help reduce joint pain .
Water is also essential for cell structure and function , metabolic health , energy , muscle performance and brain power .
People who are well hydrated every day have improved cognition and memory .
They have fewer falls , less constipation , reduced orthostatic hypertension and improved rehabilitation outcomes .
You can ask your health care provider how much water they recommend you drink daily ?
In general ?
Five or more eight ounce glasses of water is a good recommendation .
And one more tip that in my opinion is a powerhouse to optimal aging that often gets overlooked .
Add spices to your foods , spices do more than just add flavor .
Many spices are antioxidants , such spices as curcumin are beneficial for cognitive health .
Adding black pepper boosts the body's efficiency to absorb the nutrients .
Cinnamon can assist in lowering blood glucose .
Other spices such as cardamom , oregano , thyme .
Mm I love time .
Rosemary sage turmeric and more are very beneficial to our health and makes food taste great too .
You can google specific spices for more information .
Just remember a little goes a long way .
So don't overdo it if you'd like more guidance for healthier eating habits , talk to your health care provider about the Mediterranean diet .
This is one of the best studied eating patterns and is ideal for healthy aging .
People who follow this style of eating have been seen to have a 50% reduction of all cause mortality , including reduced heart disease , neuro degenerative conditions and cancer and numerous other health benefits such as slowing lower body functional decline .
Another resource for healthy eating motivation and guidance is silver sneakers dot com .
Our on demand library contains several videos on nutrition and our website highlights great articles written by nutrition experts , happy eating .
And let's add more great years to our life .