Most people are interested in living as long as they possibly can. What goes in your mouth can extend your life span tremendously, and this is also something you have complete control over.
You won't see processed meats, white fluffy bread, white sugar, white flour products, packaged cookies or anything overly processed on this list. That's because those foods don't contribute to longevity no matter how you cut it. Read on to find out which well known foods contribute to longevity and anti-aging.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture, in a comparison of 100 foods, lists the blueberry as one of the best fruit sources for antioxidants. Many studies indicate the blueberry’s possible role in ﬁghting such maladies as memory loss, high cholesterol, diabetes, and strokes. Eating blueberries improves the blood ﬂow through your body, which keeps both your brain and your heart healthier. Blueberries contain a compound called pterostilbene, which has been shown to be effective in reducing LDL cholesterol. It’s no wonder that blueberries have such an attraction as a health food: a mere 1/2 cup serving has as much antioxidant power as ﬁve servings of other fruits and vegetables.
Additionally, Tufts University researchers say a 1/2 cup of blueberries a day can retard aging and can block brain changes leading to decline and even reverse failing memory.
Over the years, many studies have associated eating grapefruit with weight reduction. At the Scripps Clinic in San Diego, researchers divided 100 obese men and women into four groups. One group received grapefruit extract, another drank grapefruit juice with each meal, a third group ate half a grapefruit with each meal, and the fourth received a placebo. At the end of 12 weeks, the placebo group lost on average just under half a pound, the extract group 2.4 pounds, the grapefruit juice group 3.3 pounds, and the fresh grapefruit group 3.5 pounds (they ate one and a half grapefruit a day). Grapefruit (particularly red grapefruit) can also significantly decrease cholesterol and fight heart disease. Eating one red grapefruit a day for 30 days has been shown to reduce cholesterol by 15 percent and triglycerides by 17 percent.
A true superfood, almonds are a fantastic source of protein, fiber, and minerals, including calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, and zinc. They are high in vitamin E and contain monounsaturated fats, which can help to keep arteries supple. Almonds decrease wrinkles, improve cardiovascular, eye, blood and bone health. They also lower cholesterol, boost the immune system, and protect against sun damage. A cup of almonds has 400 mg of calcium! Stick to the raw, unsalted nuts for maximum benefit. Almond milk surpasses cow's milk in nutrition, therefore it is a fantastic alternative. Make Your Own Almond Milk.
We grew up hearing “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” It’s true. Apples contain the phytonutrient quercetin, which prevents oxidation (damage) of LDL cholesterol, thus lowering the risk of damage to our arteries and, in turn, the risk of heart disease. They also contain pectin, a soluble fiber that seems to be effective in lowering levels of blood cholesterol. They are a rich source in polyphenols. Apples also decrease the risk of cancer, improve the bowels, slow the aging process and prevent hair loss.
Avocados contain everything the human body needs, except for vitamin C. Pound for pound, avocados provide more heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, fiber, vitamin E, folic acid, and potassium than any other fruit. Also, they are a complete protein. They are the number-one source of beta-sitosterol, a substance that can reduce total cholesterol, and lutein, an antioxidant that protects people from getting cataracts and lowers the risk of prostate and breast cancer. Researchers have found a substance in avocados can kill cancer cells. The avocado will help repair your body and help you live longer. California has an annual festival devoted to this miraculous fruit here.
Low in calories but packed full of nutrients, beets contain high levels of carotenoids and ﬂavonoids that reduce the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, protecting artery walls and reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke. They are one of the richest sources of folic acid. The silica in beetroot helps the body utilize calcium and boost musculoskeletal health, reducing the risk of osteoporosis. Many people drink beetroot juice for its cleansing and detoxifying properties. Beets will help you fight cancer, heart disease, and birth defects. They contain betaine which is an anti-inflammatory. Beets will protect liver cells.
Here’s a “mega-longevity” food if there ever was one. Researchers have identiﬁed a wealth of healthy compounds in this vegetable, including two powerful anti cancer substances, sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol. According to research at Johns Hopkins University, sulforaphane destroys ingested carcinogenic compounds and kills the bacteria Helicobacter pylori, which can cause stomach ulcers and greatly increase the risk of gastric cancers. Indole-3-carbinol metabolizes estrogen, potentially protecting against breast cancer. Broccoli is also a good source of beta-carotene and potassium. Many nutritionists suggest eating broccoli three times a week, and now we know why.
