Anti-aging food can make a difference

Anti-aging food can enhance your health, your energy, and you mental fitness.  The right diet can slow many of the changes that are the marks of growing old.

here has been a great deal of research about food and its effect on health and well being. Many people assume that lean meat, dairy products (especially yogurt) and vegetables are the best foods as we move thrugh middle age. But scientist now tell us that we can make even better choices than these.

To understand which foods are best we need to understand two things:                                                                                1.The Free Radical Theory of Aging and                                      

2. ORAC, a new way scientists classifying foods.

The Free radical theory of aging

Most longevity experts now say that free radicals are the main cause of aging. So what is a 'free radical"? A free radical is a molecules of oxygen that have an 'extra' or free electron . This free electron leaves the molecule unstable and so it seeks out another molecule that it can pair with so it can become stable. When any free radical bonds to another molecule, it causes proteins and other important molecules to not function as they should.

So it sets up a 'chain reaction' that damages the cells of our body. That is an over simplified description of 'free radicals'.  If you want to read a solid scientific exposition of the theory just click on: Free radical Theory of Aging


The role of anti-oxidants

It is believed that anti-oxidants can protect the body from tdamage caused by free radicals. By preventing damage by free radicals, these antioxidants keep our bodies young and healthy. This is why antioxidants are so important in an anti-aging diet.

Some agencies in the United States developed a scale that rates the antioxidant content of various food. This antioxidant rating scale is called the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity or ORAC for short.High ORAC ratings means a food has high anti-oxidant potential and so it rates as a good Anti-aging food. These high ORAC foods form the core of any eating plan that aims to include anti-aging food. 

Highlights from the USDA ORAC list:

Here are some foods that are high on the ORAC list. Every one of them should have a place in any anti-aging diet.  Instead of putting them in alphbetical order, I have placed then in ORAC order. Those with the highest rankings go first.

First on the list is Cinnamon. 100 grams of ground cinnamon has an Orac rating of 267,536! Longevity experts have long suggested including cinnamon in our diet. You can easily add some every day. Sprinkle some cinnamonn on an apple,banana or other fruit. Add cinnamon to your dessert or put some in a hot drink or cold milk.  It is one of the strongest anti-aging foods you will find.

Beans. A half cup (dried beans) of small Red Beans has a score of 13727 , Red kidney beans  has a score of 13259 , Pinto beans 11864 and Black beans 4181. Beans are a great addition to salads and they make a nice 'side' with eggs as well being an good ingredient for soup.  

Fruits are next. Each ORAC number is for 1 cup of the fruit. Wild blueberry is #1 with ORAC of 13427; Cultivated blueberry is 9019; Cranberry 8983, Blackberry 7701, Prunes (½ cup )7291 ; Raspberry 6058; Strawberry 5938; Red Delicious apple (one whole apple) 5900 ; Granny Smith apple is 5381 ; A cup of Sweet cherries 4873; a black plum 1 plum 4844 ; other plums have 4118 each and a Gala apple has a rating of 3903.

Artichoke hearts 1 cup, cooked 7904; an ounce of Pecans is 5095 and a single cooked Russet potato is 4649.

These are your best Anti-aging food choices. If you are serious about following an anti-aging diet, you will be sure to include high Orac foods in your diet.  You can obtain the FDA complete ORAC listing at The FDA ORAC scale

Of course this list presupposes that the fruits and vegetables are fresh and that they pesticide free. Natural organic is best since organic foods have no toxic chemicals.

Many scientists also advise against using genetically modified foods. Here is a short list of common products with the GE ingredient in ( ). Coca Cola (corn syrup and/or Aspartame), Fritos (corn), Green Giant Harvest Burgers (soy), McDonald's French Fries (potatoes), Nestle's chocolates (soy), Karo Corn Syrup (corn), NutraSweet (Aspartame), Kraft Salad Dressings (canola oil), Fleishmann's margarine (soy), Similac Infant Formula (soy), Land o Lakes butter (rBGH), Cabot Creamery Butter (rBGH).

Source: Genetically-Engineered Food Dangers at

 If you live in Europe, you have little problem because the rules about what sort of food can be sold are stricter than in the United States and some other countries. In countries where chemical pesticides and geneticly engineered food is commmon, many persons interested in anti-aging diet are willing to pay a bit more so as to eat organic foods.

If you are serious about longevity and keeping early signs of aging at bay, you are likely to be willing to pay a bit more for your food so as to include anti-aging items in your diet. And of coure you will be sure to avoid toxic chemicals and foods that are  genetically engineered.

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