Get the inside story on nutrition for anti-aging benefits from Cooper Clinic Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Meridan Zerner, MS, RDN, CSSD, LD, CWC.
We all want to age gracefully and look young, and there are plenty of beauty creams and serums on the market that claim to help us do just that. And while tackling anti-aging from the outside in is helpful…it’s from the inside out where we get the most impact! The real secret to anti-aging is to nourish your body with adequate sleep, hydration, moderate movement and of course, a healthy diet.
Push the plant power
The research is clear that eating more fruits and vegetables is the safest and healthiest way to reduce fine lines and increase overall health. That aligns with one of the newer anti-aging/anti-inflammatory food trends—the plant-based diet.
A plant-based diet simply encourages replacing some of the traditional animal products with more fruits and vegetables—but also adding nuts, seeds, oils, whole grains, legumes and beans. It doesn’t mean you have to become a vegetarian or never eat meat. The emphasis with a plant-based diet is on increasing the powerhouse foods rich in vitamins, fiber and antioxidants. A Mediterranean diet is a version of a plant-based diet with the addition of healthful, fatty fish such as trout, tuna and salmon.
Salmon to slow dementia
Salmon is my go-to fish to increase your omega-3s. Every cell in your body needs omega-3s, especially the eyes and brain. Omega-3s are critical for brain function and can help prevent dementia. Omega-3s also support stronger immune function, digestion and fertility. And healthy fats are good for our hair and skin, too! In general, our bodies do well with a variety of food choices, so I invite my clients to try many types of seafood including anchovies, sardines, crab and shrimp—whether fresh or frozen. Frozen seafood keeps for a long time and is a convenient, equally nutritious way to go. Feel free to utilize pouch tuna and salmon if you like.
Collagen to combat aging
You might be wondering, “What about collagen supplements?” The use of collagen as an anti-aging tool has become a hot topic. Collagen is a protein found in the skin, joints and other parts of the body. As we get older, we start losing collagen in our bodies. In our skin, the loss of collagen shows up as wrinkles and sagging. In our joints, collagen loss can mean breakdown that opens the door to injury. Collagen has been studied to modestly improve the joint pain and flexibility in osteoarthritis. Collagen supplementation can be a win for both but speak to your doctor or dietitian to make sure that the form or dosage is right for you.
Sips for a more youthful you
Every year, there are products that make the “new and trendy” list for anti-aging. Recently you may have heard about more people consuming matcha green tea, golden milk or reishi tea.
- Matcha – a type of green tea made by taking young tea leaves and grinding them into a bright green powder
- Golden milk – a bright yellow drink traditionally made with milk (or a milk alternative) along with turmeric and other spices, such as cinnamon and ginger
- Reishi tea – made from rare reishi mushrooms and could actually be harmful for some people.
The bottom line? If you want to turn back the clock, there is no substitute for a healthy diet. By lavishing your body with the care, nutrients and sleep it needs, you’ll slow down aging from the inside out.
To schedule a one-on-one nutrition consultation or learn more about Cooper Clinic Nutrition Services, visit cooperclinicnutrition.com or call 972.560.2655.