Many of the physical changes that we know as aging can be traced to accumulated damage caused by compounds called free radicals. There’s growing evidence that aging changes are produced by free-radical reactions and that the addition of one of a number of different antioxidants in the diet can increase the average life span.Researchers now believe that the average life expectancy could be extended by five years through dietary modifications and the addition of antioxidants to the diet. The primary antioxidants in this regard are vitamin C, vitamin E, the carotenoids, selenium, and zinc.
As far as your diet goes, choose foods rich in these nutrients (fruits and vegetables) and take antioxidant supplements as a back-up plan. Limit consumption of foods that generate free radicals (such as fried, processed, and high-fat foods) as well as meat and processed vegetable oils, a source of trans-fatty acids. Instead, focus on longevity power foods such as cruciferous vegetables, soybeans, green tea, and garlic.
The aging process begins in our 20s, but the signs don’t start showing up until our 40s. The sooner you grab onto your health and vitality, the longer you can stretch those healthy middle years and the slower you will glide into old age. It’s never too late to slow the ticking of the aging clock.