Aging Healthfully: Part I

Many people ask me what is the secret for “anti-aging.”  The first thing I mention is that we all “age” whether we want to or not.  True, some people seem to age more slowly than others.  Looking young is the standard.  Thus the push for products that keep the skin young, facials or even surgery that eliminate wrinkles, or magic potions that ensure youthful features and strength and stamina.  Where is that darn “fountain of youth” anyway?  I decided to write a few articles about what we can do to age as healthfully as possible, ie keeping our minds and our bodies as strong as    possible for as long as possible.veggies and fruit

 The impetus for me was a recent article in the magazine, The Week (April 18, 2014 p. 17). This story referred to a study run at the University College, London in which the  diets of more than 65,000 people were monitored for over 12 years to learn if there was any pattern associated with disease prevention.  The results were shocking and  encouraging. Namely, those people who ate several (seven or more) servings per day of vegetables and fruit had a significantly reduced risk of dying from any disease.  By  how much?  42%! That is a huge advantage statistically.  These people also showed significantly reduced risks of getting cancer and heart disease. The more vegetables the  better.

What could be easier than this?  No fancy cooking is needed, no extra costs for special supplements.  Vegetables and fruit.  When I speak to groups, I remind them that I have never had any patient in my office who was suffering from eating too many vegetables. The greater the variety the better.  There is reference to the “rainbow diet.”  That means eat as many different colors and textures as possible.  Lightly cooked vegetables often works best for most people’s digestion.

Fruit and vegetables: with each meal, lots per day.   Watch yourself become healthier.

Cathie Lippman, MD

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