Islamabad - Growing old and losing our independence is something we all fear. But experts now claim they have found five ‘super foods’ that can help women through the ageing process.

Oranges, apples, pears, romaine lettuce and walnuts can allow women to remain mobile as they reach their later years, new research suggests.

Orange juice was also found to have a beneficial effect.  Overall, diets based around fruit and vegetables and low in sugary drinks, salt and unsaturated fats, reduced rates of frailty in older women.

Oranges and apples are just two of five ‘super foods’ which can help prevent women from losing their independence through physical impairment as they grow older, a new study says. However, it is also important to have a healthy diet and not just focus on individual foods, the scientists stressed.

The study, which was funded by the California Walnut Commission, said walnuts are packed with healthy nutrients, which may explain the finding.

Earlier this year, Dr Michael Greger, author of How Not To Die, claimed eating just two handfuls of nuts a week may extend women’s lives as much as jogging four hours a week.  Previous research has found walnuts can cut the risk of heart attacks and diabetes, ease stress, prevent Alzheimer’s, breast and prostate cancer and lower cholesterol. 

Richer in protective antioxidants than other nuts, consuming just six walnuts once a week reduces the risk of becoming frail, the new study, published in the Journal of Nutrition, says.  And a study by the University of Michigan last year found people who ate one small apple a day had a nine per cent lower chance of visiting the doctor several times a year. 

Dr Francine Grodstein, Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, said: “There’s a lot of research that looks at specific health conditions in aging, such as diabetes and heart disease, but less attention to research on quality of life and ability to maintain independence with aging.

“The simple message from this study is that eating an overall healthy diet, including certain foods, such as walnuts and other whole foods, may help women with the ability to do key everyday tasks as they age, like carrying groceries or dressing themselves.”

How to lose weight without ever

 counting calories again

For the majority of us, slimming down means counting calories and maintaining strict control over what foods you eat and when. 

But experts say you can reach your weight loss goals the healthy and easy way without ever having to count calories again.

Eradicating sugar from your diet will naturally mean that you are consuming less calories. It will also mean that you will not eat the abundance of fatty, processed and packaged foods that are available. 

These foods are crammed full of sugar as well as other unappealing things that do damage to our bodies. Did you know that both sweetened and non-sweetened beverages suppress the hormone ghrelin in the body, which is responsible for telling the body that you are full? If you consume a sweetened beverage it will dampen that hormone in the body and encourage your body to overeat. 

This often means we choose the addictive sweet dessert options after consuming a sweetened beverage as our innate sweet tooth has been activated.

Quit sugar and you will be taking a huge stride towards weight loss, as well as better all-round health.  We all have a weakness for that one (or more!) unhealthy food that we just can’t get enough of. Identify which food this is for you and make a conscious decision not to include it in your diet anymore.  If you consume a sweetened beverage it will dampen that hormone in the body and encourage your body to overeat. This is likely to be a food that you turn to for comfort when you are feeling unhappy. 

Emotional eating contributes greatly to weight gain and it is important to find other non-food related ways to deal with these feelings.

Did you know the human body cannot distinguish whether we are hungry or thirsty and more often than not we mistake thirst for hunger? It can become an excellent habit to have a glass of water before every meal as this not only improves hydration levels, it improves digestion, and helps reduce the reflex to overeat. 

Staying adequately hydrated is essential for optimum health in general but is also great for keeping your metabolism working well. 

Always keep a bottle of water with you and drink from it regularly.

Protein is one of the most important aspects of our diet when it comes to several important functions, such as muscle repair and the maintenance of healthy bones. It is also useful for keeping your appetite down and limiting particular food cravings.

‘Protein enhances feelings of satiety and fullness and is an essential part of a balanced plate,’ said Charlotte. 

Adding healthy sources of protein such as legumes, pulses, eggs, or lean sources of meat and fish is a great way to avoid filling up on fat and carbohydrates. Protein also has the lowest calorie count per gram compared to fats and carbohydrates, helping you to naturally feel full and lose weight. 

Your digestive system plays a huge role in the overall health of your body and can also impact your weight. Poor digestive health can actually cause weight gain and weight loss, depending on the specific problem, but if your body is not digesting food as it should then issues are bound to occur. 

Taking care of your body through ample digestion and a healthy diet are key, but you should also aim to consume digestive enzymes, such as those from fermented foods. This helps to promote balance within your digestive system and avoid weight related problems.

As you can see, these are incredibly simple steps that you can easily adopt into your lifestyle. Your weight and your health will soon be much better aligned once you begin to do so. 

Protein is one of the most important aspects of our diet when it comes to several important functions, such as muscle repair and the maintenance of healthy bones so be sure to add it to your meals

We have all been there when we are so hungry that we overeat and regret it afterwards. 

Did you know it can take 20 minutes for the signals of satiety to reach the brain? This means that if you take time to chew and really appreciate every mouthful you will not only enjoy every bite but reduce the need to overeat allowing the brain to understand when you are full.