Anti Aging: Get Your Antioxidants

Anti Aging: Get Your Antioxidants

anti agingA healthy and anti aging diet is important at any age, but becomes critical, as you get older. The truth is that lifestyle diseases that stem from diet and lack of physical activity are killing us.
According to the Centers For Disease Control, almost 900,000 Americans die prematurely every year from lifestyle diseases, which include heart disease, stroke, and cancer and 20% to 40% of these deaths are preventable. More often than not, it is lifestyle choices that dictate these conditions.
The World Health Organization reports that lifestyle diseases account for a staggering 70% of all deaths, and that more than ever before diet and lack of physical activity is driving these numbers in both industrial regions and developing countries.
Aging is an inevitable process; it will happen regardless of what you do. However, there are ways you can take the process in hand that offer a bit of a “slow down” with anti aging of the process in order to avoid many preventable diseases that cause premature death.

The best place to start? By feeding your body with the foods, it needs to optimize performance and health.

The Single Best Way To Anti Aging – Consume Antioxidants

You would have likely heard the word antioxidant but may not fully understand what it means or what it does within the body. Let’s clear that up.

See, as we age, every single day of our lives we are exposed to oxidative damage. It is simply a fact of life. Cells and DNA become worn out the longer they exist, and eventually they are unable to replicate to 100%.

This is the process of aging taking place. Stress from everyday life just compounds oxidative damage, and can accelerate the aging process, exactly what we are trying to avoid.

Anti Aging Benefits Of Antioxidants

1. Prevents UV Damage From The Sun – damage from the sun can accelerate aging of the skin and result in cell mutations.

2. Boost Heart Health – can keep cholesterol levels within a normal range, clear blood vessels and promote normal heart rhythm.

3. Strengthens The Immune System – you become less susceptible to illnesses that sap away health, as well as more resistant to various types of cancer.

With that in mind, where are these antioxidants found? Luckily, in a variety of veggies and fruits, so for best health, and graceful aging, consider getting more of these in your diet:

Berries

Berries are among some of the fruits with highest antioxidant content, being able to positively boost health. Think of blueberries, strawberries, and cranberries as ones you should be getting more of.

Though not ideal to be consumed in mass amounts (due to sugar content) they do provide a massive dose of antioxidants, reducing pro-inflammatory compounds and slowing down hastened aging and they are also one of the lowest sugar fruits.

Cocoa

Cocoa has many more functions that making chocolate, as it is actually a health food. Rich in polyphenols, one of which is epicatechin, cocoa has a myriad of health benefits, including potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant ability. Cocoa is actually superior in antioxidant profile when compared with green tea or even red wine.

Cruciferous Veggies

Extremely rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients, cruciferous vegetables can help prevent cancer, improve blood lipid values and encourage the removal of waste from the body. Coupled with the fact that they’re excellent free radical scavengers, cruciferous vegetables can and should be consumed daily.

Brightly Colored Veggies/ Fruits

Think of carrots, bell peppers and citrus, all foods that contain high number of bioactive compounds. In terms of carrots, they contain high levels of Beta-carotene, a type of vitamin A that has super potent antioxidant abilities.

Coupled with the high Vitamin C levels of bell peppers and citrus, these fruits and veggies provide a massive anti aging effect in those who consume it. Tomatoes are also rich in lycopene, a rare antioxidant that is especially helpful to men’s health.

Conclusion

Antioxidants with their anti aging qualities are your best insurance against the rigors of aging. They help safeguard heart health, eye, and skin along with fortifying your immune system.

Consuming a mix of both fruits and vegetables ensures you get the widest spectrum of phytonutrients available to prevent lifestyle diseases and maintain a healthy weight.

Ten Healthy Eating Tips For Seniors

seniorsOur nutritional requirements change as we age. Here are ten ways seniors can ensure they maintain a healthy diet. 

