Wednesday Wellness: Anti-Aging Super Foods

When we eat a meal, do we wonder, “Is what I am eating going to make my body feel great and function well?”  Maybe some of you think that, but I bet most just wonder how it’s going to taste! Here are 10 popular foods that are GOOD for you…any why! Think about what you are eating next meal and consider if they are rock stars of the nutrition world, or foods which will cause destruction quickly!

10 of the best Anti-Aging Super foods:

Blueberries

These are the most super of the super foods. They are little exploding bombs of nutrients, packed with bioflavonoid, a type of antioxidant that is said to strengthen artery walls and maintain the structure of the skin. They contain anti-cancer and anti-aging properties, and can help to lower cholesterol. Sprinkle them on porridge or cereal for a power breakfast. As a side note, ALL berries are fabulous for you.

Broccoli

A powerhouse source of iron, broccoli is the king of vegetables. Absolutely packed with bioflavonoid, it is top of the list of anti-cancer vegetables, and has been shown to protect against breast and prostate cancer. Use it steamed or in stir- fries. A close second to broccoli would be brussels sprouts, cauliflower and asparagus.

Tomatoes

A source of lycopene, which can help to fight prostate cancer in particular, as it mops up the free radicals that cause damage to body tissue. The body absorbs lycopene more efficiently if the tomatoes are cooked, so use freely in soups and sauces. Tinned tomatoes are an excellent source of lycopene, as they have already been cooked.

Oily Fish

Oily fish, such as salmon, mackerel, tuna and sardines are top sources of Omega-3 fatty acids. These are absolutely the “in” nutrients of the moment, said to help lower the risk of blood clots, and the buildup of fatty deposits on arteries. However, it is the suggestion that Omega-3 improves brainpower that has been causing a stir, and experiments have shown a marked improvement in the concentration of school children who have been given Omega-3 supplements. Parents are now being advised to make sure their children have adequate Omega-3 in their diets. Look for WILD fish vs. farmed in most cases.

Garlic

For centuries garlic has been renowned for its healing properties. It is also a powerful antioxidant, and is considered one of the best natural remedies for colds and flu. Garlic has also been shown to help reduce high cholesterol levels. For best results, eat garlic raw, if you dare! Or simply use freely in cooking.

Brazil Nuts

Brazil nuts are considered high in fat, but this is unsaturated fat, considered to be the “good” fat. They are an excellent source of the antioxidant selenium, which neutralizes free radicals in the body. Just two or three Brazil nuts a day will provide you with adequate levels of selenium.

Avocado

Another super food considered being high in fat; but again, we are talking about the beneficial monounsaturated fat. Nutritionally, avocados are almost a complete meal in themselves, containing high levels of many vitamins, especially vitamins E and C.

Olive Oil

Favorite anti-aging ingredient of the Mediterranean diet which has proved to be so beneficial in improving blood vessel function, and maintaining a healthy heart. It is rich in monounsaturated fats which help lower cholesterol levels. Recently it has been found that extra virgin olive oil contains an anti-inflammatory compound, which may help people with arthritis. Use freely as a salad dressing and in cooking.

Honey or Bee Pollen

Honey, like garlic, has been a super food before the term had even been invented! It has powerful antibacterial and healing properties. Manuka honey, a specialist honey from bees that feed on the flowers of the manuka tree has been found to be effective as a topical dressing in the treatment of wounds and infections. It has been used to cure difficult wounds like leg ulcers when conventional treatment has failed. If choosing Bee Pollen, look for “local” for the most benefits.

Bananas

A meal in a skin! Exceptionally high in minerals, bananas provide potassium, and good carbohydrates. They are the chosen snack for athletes and anyone engaging in vigorous physical activity as they help to maintain energy levels.