Achieving a balanced way of eating is challenging for most of us. Let’s admit it, we love food, yet we have a complicated relationship with food and its affects on our bodies and our well-being. As we age, becoming well nourished empowers us to resist illness, lessen our chances of acquiring degenerative diseases and slow down the aging process. It will keep us on an even keel emotionally and help our minds stay sharp, clear and focused. It will give us sustained and steady energy and help us sleep better at night. And most importantly, it will bring new levels of joy and awareness to our lives.

As we age, our bodies give us not-so-subtle signs of how our lifestyle choices and foods we eat impact them. If we listen carefully and respond with a little tender loving care, we are able to prevent long-term damage to our bodies and enjoy vitality, good health and a vibrant complexion smiling at us in the mirror.

Red eyes, chronic inflammation, stiffness, joint pain, brittle hair and nails, wrinkles, sagging skin, brain fog or even occasional bouts of memory loss are all early signs of premature aging. We have the power to change the course and speed of our aging process.  We’ve all heard many times that food plays an incredible role in how young or how old we feel.

The good news is that we can start taking care of our health and feel better right away. Changing our eating habits is always a fantastic first step towards great health and feeling and looking our best. No matter what our age is today, healthy eating is something we should strive for…always.

Fruit bowl on wood vitamins

All experts agree that we can eat our way to a younger, healthier version of ourselves. As a general rule, we should aim to replace fattening starches made with white flour, such as breads, crackers, pretzels, chips, cereals and pastas with whole grains, brown rice, and legumes such as lentils. A good rule of thumb is to make sure to cover at least half of our plate with fruits and vegetables and don’t forget to add some spice to our dishes.  Spices like ginger and herbs like basil can help fight infection, reduce inflammation and prevent chronic diseases.

In order to feel younger immediately, try incorporating some of the following foods into your diet today:

  • Oranges – They’re delicious and contain loads of Vitamin C skin-firming collagen.
  • Broccoli – More than 2/3 of our daily recommended dose of Vitamin C. Just a half-cup of broccoli a day can give us energy and boost our immune system. Broccoli also has the nutrient sulforaphane, which helps with liver detoxification, and has properties that help fight cancer.
  • Yogurt – Provides calcium and phosphorus for good bone health and to help reduce skin wrinkling.
  • Bell peppers – Full of antioxidants, especially the brightly colored red, yellow and orange ones. They boost immune function, ward off sun damage and even may reduce cancer risk.
  • Berries – All kinds of berries are good for us — cranberries, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries – all contain antioxidants and Vitamin C for our skin.
  • Sweet potatoes – Contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents plus Vitamins A, C and E, for a glowing complexion and beautiful hair.
  • Carrots – Source of beta-carotene, which helps with skin-cell renewal and getting rid of free radicals that can make our skin age faster.
  • Whole grains – Great source of B vitamins to keep steady energy levels.
  • Leafy greens – Offer a range of B complex vitamins plus energy nutrients like magnesium and iron.
  • Almonds, walnuts and other nuts – Rich in magnesium, which supports adrenal function as well as metabolism of essential fatty acids.
  • Avocados – High in iron and copper, which aid in red blood regeneration and the prevention of nutritional anemia.
  • Garlic – Contains a detoxifying chemical called allicin, an antiviral and antifungal superpower used throughout history to treat colds and flu.

In addition to including more variety of fruits and vegetables in our diet, it’s also important to add supplements that offer vitamins and minerals that may be missing from our daily intake of beauty foods. A good one to start with is Miraclemed’s Biotin Forte Plus Vitamin D Extra Strength, which is the only biotin supplement in the market that also contains Vitamin D.  Biotin Forte Plus Vitamin D Extra Strength promotes healthy hair and strong nails, improves bone mass, supports cellular energy production and absorbs and assimilates easily.

Vitamin D is critical for calcium absorption and bone health and thought to be helpful in mood and weight regulation.  Typically, it is added to milk, cheese and yogurt products as very few foods provide Vitamin D naturally. Non-dairy sources of Vitamin D include egg yolks, beef liver, some fish, fortified orange juice and cereals.  The sun is another source, but as we all know, too much sun exposure increases our risk for skin cancer and premature aging.

The relationship between food and health is significant. Food affects us physically, mentally and emotionally, and everyone has slightly different food needs.  When you learn what works for your unique body and know how to make tasty natural foods part of your diet, you will use food in a positive way to boost your body and mind and correct imbalances of weight moods and energy. Creating balance through food doesn’t have to mean a radical overhaul, crash diet or detox.  Simply bringing your attention to the small things, and you are well on your way to building a better way of eating.