1. Keep hydrated

As we age our awareness of thirst is actually reduced. As a result seniors may reduce their intake of fluids, particularly water as they just don’t feel very thirsty. In addition, our body’s ability to regulate its fluid balance is also lessened when we get older. Seniors sometimes also limit their intake of fluid as a way of managing urinary incontinence issues. All of these factors put seniors at risk of dehydration. Not drinking enough fluids can also result in urinary tract infections, constipation and even falls. One of the best ways to ensure adequate fluid intake is to have an allocated daily amount of water (6-8 glasses) in a large jug  in the fridge. Pouring a drink from this regularly through the day will allow seniors to track how much they are drinking. Seniors can also watch their caffeine intake as it has a diuretic effect.

2.Watch your kilojoules

As people age their metabolism slows and they lose muscle mass. They will, therefore, require less energy to carry out the same activities than previously. This means that if seniors continue to eat the same amount and type of food as before they will begin to gain weight as they are burning fewer kilojoules. The best way to combat these age related changes is to choose foods that are high in nutrients but low in saturated fat, salt and sugar. Seniors can choose wholegrain cereals/breads, vegetables, legumes/beans, fruits, reduced fat milk, yoghurt and cheese, lean meat, chicken and fish, eggs, nuts and seeds. They can also limit refined cereals/breads, sweetened drinks, fried foods, many take-away foods, processed meats, cakes and biscuits, pastries, chocolate, lollies and crisps.

3. Watch your salt

One of the most noticeable changes in our eating habits as we age is changes to our taste. Our ability to taste salty flavours diminishes quite considerably over time. This can lead to seniors adding extra salt to their cooking and/or at the table. As too much salt in our diets is linked to high blood pressure and heart disease it is important to try and limit our salt intake. Instead of adding extra salt to improve flavour seniors can try using garlic, herbs and spices instead. Seniors also need to be aware that many processed foods contain hidden salt, in particular cured meats, some breakfast cereals, sauces, canned vegetables, packet or tinned soups and gravy.

4. Watch your sweet tooth

Our ability to detect sugar also decreases over time which can lead to over indulging in sweet foods and/or over-sweetening cooking. The problem with many sweet foods (ie, chocolate, desserts, pastries) is they are often high in saturated fats. There are also a lot of added sugars in processed foods that we may not be aware of. Pasta sauces, tomato sauces, mayonnaise, tinned soups, breakfast cereals and frozen meals can all be high in sugar. Seniors can try using spices such as nutmeg or cinnamon to add flavour to foods rather than extra sugar.

5. Get enough fibre

Our digestive system also undergoes changes as we get older, gradually slowing down. When food moves more slowly through the digestive tract more water is absorbed which can lead to constipation. Older people are also more susceptible to diverticulosis, a condition in which small pouches form in the lining of the large intestine or colon. If these pouches become inflamed or infected it is referred to as diverticulitis. A diet high in fibre reduces the risk of constipation and diverticulosis. There are two types of fibre and both are important for our health. Soluble fibre is found in oatmeal, oat bran and psyllium while sources of insoluble fibre include whole grains, fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds.

6. Calcium rich foods

Seniors are in danger of losing  bone density placing them at risk of osteoporosis and fractures. As a way of countering this bone loss, seniors can participate in weight bearing exercise and eat calcium rich foods. It is recommended that seniors over 50 have 1300 mg of calcium daily. Foods high in calcium include dairy products (milk, yoghurt and cheese), calcium fortified soy milk, fish with soft, edible bones (canned salmon, sardines), dried figs, almonds, green leafy vegetables (kale, broccoli) and tofu. A glass of milk, a 200g tub of yoghurt or 200ml of calcium fortified soy milk all provide approximately 300mg calcium. There are also calcium fortified milks available which provide higher amounts of calcium than regular milk. It is important to note that the low or no fat varieties of dairy products still provide the same level of calcium so people can choose these healthier options without compromising on their calcium intake.

7. Vitamin D

In addition to calcium, Vitamin D also plays an important role in maintaining strong bones. Sun exposure is the main way our body obtains Vitamin D. However, ageing decreases the skin’s ability to produce Vitamin D so that older people need to have more sun exposure to be able to make enough Vitamin D. Seniors who do not have a lot of sun exposure (those who spend the majority of time indoors or whose clothing keeps them well covered) are, therefore, at risk of Vitamin D deficiency, particularly in the winter months. While Vitamin D can be found in certain foods (fatty fish, egg yolk, liver and fortified milk) it can be difficult to obtain enough from diet alone. Therefore, seniors who don’t have enough sun exposure may benefit from taking a Vitamin D supplement.

