People are living longer than ever before. So, how does one age as gracefully as possible? You can’t really get around the gradual physical decline. As the body ages, it won’t be as fast or strong as it once was. But still, anyone could maintain mental and physical health even as they slip into the “elderly” age bracket. Aging gracefully means enjoying vitality in old age. People can gain wisdom and clarity of thought that they may never have had before.
You can help control this by exercising and by eating the foods. That means concentrating on essential nutrients and nourishing what the Chinese call “jing” — an essence in your kidneys that withstands the effects of old age.
— Choose complex carbohydrates. These are whole grains, vegetables, legumes, seaweed, seeds, and fruit. Rich in fiber, these foods boost your circulatory system and keep the digestive tract running smoothly. In the Far East, it’s believed that eating immature foods keeps you young — these include sprouts, cereal grasses, baby carrots and other young vegetables.
— Build jing through food. Great ideas are bee products like natural honey and royal jelly. Low-fat dairy products could be effective. Others include seaweed, chlorella, fish, seafood, cereal grasses, chicken, liver, kidney, walnuts and almonds.
— Adapt good eating habits. Try not to eat to the point where you are full. After 7 p.m., eat only small and healthy snacks. Avoid fad diet plans, because the last thing you want is a sudden diet change. Eat more soups and purees, as they make it easier on your digestive system.
— Cut down on foods that weaken or cool the body. This includes raw foods, juices and fruits. At the same time, coffee, alcohol, salt, and processed foods all weaken the body. Avoid salty foods and use unprocessed honey as a substitute for sugar.
— Cut way down on meat. The high-protein meats place a heavy burden on your bones, joints, lungs, heart and digestive tract. Fish and organ meats are best.
— The sea is key. Plant life in the oceans is extraordinarily high in organic minerals that keep our bodies healthy into old age. Underwater vegetables such as seaweed are among the most nutritious foods in existence. These include kelp, wakame and kombu. Micro-algae (the wild blue-green kind) fit in here as well, as do cereal grasses. Eating fish strengthens your heart, which bears the brunt of years of beating.