By Jo Strausz Rosen
We can make some important changes during these COVID years to flush out depression, anger, and angst and to show our bodies they need love to live with joy. It’s time to mask up and seek personal wellness activities for the year ahead and seek powerhouse foods to enhance best health and overall wellness.
Let’s consciously build our immune systems and take advice from the masters in this important field of science: NUTRITION. Aging gracefully involves exercise routines, lifestyle changes and beauty tips to enhance our mind, body, and spirit. Nutritional needs change as we age, and our diet should change too. It’s worth the effort to locate the right doctors and medical professionals who are experts in nutrition and can inform you about personalized programs addressing your own metabolisms. Have your thyroid checked. Metabolism begins to slow, and this means it will take longer to process certain foods. We also have decreased absorption of vitamins and minerals, such as B-12, which is extremely important for good health. Iris Rosen, a former Body Wise Vitamin consultant says, “Not all vitamins are created equal. Eating well and learning what works best for you is like Nutritional Insurance.” She encourages her family to make healthy eating a priority. Iris found the Netflix series “Human, the World Within” fascinating and informative.
Top nutrition experts suggest we eat foods rich in B-12 and antioxidants: coffee, tea, brightly colored fruits, vegetables (dark leafy greens like kale) and dark chocolate. The colorful fruits and vegetables keep us hydrated, as our thirst mechanism decreases with age. B-12 plays an important role in cell production essential to supporting stronger hair, skin, and nails.
Seafood and sustainable fatty fish, low in mercury should be an important part of the aging diet. If possible, look for the MSC (Marine Stewardship Council) or BAP (Best Aquaculture Practices) certifications when selecting seafood.
Eat slow-digesting carbohydrates like whole vegetables and fruits, 100% whole grains, beans, and lentils to minimize your risk for type 2 diabetes. Prepare nutritious soups. Sunday mornings I make soup for the week. I learned by example from my mother about the importance of eating healthy foods. I serve wholesome soups to my husband and family. My father lived to be 99 eating bean soups daily for lunch. There are many wonderful recipes to try, and the results are immediate.
If you find yourself suffering from pain in your joints, seek a diet to prevent inflammation. Lose weight, and investigate stiffness, redness and swelling. If you find your muscles tense, stiff and you feel achy, try stretching more. And, there are over 1400 titles of books on anti-inflammatory disease if you go to Amazon. We can use food as medicine. A healthy diet and lifestyle can remedy inflammation.
The experts recommend SUPER FOODS for our bodies for ultimate health: Turmeric, Salmon, Walnuts, Ginger, Green tea, Dark Leafy Greens, Onions, Garlic, Berries, Broccoli, Ground Flaxseed and Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Forgetting more as you age? A diet rich in flavonoids, compounds found in all fruits and vegetables, herbs, chocolate, green tea, black tea and oolong tea and wine… YES wine!!! Flavonoids are also found in some seeds, grains, and legumes, says Dr. Rana Mafee, MD Neurologist at Case Western Integrative Health. Flavonoids are antioxidants, beneficial molecules that protect cells from stress. She says, “Eat these: Blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, oranges, lemons, limes, tangerines, grapefruit, kale, red cabbage, onions, and parsley are all high in flavonoids, but all vegetables offer this compound.” My uncle Solly used to peel and eat an onion like an apple every day. He lived to be 103. (His breath was pungent, but he lived life fully.) Unsweetened dark chocolate and cocoa are ingredients to add to our diets and a fantastic way to boost our flavonoid intake – the best to combat cognitive decline. For brain health, be consistent and eat the rainbow – the more colorful the better.
And if you’re still reading… here are 12 foods to avoid if you suffer from Inflammation: artificially sweetened drinks, processed meats, sugary drinks, trans fats, white bread, white pasta, gluten, soybean oil and vegetable oil, processed snack foods, sugary treats, excess alcohol, and MSG.
It’s never too soon or too late to care for our bodies. Take the time to learn about the foods that make us feel our best. Moderation, portion control and assessing how we feel after a meal makes good sense. Eat to Live.
LIVE! With Us!