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Research shows that certain foods can lessen the degree to which the effects of ageing show. Stem the years with a well-balanced diet and an active lifestyle. Here’s how.
Eat more tomatoes
Tomatoes are a rich source of lycopene – a powerful antioxidant that protects against coronary hear disease and cancer – especially cancer of the lung, stomach, mouth or colon.
Add garlic and ginger to your cooking
Garlic has antioxidants, antiseptic, antibacterial and antiviral properties and can reduce high blood pressure, lower HDL (bad fats) cholesterol and triglycerides, reduce blood stickiness and dilate blood vessels. It is also helpful in treating intestinal, respiratory and skin infections. It is believed that eating a clove of garlic a day helps to protect the body against cancer and heart disease.
Replace two meat dishes per week with soybean alternatives
Complete protein and low in fat, soybeans (i.e tofu, edamame beans and legumes) contain isoflavones that help to prevent ageing due to hormone imbalances. Soy may protect against breast and prostate cancers, Alzheimer’s, osteoporosis and heart disease. Soy helps to maintain oestrogen levels in menopausal women too.
Detox with berries
All black and blue berries such as blackberries, blueberries, blackcurrant and black grapes contain phytochemicals, powerful antioxidants.
Snack on nuts and seeds instead of high sugar foods
Nuts and seeds are rich in vitamin E, potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc, copper, selenium and essential fatty acids like omega-3 fatty acids (food for your skin!). Eat a handful, about 30 g daily. Note the nutritional details of nuts and seeds as some have a higher fat content than others.
Complete breakfast with a low fat yoghurt drink
Yogurt (and yoghurt drinks like laban) help to boost immunity and improve digestion and the absorption of nutrients from the gut.
Sweeten food with honey
The research carried out in 2007 on rats at the University of Waikato in Hamilton, New Zealand revealed that honey could be used to combat the effects of ageing, including memory decline and anxiety. Researcher Nicola Starkey says: “Diets sweetened with honey may be beneficial in decreasing anxiety and improving memory during ageing.” Honey contains natural sugar so will help to satisfy your sweet cravings too.
Get out more
Alright, it’s not a food, but sunshine is good for you. Elderly people are at risk of developing heart disease and diabetes due to a vitamin D deficiency as a result of natural aging process. They can reduce their risk by spending more time in the sunshine to boost vitamin D in the skin, as revealed by the study done by Dr Oscar Franco at Warwick Medical School and published in Diabetes Care Journal 2009.
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