Mimi Kirk, author of Live Raw, coming to stores in May, was recently voted PETA's sexiest vegetarian over 50 -- at 70 years old. How'd she get that honor? She recommends consuming raw foods whenever possible. The easiest way to up your raw intake is to blend organic fruits and vegetables together for a delicious, green juice you can drink daily.
Alina Zhukovskaya, nutrition designer and raw food chef, swears by the power of all foods green. The reason? Chlorophyll. Found in green, leafy vegetables and algae, it purifies the blood, body and skin, making it a critical component in reducing signs of aging. Chlorophyll-rich foods include kale, collard greens, celery, parsley, watercress and spinach.
For a brighter complexion, nourish your body with carotene. Rich sources include carrots and squash. Zhukovskaya also recommends regularly eating oranges, grapefruits, lemons, papayas and pineapples. Each contains enzymes that are vital in maintaining skin that is smooth, pliable and young-looking.
Joan Pagano, fitness expert and former trainer to Jacqueline Onassis and Caroline Kennedy, shares that "a 20-year-old woman who does not lift weights will lose about 6 pounds of muscle and gain five pounds of fat by age 50." In her bestselling book, Strength Training for Women, she demonstrates a variety of strength training routines to help women stay young. Pagano swears by strength training because it restores muscle, giving both your strength and energy levels a boost. It reduces your risk of developing osteoporosis, heart disease and adult-onset diabetes, and it alleviates symptoms of rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, as well as hypertension. If you're hesitant to join a gym, start a simple strength training routine at home while watching TV with a pair of light free weights. Start out doing two full-body sessions twice a week on non-consecutive days. For suggested routines, visit joanpaganofitness.com.
Dr. Barry Sears, a leading authority in anti-inflammatory nutrition and creator of The Zone Diet, maintains that "aging is ultimately due to increased inflammation at the cellular level." To reduce the inflammation, there are some easy adjustments that you can make to your diet today, like removing vegetable oils rich in omega-6 fatty acids. A common component in the Western diet, you may not realize how many omega-6 fatty acids you consume. Typical sources include corn, safflower, cottonseed and soybean oils, which are often added into processed foods because they are a cheap form of calories. According to Sears, "these omega-6 fatty acids will generate inflammatory hormones (eicosanoids) that speed the aging process." In addition to carefully reading ingredient labels, an easy way to eliminate the oils is to replace processed foods with raw, natural alternatives whenever possible.
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