In the News: Simple diet and lifestyle changes can hold back the years

A British Nutrition Foundation Healthy Ageing Report, compiled by experts from universities including Oxford, Surrey and Newcastle and released earlier this year, has confirmed that simply eating a healthy diet, quitting smoking and getting enough exercise are the keys to a long and healthy life.

The report explains how the bones, eyes, brains and heart can all be protected in later life by eating the right things. Quitting smoking is the major lifestyle change, but modest differences in diet and lifestyle can also have big effects on blood pressure and blood cholesterol. Foods rich in vitamin B12 (such as fish and eggs) and omega 3 (such as oily fish, nuts and seeds) are all good for the brain. Calcium rich foods, such as yogurt and green leafy vegetables, keep bones strong and healthy and cut the risk of osteoporosis. And vitamin D, found in sunlight and oily fish, is also good for bones and muscles.


Nutrients for a healthy heart include omega 3, fibre, folic acid, vitamin B12 and potassium. Eating oily fish, leafy vegetables, beans, fruit and nuts will boost the chances of getting enough of these vital nutrients. Even eyes can be kept healthier for longer by eating the right food: kiwi fruit, grapes, broccoli and red peppers are sources of nutrients which protect the eyes. Activities such as walking, dancing and even gardening reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity and even some types of cancer.


The report’s message is simple and clear: the key to staying fit and healthy in later life is to eat well, quit smoking and exercise regularly. For a better quality of life it is never too late to start eating a balanced and nutritious diet.

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