A Checklist of Anti Aging Antioxidant Rich Foods!
To slow down the aging process requires a diet of anti aging antioxidant rich foods. This article will explore 17 different foods that will provide you with a wide choice of options to help you augment your meals with powerful and nutritious age-defying fruits and vegetables.
Not to date myself but I grew up hearing the phrase, “An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away!” It’s a phrase that dates all the way back to the Middle Ages. Back then the English said, “To eat an apple before going to bed will make the doctor beg his bread.” Well, it looks like an apple a day will do more than just keep the doctor away.
Recent research shows that an apple a day could also reduce the risk of breast, lung and prostate cancer, significantly cut heart disease risk, protect against Alzheimer’s disease, prevent osteoporosis, improve memory and learning, fight the damaging effect of “bad” LDL cholesterol, improve lung function, aid digestion, and reduce the risk of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in smokers. Quite a list of health benefits from a piece of fruit that is readily available in most grocery stores. The key is not to peal off the skin. That is where most of the anti aging antioxidant benefits are found.
But, as good as the apple is there are more choices than ever in consuming a diet rich in even more powerful anti aging antioxidant rich foods. So, move over Mr. Apple to make way for these disease fighters:
- Bilberry – British pilots during World War II ate bilberries before night flights to support their vision. Plus, it promotes healthy cholesterol levels and can be an anti-inflammatory agent.
- Bing Cherries – According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, a cup of Bing cherries has more anti aging antioxidants than 3 ounces of almonds. At only 90 calories, they may also prevent the risk of inflammatory diseases like arthritis, as well as reduce the risk for heart disease and cancer.
- Blueberry – The USDA Human Nutrition Center ranked blueberries as the No. 1 anti aging antioxidant over 40 fruits and vegetables tested. It can slow age-related mental loss, promote cardiovascular health, and improve eyesight and memory. Packed with phytoflavinoids and antioxidants, blueberries are also high in potassium and vitamin C.
- Brazilian Açai – This blueberry sized berry grows in the Amazon basin and is infused with almost ten times the anti aging antioxidants of red grapes. It contains ten to thirty times the anthocyanins of red wine which may help lower artery-clogging LDL cholesterol levels. Plus, it is an almost perfect essential amino acid complex with valuable trace minerals that are vital to muscular health and repair. This fruit is high in phytosterols which block cholesterol from being absorbed into the blood stream. Phytosterols also help reduce inflammation in arthritis and help control blood sugar levels in diabetics.
- Cranberry – Cranberry contains a wide variety of compounds, but proanthocyanidins may be responsible for their beneficial effects on the urinary tract. Born and bred in America, this berry is among the top 10 anti aging antioxidant rich foods making it a potent cancer protector. Plus, several studies have shown that regular use of cranberries in the diet improved the health of blood vessels and assisted the body in keeping E. coli from triggering an infection.
- Elderberry – Elderberry may stimulate the production of cytokines, compounds that play a role in the immune response system. Plus, it contains a considerable amount of vitamins A, B and C, as well as flavonoids, carotenoids and amino acids.
- Guava – This South American fruit ranges in color from yellow to purple black. It is an excellent source of vitamin C with 250% of your RDA per serving. It also has 26% more lycopene than a tomato which may help lower your risk for heart disease.
- Green Tea – Green tea has the same overall anti aging antioxidant power of black tea. However, green tea has an antioxidant not found in black tea. It is ECGC, a powerful antioxidant that may help reduce cholesterol levels. In a recent Japanese study, men who drank green tea regularly had lower cholesterol levels than those who didn’t. Researchers in Spain and the United Kingdom have also shown that ECGC can inhibit the growth of cancer cells.
- Kiwifruit – One cup of kiwifruit will provide 20% of your daily fiber needs plus heart-healthy polyphenols and vitamin C. According to Rutgers University, when compared to the 27 most popular fruits, kiwifruit was the most nutritionally dense. Kiwifruit has substantial amounts of vitamin E and more vision saving lutein than any other fruit or vegetable, except for corn.
