Monday, 30 April 2012
Top foods to keep you young
Most of us are keen to stay looking as fresh and young as possible, and although there's no way to pause or turn back the clock, there are few age-proof strategies we can employ to make sure we stay looking good. Maintaining a healthy and well-balanced diet is one approach, and the good news is that there are some foods that are thought to give you extra ammunition when it comes to combating the signs of aging.
1. Green tea: There is no end to the benefits of this super drink; green tea boasts a wealth of benefits that earns it the top spot in our anti-aging food list. Green tea is believed to help regulate blood pressure, lower blood sugar, boost the immune system, lower cholesterol and studies have even shown that green tea can be effective at preventing cancer. That's as close to the elixir of life as you can get.
2. Leafy greens: Whilst eating spinach won't be enough to turn you into Popeye, it's certainly excellent for boosting the body's immunity from illness. Spinach and other leafy foods like kale and collard are high in folate which is vital in preventing DNA and blood vessel damage. If you can maintain a healthy circulatory system you are reducing your risk of developing conditions such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, kidney disease and dementia.
3. Dark chocolate: Who would have thought this sweet treat would feature in an anti-aging list, but the good news is chocolate can help fight against some signs of aging due to its cocoa content. Cocoa is rich in a group of antioxidants called Flavinoids which help preserve healthy function of the blood vessels. And healthy youthful circulatory system lowers risk of high blood pressure, type II diabetes, kidney disease and dementia. Don't go overboard though, a square a day is a good guide and make sure you go for the over 70 per cent cocoa bars.
4. Soy products: Like fish, soy products such as tofu are also a great alternative source of protein than red meat or even dairy, since they have little or no saturated fat. A diet that's low in saturated fat will reduce your risk of developing heart disease and lower blood pressure. As a staple part of the Japanese diet, soy products are great at helping keep down cholesterol and are a useful addition to to a healthy diet.
5. Yogurt: Judging from their frequently bad press, you might assume that all forms of bacteria are out to get you. Thankfully, this couldn't be further from the truth. 'Good' bacteria is great for regulating the immune system, by increasing its antibodies and preventing the rise of pathogenic organisms like salmonella and E.coli. Many yoghurts include a high volume of 'good' bacteria that help maintain gut health and diminish the incidence of age-related intestinal illness. Yogurt is also rich in calcium, which can help stave off osteoporosis.
6. Red wine: A glass of red wine adds up a good dose of anti-aging elements including polyphenol antioxidants, minerals, and resveratrol. Resveratrol which helps to increase 'good cholesterol' levels in the body and prevents blood clotting and a healthy circulatory system. Resveratrol found in red wine may also be beneficial for women during the menopause by reducing the risk for conditions for example breast cancer and osteoporosis that result from reduced oestrogen levels. Like the chocolate, it's not carte blanche to guzzle as much as you want; we suggest a standard glass every other day is a good approach.
7. Water: Few people — whether active or not — drink sufficient water, and side effects of even slight dehydration include headaches, fatigue and low concentration levels. Yet increasing fluid intake can increase energy levels, aid digestion, give skin a boost and help boost your anti-aging armoury. Concentrate on drinking little and often throughout the day, being extra vigilant after exercise or when you've been confined in a dry, overheated or air-conditioned environment.