Eat.Fit.Well
Ingredients for A Life of Longevity

by Ainsley S. - February 8, 2016


Photo Credit: by Ainsley S.
Photo Credit: by Ainsley S.

Since the beginning of time, humans have obsessed over how they can reverse or slow down the effects of aging. And while the quest to discover the fountain of youth seems perpetual, people have begun to give into the inevitable and accepted that they will eventually lose their youthfulness.

But why should we accept this outcome already? By accepting that you will eventually begin to age and slow down now almost seems like people are throwing in the towel.

Medical and cosmetic procedures aside, there are currently a number of natural ways to slow down aging, and we bet that the modern woman has already taken part in many of these methods.

We've all heard the saying "happy wife, happy life" before, but this saying couldn't be more true. Happily married couples are more likely to enjoy better mental and physical health, opposed to their not-so-happy friends. And those in strong marriages are much more likely to rate their health as better as they grow older, a study by the University of Missouri discovered.

"We often think about the aging process as something that we can treat medically with a pill or more exercise, but working on your marriage also might benefit your health as you age," said Christine Proulx, as assistant professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at the University of Missouri, one of the researchers behind the study.

The researchers examined information on more than 700 continuously married adults who took part in a 20-year panel study funded by the Office of Research and Statistics of the U.S. Social Security Administration, and the U.S. National Institute on Aging.

Happily married participants with strong relationships with their spouses reported being in better health and experiencing less signs of aging during the course of the study. Older people who face declining health could benefit from strengthening their marriage, the researchers said, and doctors should take patients' marital status into account.

"Engaging with your spouse is not going to cure cancer, but building stronger relationships can improve both people's spirits and well-being and lower their stress," said Proulx.

A healthy and strong marriage isn't just the only way to slow down the aging process. A recent study by Simon Fraser University has linked that giving birth to a number of children can actually positively influence the rate at which the female body ages.

According to the study, researchers found that women who give birth to more children exhibited longer telomeres, which are the protective tips at the end of each strand of DNA and are symbolic of cellular aging. Longer telomeres are key to cell replication and slower aging.

This almost comes as a bit of a shock as you would assume that the strain that growing and birthing a child might actually have harmful effects on the body.

For 13 years, researchers from SFU followed 75 women, all Kaqchikel Maya, who lived in rural areas of southwest Guatemala. People from this region tend to marry within the community and all of the women in the study had similar lifestyles which helped limit the uncontrollable factors during the study.

After giving birth to multiple children, you might think that the female body would be tired and worn out from birthing and raising the children. But another correlation between giving birth and the decrease in aging lies in the fact that for women who have multiple children, there is more likely the chance that there will be more support from family members and close friends, which would ease the complications of childbirth.

"Greater support could lead to an increase in the amount of metabolic energy that can be allocated to tissue maintenance, thereby slowing down the process of cellular aging," the researchers wrote.

Despite there not being any evidence of a fountain of youth to slow down aging, another way to drastically slow down the rate of aging is by having a healthy lifestyle.

One key ingredient to aging gracefully is to eat well and there are nine foods that can help you stay more youthful for longer.

- Blueberries

Loaded with antioxidants, blueberries rank among the top disease-fighting foods. Among the more recent findings: Three or more servings a week may reduce a woman's risk of heart attack by up to 33 percent, and a diet high in these berries can stave off memory loss and aging by several years.

- Broccoli

This green veggie is full of cancer fighting nutrients and is packed with antioxidants, vitamins (A & C) and is capable of stabilizing blood-sugar concentrations, which may be able to slow down the development of diabetes.

- Dark Chocolate

The benefits are outstanding, better looking skin, heart, brain function, blood pressure, cholesterol. This powerful flavonoid has it all.

- Green Tea

Abundant in catechins, a type of antioxidant known to protect cells, green tea may additionally reduce the risk of certain cancers

- Nuts

Nuts are a quick and easy snack that are full of beneficial fats, proteins, vitamin E, antioxidants, fiber, magnesium, iron, selenium and calcium. You just need to remember to eat nuts sparingly as there is around 600 calories per cup. Nuts also provide a number of heart benefits like lowering cholesterol and better blood vessel function.

- Oatmeal

High fiber oats can reduce high cholesterol, improve memory performance and are packed with antioxidants, vitamin E, fiber, magnesium, selenium and other bioactive substances. Additionally, high fiber in oatmeal can increase insulin sensitivity and lowers the risks of cardiovascular disease.

- Soy

A diet that involves soy can be very beneficial to a woman's health. A soy diet can improve bone density after six months, reduce hot flashes, reduce high blood pressure and are full of proteins, antioxidants and complex carbohydrates.

- Tomatoes

This delicious fruit is packed with potassium, vitamins (A & C), iron and calcium. Cooked tomatoes are rich in lycopene, which is a substance full of powerful antioxidant effects that can reduce the risks of cancer.

- Yogurt

Well-known for restoring balance to the gastrointestinal tract, yogurt with live cultures may improve heart health.

Imagine if you maintained a healthy lifestyle, continued to eat superfoods, had a healthy marriage and had given birth to children? All of these positive changes would have such a positive impact on your body and do much more than simply slowing down the aging process. You would feel healthier, happier and more full of life.

Ainsley Smith is a communications professional with experience in multi-media journalism with more than two years of experience working as a reporter. She has been recognized for her strong written and verbal communications skills, story planning, execution and creativity. Ainsley is an independent writer that appreciates story deadlines and values teamwork.


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