8. Limit alcohol

In the most recent Australian Health Survey, seniors in the 55-64 year age group had higher rates of drinking at risky levels than people in the 18-24 year age group. These alcohol consumption trends are a concern as the body’s ability to absorb and metabolise alcohol decreases with age. The current Australian national guidelines for alcohol consumption recommend that people drink no more than two standard drinks on any day and drink no more than four standard drinks on a single occasion. The guidelines also recognise that older people should take special care with alcohol as it can increase their risk of falls and interact with medications.

9. Include good fats and oils

Previously there was a focus of limiting the intake of all fats and oils in the diet. We now know, however, that fats and oils are not all the same. While saturated fats and trans fats (ie., hydrogenated/partially hydrogenated vegetable fats) should be avoided, we can include some good fats and oils in our diet. These include polyunsaturated and monosaturated oils (canola, sunflower, olive, sesame and peanut oil), as well as those found in avocado, unsalted nuts (almonds, walnuts, brazil nuts, cashews) and seeds (linseeds, pumpkin and sunflower). In addition, omega-3 oils found in oily fish such as salmon, tuna and sardines are also good for us. Omega-3 oils reduce the risk of heart disease and are also thought to prevent depression, Alzheimer’s and eye diseases.

10. Find company

In our society eating is often a shared activity. If seniors are widowed or divorced they may find they lose interest in preparing food as they do not enjoy eating alone. Cooking a meal may seem like a lot of effort to go to for just one person. If seniors find themselves in this predicament they can try making lunch or dinner dates with family or friends. Joining a local club can also provide an opportunity to enjoy a reasonably priced meal in the company of others. Visiting a farmer’s market to buy fresh produce can re-energise an interest in cooking and provide a chance to chat to stallholders and other market goers.

Anti-Aging With A Fruit-Rich Mediterranean diet

anti-agingPeople who closely follow the anti-aging Mediterranean diet — especially by eating fruit — may be more than a third less likely to develop age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of blindness, according to a recent study.

Many studies have confirmed the health and anti-aging benefits of the Mediterranean diet, which emphasizes eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, healthy fats and fish, and limiting red meat and butter.

The diet has been shown to improve heart health and reduced risk of cancer, but there has been little research on whether its benefits can extend to eye disease.

To determine this, researchers studied a Portuguese population to see whether adherence to the diet impacted people’s risk of AMD.

Their findings revealed a significant reduction in risk in those who ate a Mediterranean diet most frequently, and particularly among those who consumed more fruit and caffeine.

Researchers at the University of Coimbra in Portugal studied 883 people age 55 or older in the central region of the country between 2013 and 2015.

Of those, 449 had AMD in its early stages before vision loss, and 434 did not have AMD.

Researchers assessed their diets based on a questionnaire asking how often they ate foods associated with the Mediterranean diet.

The more they ate anti-aging foods associated with the diet, the higher the score, from 0-9. Those who closely followed the diet scored a 6 or greater. Their findings were as follows:

Higher diet adherence scores meant lower AMD risk

Of those who did not closely follow the anti-aging diet (scored below a 6), 50 percent had AMD. Of those who did closely follow the diet (scored 6 or above), only 39 percent had AMD.

This represents a 35 percent lower risk compared to those who did not adhere to the diet.

Fruits were especially beneficial

Researchers analyzed consumption of foods and found that people who consumed higher levels of fruit were significantly less likely to have AMD.

Of those who consumed 150 grams (about five ounces) or more of fruit a day: 54.5 percent did not have AMD and 45.5 percent had AMD.

Overall, people who ate that much fruit or more each day were almost 15 percent less likely to have AMD, based on an odds ratio calculation.

Caffeine and antioxidants also were protective

Researchers used a computer program to analyze the participants’ consumption of micronutrients, according to their answers on the questionnaire.

They found higher consumption of antioxidants such as caffeine, beta-carotene and vitamins C and E was protective against AMD.

Of those who consumed high levels of caffeine (about 78 mg a day, or the equivalent of one shot of espresso): 54.4 percent did not have AMD and 45.1 percent had AMD.

