The top 10 anti-aging power foods that are listed below have been proven to help boost brainpower, help prevent some cancers, and improve immune system functioning. Incorporating these foods into an everyday diet is crucial for graceful and healthy aging.
Benefits from Eating Power Foods:
- Reduced cancer risk
- Reduced risk of heart disease
- Healthy immune system
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Lower blood pressure and cholesterol
Studies show that people who eat more brightly colored fruits and green leafy vegetables have less cognitive decline than those who do not. Eating foods full of antioxidants help combat free radicals and protect brain neurons from damage.
Tips for increasing the power of anti-aging foods:
- Eat unprocessed foods when possible
- Add fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables to meals
- Eat darkly colored fruits and vegetables
- Eat 100% whole grains
- Add olive oil to dressings and use it as dipping sauce
Top 10 Anti-Aging Power Foods
Blueberries– These delicious dark colored berries are a great source of antioxidants and dietary fiber. They help fight free radical damage that is linked to heart disease and cancer. Blueberries also help boost brainpower and help ward off urinary tract infections.
Avocados– This yummy fruit is a good source of healthy fats that help reduce LDL, the bad type of cholesterol. Avocados are a great source of vitamin E, which helps maintain healthy skin and helps pre- vent skin aging. They are also rich in potassium which helps control fluid retention and high blood pressure.
Walnuts– These nuts are rich in several important minerals such as potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc, and copper. These minerals can enhance the functioning of your digestive and immune systems. Walnuts are also a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. Walnuts have also been shown to improve your skin, help prevent cancer, and help control cholesterol levels. (Be aware of eating nuts of you have any chewing or digestive problems. Check with your doctor)
Whole grains– Sources of whole grains include 100 % whole wheat, brown rice, corn, buckwheat, spelt, and wild rice. Whole grains are full of fiber which helps fight against obesity, cancer, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and heart disease.
Olive Oil– This oil is full of monounsaturated fat and vitamin E. It is known to help lower cholesterol and boosts the immune system. It also contains polyphenols (powerful antioxidants) which may prevent age-related diseases.
Sweet Potatoes– These orange potatoes are a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, and potassium. As an antioxidant food, its healing properties help prevent the development of chronic conditions such as heart disease and cancer.
Fish– This food is abundant in omega-3 fats. These specific fats help prevent cholesterol buildup in arteries and they help protect against abnormal heart rhythms. The nutrients in fish can also help joints and could help prevent macular degeneration.
Dark Chocolate– Cocoa is very rich in flavonoids that act as antioxidants, which help preserve the healthy function of blood vessels. Dark chocolate can also help lower blood pressure and lower cholesterol. Dark chocolate with a 65% or higher cocoa content provides the most benefits.
Tomatoes– This red fruit contains a red pigment called lycopene, a very powerful antioxidant. Lycopene has been proven to help prevent prostate cancer. Tomatoes also have large amounts of vitamin C, vitamin A, and potassium. These compounds have been shown to help prevent several other types of cancers including colon, stomach, lung, and breast cancers.
Broccoli– This is the vegetable that packs the most punch nutritionally. It is a good source of calcium, folic acid, fiber, vitamin C, and vitamin A. It has specifically been shown to help prevent lung, colon, and breast cancers. It is recommended to eat this vegetable several times a week or even once a day to reap its full benefits.
Breakfast: Blueberry-Walnut Oatmeal, V8 Juice
Snack: Berry Mix of strawberries, blueberries, & blackberries
Lunch: Turkey, Tomato, & Avocado on 100% whole grain Bread
Snack: Whole grain baguette dipped in herbed olive oil
Dinner: Salsa roasted salmon with sweet potato fries and steamed broccoli
Ways to incorporate these foods into your diet:
- Add fruits & vegetables to every meal.
- Keep your calorie and saturated fat intake low.
- Replace white carbohydrates with 100% whole grain options.
- Keep a handful of nuts on hand in case hunger strikes.
- Limit processed foods and excess sugar.
- Include frozen fruits and vegetables in your diet. They last longer than the fresh ones.
References: Seniors and Food Safety. Nutrition Education for September 2009. Produced by Meals On Wheels, Inc. of Tarrant County by Brittney van Leeuwen, a nutrition intern for Sherry Simon, R.D./L.D. For questions regarding nutritional information, please contact Sherry Simon, R.D./L.D., Director of Nutrition Services for Meals on Wheels, Inc. Tarrant Country at (817) 336-0912.