Are you keen to stay looking as fresh and young as possible? Yes?
While there’s no way to pause or turn back the clock you add years to your life by making smarter food choices. Let me share with you a few age-proof strategies to help slow the aging process and perhaps even stave off age-related diseases, including osteoporosis, diabetes and heart disease. The solution lies not in pharmacies but in your fridge. All you have to do is add them to your diet.
There are many variables involved in how long you live, but by following a healthy lifestyle, staying active and eating a nutrient-packed diet, can give you extra ammunition when it comes to combating the signs of aging.
As we grow older our caloric needs drop, making it even more important to pack your diet with nutrient-rich low-calorie foods, such as vegetables, fruits and whole grains—and limit foods that are considered less-healthy and more calorie-laden.
Antioxidants are the kamikaze power foods that reduce your risk of cancer and heart disease. These health-protecting compounds found in plant-based foods help stop damage to the body’s cells by destroying cell-damaging free radicals.
So which foods are best to make you look young and healthy? Here they are:
1. Green tea: Some people have referred it to the elixir of life! The Chinese have known about the medicinal benefits of green tea since ancient times, using it to treat everything from headaches to depression. The secret of this super drink lies in the fact it is rich in epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). EGCG is a powerful anti-oxidant: besides inhibiting the growth of cancer cells, it kills cancer cells without harming healthy tissue. It has also been effective in lowering LDL cholesterol levels, and inhibiting the abnormal formation of blood clots. You can appreciate the importance of the latter when you realise that thrombosis (the formation of abnormal blood clots) is the leading cause of heart attacks and stroke. Green tea is believed to help regulate blood pressure, lower blood sugar and boost the immune system.
2. Leafy Greens: When it comes to veggies, the darker in color, the better. Dark vegetables are filled with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to help build and repair our cells. Spinach is great for boosting the body’s immunity from illness. Other leafy foods like kale and collard are high in folate which is vital in preventing DNA and blood vessel damage. If you can maintain a healthy circulatory system you are reducing your risk of developing conditions such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, kidney disease and dementia.
If you don’t like the taste of these foods mix them into foods that you like.
3. Chocolate: Dark chocolate is especially beneficial. In fact, many experts recommend eating one or two ounces of dark chocolate every day.
Cocoa contains flavanols, a type of flavanoid that is only found in cocoa and chocolate. Flavanoids are naturally-occurring compounds that occur in plant foods that act as antioxidants and help counteract free radicals in the body. Flavanoids help preserve healthy function of the blood vessels thereby lowering the risk of type II diabetes, kidney disease and dementia.
Dark chocolate has been shown to lower blood pressure in people with elevated blood pressure, reduce LDL cholesterol by as much as 10 percent and the theobromine in chocolate prevents tooth decay.
Chocolate contains serotonin, a natural anti-depressant and creates feelings of happiness and pleasure. Chocolate works as a cancer fighter is by inhibiting cell division and reducing inflammation.
A Dutch study followed 200 men over 20 years and found that those who large amounts of chocolate, both milk chocolate and dark, lived longer and had lower overall disease rates than men who ate little or no chocolate.
4. Yogurt: Yogurt is associated with the term “probiotics”, which means “that which supports and is for life”! Yogurt is a dairy product that is obtained by fermenting milk. This fermentation uses bacteria to transform milk which is a liquid into yogurt which is semi-solid in nature. Yogurt is a proven treasure-trove of enriching elements like zinc, calcium, lactic acid, Vitamins B1, B2, B-6 and B-12, protein, and yeast. It holds rich deposits of friendly bacteria that boost overall health.
Yogurt has many healthy enzymes and adds natural oils to the skin. It can diminish pore size, a frequent nuisance for the skin, and can improve the overall skin texture, besides adding a healthy glow to your skin. You can also use yogurt to treat your acne and acne scar.
Many people who cannot tolerate milk, either because of a protein allergy or lactose intolerance, can enjoy yogurt. The culturing process makes yogurt more digestible than milk.
Yogurt lowers the risk of colon cancer as it contains intestines-friendly Lactobacteria that reduces the conversion of bile into carcinogenic bile acids. The bacterial cultures in yogurt have also been shown to stimulate infection-fighting white cells in the bloodstream. Yogurt can lower cholesterol and also decrease yeast infections in the vagina.
Antibiotics kill not only harmful bacteria; they also kill the healthy ones in the intestines. The live bacterial cultures in yogurt can help replenish the intestines with helpful bacteria before the harmful ones take over.
Yogurt is a rich source of calcium and protein. The live-active cultures in yogurt increase the absorption of calcium. 250gm of yogurt gets more calcium into the body than the same volume of milk can. This daily intake is equivalent to twenty percent of the daily protein requirement for most persons.
5. Red wine: Wine is one of the oldest alcoholic beverages on the planet. While heavy drinking of any alcoholic beverage rather brings lots of health-related troubles instead of benefits, current research suggests that a glass of red wine each day may be providing you with more than just a little relaxation. A glass of red wine gives you a healthy dose of anti-aging polyphenol antioxidants, minerals, and resveratrol.
Resveratrol helps to increase ‘good cholesterol’ levels in the body, prevents blood clotting and a healthy circulatory system, is beneficial for women during the menopause by reducing the risk for conditions for breast cancer and osteoporosis that result from reduced estrogen levels.
Wine has anti-aging effects, improved lung function from antioxidants in white wine and stronger bones. Drinking wine reduces ulcer-causing bacteria and keeps the arteries clean thereby reducing strokes
Red wine intake reduces the risk of kidney stone formation and moderate wine drinking correlates with a lower risk for Alzheimer’s disease.
