Abuse & Adore

(^.^) All the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Top 10 Anti-Aging Foods

Aging sets in a number of processes inside your body. Your cells begin to decay. Hormone levels change and general immunity begins to decline. That's the time you need more of vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients to keep your systems running in good form.

The general guidelines for the anti-aging diet are: keep your calorie intake and saturated fat consumption down; eat plenty of wholegrain, oily fish and fresh fruit and vegetables; and cut down on salt and sugar. 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.

Staying 5-10% below ideal body weight is a good target for anti-aging weight.

Avocado: Avocados once had a bad reputation because the average specimen has about 300 calories and a whopping 30 grams of fat. Lately, though, scientists have learned that monounsaturated fats, the kind found in avocados, a good source of healthy fat that may help to reduce level of cholesterol in body. 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). Scientists also discovered that avocados are a rich source of phytochemicals, such as beta-sisterol, which are thought to fight heart disease and certain kinds of cancers. It is rich in potassium which helps prevent fluid retention and high blood pressure. (But remember that avocados still have 300 calories, so eat them in moderation.)

There are two varieties you're most likely to find at the market: Haas, which have thick, rough, and blackish skins, and Fuerte, which have thin, smooth, green skins. The flavors are similar, but I find the Fuerte variety has a brighter, slightly less buttery flavor and is great for eating by itself. Nothing beats a ripe Haas for guacamole, however. You can buy either kind unripe; they'll ripen on your windowsill. Once they're slightly soft, you should keep them in the refrigerator.

Berries: All black and blue berries such as blackberries, blueberries, blackcurrants and black grapes contain phytochemicals known as flavonoids-powerful antioxidants which help to prevent and repairs the body against damage caused by free radicals and aging. Best of all, berries taste really, really good. Be sure to eat your berries without any sauces or sugars. Just enjoy them plain for their goodness.

The next superfood craze are Acai berries & Goji berries (also called wolfberries). The acai berry is a tiny grape-like fruit that grows in the rain forest of Brazil. The goji berry is a Chinese berries that has been getting attention as an anti aging wonder. Goji Berry and Acai berries have high levels of anti-oxidants, making them a popular superfruit, and opening the potential of health and anti aging benefits.

Cruciferous vegetables: The family of Cruciferous vegetables includes cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, broccoflower (Romanesco Broccoli @ Roman Cauliflower), kale, turnip, brussels sprouts, radish and watercress. They're all members of or cabbage, family of vegetables. And they all contain phytochemicals, vitamins and minerals, and fiber that are important to your health (although some have more than others.) Cruciferous vegetables assist the body in its fight against toxins and have excellent cancer fighting properties.

Lab studies show that one of the phytochemicals found in cruciferous vegetables - sulforaphane - can stimulate enzymes in the body that detoxify carcinogens before they damage cells. These cruciferous vegetables contain isothiocyanates, which stimulate our bodies to break down potential carcinogens. They work by preventing the transformation of normal healthy cells into cancerous cells. Through different mechanisms, two other compounds found in cruciferous vegetables -- indole 3-carbinol and crambene -- are also suspected of activating detoxification enzymes. Another way cruciferous vegetables may help to protect against cancer is by reducing oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is the overload of harmful molecules called oxygen-free radicals, which are generated by the body. Reducing these free radicals may reduce the risk of colon, lung, prostate, breast, and other cancers.

You should try to consume at least 115g/40z (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. It's best, to lightly steamed to retain the phytochemicals that make cruciferous vegetables special in terms of health.

Garlic: Garlic is anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-viral agent. It retards cellular decay, thins blood and prevents infections. Garlic is an excellent antioxidant and thus helps in retarding growth of abnormal cells. It prevents arteries from clogging, and reduces blood pressure and cholesterol levelsGarlic reduced cholesterol levels and assisted blood thinning more effectively than aspirin, thus helping to reduce risk of heart attacks. The most important thing is that garlic is said to have anti-cancer properties. Studies have shown that it can prevent digestive cancers, breast and prostate cancer. Eating a clove of garlic a day (row or cooked) helps to protect the body against cancer and heart disease.

Nowadays many garlic products, such garlic bread, garlic soup sticks, garlic butter and garlic spreads are available that you can conveniently take to derive the maximum of anti-aging health benefits of garlic.

Ginger: This spicy root can boost the digestive and circulatory sytems, which can be useful for older people. Ginger may also help to alleviate rheumatic aches and pains.

Walnuts: When it comes to rejuvenating brain functions for the elderly, there's hardly any better thing than walnuts. Rich in Omega-3 fatty acids that vastly improve the functioning of the brain cells, walnuts are must as an anti-aging ingredient to improve memory, relieve depression and improve cognitive functions.

