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Eat to Beat Wrinkles & More

Posted by Joan Salge Blake  May 14, 2012 11:49 AM

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Source:  Cooking Light Magazine

Kicking off with Mother’s Day, this week is National Women’s Health Week coordinated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  The theme of the week is “It’s Your Time” to remind women to make their health a top priority.

Here’s some healthy diet and lifestyle changes that women can easily make to help feel better, both inside and out:

Eat To Beat Wrinkles:  You may have heard the old wives tale that consuming vitamin C can help fight a cold, but what about wrinkles?   A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition of over 4,000 women between the ages of 40 and 70 showed that routine higher takes of vitamin C-rich foods was significantly associated with a decrease in the prevalence of wrinkled and dry skin due to aging.  The study also found that higher intakes of linoleic acid reduced the chances of developing not only the same age-related dryness but also thinning of the skin.  While citrus fruits, juices and tomatoes are the leading sources of vitamin C in the American diet, green leafy vegetables, soybean oil, flaxseeds, and walnuts are ringers for linoleic acid. 

Tip:  Beautify your breakfast by topping your whole grain cereal with ground flaxseeds and chase your morning meal with a glass of OJ.  Add spinach to your lunchtime green salad and sprinkle a spoonful of chopped walnuts to give it crunch.  For a linoleic-rich salad dressing, combine balsamic vinegar and soybean oil to top it off.

Pick Berries for a Sharp Mind:  Even though women live longer than men, eating berries can help them live “smarter”.   A study in the Annals of Neurology involving over 16,000 women showed that those who consumed a greater amount of blueberries (1/2 cup or more weekly) or strawberries (1 cup or more weekly) were associated with a slower rate of cognitive decline (thinking, remembering, and reasoning) as they aged.   Researchers speculate that the mind-enhancing ingredient may be the phytochemical and antioxidant, anthocyadindin, which gives berries their robust color.

Tip:  Begin and end your day with berries.  Add them to your morning cereal or yogurt and make them your evening dessert.  Try this Greek Yogurt with Warm Berry Sauce as sweet ending to a meal.

Move Often To Fight Diabetes:  A new study from the American Journal of Preventative Medicine showed that women who spend four to seven hours a day sitting are at increased risk of showing early signs of type 2 diabetes, yet the researchers found no link among men.  Even more interestingly, this risk remained significant even if the women engaged in physical activity later in the day, such as exercising after a long, sedentary day at the office.  “The reality for many Americans is that we work nine to five jobs and are sedentary most of the work day, increasing our [a women’s] risk for developing type 2 diabetes,” according to registered dietitian and Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Spokesperson, Jessica Crandell.

Tip:  Move more often during the day in addition to your planned daily exercising regimen.  Put a timer on your desk and set it to go off at regular intervals to remind you to get up and move more often.  Use the restrooms that are the farthest from your desk, take the stairs instead of the elevator, and get up and speak to a colleague in person instead of sending an interoffice email.

Foods That Fight Alzheimer’s Disease:  First, the bad news.  According to the Alzheimer’s Association, twice as many American women as men have Alzheimer’s disease.  The good news is that a recent study in the Journal of the American Academy of Neurology suggests that eating omega-3 rich foods, such as fish, salad dressing, margarine, and nuts, may help lower a level of a protein in the blood that has been associated with increasing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. The American Heart Association recommends eating at least two fish meals, especially fatty fish, weekly to reduce the risk of dying from heart disease.  Heart disease is the number one killer of both women and men in the United States. 

Tip:  To get triple Alzheimer’s disease-fighting potential at lunch, toss together tuna fish, chopped nuts, and a light salad dressing and stuff this salad into a whole wheat pita.  For a yummy and easy salmon dinner recipe, try this Pineapple Teriyaki Salmon.  Double the recipe for leftovers for the next at lunch.

Please pass this on to all the women in your life! 

                                        Follow Joan on Twitter at:  joansalgeblake
Originally published on the blog Nutrition and You!.
This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About the author

Joan Salge Blake, MS, RD, LDN, is a clinical associate professor and registered dietitian at Boston University in the Nutrition Program. Joan is the author of Nutrition &You, 2nd Edition, More »

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