6. Water: It truly is fountain of youth. Very few people, active or not, drink sufficient water every day. Drinking water helps you lose weight because it flushes down the by-products of fat breakdown. Drinking water reduces hunger; it’s an effective appetite suppressant so you’ll eat less. Water helps to relieve headache and back pains due to dehydration also make you look younger when your skin is properly hydrated. Water helps to replenish skin tissues, moisturizes skin and increases skin elasticity, helping boost your anti-aging armory.
Drinking water raises your metabolism because it helps in digestion. Drinking plenty of water also helps fight against flu and other ailments like kidney stones and heart attack.
If your body lacks water, your heart, for instance, needs to work harder to pump out the oxygenated blood to all cells, so are the rest of the vital organs, your organs will be exhausted and so will you.
Drinking a healthy amount of water may reduce the risks of bladder cancer and colon cancer. Water dilutes the concentration of cancer-causing agents in the urine and shortens the time in which they are in contact with bladder lining.
7. Blueberries: Blueberries have the highest antioxidant capacity of all fresh fruit being very rich in anti oxidants like anthocyanin, vitamin C, B complex, vitamin E, vitamin A, copper (a very effective immune builder and anti-bacterial), selenium, zinc, iron (promotes immunity by raising haemoglobin and oxygen concentration in blood) etc. boost up your immune system and prevent infections. Once your immunity is strong, you won’t catch colds, fever, pox and all such nasty viral and bacterial communicable diseases.
The antioxidants neutralizes free radicals which can affect disease and aging in the body. The abundance of vitamin-C is also a big factor for this as well. Blueberries inhibit the building of colonies of b-coli along the lining of the inner walls of urinary tract that is responsible for inflammation, burning sensation during passage of urine and other complications.
Blueberries have also been found in clinical studies to slow down visual loss, preventing or delaying all age related ocular problems like macular degeneration, cataract, myopia and hypermetropia, dryness and infections, particularly those pertaining to retina, due to their anti-oxidant properties.
The fruit can prevent and heal nerve disorders by preventing degeneration and death of neurons, brain-cells and also by restoring health of the central nervous system. These berries can also cure serious problems like Alzheimer’s disease to a great extent, heal damaged brain cells and neuron tissues and keep memory sharp for a long-long time.
Blueberries are an ideal dietary supplement to cure many heart diseases as it strengthens the cardiac muscles.
Blueberries have also proven to prevent and cure cancer as it contains Pterostilbene (excellent remedy for colon and liver cancer) and Ellagic Acid.
Blueberries keep you fresh, active, fit, sharp, close to nature and in a good mood, as they are very good anti depressants.
8. Fish: Eating fish regularly – one or two servings weekly –may reduce the risk of diseases ranging from childhood asthma to prostate cancer. Fish is low in fat, high in protein and an excellent source of omega 3 fatty acids.
The omega 3 fatty acids in fish may reduce the risk of many types of cancers by 30 to 50 per cent, especially of the oral cavity, oesophagus, colon, breast, ovary and prostate. Fish rich in omega 3 fatty acids can contribute to the health of brain tissue and the retina.
Eating fish every week reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke by reducing blood clots and inflammation, improving blood vessel elasticity, lowering blood pressure, lowering blood fats and boosting ‘good’ cholesterol. Elderly people who eat fish or seafood at least once a week may have a lower risk of developing dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.
People who regularly eat fish have a lower incidence of depression and may help people with diabetes manage their blood sugar levels. Regular fish consumption may relieve the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis and autoimmune disease.
Healthy ways to enjoy fish include baked, poached, grilled and steamed forms.
9. Eggs: Eggs make the list because they are nutritious, versatile, economical, and a great way to fill up on quality protein. Eggs also contain 12 vitamins and minerals, including choline, which is good for brain development and memory.
Eggs are great for the eyes. According to one study, an egg a day may prevent macular degeneraton due to the carotenoid content, specifically lutein and zeaxanthin. Eggs can also lower the risk of developing cataracts, because of the lutein and zeaxanthin in eggs.
Contrary to previous belief, moderate consumption of eggs does not have a negative impact on cholesterol. In fact, recent studies have shown that regular consumption of two eggs per day does not affect a person’s lipid profile and may, in fact, improve it. Research suggests that it is saturated fat that raises cholesterol rather than dietary cholesterol and prevent blood clots, stroke, and heart attacks.
Eggs are one of the only foods that contain naturally occurring vitamin D.
Eggs may prevent breast cancer. Eggs promote healthy hair and nails because of their high sulfur content and wide array of vitamins and minerals. Many people find their hair growing faster after adding eggs to their diet, especially if they were previously deficient in foods containing sulfur or B12.
10. Nuts: Nuts have 0f late been given a bad name because of their high fat content. But their protein, heart-healthy fats, high fiber, and antioxidant content earn them a place on the top 10 list.
Nuts are rich in energy and nutrients. Nuts are an excellent source of monounsaturated fatty acids such as oleic and palmitoleic acids, which help to lower LDL or “bad cholesterol” and increase HDL or “good cholesterol” thereby preventing coronary artery disease and strokes.
Nuts are rich source of all important omega-3 essential fatty acids which helps to lower the risk of blood pressure, coronary artery disease, strokes and breast, colon and prostate cancers. by their virtue of anti-inflammatory action. Omega-3 fatty acids also offer some benefits in conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and in cases of Schizophrenia, depression and Alzheimer’s disease.
Nuts are storehouse of health benefiting flavonoid antioxidants such as carotenes, resveratrol, lutein, cryptoxanthin etc. These compounds have been found to be protective against cancers, heart disease, degenerative nerve disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and infections.
Almost all the varieties of nuts we eat come in shells. There is nothing to worry about contamination or handling issues. Just grab healthy looking nuts of your choice and enjoy!