As a Nutritional Therapist one of the questions I get asked most often is:
“What should I be eating to live a long and healthy life?”
It’s a question that comes up time and time again. Happily though, the answer is wonderfully simple.
Firstly, there is no magic, anti-aging formula… sorry. If there were a super-secret nutritional sauce that guaranteed a longer, healthier life I’m sure someone would have bottled it and made their fortune by now!
There are lots of factors that determine how you will age and what steps you can take to keep your mind and body vibrant as the years tick on.
Your genetic make-up, lifestyle and environment all play a part. But it’s also possible to optimize your diet to provide your body with the right balance of nutrients – those teeny, tiny but oh-so-essential ingredients that our bodies need to function at its best.
Simply by eating the right foods, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep and reducing your exposure to harmful pollution and toxins you can influence how your genetic make-up will express itself, how healthy you’ll be and how well you will age.
So, what’s the one BEST thing you can do to live a long and healthy life?
Eat real food.
Nutrition is a vast and often complicated topic. Each of our bodies react differently to certain foods, but this is the one thing all we all need more of, the one thing that can benefit everyone.
By ‘real’ foods I mean whole foods, natural foods, food that your grandmother would have served up. Food that’s as free as possible from artificial colours, flavours and preservatives; food that’s grown locally, organically if possible. Food that doesn’t come out of a packet.
Instead of buying a jar of pasta sauce that’s been loaded with sugar and salt to preserve the vegetables inside, (and ensure that by the time they reach you will be almost devoid of any vitamin C and other nutrients), throw a tin of tomatoes in a pan, add plenty of veg, allow it to bubble and then blitz. Instead of buying your children ice-lollies that are packed with processed sugars, buy a set of molds and freeze freshly squeezed juice or home-made smoothies to make your own ice-lollies.
Pack your diet full of organic wholegrains, fresh fruits and vegetables, free-range lean meat, fish and poultry, nuts, seeds, and plant proteins such as chickpeas, beans and lentils.
Make your own sandwiches and pack them with lean meats and fresh salad, grow herbs on the windowsill, buy meat from your local butcher, drink fresh, filtered water and take a few well-chosen supplements to support your body where it needs an extra boost.
Provide your body with a plentiful supply of all the nutrients it needs and it will reward you with strength and resilience.