Aging is inevitable, but we can adopt different habits and attitudes to promote a more youthful approach to life. Certain foods are being promoted for their health benefits and as anti-aging foods, for those of us who want to try and turn back the clock- or at the very least slow it down. Eating an apple a day will help your digest system but it wont really turn back the clock. Or will it? With so many suggestions and articles about anti-aging foods its hard to know which ones offer us the most benefits.
The following list contains some of the most common and useful foods referred to in helping our bodies remain healthy; each offers a very specific defense against aging. Each of these items is readily available in your local stores and can be easily purchased and worked into the average diet.
Chocolate - dark chocolate and cocoa are wonderful sources of flavonols, an ingredient which helps improve blood flow to the brain. The key is to consume products with a high level of cocoa bean content, about 70% (check the labels for that information).
Greek Yogurt gaining in popularity, the rich creamy Greek version has higher levels of protein than other types of yogurt, as well as high levels of calcium. The calcium helps fight osteoporosis and the protein in yogurt is helpful for building muscle mass. Muscle mass contributes to more effective burning of calories, which can work to keep off fat as our metabolisms slow down after menopause. The International Journal of Obesity (link: http://www.nature.com/ijo/journal/v29/n4/full/0802880a.html) cites conducted a study which found that dieters who ate three servings of fat-free yogurt a day lost over 20% more weight than other dieters.
Blueberries -These little blue berries are antioxidant-rich which means they fight free radicals. Free radicals are the substances in our body which can cause chronic inflammation, known to contribute to aging. Inflammation is a contributing factor in cancer, heart disease, arthritis, and diabetes, to name a few. Blueberries are high in Vitamin C and are thought to help boost memory.Tomatoes - Tomatoes contain lycopene which are thought to protect the body from various cancers. The active ingredient is activated when tomatoes are heated slightly.Whole Grain Foods - Whole grain foods, like steel cut oats, brown rice, whole grain pasta and bread contain high amounts of fiber, for the best benefits make sure the ingredient lists 100% whole grain. Fiber is good for our bodies, by keeping intestines clean and functioning properly fiber contributes to a reduced risk of colon cancer and other gastrointestinal disorders.Red Wine - With its combination of alcohol and resveratrol, an antioxidant from the red grape skins, red wine is thought to help prevent cells from aging. Nutritionists and doctors recommend one glass of red wine a day for women. A dark grape juice can be substituted for wine with a slightly less effective benefit.Tea - Green and white teas, in particular, are considered good for the body. Benefits includea strengthened immune system, lowering of cholesterol, and a reduction in memory loss. These teas, as well as black tea, all contain polyphenols, a type of antioxidant that is not present in herbal teas. For maximum effectiveness drink 3-4 cups of tea daily.
Leafy green vegetables - Vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts and cabbage are called cruciferous vegetables and are now known to be effective in preventing breast cancer. They contain a compound, isothiocyanate, which has anti-carcinogenic and cancer preventive benefits. Consumption of these good-for-you vegetables should be five servings a day for maximum benefit.Omega-3s - A fatty acid, crucial to the body but only available through other sources, Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in fish, such as salmon, tuna, and halibut, and nut oils. A one ounce serving of walnuts provides a days recommending serving. Omega-3 fatty acids play a crucial role in brain function as well as normal growth and development. Research shows that omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation and may help lower risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and arthritis.(Source link: http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/omega-3-000316.htm)There are new superfoods hitting the markets every day; chia seeds, spirulina or algae, hemp seed and other products with claims to increased health benefits. As studies of these food products are released you can make decisions about which items to add to your diet. From a practical point of view, consider adding the basic foods to your diet first and work to increase activity levels and trim excess weight as the best and most practical ways to add years to your life.About the Author: Walker Thornton is a Virginia-based writer and blogger.