The aging of the human body is influenced by numerous variables, some of which strictly depend on our lifestyle.
For example, the factors on which it is possible to positively intervene to slow down aging include diet, the level of stress and physical activity, inner well-being (mood, self-esteem, professional gratifications, etc.), hours of night rest and refraining from cigarette smoking and drug use.
The Anti Aging Diet
What Does Anti Aging Diet Mean?
The so-called Anti Aging Diet (or Anti Aging) is a particular diet drawn up with the aim of improving the length and quality of life.
The Best Investment ...
In a social context in which the length of life and the commitments related to it tend to increase more and more, putting at risk the sustainability of public models of health care, it is more important than ever. investing in healthy aging from an early age.
In other words, it is important to try to ensure a healthy and physiological aging, which allows you to live your old age in an active, serene and pathology-free way as much as possible.
... also in financial terms
The picture that is emerging for the future is that of health care that is ever more effective but less and less accessible for large sections of the population.
Given the future need to draw heavily on private spending on health care, one of the best investments to make is to immediately redefine the their diet and lifestyle, rethinking them in an anti-aging key.
What is the Anti Wrinkle Diet?
The so-called Anti Wrinkle Diet is a particular diet drawn up with the aim of slowing down the functional and aesthetic aging of the skin. Anti-aging diet and anti-wrinkle diet have many points in common, so much so that they can be considered globally as a single type of diet.
There are numerous and constantly increasing studies that try to investigate the anti-aging properties of certain foods and dietary models at different levels (experimental, clinical, epidemiological, etc.).
As logic suggests, rather than looking for "miraculous" foods or supplements to be included in one's diet, it would be preferable to redefine the entire diet as a whole.
The Vision of Umberto Veronesi
One of the most famous researchers to have focused on the anti-aging diet in your country was the doctor Umberto Veronesi. According to studies by the European Institute of Oncology in Milan (of which Veronesi was one of the founders), the anti-aging diet should be based primarily on calorie restriction.
Calorie Restriction and Partial Fasting
The concept of calorie restriction means precisely to restrict, limit the intake of calories. On a practical level, it would be necessary to get up from the table with still a little appetite (indicatively with a belly full to 80% of what it would take to feel full).
In several experimental and epidemiological models it has been amply demonstrated that calorie restriction is one of the very few and true measures to extend life and reduce the risk of serious and fatal diseases such as cancer.
Be careful though, calorie restriction does not mean undernourishment or malnutrition; it is simply a matter of making different food choices, preferring foods with a low calorie density (see below).
In some cases, experts even go so far as to recommend semi-fasting, considered healthy if practiced occasionally after days of overeating (for example after Christmas binges or a ceremonial lunch). See also: Purifying Diet and Fasting Mimicking Diet.
Umberto Veronesi was one of the major supporters of the vegetarian eating style, considered important for both ethical and health issues. Beyond the ethical aspect, most studies and researchers agree that reducing animal food sources is beneficial for the body.
What to eat?
Below we list the most important dietary rules of the anti-aging diet, it being understood that this is general information, which at an individual level requires contextualization and a weighted application by a dietician or nutritionist.
Fruits and vegetables, by virtue of their high water content, are among the foods with a lower calorie density (that is, they bring fewer calories for the same weight consumed). Ideal for a calorie restriction regimen, they also contain important quantities of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
- Prefer fresh and seasonal fruit and vegetables: they generally guarantee a greater supply of micronutrients and antioxidants;
- Indicatively, very colored vegetables (blueberries, black grapes, red tomatoes, carrots, etc.) are also the richest in antioxidants;
- Prefer the consumption of whole fruit to smoothies and centrifuged; the latter are indicated for those who do not tolerate high amounts of fiber in the diet;
- As for fruit, prefer the unsweetened one; fruits richer in sugar (bananas, ripe persimmons, grapes, etc.) are more suitable for sports nutrition or for those who practice physically demanding jobs;
- From a practical point of view, consume 2 portions of seasonal vegetables per day and two portions of fresh seasonal fruit per day;
- It would be preferable to consume about 50% of the vegetables raw (without cooking);
- Avoid or drastically limit the consumption of fresh preserved fruit (candied, canned, dehydrated, jams, jams, fruit purees), industrial fruit juices and similar products (soft drinks, carbonated and sugary drinks based on fruit juice, etc. .);
- If you suffer from irritable bowel or in the transition from a diet low in fruit and vegetables to an anti-aging diet, gradually increase the intake of vegetables and consume fruit preferably alone and between meals; this should ensure better intestinal tolerability.
Pillar of the Mediterranean diet, cereals are a fairly controversial food. In fact, by virtue of the high energy density and low intake of micronutrients, a diet rich in cereals and refined derivatives predisposes to overweight, obesity and related diseases. It is therefore necessary to define some rules to best contextualize these foods in the antiaging diet:
- Consume whole grains in about 50% of meals; for example, if you eat wholemeal bread for breakfast, you can eat white rice for lunch or vice versa;
- Re-evaluate cereals and pseudocereals that are now little consumed (oats, barley, spelled, quinoa, millet, sorghum, amaranth, etc.) alternating them with the classic ones (pearl rice, wheat); in this regard, see our video recipes:
- recipes with oats
- recipes with quinoa
- recipes with brown rice
- recipes with millet
- recipes with spelled
- recipes with amaranth
- Drastic reduction of cereals and refined derivatives compared to the average Western dietary habits; by refined derivatives we basically mean white flours and products that contain them in high percentage (sweets, focaccia, pizzas, traditional pasta, etc.)
These recommendations, like those seen for fruit and vegetables, are all the more valid the lower the daily calorie expenditure.
