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Get Younger with Food July 28, 2013
Top 10 Anti-Aging Foods
The general guidelines for the anti-aging diet are: keep your calorie consumption and saturated fat intake down; eat plenty of high fibre foods, fresh fruits and vegetables; and cut down on salt, sugar and processed food. In addition to these general guidelines, there are specific foods that have a roll in anti-aging and that you should regularly include in your diet.
1. Avocado: This fruit, which is usually eaten as a vegetable, is a good source of healthy monounsaturated fat that helps to reduce level of a bad cholesterol from dietary sources. Avocado is a good source of vitamin E and can help to maintain healthy skin and prevent skin aging (vitamin E may also help alleviate menopausal hot flushes). It is rich in potassium which helps prevent fluid retention and high blood pressure.
2. Ginger: This spicy root can boost the digestive and circulatory systems, which can be useful for older people. Ginger may also help to alleviate rheumatic aches and pains.
3. Cruciferous vegetables: The family of vegetables have leaves that cross over each other includes cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, kale, turnip, brussels sprouts, radish and watercress. Cruciferous vegetables assist the body in its fight against toxins and cancer. You should try to consume at least 115g/4oz (of any one or a combination) of these vegetables on a daily basis. If possible, eat them raw or very lightly cooked so that the important enzymes remain intact. Try steaming them.
4. Oily fish: eat fish at least 3 times a week. It’s important to include a range of lean proteins into your diet. Lean tissue- your muscle will be lost with age unless you supply your body with healthy protein and exercise to encourage your body to retain its muscle.
5. Seeds: the forgotten food group. Trace minerals and oily goodness in every handful. Use as a garnish on salads, veg and fruit or with a few nuts as a healthy snack.
6. Garlic: Eating a clove of garlic a day (raw or cooked) helps to protect the body against cancer and heart disease. The cardioprotective effects of garlic are well recorded. One 1994 study in Iowa, USA, of 41,837 women between the age of 55 and 69 suggested that women who ate a clove of garlic at least once a week were 50 percent less likely to develop colon cancer. Another study at Tasgore Medical college in India suggested that garlic reduced cholesterol levels and assisted blood thinning more effectively than aspirin, thus helping to reduce the risk of heart disease.
7. Nuts: Most varieties of nuts are good sources of minerals, particularly walnuts and brazil nuts. Walnuts, although high in calories, are rich in potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc, copper and selenium. Adding nuts to your diet (sprinkle them on salads and desserts) can enhance the functioning of your digestive and immune systems, improve your skin help control prevent cancer. Nuts may also help control cholesterol levels. Never eat rancid or mouldy nuts, however, as they have been linked to a high incidence of free radicals.
8. Berries: All black and blue berries such as blackberries, blueberries, blackcurrants and black grapes contain phytochemicals known as flavonoids-powerful antioxidants which help to protect the body against damage caused by free radicals and ageing.
9. Water: Drink at least 8 glasses of water every day in order to remain healthy. Water helps us to get rid of the toxins and unwanted waste materials from your body. Don’t rely on thirst; this sensation diminishes with age. Drink often and choose from nutritious liquids, include vegetable juices, skim or low fat milk, broths, sparkling water, and teas. You can also get fluids from foods, especially those that are liquid at room temperature. Frozen yogurt, soups, watermelon, pickles, oranges, lettuce, tomatoes, etc.
10. Watermelon: Both the flesh and seeds of the watermelon are nutritious so try blending them together in a food processor and drinking as a juice. The flesh contain vitamin A, B and C ; the seeds contain selenium, essential fats, zinc and vitamin E, all of which help against free radical damage and aging.