We’re all doing our best to look after our minds and bodies. To lead a healthy lifestyle that will keep us looking and feeling better for longer. But modern living isn’t exactly making it easy for us. Especially under the current circumstances. We’re spending most of our days under artificial light, cut off from the natural world. Heavily processed sugary, fatty and salty convenience foods have never been more abundant and ubiquitous. We’re living in a near-constant state of anxiety which in turn can trigger our inflammatory response, which can accelerate our rate of aging. We’re turning to alcohol and cigarettes to alleviate our stress which also make us look and feel older faster.
Could embracing plants and turning our back on processed foods help us to stay looking and feeling younger for longer? Possibly! While no one plant is a panacea which has the fountain of youth encoded in its genetic makeup, there’s data to suggest that plants can help us live longer and stay younger for longer.
Let’s take a look…
Plant foods are naturally anti-inflammatory
Meats and dairy can also trigger our inflammatory responses. Especially processed meats which are classified by the World Health Organization as type 1 carcinogens. That’s the same category as cigarettes. While a hot dog and a cigar aren’t exactly comparable, it’s fair to say that type 1 carcinogens are best avoided. As we discussed in this post, not only do naturally anti-inflammatory plant based foods help us to look and feel younger, they help us to live longer too.
Plant based diets are associated with a lower risk of dementia
What is dementia? It’s an umbrella term for a number of conditions which cause our memories to deteriorate, our moods to fluctuate and our skills and problem solving abilities to erode as we get older. Studies suggest that a diet rich in meat and dairy products can increase our risk of developing dementia. However, a diet that’s rich in whole foods such as tomatoes, nuts, avocados, whole grains and legumes can improve brain health and keep dementia at bay. Not only can being overweight in middle age improve your risk of dementia, it can cause an excess of plaque to develop in the brain. Broadly speaking, people who eat lots of whole veggies, grains and fruits tend to avoid excessive weight gain in middle age, even if they’re not on a 100% plant based diet.
And a slim body typically looks more youthful than one with significant “middle aged spread”.
Some plants can alleviate stress
Finally, it’s a medical fact that chronic stress can age us faster. Not to mention making us feel tired, grouchy and generally older and less vibrant. The good news is that there are lots of plants which can alleviate stress and the feelings of anxiety and depression that tend to come with it.
Whether we’re surrounding ourselves with beautiful plants in the home and office or chomping down on delicious plants daily, they can help us to heel happier, healthier and less stressed.