Therefore, more attention must be paid by people with a sedentary lifestyle, while sportsmen and workers engaged in heavy duties can give more space to refined cereals.
Meat, Fish, Dairy and Industrial Products
If from an epidemiological point of view we go to see the areas of the world where people live longer and which have inspired anti-aging food models (eg Cilento for the Mediterranean diet, Okinawa island for calorie restriction), we realize that it mostly deals with coastal regions and / or that live off local products.
In these rural areas the diet is based on vegetables and legumes from the garden, fruit from local trees, fish and possibly dairy products and wine; certainly the consumption of meat is always limited or very low.
Consequently, in the anti-aging diet it is important:
- Prefer the so-called zero-kilometer products, ensuring however (especially in the case of meat, cheese and fish) the health safety of the products purchased;
- Prefer seasonal products (not only for fruit and vegetables, but also for fish);
- Drastically reduce, or rather avoid, the consumption of industrial foods, limiting them the more the conservation level is higher (much better fresh meat than cured meats or canned meat, much better fresh salmon than smoked, much better fresh tomatoes compared to canned preserves, etc.);
- Prefer lean meats (chicken or turkey breast, lean cuts of beef and pork, horse, etc.) over fatty meats;
- Avoid consumption of smoked or otherwise preserved cured meats, meats or fish. Even defatted raw ham, turkey breast in tubs or bresaola, despite being low in saturated fats, should be consumed in moderation as they are rich in sodium (salt) and potentially harmful preservatives (such as nitrites and nitrates).
- From a practical point of view:
- eat meat NOT more than once a day, preferring white meats and, secondarily, lean red meats;
- consume fish in at least two or three meals a week, avoiding systematically resorting to the consumption of large fish (such as tuna, belly or swordfish); the local blue fish, in this sense, represents an excellent alternative, which also benefits from a low cost. Whenever possible, prefer wild fish over farmed fish
- as an alternative to meat, consume alternative protein sources (eggs, legumes, soy products such as tofu or tempeh, and light cheeses such as cottage or ricotta).
- For ideas and recipes based on vegetable meat click here
- regularly take a fermented food, such as yogurt (vaccine or soy), kefir or tempeh, foods which have a beneficial role in the trophism of the intestinal bacterial flora, with positive repercussions on the digestive, metabolic and immune levels.
Vegetable oils, sugar, salt and alcohol
Vegetable oils are among the foods with the highest caloric density and it is therefore clear that their consumption should be done with extreme moderation. Furthermore, it would be important:
- Prefer raw consumption, avoiding use in cooking (especially if this occurs at high temperatures or prolonged periods);
- Prefer extra virgin olive oil (avoiding cheaper products), alternating it with oils with a high omega-3 content (such as hemp oil).
- Eliminate or drastically limit animal fats, such as lard, lard and butter.
- As an alternative to olive oil, it is advisable to dress the salad with seeds and oily dried fruit (walnuts, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds, etc.)
As for salt, the amount of sodium naturally contained in food makes it unnecessary (from a nutritional point of view) to add salt to dishes. Consequently, also considering the role of table salt in raising blood pressure values, it is important:
- minimize the amount of salt added to food; to accustom the palate, this reduction should be done gradually, replacing the salt with spices; some of these (such as turmeric, paprika and garlic) are a generous source of active ingredients considered useful in an anti-aging key (thanks to their anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, hypotensive, etc.)
White cooking sugar is the typical empty calorie food (it provides a lot of energy without providing important nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, etc.), Consequently:
- in the anti-aging diet, the consumption of sugar should be limited to the maximum, both as regards direct and indirect intake (through, that is, foods rich in sugars such as sweets, desserts, jams, sugary drinks and similar);
- A few biscuits for breakfast, a spoonful of jam and some occasional gluttony, together with the essential fruit sugars, easily exceed the intake of simple sugars recommended for a healthy diet;
- The natural alternative sweeteners to sugar (maple syrup, agave syrup, honey, etc.) must however be consumed with extreme moderation and as an alternative (not in addition!) To white sugar;
- The use of artificial sweeteners (aspartame, saccharin etc.) however remains controversial; better to make limited use of it.
Wine, especially red wine, is considered by many to be an anti-aging food, as it would help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus and metabolic syndrome; this effect should be attributed both to alcohol itself and to some antioxidant substances (resveratrol, anthocyanins, etc.) contained above all in the skin of red grapes.
To obtain these alleged benefits, it is essential that wine consumption is moderate (no more than one glass a day for women, no more than two glasses for men); a higher consumption, in fact, is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular and hepatic diseases.
Examples Of Antiaging Diet
A practical example of an anti-aging daily menu can be found in this infographic, written by one of the companies most used in the research and production of anti-aging food supplements with the X115® brand.
The so-called Antiaging supplements come in handy when the individual is unable to feed by understanding all the various elements that the body needs, for example when you often consume frugal meals for work reasons or when you practice a lot of physical activity or exposes you to other types of stress (seasonal changes, recovery from disease, excessive sun exposure, etc.).
The most widely used anti-aging supplements include:
- antioxidant supplements: vitamins A (in the form of carotenoids), C and E, lipoic acid, catechins, quercetin, resveratrol, fruit extracts such as orange or blueberry, other polyphenols, etc.
- supplements for the functionality of the microcirculation and antioxidant functionality: gotu kola, red vine, rutin, horse chestnut, diosmin, aescin, witch hazel etc.
- anti-inflammatory supplements: curcumin, devil's claw, boswellia, omega three, fish oil, krill oil etc
- joint health supplements, for skin and hair: collagen, MSM, sulfur amino acids, hyaluronic acid, copper, zinc
- supplements to support the immune system: vitamin C, glutamine, echinacea, uncaria, rhodiola, eleutherococcus, mistletoe, etc.