In today’s society there is a lot of focus on aging well. It is no secret that humans are living longer than our ancestors, in part due to the innovations over the generations in medicine and health care, but also because we as a people are more concerned with health and fitness.
More than ever before people are really making the connection that we really are what we eat. People are more conscious of how food is being produced and their processing methods and are making better, more informed choices about why and what we are putting in our bodies.
Study after study has confirmed that inflammation is one of the primary causes of disease in the human body. The result of these studies has led to a revolution of sorts in modern medicine’s approach to better health by the incorporation of holistic regimens and western medicine, and eating healthy antioxidant rich foods is a huge part of the revolution. Simply knowing what foods benefit our bodies most and what type foods can hurt us has transformed how people think about food and their eating habits. Health conscious people today want to avoid disease causing dietary hazards to live a longer and disease free life, especially those who are fifty and older.
So if you are in fact over fifty or simply wanting a healthier life, here is a list of disease fighting, preventative, and even healing “superfoods” to add to your daily menu:
- Oatmeal – Oatmeal can be a healthy start to your day, its high in soluble fiber which can lower cholesterol, high in protein and iron and when you add some fresh fruit like blueberries it really kicks up the antioxidants, vitamins and minerals count.
- Pears – This sweet delicate fruit is bottom heavy in antioxidants, it contains minerals and vitamins C, folic acid, potassium, is high in soluble fiber, lowering cholesterol and known to reduce the risk of colon cancer.
- Blueberries – This tasty fruit is packed with antioxidants, the mineral manganese, and contains vitamins K and C. It is high in soluble fiber which can lower the rate of glucose released and therefore assist is stabilizing blood sugar levels as well as reducing your cholesterol.
- Apples – You probably know the old adage an apple a day keeps the doctor away, well its true! Apples also contain antioxidants, a great source of vitamin C and potassium. Just as blueberries, apples contain soluble fiber and will help lower cholesterol and regulate blood sugar levels too.
- Salmon – You’ll be swimming in antioxidants with this tasty fish, but it’s most appreciated for its high omega-3 fatty acids. This “superfood” can significantly reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke with its blood pressure lowering qualities while building brain cell membranes reducing your risk for Alzheimer’s.
- Broccoli – This bright green veggie will give you a lot of bang for your buck, pun intended, but don’t miss out on all it healing properties. Broccoli is packed with fiber and antioxidants, it also contains B9 (folic acid) and vitamins K, A and C; meaning this delicious dish will help strengthen and keep healthy your immune system, red blood cell production, tissue, bones and eyes.
- Fava (broad) Beans – Beans seem always to be the butt of jokes, so lets just get toot the facts! Fava beans are cholesterol free and low in fat, they are nutrient rich with the minerals iron, potassium and manganese. Naturally they are high in fiber and contain vitamins B, thiamin, riboflavin and folic acid making them an excellent source of healing antioxidants.
- Butternut Squash – This pleasingly mild flavored vegetable is teeming with beta-carotene which helps maintain healthy eyes (vision) and vitamin C, and its high fiber content adds to its healthy heart appeal by aiding in reducing cholesterol and helping regulate blood sugar levels.
- Asparagus – This amazing green stalk is an outstanding antioxidant! Asparagus contains high amounts of lycopene which studies have shown reduces the risk of prostrate cancer, it also is high in fiber, contains vitamin A, protein and iron. Wow, hard to believe a little green spear can strengthen your immune system, improve eye health, promote a healthy heart, lower your cholesterol and help protect against prostrate cancer, but then again the Jolly Green Giant is an asparagus isn’t he?
- Kale – This green leafy vegetable is very versatile, it’s a popular choice for those who like to juice because of its powerful antioxidant compounds such as lutein, an important promoter of good eye health. Kale also has vitamin K and the key omega 3 fatty acids, which is essential in blood clotting and heart health. Its high fiber cholesterol lowering content also contains abundant amounts of bone building calcium. Don’t miss out on kale cooked or eaten raw too, delicious.
- Coffee – Amazing results from numerous clinical studies have brought coffee on to the list of “superfoods” (although technically a drink) we want to consume daily. Recent meta-analysis study results have found that drinking coffee improves cognitive function and may reduce the risk of liver cancer, liver disease, type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, depression, fatal heart attack and strokes, infection and not surprisingly even accidents and injuries, so keep that antioxidant pot brewing.
- Cocktails – According to a ten year study conducted by the British Journal of Medicine women who drank three or more alcoholic beverages a week lessened their chances of developing rheumatoid arthritis by almost fifty percent.
- Olive Oil – Using olive oil in your food preparation in place of other fats or oils can be extremely beneficial. Olive oil is rich in antioxidants that can promote healthy skin; it is high in monosaturated fats known to reduce cholesterol, thus reducing your risk of heart disease and helping to regulate blood sugar levels. Also, olive oil is rich in vitamins E and K which are known for their abilities in aiding blood clotting and promoting red blood cell production.
Incorporating these and many other “superfoods” into your daily diet is not only great dining, but can greatly improve your mood, disposition, current health and even change the outlook of your health in the future through the preventive properties they possess … eat well and live long.