Aging is something all women shudder to think about. It is characterized by wrinkles, lack of energy, libido, memory loss, declined physical capacity, mental and logical sharpness, and worse still, it might herald the incoming of diseases like cardiac problems, diabetes, blood pressure, or arthritis. Visits to the hair salon that used to be sporadic are now a monthly affair to blot out grey roots. Oh woe… if only there was a fountain of youth to drink from!
These days, to sell “hope” to the ladies, you get all sorts of products on the market. Anti-aging cosmetics can seem more like food than beauty potions. Everything from algae to pomegranate is being infused into creams, cleansers, and serums. But applying products on your skin’s surface is no substitute for actually eating the foods that will nurture your skin from the inside out. Nutrition is what plays an important part in anti-aging, and helping to protect against damage from UV rays, the number one cause of lines and wrinkles.
There is a reason why your parents used to tell you – Eat your veges! The family of Cruciferous vegetables includes cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, and watercress have high anti-aging properties. Cruciferous vegetables assist the body in its fight against toxins and cancer. Mushrooms also have high anti-oxidant properties. Consuming varieties of mushrooms along with different vegetables could give people a varied number of antioxidants – which prevent the common pathway for cancer, cellular harm, ageing and other several diseases.
Berries contain flavonoids and many other plant-based chemicals that are good for health. They are immensely powerful antioxidants that play a positive role in reducing the harmful effects of free radical hits on the cells of the body. Particularly for this reason, berries such as blueberries, cranberries, raspberries and strawberries are so good in reducing the risk of several types of cancers and infections of urinary bladder. Some berries such as blueberries and raspberries contain lutein, an important ingredient that is known to improve vision.
This spicy root can boost the digestive and circulatory systems, which can be useful for older people. Ginger (Zingiber officinale) may also help to alleviate rheumatic aches and pains. Not only is ginger one of the most popular of all the spices but is also of the top five antioxidant foods (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, July 2006). Numerous studies investigating ginger’s medicinal properties have also shown it to be effective in conditions such as motion sickness and the prevention and treatment of diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, inflammatory diseases and stomach ulcers. Two of ginger’s most important antioxidants, curcumin and gingerol, have been shown to inhibit and even reverse the deposition in the brain of the amyloid plaques that are associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
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 nuts, however, as they have been linked to a high incidence of free radicals.
Raw garlic is terrific for the system! If you can stomach the pungent smell, then it helps to protect the body against cancer and heart disease. Garlic’s might is largely due to the sulfur compounds it contains, such as allicin. Garlic also houses vitamin C, B6, selenium, magnesium, potassium, calcium and manganese and flavonoids.The sulphur compound allicin provides not only many of the notable benefits of garlic, but also its notorious odour. Allicin is formed during the chemistry of chopping, crushing and chewing garlic. The more thorough the milling, the more allicin is created. Allicin has antibiotic, anti-viral and anti-fungal properties, and this is the reason why garlic has been used for skin infections such as Athletes’s foot, herpes and warts, digestive and lung infections such as diarrhea, coughs and colds, and Candida yeast. Garlic also contains diallyl sulphides, which, whilst not anti-fungal like allicin, are reportedly good for the blood and circulation, lowering bad cholesterol and boosting the immune system.
This fruit, which is usually eaten as a vegetable, is a good source of healthy monounsaturated fat that may help to reduce level of a bad type 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). It is rich in potassium which helps prevent fluid retention and high blood pressure. People who keep low fat diet usually avoid avocado because it contains a lot of fat. But actually it is high in monounsaturated fat which reduces cholesterol level in the body.
7. Bitter Gourd
Bitter gourd is perhaps the secret vegetable of longevity! Bitter melon, which is also referred to as bitter gourd, is the fruit of the Momordica charantia plant. This plant is a climbing vine that originated in Asia, Africa, and Australia. Although the bitterness of it might turn some people away, it can really sweeten your health because of its disease preventing and health promoting phyto-chemical compounds. Boiled bitter melon extracts show high anti-oxidant activities. Bitter gourd has been known to treat Diabetes, certain cancers, high cholesterol and even slow down Alzheimer’s diesase.
Menopausal women might find that soya helps to maintain oestrogen levels. Soya may alleviate menopausal hot flush and protect against Alzheimer’s disease, osteoporosis and heart disease. Look out for fermented soya products, which are more easily digested, therefore more nutritional, and do not generally cause food intolerances. Genistein, an isoflavone that helps your skin by protecting it from enzymes that are responsible for breaking down active collagen, are found in high amount in soya products. According to Health Central, foods that are made from soya help in production of collagen. So make sure you eat the right amount of soy to get that younger looking skin that will fool the world about how old you really are!
9. Green Tea
Green tea has been a longevity supplement in Asia for thousands of years. It actually keeps us slim! Green tea contains high concentrations of catechin polyphenols which increase fat oxidation and thermogenesis. Thermogenenesis is heat created in our bodies by burning fuels such as fat. The thermogenesis that green tea creates was at first thought to be because of its caffeine. Research has shown that green tea stimulates brown fat thermogenesis with far more effectiveness than an equal amount of caffeine alone. Research has shown that green tea increases energy expenditure and fat oxidation during a whole 24 hour period whereas caffeine only increases metabolism at the time it is ingested. Green tea helps burn an extra 78 calories per day!
10. Red Wine
Red wine is good for you — it contains a substance called “resveratrol” that help your body fight off age-related illnesses. Red wine contains tannins and resveratrol, substances which could explain the drink’s anti-cancer properties. Consumption of red wine is associated with a slight but statistically significant reduction in the development of lung cancer, as reported in the journal Thorax. Red wine has been shown, in some experiments, to be more effective than other alcoholic beverages in decreasing some of the risk factors of coronary heart disease. So after a long day at work, or working out at the gym, kick back with a nice red glass of red wine. You’ve earned it, and it’s good for your heart;)
Individuals who want to loose weight, take heed! Anybody who wants to get rid of a substantial volume of weight, inside a matter of weeks, or even just days can consider adding melon to their diet. This can be principally simply because the quantity of watermelon’s calories is definitely rather low, even when as compared to various other fruits and vegetables. The particular calories coming from watermelon are usually really low mainly because a watermelon consists largely of water (92%). One cup of diced watermelon includes 45 calories and is also full of vitamins, minerals and also anti-oxidants. Even though lots of people decry the high carbohydrate substance on the calories in watermelon, they’re in fact very low compared with many other snacks as well as desserts, including granola bars or even yogurt. Watermelon can also help with asthma and cancer.
It’s not all bad news and boring stuff like veges. Clinical trials to date to show improvement in blood vessel function from consuming flavonoid-rich dark chocolate daily over an extended period of time. The Kuna people of the San Blas islands, off the coast of Panama, have a rate of heart disease that is nine times less than that of mainland Panamanians. The reason? The Kuna drink plenty of a beverage made with generous proportions of cocoa, which is unusually rich in flavanols that help preserve the healthy function of blood vessels. Maintaining youthful blood vessels lowers risk of high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, kidney disease and dementia.
To reap the benefits of water anti-aging, how much water does one need? A standard answer seems to be eight full glasses of water a day – that’s 64 ounces of water. The key to appropriate water intake, however, lies in common sense and moderation. If the weather’s hot and dry, if you are very active and sweating a lot, or if you are continually thirsty for some other reason, you will probably need more water than the average person. On the other hand, if you are well hydrated, and the weather is cool and wet, you will probably need less. Too little water leads to dehydration; too much can be life threatening as well. 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.