For healthy aging, the majority of foods you eat should be high in nutritional value. One of the most commonly recommended diets for general wellness is the Mediterranean diet. In fact, this is the diet that is recommended by the American Heart Association. A Mediterranean diet encourages people to eat plenty of vegetables, fruits, grains, potatoes, nuts, seeds, and beans. It incorporates olive oil into many daily meals, avoids red meat, and recommends a low to moderate intake of dairy, eggs, fish, and poultry.
The MIND diet, which is similar to the Mediterranean diet, is another, more specific, method of eating to ensure that you are nurturing both your body and brain; it has been associated with lower rates of cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease. This diet advises the following:
- Eat lots of berries and dark green, leafy vegetables, which will provide the most essential nutrients and vitamins.
- Eat nuts for snacks.
- Use high-quality oils, such as olive oil.
- Reduce your meat consumption and focus on beans, legumes, and lentils.
- Eat fish at least once a week.
- Limit your intake of dairy and added sugar.
In coordination with your healthcare provider, you can decide which type of diet may be right for you. Make sure to check in with your healthcare provider, too, about addressing any nutritional deficiencies, such as low vitamin D or vitamin B12 levels.
Other eating habits can also improve the way in which your body ages. Make sure to only eat when you are hungry, and to limit your portion sizes. Stop eating when you are no longer hungry (don’t mindlessly down a bag of chips in front of the television). Don’t deprive yourself entirely of foods you enjoy, either; an occasional treat now and then is permissible.