Anti-aging foods - health & longevity

Anti-aging foods. What we eat has so much to do with how we feel and how long we live. In recent years scientists have found that some foods promote longevity...others can shorten our lives. But more than that, we now know that some food enable us to age with better health, more stamina and sharper minds. Other foods can lead to serious cognitive and health issues as we age. So over the last few years I have been reading research studies about diet for those wanting good health and a sharp mind as they age.  Here is a summary of what I have found.

What are the best anti-aging foods?

I began reseaching the topic of best foods some years ago.  There are more and more studies being done on the relationship between the food we eat, how we age and how long we live.  Now we know that our genes affect our longevity. That is something we can not change. But research shows that our diet...what we eat each day has a lot to do with how healthy we are and how long we live. So here is a list of 11 things that can add to your longevity. I call them the best anti-aging foods. 

1.Eat food that is free of pesticides. The best choice is organically grown food that is free of pesticides and has not had any Genetic (GMO) engineering.  I realize that GMO foods are not allowed in Europe but they are widespread in the United States.  If you live where you can not get organic produce, be sure to wash any frutis and vegetabes with vinegar before using.  

 In May 2008 National Public Radio advised us to rinse all fruits and vegetables using one part vinegar or lemon juice to three parts water. (Do not use soap or detergents to wash food.)                        They also advised us to be sure to rinse  all fresh food even if we are going to peel it. Use a scrub brush. Remove bruised or damaged areas that you can see since bacteria can thrive in those spots. When you have finished washing your produce, dry it with a clean cloth or paper towel. This can wipe off even more bacteria.

2. If you want an anit-aging diet, raw nuts and seeds are excellent choices. You can use them in salads.I sometimes sprinkle some organic sunflower seeds on top of mashed potatoes. 

3.Remember that organic fruits are good Anti-aging foods becase they combat any damage caused by  free radicals. An apple, pear or even a kiwi makes a good dessert or a between meal snack.

4.Green leafy vegetables - raw is best but even cooked ones are a good choice. 

5.Brown rice - especially if it has been soaked overnight before cooking. This is a good l anti-aging food.

6.Olive oil! Buy 'first pressed' or extra virgin olive oil. It is a bit more expensive but well worth the money. Try olive oil grown in different countries. Greek olive oil, for example, has a different taste from that grown in Italy or Spain.                                          Special Note: Olive oil has been shown to help lower hypertension and helps with weight loss. Flax seed oil is also useful although you need to be sure it is fresh...has not gone rancid.  If you buy flax seed oil keep it refrigerated after opening AND if it develops a strong smell  that is a sign that it has gone rancid. Do NOT use rancid oils.

7.For dairy products use organic yogurt or cottage cheese. Both of these are 'alkaline' rather than acid as are most other dairy products. If you are lactose intolerant of course you need to avoid dairy products.

8.Beans are always a good choice - especially lentils. You can find lots of recepies that use lentils on line. Just do a web search.

9.For flesh use cold water fish - BUT be careful not to eat it too often. Most oceans are now seriously polluted and many cold water fish have mercury, lead or other toxic chemicals. Farmed fish are not much better. Studies have shown that farmed fish have contaminates. 

10.Spices. You can not go wrong using Turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, oregano, basil and cayenne pepper in anti-aging meals.  Sprinkle spices on everything. Add some to sandwiches. Instead of a salt celler but some spices on the table. Sprinkle spices on your vegetables. Use olive oil as a dipping sauce instead of butter, and add a spice to the olive oil. Experiment. This can be a real adventure!

11.Cinnamon is a spice but it deserves a special listing. Why? Cinnamon has more anti-oxidants per ounce than any other food! Yes.  Keep a shaker of oraganicly grown cinnamon on your table. Add cinnimon to desserts or drinks. Put it on cereals.  Buy soem stick cinnimon and put in your cup of tea or glass of milk. Oh, and   recent studies show that cinnamon has properties that make it very useful for those with insulin resistance or diabetes. Cinnamon is one of your best Anti-aging foods!  Again, organic  is best.

    You can read more on this topic at Anti-aging foods: main page    If you want a list of foods that will make you age BEFORE your time, you can read them at Food and aging: what foods to avoid

Please consider helping other readers

 Many of us really need help preparing anti-aging meals. It is so easy as we age to just open an package and heat up some commercial frozen food meal. But packaged meals are often loaded with salt or sugar or they often use unheathy fats.                            If you like to cook and would be willing to share a favorite dish - one which features some anti-aging foods, please use the form below.  I know that many readers - especially those who are now cooking for 1 instead of a whole family would be grateful.