Aging is a beautiful, albeit challenging, part of life. While you may not be able to control how quickly the effects of aging affect your appearance, how and when you fuel your body with food can help you move and feel younger than your age. This can begin with your breakfast.
Many of us are concerned about how we look on the outside, with wrinkles on our faces, bags under our eyes, and gray hair. "However, we should concentrate our efforts on healthy aging from within," says Bonnie Taub-Dix, RDN, author of “Read It Before You Eat It”.
Although you can't turn back time, Taub-Dix points out that you can help to slow the aging process by paying attention to what you put inside your body rather than just the outside.
"If you fill your car's tank with premium gas, keep it clean, perform oil changes when they are due, replace filters as needed, and perform wheel rotations and alignments, you will have a mint car that will last you a long time. The same holds true for our bodies " said Sandra Arévalo, a spokesperson from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. "If we treat it properly, feeding it the right nutrients, we will keep it healthier and younger for a longer period of time."
You can begin implementing healthy breakfast habits to help prevent the physical effects of aging at any time—even right now! We asked a couple of dietitians to weigh in on the best breakfast habits to slow down the aging process to help you get started making healthier eating choices that can help you maintain your youthful vibrancy.
Don't skip breakfast!
One of the simplest habits you can develop to delay the onset of aging is to avoid skipping breakfast. Instead, make this important meal a priority every morning to get your metabolism going.
According to Arévalo, "Peer-reviewed studies, large and small, show that eating earlier in the day improves cardiometabolism. This means you'll have a healthier heart, avoid diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and possibly even lose weight. The better you feel, the younger you are."
Consume tryptophan-containing cereals.
Even if you don't get enough sleep, looking and feeling rested can make you look and feel younger.
"Start eating tryptophan-containing cereals in the morning to avoid looking tired and to look your best. Oatmeal, whole wheat cereals, and chia seeds contain more tryptophan " says Arévalo.
Tryptophan is used by the body to aid in the production of melatonin and serotonin. Melatonin regulates the sleep-wake cycle, while serotonin regulates appetite, sleep, and even pain. Tryptophan is also required for the synthesis of niacin, also known as vitamin B3, which is required for the production of energy and DNA.
Make fiber-rich oatmeal or overnight oats.
Oatmeal has a terrific advantage over other whole grains. They are high in fiber, which makes them filling as well as beneficial to your cardiovascular health.
"Oats contain soluble fiber, which is essential for lowering cholesterol and supporting heart health," explains Taub-Dix. "Add a swirl of nut butter or chia seeds to your steaming bowl of oatmeal for even more satisfaction and fiber content."
If you don't want to make a hot breakfast, you can make overnight oats.
"Mix oats with Greek yogurt, your favorite fruit, nuts, chia seeds, or your favorite add-ons," suggests Taub-Dix. "If you leave it in the fridge overnight, you'll wake up with a breakfast that will last you until lunch."
Strawberries are an anti-aging breakfast staple because their vitamin and nutrition content promotes healthy skin and bone development.
According to Taub-Dix, the vitamin C in strawberries helps to promote the formation of collagen, which is essential for healthy skin and bones. One serving of strawberries contains all of the vitamin C you need for the day.
Strawberry provides potassium, which is beneficial to the health of the heart and is a great source of fiber, which is essential to digestive health.
Substitute protein for carbohydrates.
Increasing the amount of protein in your breakfast can have significant anti-aging benefits, particularly for your cognitive abilities.
"Eating more protein foods like eggs, cheese, and yogurt for breakfast and less carbohydrates helps keep your mind young," says Arévalo.
According to research, replacing just 5% of your carbs with protein can help prevent cognitive decline. Consuming plant proteins such as vegan cheese, tofu, or nuts has the same effect.
Make your omelet with almonds.
Have you ever considered adding nuts to your omelet? Taub-Dix says it's one of her favorite breakfasts. She likes to add sliced almonds to her omelets for a delicious crunch as well as some plant protein.
If staying young while slowing the effects of aging on your body is one of your top priorities, try this protein-packed breakfast recipe. Almonds, on their own, can pack a powerful protein punch for less adventurous eaters. They are also high in calcium and fiber, and can help lower cholesterol.
Almonds have been shown to lower LDL cholesterol levels while also providing heart-healthy fats. They are also the nut with the highest calcium content, which is essential for maintaining bone strength, especially as we age. They take the top spot for fiber—a nutrient that is necessary for preventing constipation and fueling the good bacteria in your gut.
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