Eat Your Way to a Younger You

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Story Updated: Nov 14, 2012

p>If you're one of those lucky people who looks and feels younger than their age, one thing you may be able to thank is your genes. Researchers who study the complex dynamics of aging think there may be certain genes associated with "successful" agers like centenarians, compared with those who have an average or short lifespan.

If genes aren't on your side, there's still hope for fighting off the effects of age. Things like stress, smoking, sun, sleep deprivation, excessive sugar and alcohol consumption can make you look older -- and do a number on your body and health too.

But that's not all. A 2010 study from the University of Bristol, published in the journal Evolution and Human Behavior, shows that eating plenty of fruits and vegetables can help you look healthy as well as be healthy, by giving your skin a nice golden glow.

Newer research shows that taking omega-3 supplements can help slow aging. How? By preserving tiny segments of DNA, called telomeres, in white blood cells. As we age, telomeres tend to get shorter. But in the study, the people who took omega-3 supplements had longer telomeres. If you'd rather eat than swallow your omega-3s, go for oily fish like salmon, sardines and herring.

What other foods can we add to our diets to slow down the effects of aging -- from losing bone strength to memory?

  • Eggs. They contain two carotenoids -- powerful antioxidants -- that protect vision, which tends to wane with age. Other sources of valuable carotenoids include carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach, kale, collard greens, papaya, bell peppers and tomatoes.
  • Greens. They contain folate, calcium and other nutrients to keep your bones strong. Greens like kale and spinach are also brain-and-memory boosters and help prevent age-related eye problems. And eating a lot of cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli and cabbage, may help lower your risk of memory loss and protect you from certain cancers, including colon and rectal.
  • Whole grains. They can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease and some cancers. And since they take longer to digest than processed grains do, they may help to guard against high blood pressure and diabetes.
  • Berries. Blueberries and strawberries, which have the highest level of compounds called flavonoids, have been associated with lower rates of cognitive decline.
  • Tomatoes. Lycopene -- an antioxidant compound found in fresh tomatoes and tomato-based products like sauces and salsa -- can boost your skin's collagen production, which keeps it looking young and firm. Lycopene also helps lower the risk of heart disease and certain cancers like prostate, lung and stomach.

Which foods do you eat to stay young?

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Featured Professional
Dr. Dzwonczyk – Medical Director

Geriatric Medicine

NYS Veterans' Home at Oxford

Welcome to New York State Veterans' Home at Oxford
The New York State Veterans' Home at Oxford is a 242 bed facility located in Chenango County about thirty miles north of Binghamton NY. Situated on a sixty acre site, the Home has spectacular scenic views of rural countryland. We provide state of the art medical, nursing, psychosocial, and rehabilitative services to our residents. We also have several academic affiliations including the Upstate Medical Center College of Medicine/Clinical Campus at Binghamton.

About Us
The New York State Veterans' Home at Oxford is a long term care skilled nursing facility. We are located in Oxford NY, and we serve the Central New York Region. We provide care for veterans and their dependents. Our current building has 242 beds in seven different units, including our rehabilitation unit and our dementia unit. Our facility is clean and pleasant, and our staff is friendly and professional. We welcome you to a guided tour upon request!

Dr. Dzwonczyk – Medical Director

Dr. Dzwonczyk Receives Certification in Hospice and Palliative Medicine.

It is with great pleasure that we announce that Philip J. Dzwonczyk, MD has been certified in Hospice and Palliative Medicine. Dr. Dzwonczyk joins more than nineteen hundred fellow physicians to have achieved such certification.

Hospice and palliative medicine is the medical discipline of the broad therapeutic model known as hospice and palliative care. The discipline and model of care are devoted to achieving the best possible quality of life for the patient and family throughout the course of a life-threatening illness through the relief of suffering and the control of symptoms. Hospice and palliative medicine helps the patient and family face the prospect of death assured that comfort will be a priority, values and decisions will be respected, spiritual and psychosocial needs will be addressed, practical support will be available and opportunities will exist for growth and development. Hospice in the United States is an organized program that provides palliative care for terminally ill patients and supportive services to patients, their families, and significant others.

Dr. Dzwonczyk is the medical director of the New York State Veterans Home in Oxford. He recently completed the Harvard Medical School Program in Palliative Care Education and Practice and has worked for many years as an internist and geriatrician practicing in central New York. Dr. Dzwonczyk received his undergraduate degree from the University of Scranton and his doctor of medicine degree from Jefferson Medical College. He trained in internal medicine and psychiatry at the Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital in Cooperstown. He is a diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine and holds specialty certificates in Internal Medicine and Geriatric Medicine. He has achieved Certified Medical Director status from the American Medical Directors Association and is a Fellow of both the American College of Physicians and the American Geriatrics Society. Dr. Dzwonczyk has directed the medical care of patients at the New York State Veterans Home since 1993 and has been active as a medical educator. He is a Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at Upstate Medical University and is active as a member of the faculty of the Geriatric Medicine Clerkship of the Clinical Campus in Binghamton. In addition to his interest in palliative care, Dr. Dzwonczyk has an interest in the evaluation and management of cognitive and mood disorders of the elderly.

The American Board of Hospice and Palliative Medicine was formed in 1995 to establish and measure the level of knowledge, attitudes and skills required for certification of physicians practicing hospice and palliative medicine. Eligibility requirements for certification are significant. In order to be eligible to sit for the certifying examination, applicants must have received prior major specialty certification, practiced at least two years following residency, worked as a member of an interdisciplinary team for at least two years and have directly participated in the active care of at least fifty terminally ill patients in the preceding three years. Alternatively, applicants must have completed specialty fellowship training in palliative medicine. The fellowship training program must be at least one year in length and must meet the established voluntary standards for such a program.

ABHPM conducts its Certification Examination in Hospice and Palliative Medicine annually at multiple sites through the United States. Currently, 1908 physicians have been certified by virtue of meeting certification requirements, including successful completion of this examination. A listing of currently certified physicians may be viewed on the Boards website at www.ABHPM.org.

Information on the American Board of Hospice and Palliative Medicine may be obtained from the website at www.ABHPM.org or by call (301) 439-8001.

Welcome to New York State Veterans' Home at Oxford