Four 'food fixes' to slow the aging process

Four 'food fixes' to slow the aging process

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by Erica Heartquist, KGW Staff

kgw.com

Posted on May 23, 2011 at 2:27 PM

Updated Monday, May 23 at 2:44 PM

PORTLAND – Diet and nutrition can actually slow the aging process, according to many experts.

There are four “food fixes,” in particular, that doctors told KGW can have people feeling more energetic.

The first “food fix” is Vitamin B-12

“Dairy foods, meats of all kinds, probably red meat is still the best and if you can stand it, a little bit of liver every now and then is probably a wonderful food supplement,” said Dr. Miles Hassell, an internist at Providence St. Vincent Hospital.

The second tip from Hassell and other health experts is to increase intake of zinc. This will especially help people who have slow-healing wounds or colds that just won’t quit, Hassell said.

Zinc can also be found in red meat, as well as other foods.

“Probably the richest possible source is oysters. So, if you can find a way to include oysters in your life every now and then - that's great," Hassell said.

The third “food fix” is Omega 3 Fatty Acids, said to help with problems of forgetfulness.

Hassell said vegetable sources like walnuts, flax seeds and avocados are a good source of Omega 3 fatty acids, as well as animal sources such as lamb, wild game, and basically anything that feeds on a lot of grass.

“Fish especially, are the richest sources. Oily fish like salmons, sardines and herring are the best," he added.

The fourth and final “food fix” is potassium, which can help combat high blood pressure.

"When you get potassium, it's important that you get it from foods that are relatively unprocessed, because when you have a lot of processed food, the potassium content usually goes down and the sodium content goes up," Hassell explained.

That means fruits, vegetables, beans and grains are the best options, especially when prepared at home in moderate-sized meals, he added.

Exercise is always an important component to a healthy lifestyle, too. But Hassell said it won’t necessarily turn back the clock the way diet and nutrition can.

“In animal studies, the most successful way to turn back the clock is to eat less. Simple calorie restriction and voluntary exercise seem to do more for the body in animal studies than anything else,” he explained.

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