Walnuts are miracle gifts of Nature. Aging naturally slows down the flow of blood in the arteries that puts the heart under pressure to keep blood circulating throughout the body. Studies have shown that walnuts with their rich reserves of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) plus Omega-3 fatty acids improve artery function and heart health, which is a definite advantage from the perspective of anti-aging.

Another crucial anti-aging property of walnut is its capacity to improve sleep. Melatonin is a hormone that is produced by the pineal glands regulates sleep inside the body. Its secretion declines naturally with aging. That is why aging people have reduced sleep. Walnut is an excellent source of bio-available melatonin and can vastly improve sleep in people, both in terms of quality and hours of sleep. So if you want a good night's sleep everyday, don't forget your daily recipe of steamed vegetables, green salads or fruit salad tossed with a handful of walnuts.

Melatonin is also a mighty antioxidant that makes walnuts an excellent source to check cellular decay that happens due to free radical hits. Studies have shown that taking walnuts on regular basis considerably minimizes risk of many life-threatening diseases that develop from cellular decay. Walnuts also improve bone health that is so vital for the elderly. Just four walnuts a day, and you can enjoy a longer, happier and younger life, the simplest possible way.

A pretty good deal. Best of all, unlike fish oils, these omega-3s do not have the risk of mercury contamination.There are certain parts of your brain that are basically made of omega-3 essential fatty acids. These are known as "essential fatty acids" because your body cannot make them -- you must get them from foods. By making sure you have enough, your brain has a better chance at functioning at 100% today and for years to come.

Never eat rancid nuts, however, as they have been linked to a high incidence of free radicals. If you happen to be allergic to walnuts, try pecans or almonds -- they are pretty good for you as well.

Soya: Tofu, Soymilk and Edamame - these nibbles favored by vegetarians contain natural phytoestrogens that help keep skin resilient and may even actually slow down the aging process. Soya possesses a host of therapeutic and preventive properties.

Soya contain isoflavones which help in lowering cholesterol arising out of high dietary fat and blood circulation difficulties. They are an excellent source of plant-based estrogen, a hormone that particularly helps women to retain their beauty and feminine qualities. After menopause, estrogen secretion falls in the body due to which women experience many health and mood-related adversities and show signs of fast aging. If during menopause the body's natural level of estrogen drops, isoflavones can compensate this by binding to the same receptor, thereby easing menopause symptoms as a result. Soya, are also excellent sources of protein which help the cells to be stronger and decay-resistant. When cells decay less, the impact of aging is less felt and less visibly noticed.

Look out for fermented soya products, which are more easily digested, therefore more nutritional, and do not generally cause food intolerances. You may want to check that soya products have not been genetically modified. Soya should not be confused with soya sauce, which is full of salt and should be used sparingly, if at all.

Whole meal pasta and rice: Carbohydrates, or carbs, divided into two categories. You have simple carbs and complex carbs. The best way to think about it is that simple carbs turn into sugar in your body which can cause all kinds of nasty things to happen which will age your body. The opposite of what we are looking for in anti aging foods.

A quick way to decide if a food is a simple carb is to decide if it is “white” or not. That means stay away from white sugar, white rice, white bread, white flour, potatoes, cereal, cake, cookies, candy and so on.

It’s best to stay away from simple carbs especially if you are overweight/obese and may have an “intractable weight problem” or suffer from diabetes 2 or metabolic syndrome. Simple carbs will spike your insulin and lead to insulin resistance.

Complex carbohydrates, on the other hand, take longer to turn into glucose, or straight sugar, in the body. Mostly this is due to the amount of fiber within the complex carb. Fiber is good in an anti aging sense as it helps remove toxins from the body even if we cannot digest it..

What kind of foods make up complex carbohydrates? These are vegetables, whole meal (whole grains) , fruits, nuts, and legumes (beans).

Complex carbohydrates provide a consistent supply of energy throughout the day and should make up the bulk of your diet. Wholemeal pasta is an excellent complex carbohydrate. It is high in fibre and contains twice the amount of iron as normal pasta. Brown rice is another recommended complex carbohydrate, which is high in fibre and B vitamins.

Melon: Melons are a good source of Vitamins A, B6 and C, minerals such as magnesium, potassium and iron, antioxidants such as lycopene and other key ingredients such as beta-carotene. Lycopene in melons is an extremely powerful antioxidant that very effectively controls free radical damage in the body. 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.

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, including 100% fruit and 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. Try gelatin, frozen yogurt, soups, watermelon, pickles, oranges, lettuce, tomatoes, etc.

No comments:

Post a Comment