Make an antioxidant-rich diet a part of your life.
It’s no secret that proper diet – one rich in whole foods that
deliver essential vitamins and minerals – has been shown to
battle everything from cancer to the common cold. And for those
eager to achieve and maintain good health, a balanced,
nutritious diet is just part of the equation. But – as many may
not realize – diet also plays a significant role in the aging
process. Subsequently, a comprehensive and consistent antiaging
diet can allow you to live a longer, much healthier life.
Life expectancy has certainly increased throughout the
centuries, due in part to advances in medicine and technology.
But, as researchers learn more and more about the effects of
certain foods on the body, we, as consumers, have followed suit
– integrating healthier choices into our lives while minimizing
or even eliminating less healthy foods. An antiaging diet makes
use of the best in the foods available to use while avoiding
those foods that work against the natural processes of our
The human body relies on billions and billions of tiny cells
that work together to perform all the functions we take for
granted. Cells – like stars in the sky – die; and in their
place new cells are formed. We have a direct impact on the
health of these new cells. Cells that are exposed to poor diet,
chemicals, environmental pollutants, and so forth, are
compromised and tend to be weaker than their previous
counterparts. These unhealthy cells can easily fall victim to
free radicals – unstable molecules in the body – and,
consequently a host of diseases.
But if we empower these cells with an antiaging diet that
includes proper nutrition they will have the tools necessary to
keep themselves healthy and working at optimum levels.
An antiaging diet is largely based on common sense. First and
foremost, increase your intake of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Concentrate on green, leafy vegetables or those with deep color
to them – spinach, kale, carrots – and eat a variety of all
different types. Specific vegetables contain high levels of
antioxidants. And all vegetables have a variety of vitamins and
minerals to keep your body healthy. There are those fruits that
contain antioxidants as well – apricots, watermelon, and
berries – and fruits of all varieties contain nutrients found
to fight heart disease and a myriad of illnesses.
Here are some good food sources of the four most studied antioxidants:
- Vitamin C — Also called ascorbic acid, vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin found in all body fluids, so it may be one of our first lines of defense. This powerful antioxidant cannot be stored by the body, so it’s important to get some regularly — not a difficult task if you eat fruits and vegetables. Important sources include citrus fruits, green peppers, broccoli, green leafy vegetables, strawberries, raw cabbage and potatoes.
- Vitamin E — A fat-soluble vitamin that can be stored with fat in the liver and other tissues, vitamin E is promoted for a range of purposes — from delaying aging to healing sunburn. While it’s not a miracle worker, it’s another powerful antioxidant. Important sources include wheat germ, nuts, seeds, whole grains, green leafy vegetables, vegetable oil and fish-liver oil.
- Beta-carotene — The most studied of more than 600 different carotenoids that have been discovered, beta-carotene protects dark green, yellow and orange vegetables and fruits from solar radiation damage. It is thought that it plays a similar role in the body. Carrots, squash, broccoli, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, kale, collards, cantaloupe, peaches and apricots are particularly rich sources of beta-carotene.
- Selenium — This mineral is thought to help fight cell damage by oxygen-derived compounds and thus may help protect against cancer. It is best to get selenium through foods, as large doses of the supplement form can be toxic. Good food sources include fish, shellfish, red meat, grains, eggs, chicken and garlic. Vegetables can also be a good source if grown in selenium-rich soils.
Eating a well-rounded antiaging diet rich in whole foods,
fruits, vegetables, complex carbohydrates, and protein – such
as lean meats and raw nuts – will ensure that you have all that
you need. But ensuring that you avoid what you don’t need is
just as important. Minimize your intake of fatty, greasy, and
Just a little bit of effort on your part, your antiaging diet
will find you looking and feeling better and will put you well
on your way to enjoying a long and healthy life.
For easy to understand, in depth information
about antiaging visit the ezGuide 2
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