Anti-Aging Travel TipsMay 9, 2012 Written by JP [Font too small?]
If you’re a frequent traveler, you know how challenging it can be to remain on a healthy diet. Often times you don’t have control over what time you eat, where you eat or your dining companions. Changes in time zones, exposure to recirculated air on planes and the general stress of being in unfamiliar circumstances and locations add to the pressure many business travelers experience. In short, travel can contribute to the aging process and lower your defenses, unless you prepare a game plan ahead of time that will help you cope with the uncertainty of life on the road.
A traveler’s diet can counter the effects of aging and compromised immunity by incorporating a few basic principles. The first step is to eat daily sources of omega 3 fatty acids, such as cold water fish. On my most recent trip to London and Paris, this meant eating smoked salmon for breakfast and locally sourced fish at dinner or lunch. Current studies reveal that maintaining higher levels of omega 3 fats in your system: a) discourage the formation of beta-amyloid, a peptide that contributes to the characteristic brain plaques found in Alzheimer’s disease; b) protects against cardiovascular damage caused by exposure to air pollution; c) supports greater “functional capacity” and muscle strength that can be increasingly elusive as we age.
Drinking red wine with meals and opting for berries for desert are two other anti-aging tools to use when traveling. A just published study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reveals that red wine confers a prebiotic effect previously unreported. Prebiotics are a special class of fermentable carbohydrates that promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut. Aging is believed to reduce the number of these health promoting “probiotics” which are necessary for robust immune function. Other research has found that similar sources of colorful antioxidants, such as blueberries, may also possess prebiotic potential. As a bonus, ongoing investigations point to the probability that eating low glycemic fruits, including blueberries and strawberries, could very well slow down age related cognitive decline.
My final tip is to be mindful of what you drink. The simple act of replacing fruit juice or soda with plain water can have a profound impact on blood sugar control. In fact, scientists at Harvard Medical School now report that this common sense strategy may reduce the long term prospect of type 2 diabetes by up to 8%. It’s generally accepted that diabetes increases the risk of certain cancers, heart disease and premature mortality. However, avoiding blood sugar imbalance may have even greater implications than ever before. Emerging evidence connects diabetes and pre-diabetes to “accelerated decline in brain size and mental capacity”. This is all the more reason why anyone interested in aging more gracefully should avoid concentrated sources of starches and sugar.
Note: Please check out the “Comments & Updates” section of this blog – at the bottom of the page. You can find the latest research about this topic there!
To learn more about the studies referenced in today’s column, please click on the following links:
Study 1 – Nutrient Intake and Plasma β-Amyloid (link)
Study 2 – Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation Appears to Attenuate Particulate … (link)
Study 3 – Fish-Oil Supplementation Enhances the Effects of Strength Training … (link)
Study 4 – Influence of Red Wine Polyphenols and Ethanol on the Gut Microbiota … (link)
Study 5 – Effect of Prebiotics on the Human Gut Microbiota of Elderly Persons … (link)
Study 6 – Six-Week Consumption of a Wild Blueberry Powder Drink Increases … (link)
Study 7 – Dietary Intakes of Berries and Flavonoids in Relation to Cognitive … (link)
Study 8 – Berry Fruit Enhances Beneficial Signaling in the Brain (link)
Study 9 – Plain-Water Intake and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes in Young and Middle … (link)
Study 10 – Science Daily: Diabetes Shrinks Elderly Brain (link)
Exercise + Omega 3s Reduce Body Fat
Source: Nutrients. 2010 Dec;2(12):1212-30. (link)
Tags: Blueberries, Fish Oil, Strawberries
Posted in Diabetes, Food and Drink, Nutrition