While caffeine is not considered part of the Mediterranean diet per se, consumption of caffeine-containing foods such as coffee and tea is common in Mediterranean countries.

The researchers opted to look at caffeine because it is a powerful antioxidant that is known to be protective against other conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease.

“This research adds to the evidence that a healthy, fruit-rich diet is important to health, including helping to protect against macular degeneration,” said Rufino Silva, M.D., Ph.D., lead author of the study.

 

Anti-Aging Best Tips From A Nobel Prize Winning Biologist.

anti-agingThis latest anti-aging advice comes from a Nobel prize-winning molecular biologist and a team of researchers. According to these experts, they have found scientific ways to slow down the human body clock.

The team’s suggestion emphasizes taking care of one’s DNA to retain youth. With proper DNA care, specifically the telomeres, people can prevent wrinkles, gray hair, exhaustion, and illness. Telomeres appear like the plastic bits that cover the end of shoelaces.

According to researchers, the longer they are, the more youthful one’s appearance. Further, the team claims to have scientifically-proven methods that will keep telomeres long and healthy. Their suggestions appear in the new book titled The Telomere Effect.

Science’s Best Anti-Aging Tips

The researchers found the food we eat affects telomeres. Some food could encourage telomeres to grow and flourish, leading to slow aging. However, people should also avoid certain foods.

Refined sugar is one of the worst foods for the DNA. It could speed up aging inside and out. Soft drinks are one of the main sources of “harmful” sugar. The researchers found two cans of soft drinks daily could make telomeres around 4.6 years older than those in non-drinkers.

“Instead of a diet high in sugar, aim to have a diet high in fiber and protein to avoid damaging insulin spikes that can lead to diabetes and all-around damage to our telomeres,” said Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn and Dr Elissa Epel..

Monitor Your Shape, Not Your Weight

Blackburn and Epel said, aside from reducing sugar consumption, people should also devote time for their shape. They found a waistline bigger than the hips could lead to faster aging.

What’s The Right Food To Eat?

The team recommends a diet full of fiber, vitamins, and nutrients can keep you younger inside and out. Their best anti-aging tips include eating whole wheat bread, whole wheat pasta, brown rice, vegetables, and fruit.

Carbs, dairy, and fats also appear friendly to telomeres. People can get these foods by following the Mediterranean diet

Coffee Intake Associated With Longevity, Say Stanford Researchers

coffeeAmericans are coffee addicts, and perhaps more so nowadays, now that we’re working longer hours and getting less sleep than decades past. 50% of Americans drink at least one cup per day. In the past, the pendulum on coffee, and in particular caffeine, swung back and forth as to whether moderate consumption was healthy or not. At one time, too much was thought bad for the heart.

Today, moderate caffeine consumption is actually considered healthy. Tea and coffee both contain antioxidants which rid the body of free radicals—proven to harm cells. One recent study found that coffee consumption in women can decrease the risk of dementia. Another found that drinking coffee can lessen the impact of liver disease.

In a recent study published online in the journal Nature Medicine, researchers at Stanford University discovered that among certain adults, caffeine can block an inflammation pathway which leads to heart disease. 100 human participants underwent extensive assessment, including giving researchers their family and medical histories, answering survey questions, and giving blood. This pathway is associated with low-grade chronic inflammation that is known to contribute to disease and aging.

Nucleic acid metabolites are byproducts of processes that circulate in the blood and trigger inflammation. Chronic, low-grade inflammation has been linked to heart disease, Alzheimer’s, dementia, osteoarthritis, certain types of cancer, and even depression. According to the study’s lead author David Furman, PhD, “More than 90 percent of all non-communicable diseases of aging are associated with chronic inflammation.”

There are now numerous  recent studies that show moderate caffeine consumption offers tremendous health benefits.

Eat These Foods For A Strong Immune System

immuneThe cold and flu season is upon us! If you don’t want to be bogged down by illness (and who does?), you should wash your hands diligently, get the flu shot, and try your best to avoid people who are sick around you. But another great trick is boosting your immune system to make sure it has all the fighting powers to ward off illness when it strikes.

