There’s never a shortage of trendy new diets that claim to help you slim down. A lot of times these diets are nothing more than a fad based on purported health and nutritional information from self-reported data. But once in a while, you come across an anti-aging diet plan that really can work, because it incorporates meals that are made using some of the best anti-aging foods and are actually backed by valid scientific research.
The latest trend that offers serious potential for your anti-aging diet is the Nordic diet.The food plan isn’t necessarily new—the New Nordic Diet (NND) was actually developed back in 2004 as a way to counteract obesity rates and maintain environment sustainability in the Nordic countries. But more recent research touting the many benefits of the Nordic anti-aging diet has now emerged, pushing many nutritional and health experts to start backing it.
Proof That the Nordic Anti-Aging Diet Actually Works
For instance, a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that adhering to the NND resulted in greater weight loss, improved blood pressure, and reduced total cholesterol—these are all properties for a good anti-aging diet, because they’re all factors in reducing the risk of heart disease.
Another 2015 study published in the same journal provided even more support for the Nordic anti-aging diet. It showed that when participants, all of whom had attributes of metabolic syndrome, followed a Nordic diet for a period of 18 to 24 weeks, they had less inflammation-related genes in their body, even without any significant weight change. This indicates the great potential that the Nordic anti-aging diet might have for managing symptoms of metabolic syndrome and other serious age-related conditions.
What Exactly is the Nordic Anti-Aging Diet?
Much like the popular (and effective) Mediterranean diet, the Nordic anti-aging diet is primarily based on eating only whole foods and avoiding anything that is processed, packaged, or refined. The Nordic diet also incorporates some of the best anti-aging foods, like legumes, whole grains, fish, and various different fruits and vegetables. Here’s a quick rundown of some of the key components in the Nordic anti-aging diet, and why you should consider adding more of them to your next grocery list:
• Cruciferous Vegetables (e.g. broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage):This vegetable group is perfect for your anti-aging diet because they’re essentially the highest in terms of their nutrient content—they’re generally high in folic acid, fiber, iron, and vitamins A, C, and K.
• Canola Oil (Rapeseed): Canola oil has much less unhealthy saturated fat (about half of what’s in olive oil), which helps to manage healthy cholesterol levels. It’s also higher in healthier unsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids, which can improve heart health by moderating blood pressure and inflammation.
• Berries:They’re always a good pick for an anti-aging diet, because berries are packed with antioxidant power. Their natural phytochemicals can help protect against cell damage and various studies have shown that berries can maintain cognitive function, manage diabetes, improve cardiovascular health, help with weight control, balance blood pressure, and perhaps even reduce cancer risk.
• Fatty Fish (e.g. salmon, herring):Omega-3 fatty acids are an essential component of a well-rounded anti-aging diet, and fatty fish is one of the best sources.
• Whole Grains (e.g. barley, oats, rye):Unlike refined or processed grains, whole grains contain naturally-occurring nutrition from all of the essential parts of the entire grain. An anti-aging diet consisting of whole grains has been linked to reduced risk of type-2 diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and even some types of cancer.
• Dark Leafy Greens (e.g. spinach, kale):Vegetables in this group are nutritional powerhouses loaded with fiber, among a long list of other vitamins and minerals.
• Legumes (e.g. lentils, beans):Lentils are revered in an anti-aging diet for their nutritional content, especially fiber. In addition to benefiting your heart and digestive system, lentils also help to stabilize blood sugar levels. Plus, they’re low in fat with only 230 calories in one cup of cooked lentils.
• Wild, lean meat (e.g. elk, venison):Although the Nordic anti-aging diet is predominantly vegetarian, the meat they do permit is lean and usually wild. While it might be harder to get your hands on, elk meat is high in protein, vitamins, and minerals. The same goes for venison (deer) meat, which is also rich in iron and B vitamins.
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