Anti-aging food makes a difference

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

A great deal of research has been done about food and its effect on your health and your sense of well being. And some of the newest research runs counter to many popular beliefs. For example, many people believe that lean meat, dairy products (especially yogurt) and vegetables are the best foods as we move through middle age. But scientist now tell us that there are better food choices than these old standbys. 

To know which foods are best, we need to understand: 

1.The Free Radical Theory of Aging and                                      

2. The new ORAC way of classifying foods.

The Free radical theory of aging

Most longevity experts say that free radicals are the main cause of aging. So we need to understand what a 'free radical"is.

A free radical is a molecule of oxygen that has an 'extra' or' free' electron . This free electron leaves the molecule unstable (and nothing in science likes unstability) so the molecule seeks out another molecule to pair with so it can become stable.  But when any free radical bonds to another molecule, it causes proteins and some other important molecules not function as they should. The instability sets up a 'chain reaction' that damages  cells.                                                                     Now, that is an over simplified description of 'free radical'.  And if you really want to understand a full scientific exposition of the Free radical theory of aging just click this link: Free radical Theory of Aging

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Role of anti-oxidants with free radicals

Scientists believe that anti-oxidants can protect the body from damage 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 your anti-aging diet.

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. A High ORAC rating means that a food has high anti-oxidant potential so it is a good Anti-Aging food. High ORAC rated foods form the core of any anti-aging food plan. 


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. Note that the ORAC number is for 1 cup of the fruit listed: 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; one black plum  4844; other kinds of plums are 4118 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.

Those are your best Anti-aging food choices. If you are serious about following an anti-aging diet, you want to include many high Orac foods in your diet. 

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


Many scientists  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 http://www.holisticmed.com/ge/

If you live in Europe, you have little problem because the rules about what sort of food can be sold are stricter than countries such as  the United States. In countries where chemical pesticides and genetically engineered food is common, many persons interested in following an anti-aging diet will pay a bit more to eat organic foods only.

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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