Beth Battaglino Cahill: Hi! I'm Beth Battaglino Cahill, a registered Nurse and Executive Director of HealthyWomen. Like me, you're probably concerned about the signs of ageing. Although magazine covers and "miracle" cosmetics packages all proclaim the anti-aging secrets they contain, as long as we wake up each morning, getting older is an unstoppable fact.
Perhaps a better and more attainable goal than "anti-aging" is "healthy aging"-giving our bodies and spirits what they need to reduce the risks of physical or mental decline as our 30s become our 40s, then into our 50s, 60s, and so on. Instead of dreaming about turning back the clock, you can help keep your body strong by equipping it with the biological equivalent of fresh batteries.
Oxidative stress is the cumulative, day-to-day assault our cells endure. The longer we live, the more oxidative stress our bodies experience.
Dr. Pamela M. Peeke: Research has shown that there are certain foods that appear to repair the toll this stress takes and even protect us against further damage. These foods studied also increase the number of brain cells we have and improve their functioning. Beth Battaglino Cahill: So here is what HealthyWomen recommends you add to your shopping list. First up, berries, blueberries and their cousins such as blackberries, cranberries and strawberries are rich in antioxidants that protects against the age related decline of cognitive and motor functions. Eating about a cup of berries a day, fresh or frozen, reduces oxidative stress, it lowers information and improves brain cells signally. Next up, red peppers, oranges, pine nuts, and roasted sunflower seeds. Fruits that are high in vitamin C help prevent skin appearance changes related to aging. Dr. Pamela M. Peeke: They help prevent that wrinkling that occurs in ageing and they give you that glow and that effervescence, that vitality.
Beth Battaglino Cahill: Nuts and oils with high amounts of linoleic acid provide similar defense. Dr. Pamela M. Peeke: Women who eat more foods that are rich in Vitamin C and linoleic acid have fewer wrinkles, less skin dryness and less thinning of the skin layers. Beth Battaglino Cahill: Then there is my favorite Cocoa; it's not just for kids anymore! You may have switched to green tea for its antioxidant benefits, but cocoa is actually higher in the powerful phytochemicals that fight oxidative damage. Indeed, cocoa leads the list for antioxidant capacity-ahead of red wine, green tea and black tea. Make it with nonfat milk and you'll help strengthen your bones as wellNext, leafy greens like Spinach, kale and collards are important too, why? Because eating lots of vegetables slows the rate of cognitive decline as we age. Studies have found that those who ate about three to four daily servings of vegetables-particularly leafy greens-had much less decline in memory, recall and other mental functions than did those who ate less than one serving of veggies per day.
Throw some walnuts in your cart too; these popular nuts helped older rats to improve motor performance (such as walking on a plank) and thinking skills. Because of these results, researchers believe walnuts look very promising for strengthening cognition. Finally fish, It's been called "brain food" for decades and there is a good reason why? Evidence shows that fish helps keep your mental abilities strong while you age. In fact, research shows that people who ate fish once a week or more, had a slower rate of age related cognitive decline than those who ate fish less than once a week. For more information on foods to help you age well, check out healthywomen.