With every year comes another birthday, and along with getting older is the realization that your body isn’t what it used to be five, ten, fifteen years ago. Below are 12 tips to help you take better care of your body and mind.
Fruits and vegetables: We’ve all heard about the benefits of fruits and vegetables, but they’re more than just good for you. Antioxidants in colorful fruits and vegetables (leafy greens, red tomatoes, blueberries, carrots, etc.) help stop molecules that may damage healthy skin cells. Remember, five to nine servings of fruits and veggies a day is the suggested daily amount. There are three antioxidants in particular that can help with this process – vitamin C, zinc and beta-carotene. Make sure you’re getting enough.
Whole grains: Eating whole grains rich in fiber such as oats, quinoa, barley, wheat, and brown rice keep your blood vessels in peak condition and can lower your chance of developing type 2 diabetes.
Fish: Fish contains Omega-3 fatty acids (some contain higher level than others such as salmon, lake trout, tuna), which offer anti-aging benefits. Omega-3 fatty acids also help protect your heart and lower chances of a stroke. If you aren’t a fish person, you can purchase Omega-3 capsules in your local grocery store.
Dairy: We’ve all heard that calcium and fortified vitamin D in dairy is key for strong bones and helps prevent osteoporosis. If you don’t eat dairy, look for other foods (like soy milk, almond milk or cereals) that are fortified with calcium and vitamin D.
Nuts: Nuts contain one of the healthiest forms of fat you can find. If you’ve always been one to avoid nuts because they’re high in fat, think again! A recent study showed that snacking on just ¼-ounce a day cuts the risk of high blood pressure as well as high cholesterol by about 20%.
Beans and lentils: These wonderful little goodies are chocked full of fiber and plant-based protein. If you’re a vegetarian, they are a great form of protein with added benefits.
Yoga & Meditation: Yoga has become popular over the years, and that is not a bad thing! Yoga can help tremendously when it comes to lowering stress levels and helping with depression.
Exercise: There are hundreds of studies that show how exercise being part of your regular routine will help gain stamina, muscle strength and balance as well as bone density that tends to decrease with age. Not to mention, that amazing feeling after you work out? It only gets better with each workout!
Sleep: Don’t laugh, sleep is very important. If you’re a mom, you may be used to little to no sleep, but you may be inadvertently doing more harm than good. Six or more hours a night is recommended. With less than six hours you may be more irritable and get sick more easily.
Sun: This can be a double-edged sword if you aren’t careful. While the sun has benefits such as Vitamin D, overexposure can be very dangerous. If you plan on spending a lot of time outside, make sure you wear a good sunscreen to protect your skin.
Coffee: If you’re a coffee lover, you’ll love to know that coffee has tons of benefits! There are two main beneficial components to coffee, antioxidants and caffeine. The benefits of antioxidants were mentioned above, and caffeine has been shown to help improve a wide range of symptoms (migraines for some, although for others it may make them worse). It also helps lower your risk for the following diseases:
- Heart Disease
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Headache Relief
- Asthma Relief
Hydration: Remember, while coffee is made with water, it shouldn’t be your main form of hydration. Water is very important in keeping your body hydrated. It also aids in:
- weight loss (no calories and flushes the system)
- skin elasticity
- muscle efficiency
- body temperature control
- lubricating the joints