The Fountain of Youth may be hiding in your own kitchen. Dr. David Katz is the director of Yale University’s Prevention Research Center. He says studies show the foods we eat – or don’t eat – can make us old before our time. Specifically, we’re eating too many processed foods, too many calories, and not enough nutrients. Dr. Katz recommends talking to your own doctor before adjusting your diet, but here are four changes that could make you feel younger, fast.
- If you’re low on energy, you may need more vitamin B12. The vitamin comes only from animal protein, and regulates metabolism, boosts energy production, and keeps your brain and nervous system healthy. Even if you sleep seven to eight hours a night and are physically active, you could still be low on B12, especially if you don’t eat enough meat or dairy, or pop antacids – which can interfere with B12 absorption. The fix: Eat fortified cereal, get two servings a day of nonfat milk or yogurt, and eat four ounces of lean protein, like fish, lean beef, pork, and chicken.
- If your joints ache, you may need more manganese and copper. They can reverse joint deterioration and eliminate pain in three months. If the pain’s not from wear-and-tear, or an inflammatory condition, like rheumatism, these minerals can help. You’ll need to eat more nuts, beef and spinach, and take a supplement that contains two milligrams of copper, and five milligrams of manganese.
- Finally, if your blood pressure is rising, you may need more potassium, which minimizes the damage excess salt does to your body. Longevity expert Dr. Danine Fruge has seen potassium drop people’s blood pressure 30 points in three days. His suggestion: Cut sodium to no more than 1,500 milligrams a day, and eat eight servings of potassium-rich fruits and veggies every day, like apricots, bananas, oranges, spinach and tomatoes.