Gandhi said, "wherever flax seeds become a regular food item among the people there will be better health." In the 8th Century, Charlemagne considered flax so essential for health that he actually passed laws requiring its use. Also, flax was one of the food medicines, used by Hippocrates himself. The absolute richest plant source of omega-3 fatty acids, ﬂaxseeds reduce the risk of heart disease, breast cancer, strokes, and inflammatory diseases. They also contain high levels of lignin, thought to improve cholesterol profiles. Flax promotes colon health, can nourish your skin, can boost immunity, and stabilize blood sugar. Flaxseed is great for vegetarians who choose not to get their essential fatty acids from fish. It comes in seed or oil form, but make sure you refrigerate the oil, as it easily oxidizes. Another incredible anti-aging seed is chia.
Numerous clinical trials have shown garlic to be an excellent cancer ﬁghter. It has the ability to prevent development of cancers of the breast, colon, skin, prostate, stomach, and esophagus. Garlic stimulates the immune system by encouraging the growth of natural killer cells, which directly attack cancer cells. A study at the University of East London claims that garlic not only has the ability to kill many of the antibiotic resistant strains of methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), the “hospital superbug,” but also is able to destroy the newer super-superbugs that are resistant to the most powerful antibiotics used against MRSA.
Garlic contains antioxidants, enzymes, calcium, copper, iron, manganese, phosphorus, potassium and selenium. Vitamins in garlic include vitamin A, vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B6 and vitamin C. Garlic contains dozens of bioflavonoids, more than 80 sulfur-containing compounds, and many other beneficial compounds that have never been identified. Garlic is quite simply a potent age fighter.
VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
You may have recently read the story about a woman in Israel who claims to be over 120 years old. One of her secrets to living to such an advanced age is that she drinks at least one glass of olive oil a day. I don't know about drinking olive oil but the addition of olive oil (and the lessening of unhealthy fats) can no doubtly help you live longer. Olive oil is packed with healthy monounsaturated fat as well as antioxidants, consumption of olive oil is the main reason people who eat a Mediterranean-style diet have very few heart attacks and live longer, healthier lives.
The average per capita consumption of olive oil on Crete is the highest of the world. Anzel Keys' renowned study of seven countries, which was published in 1980, revealed that the health level of Cretans was the highest in the world. Cancers and cardio-circulatory disease were rare, since out of 100.000 people on Crete, there were only 9 deaths attributed to these diseases as opposed to 466 in Finland. It was further proven that this was largely due to the dietary habits of the Cretan people, whose basic ingredient is olive oil.
Be sure to buy virgin, cold pressed, organic olive oil for maximum benefits.
The muscadine grape are one of the first grapes found in America. Scientists have found they are loaded with more healthy compounds than other much touted foods such as blueberries, goji berries, green tea, red wine and dark chocolate. Muscadine grapes and their seeds are one of nature’s best sources of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Muscadine grapes not only have 10 times the antioxidants of blueberries and cranberries, they also contain unique combinations of other phenolic compounds, remarkable anti-inflammatory properties and combinations of over 100 nutraceuticals simply not found anywhere else including, resveratrol, ellagic acid, Quercetin and OPCs (oligmeric proanthocyanidins). Muscadine grapes lower cholesterol and heart disease, fight diabetes, and they are potent anti-cancer fighters.
Walnuts are an amazing food for anti-aging. They are filled with almost all the omega 3's you need each day. Just a quarter cup of walnuts will give you 95% of the omega-3s that are currently recommended. That will cost you just over 160 calories. A pretty good deal. Best of all, unlike fish oils, these omega-3s do not have the risk of mercury contaminations. Omega 3's help the brain and skin age well. Walnuts are good for your heart and lower cholesterol. They contain l-arginine. This amino acid helps the body produce nitric oxide, which is essential for healthy veins and arteries.
A nutritional powerhouse, soy is extremely high in protein. Soy foods (like all plants) do not have any cholesterol, and most are high in fiber. Eating fermented soy (not regular soy) reduces artery-clogging plaque, improves blood pressure, and promotes healthy blood vessels, which protects the body from free-radical damage, boosts the immune system, and lowers the risk of atherosclerosis, heart disease, and hypertension. A ton of research links soy consumption with a reduction in breast cancer and prostate cancer. Soy milk should be avoided. Non fermented soy contains phytic acid, blocking calcium absorption. Fermented soy includes tempeh, natto, miso, tamari, and tofu.
