If I asked you if you want to grow old, you might say “Yes” because you want to live as long as possible. But if I change the question to “Do you want to feel old?”, I know I’ll get a different answer!
We all want to live longer, readers, but we still want to feel as young as possible so we can enjoy it. Part of that involves taking care of our health and making sure our diets include the nutrients necessary to keep our bodies younger, including the ones that a recent review identified as crucial for longevity.
This detailed review of more than ten years of nutritional science suggested that many of our diets in the US lack the minerals and vitamins that play an important role in longevity. These same nutrients are also believed to help prevent chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer, as well as some neurodegenerative conditions.
The study specially cites vitamins K, E, D, C and A, alongside minerals such as zinc, magnesium, copper, iron and calcium.
The review, which was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, was conducted by Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute Senior Scientist Bruce Ames, Ph.D. Dr. Ames is also Professor Emeritus of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry at the University of California, Berkeley, and an author of over 500 research papers, many of which focus on possible strategies to reverse the effects of aging (https://www.pnas.org/content/115/43/10836).
You can, of course, take supplements to help ensure you’re getting all that you need, but getting nutrients from food is usually preferable. What you may be lacking depends on what your diet currently consists of.
Vitamin A, for example, is found in animal products like pastured poultry, wild-caught salmon and grass-fed beef, as well as whole dairy products such as butter. Vitamin K is often found in dark, leafy greens and grapes. Vitamin E, which many people in the US are believed to be deficient in, is in nuts, seeds and leafy greens.
Carry out a diet review, looking up your typical foods and seeing what vitamins and nutrients they contain. From there, you should be able to see what you are missing.
Don’t grow old gracefully–fight it as hard as you can! Make sure your diet is as whole as possible so you can live throughout your golden years and enjoy the entire ride.