In the mid 90’s scientists in both England and the United States publicly declared that obesity accelerates aging. Being overweight though is not the only factor that can impact longevity. Some nutritional scientists believe all of us; no matter what our current weight, can live longer, if only we adjusted our diets.
Research shows that poor diets can increase your risk of disease and as a result speed up the aging process. On the flip-side good foods can improve your health and act as an anti-aging mechanism. Today there is mounting evidence to suggest there are certain foods, including specific fruits and vegetables that promote longevity.
The Staples of Anti-Aging
Americans spend millions of dollars every day on creams, lotions, and potions in an effort to fight aging. Scientists say they really don’t have to look beyond their local market to find anti-aging staples; approaches that not only refresh and rejuvenate the skin but are good for our internal systems as well. Fruits and vegetables are high in flavonoids and carotenoids; two powerful plant-based antioxidants. They can remove free radicals from our skin and body that cause us to age prematurely.
Green Fruits and Vegetables for Longevity
Green vegetables are at the top of the list in terms of longevity. They are packed with vitamins, minerals and fiber, not to mention they are low in calories. Kale, Spinach, Broccoli and Brussel Sprouts are examples of good greens. Although they are higher in calories, avocadoes are also considered an anti-aging food. Nutritionists say diets should include avocadoes because they are one of the most nutrient-dense foods. They are high in fiber and full of folate, potassium, vitamin E, and magnesium.
Specific Longevity Foods
When it comes to fruits and vegetables there are many that fit into the longevity category so if you don’t like a particular vegetable for example, chances are you will be able to find others high in flavonoids and carotenoids that you will enjoy. In terms of fruit, many are packed with essential vitamins but some stand out as being extra powerful. Oranges have a lot of vitamin C to keep our immune system healthy and they also have limonoids and phytochemicals which have been linked to disease protection. Melons have both vitamins and antioxidants in them. Although many people overlook pomegranates as a super fruit, the seeds do contain an antioxidant that some researchers suggest may decrease the risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer. There are also fruits that offer anti-inflammatory properties, such as red grapes.
Protein and Your Diets – Why This is So Important in Anti-Aging Efforts
We have known for a long time that beans are high in protein and fiber; however, more nutritional science is saying that some varieties are also high in antioxidants and are like eating grapes, cranberries and apples. In recent studies, black beans came out on top with the most antioxidant power.
Dr. T Colin Campbell is a Nutritional Scientist and professor emeritus at Cornell University. He believes that plant-based diets can prevent 70 to 80 percent of existing, symptomatic disease. Campbell is the author of “The China Study”, one of the most comprehensive studies of nutrition ever written. He has said that cutting down on “animal based protein” will lead to better health and longevity. The doctor cites animal carcinogens as one of his arguments for limiting animal protein.
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Fish – The Anti-Aging Connection
There is a lot of evidence to indicate that omega-3 fatty acids provide many health benefits. It has been associated with good cardiovascular health, the regulation of blood flow, good postnatal neurological development, the reduction of inflammation, and even the promotion of healthy skin. Fish is packed with omega-3. Below is a list of fish with the most omega-3 content:
- Lake Trout
- Sturgeon, Atlantic
- Tuna, Albacore
For those of us who like to snack there is good news. Various nuts are considered an excellent source of phytochemicals; however not all nuts are alike. Studies show the best choice is walnuts because they are very high in antioxidants. Brazil nuts are also a good choice. They are a concentrated source of mineral selenium.
While there aren’t any sugary snacks and salty foods on longevity lists, there are a lot of choices when it comes to following an anti-aging regiment. Our diets can still be filled with a variety of foods we can enjoy, while keeping us healthy for a long time.