Modern research proves the anti aging properties of spinach, particularly in relation to age related mental decline, age related eye and vision conditions and age related skeletal (bone) degeneration. A study at Tufts University showed that spinach may be beneficial in retarding age-related central nervous system and cognitive behavioral deficits and perhaps may have some benefit in neurodegenerative disease. Spinach contains choline and inositol, the substances that help to prevent atherosclerosis or thickening and hardening of arteries, it is loaded with flavonoid that functions as antioxidant and anti-cancer agent, contains carotenoid that help fights cancer, rich source of Vitamins C, A and coenzyme Q10, good source of Vitamin K, which aids in the formation of the blood substance required for clotting of blood, and helps to stabilize blood sugar among diabetics. It also helps with Anemia, Tumors, Constipation, Insomnia, Obesity, Neuritis (inflammation of nerves), Nerve exhaustion, High blood pressure, Bronchitis, Colon cancer, Prostate cancer, Breast cancer, Osteoporosis, Dyspepsia (chronic indigestion), Also helps ailment of the kidneys, bladder and liver. Spinach is a powerful anti-ager, but due to it's high oxalate content, it should be eaten in moderation.
People who consume small amounts of whole grains every day have a lower risk of heart disease. Whole grains include brown rice, millet, quinoa, oats, and amaranth. Population research also suggests that whole grains help prevent colon, breast, and prostate cancer. The complex carbohydrates and fiber slow the release of blood sugar, providing a great slow-energy source. Sprout grains for maximum benefits.
All beans (a.k.a. legumes) are loaded with energizing complex carbohydrates, calcium, iron, folic acid, protein, B vitamins, zinc, potassium, and magnesium. Beans contain large amounts of both soluble and insoluble ﬁber, more than any other plant. The soluble fiber helps to reduce blood cholesterol levels and normalize blood sugar. Insoluble fiber helps regulate bowel movements (better than fiber from grains) and may play a role in preventing colon cancer. Beans are cheap, too. Lentils are top on the list for longevity beans. Soak beans overnight before cooking for maximum benefits.
No other type of food is as rich a source of minerals essential to maintaining and improving your health as sea vegetables. Because they don’t have roots like other plants, sea vegetables must absorb nutrients from the ocean water. Dark sea vegetables, such as arame, wakame, hijiki, and certain varieties of kelp, contain sodium alginate, which converts the heavy metals in your body into harmless sea salt, which you subsequently expel when you urinate. Regular consumption of sea vegetables may account for the low rates of cancer in Japan. Sea vegetables also contain a high level of iodine, which aids in weight loss and can lower the amount of radioactive iodine absorbed by the thyroid by as much as 80 percent. Too much iodine, however, may cause an inverse response in the thyroid. If you eat sushi, you are eating nori, which is a sea vegetable exceptionally high in protein and vitamin A, as well as other vitamins, including vitamin K, iodine, and potassium. Dried sea vegetables can be added to cooked foods to impart a salt ﬂavor or eaten as a snack. Becoming familiar with sea vegetables and eating them every chance you get could add a few years to your life.
The medicinal qualities of cabbage are so significant that it is a wonder you don’t need a prescription to buy one. Cabbage is high in ﬁber, vitamin A, and all the usual minerals. Eating cabbage stimulates the immune system, kills bacteria and viruses, inhibits the growth of cancerous cells, protects against tumors, helps control hormone levels, improves blood ﬂow, and even boosts your sex drive. Eat enough and it will speed up the metabolism of estrogen and thereby reduce the risk of breast cancer and inhibit the growth of polyps in the colon. Studies have shown that eating cabbage once a week can reduce the risk of colon cancer by 60 percent. In its raw form, especially as a juice, cabbage contains ascorbigen—sometimes referred to as “vitamin U,” in recognition of its ability to heal and protect against stomach ulcers.
Kale, the richest of all leafy greens, might even have more medicinal qualities than cabbage. As with cabbage, eating kale helps regulate estrogen and wards off many forms of cancer, including breast cancer, bowel cancer, bladder cancer, prostate cancer, and lung cancer. It also protects against heart disease and helps you regulate your blood pressure. The calcium in kale is more absorbable by the body than calcium in milk—and there is more of it. Kale is sometimes called the “wonder food” because eating enough of it protects against osteoporosis, arthritis, and bone loss.
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