- Lycium – Also called wolfberry, the Chinese have used lycium for centuries to help strengthen muscles and bone, enhance liver function and help the eyes. It contains a high concentration of Beta-carotene, vitamins C, A, B1, B2, B6 and E.
- Mangosteen – This is a purplish fruit from Southeast Asia and is an excellent source of xanthones; compounds that have the potential to reduce inflammation which can be a risk factor for heart disease.
- Oranges – The old standby makes the list because it has the most readily available source of vitamin C. Plus, it is rich in folic acid and fiber.
- Passion Fruit – Grown in the United States, Brazil, and New Zealand, this purplish brown fruit is a terrific source of lycopene for heart health. It also contains more cancer-fighting polyphenols than mango and grapefruit.
- Pomegranate – The total antioxidant activity of polyphenols from pomegranate juice was measured three times higher than red wine and green tea. Pomegranates help the body regulate high cholesterol and heart health to support the cardiovascular system as well as neutralize free radicals. Researchers at Pace University discovered that the polyphenol-packed juice of pomegranates can kill the S. mutans bacteria, a main cause of cavities. At Loma Linda University mice that drank pomegranate juice experienced 50% less brain degeneration than animals that consumed sugar water. Israeli researchers found that diabetics who drank approximately 2 ounces of pomegranate juice a day for 3 months kept their bodies from absorbing bad cholesterol into the immune system cells.
- Pumpkin – Pumpkin is loaded with phytonutrients to help keep your skin young and prevent damage from sunlight.
- Red & Concord Grapes – Together these two fruits bring a spectrum of anti aging antioxidant power with high flavonoid content, fiber, vitamin C, anthocyanins, polyphenols, and potassium. These ingredients promote cardiovascular and eye health, healthy cholesterol levels, display anti-viral properties, support proper brain function, and show promise in reducing the growth of cancer cells.
- Red Raspberry – Research has linked the anthocyanins in red raspberries to enhanced vision, circulation, and slowing the effects of aging.
Most of the above foods are fruits. When you look at the potential foods from the vegetable world the list gets even longer with additional nutritional benefits. Foods that are powerful enough to help lower cholesterol, reduce your risk for heart disease and cancer, and positively affect your mood. Unlike most drugs, there are no side effects! According to nutritionist Elizabeth Somer, author of Nutrition for a Healthy Pregnancy, Food & Mood and The Essential Guide to Vitamins and Minerals:
“I’d say that 50% to 70% of suffering could be eliminated by what people eat and how they move: heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and hypertension can all be impacted.”
If you want to positively impact all areas of health and slow down your aging process, then getting to know your produce department is essential. The more colorful your diet of fruits and vegetables, the more anti aging antioxidants you will get. Every hue signifies a different class of nutrients. Here is a general guideline to help you:
- Yellow/Orange foods such as sweet potatoes, carrots, pumpkin, mango, corn, and melon all contain carotenoids which may reduce the risk of cancer.
- Green vegetables such as spinach and broccoli are high in lutein to help keep your vision sharp. Plus, they all contain chlorophyll which has powerful detoxification properties to assist your liver in cleansing your body.
- Blue/Purple foods like Brazilian açai, blueberries and blackberries are full of anthocyanins which prevent tumors from forming and aid in suppressing their growth.
- Red foods like tomatoes and watermelon are loaded with lycopene to protect against cancer and heart disease.
- White foods like cauliflower, onions, and garlic demonstrate cancer fighting benefits.
Apples are a good start to keeping the doctor away. But be sure to mix and match the colors of other fruits and vegetables to help create an anti aging antioxidant eating plan.
Until next time, may we both age youthfully!
P.S. As a convenience, I’ve also included links to the following cancer articles:
Cancer Prevention and the Importance of Your Diet!
The Acid Alkaline Balance Part 1!
The Acid Alkaline Balance Part 2!
Cancer – A Personal Story!
Return from Anti Aging Antioxidant to Cancer Prevention
Return from Anti Aging Antioxidant to Aging No More (Home Page)
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