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Tuesday, Sep 02, 2014
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Turn back time with a better diet


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Indiana Jones is 71. Murphy Brown is 67. Two of Charlie’s Angels are 62 and 68. But I think Harrison Ford, Candice Bergen, Cheryl Ladd and Jaclyn Smith look better now than they did when they were 30.

Of course, a little nip and tuck have helped, although a study published in the Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery indicate that going under the knife only turns back the clock six to eight years. So, how do celebrities like 73 year-old Raquel Welch upstage Hollywood ingénues half their age?

Having counseled both the famous and the infamous, I can attest that good genes slow the aging process, but what best sustains a youthful appearance is work — hard work — along with commitment, motivation and routine. Sure, celebrities have chefs and personal trainers, but no one is eating or exercising for them.

That’s why I say anyone can shave 10 years off their appearance. It just takes dedication and consistency with a focus on nutrition, skin care and fitness. Doing so has far-reaching benefits beyond the aesthetic, from slowing osteoporosis; reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke, prolonging lifespan; building muscle and reducing atrophy; increasing cellular turnover for a more radiant glow, improving brain function, reducing weight, and increasing stamina and even sex drive. Clearly, dedication has its rewards.

Here are my top 10 anti-aging diet tips:

1. Eat green. Greens are loaded with age-fighting nutrients like calcium, folate, magnesium, and vitamins A and K. You can’t have too many greens. If you don’t like eating them, drink them, and select veggies such as kale, collards and spinach.

2. Hydrate. Water helps the body assimilate nutrients and keeps skin supple and firm. Drink as much water as you can.

3. Focus on fiber. Fiber keeps you full so you eat less, making it easier to lose weight and stay trim.

4. Don’t be afraid of carbs. Grains lower your risk of age-related cancers and heart disease, and varieties like kamut, quinoa, buckwheat and farro will jazz up any diet.

5. Bust out some berries. They’ve been shown to improve brain and muscle function along with balance.

6. Kick processed foods to the curb. RIP fast food, junk food and fried food.

7. Cook with olive oil. It’s a rich source of antioxidants that can fight inflammation.

8. Go fish. Studies have shown that those who eat fish several times weekly have a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

9. Control your portions. Nothing but restraint has given Jane Fonda her fabulous, 76-year-old figure. OK. Maybe some leg lifts, too.

10. Make time for tea. White and green tea have exceptionally high levels of antioxidants, which fight free radicals and keep our cells healthy.

Apply my 10 diet tips for 12 weeks, and I guarantee you’ll look and feel younger. Add to that regimen exercise at least three times a week for 30 minutes, and your results will be even better. Of course, shun the sun! Use a high-quality CC cream with an SPF over 30, and your skin will love you back.

Tina Ruggiero, M.S., R.D., L.D., is a nutrition expert and award-winning author. Her newest book is “The Truly Healthy Family Cookbook.” Find Tina at www.TinaRuggiero.com.

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