An easy way to boost your immunity is with the foods you eat. Healthy food is packed with essential vitamins and nutrients your immune system needs in order to stay strong. When you eat unhealthy foods, you are weakening your immune system so it can’t fight off any impending threats as effectively.

Here are some of the best foods to eat in order to boost your immune system and ward off cold and flu.

Chicken soup: Chicken soup isn’t just a comfort food from your childhood, it can actually help fight illness. Chicken soup provides you with fluids and offers anti-inflammatory properties that can improve symptoms.

Citrus fruits: Everyone knows you should stock up on citrus fruits as they are packed with vitamin C, which is a great immune booster.

Garlic, onions, and leeks: These foods contain immune-boosting compounds and are natural antibiotics. In a study, some participants received a placebo and the others a garlic supplement. Those receiving the supplement had far fewer cold incidences than the placebo group.

Yogurt: Yogurt contains healthy probiotics and, considering that large part of your immune system is in your gut, it’s important that your gut stays healthy.

Red wine: Red wine has a powerful antioxidant that improves overall health. But don’t assume you should drink a lot to reap the benefits. Drinking red wine in moderation is the key, as too much of it can have detrimental effects on health.

Mushrooms: Mushrooms have long been hailed for their medicinal purposes. They can help cells fight off infections and support a healthy immune system.

Black pepper: Black pepper has compounds that can fight off a fever and relieve pain. For maximum benefits, mix black pepper, ground ginger, and vinegar together for a natural medication.

Add these foods to your daily diet and you can build up a stronger immune system that can help lower your risk of illness.

 

Eight Healthy Holiday Superfoods

superfoodsMany traditional holiday foods contain a surprising amount of health benefits.

The holiday season can be a wonderful time of celebration and family gatherings, but some people worry about how they will resist the temptation to eat too much of the delicious foods that will show up on the dinner table. They may be surprised to learn that many of these seasonal foods are healthy and actually fit into the anti-aging category. Of course, how these foods are prepared does influence whether they are healthy or contain too much fat and sugar. The following is a list of eight healthy holiday foods albeit superfoods for the holidays, that can help celebrants avoid feeling guilty after a tasty dinner enjoyed with their family and friends:

  1. 1 Turkey – the traditional holiday turkey has both white and dark meat, and both are high in protein and low in fat.  The average 3 ounce serving of white or dark meat has just 135 calories with 24 grams of protein. Eating turkey reduces stress due to its serotonin-producing Tryptophan, which may help to relieve any holiday-induced stress.
  1. 2 Cranberries – are the traditional condiment served with turkey, and the tangy berries are a significant source of Vitamin C and anthocyanins, an antioxidant thought to help prevent cancer, heart disease and protect the urinary tract.
  1. 3 Garlic and Onions – are used to flavor meat and vegetable dishes commonly served at holiday gatherings. Both of these bulb vegetables have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that can protect against cancer, cardiac problems, and certain degenerative diseases.
  1. 4 Pumpkin pie – is high on the list of holiday desserts. This tasty squash is high in carotenoids, Vitamin A, iron and potassium, and is low in calories and fat. Pumpkin is used to make the custard filling for pies, and the nutmeg and cinnamon used for flavor adds antioxidants for extra anti-aging benefits.
  1. 5 Nuts – almost any variety are a healthy snack, and various nuts are included in holiday dishes such as dressing for the turkey and also in desserts. Nutritionists recommend at least four servings of nuts each week, but no more than 4 ounces per serving due to the high-fat content of most nuts.
  1. 6 Apples – are a popular fall treat, and this fruit has multiple health benefits. An apple a day adds heart-healthy fiber and flavonols that prevent cholesterol, certain cancers and some degenerative diseases. Apple pie is a special holiday treat that also includes cinnamon and nutmeg.
  1. 7 Butternut squash – can be used in multiple ways, but the holiday table often includes a casserole of this healthy squash cooked with spices, mashed and topped with a dollop of butter. Naturally high in fiber and low in calories, the squash can also be baked or used to make a flavorful soup.
  1. 8 Dark chocolate or cacao – can be used to make delicious holiday desserts, and using granulated stevia rather than sugar keeps these offerings in the healthy category. Chocolate is high in phytochemicals that are beneficial to the heart, but it is important that the chocolate contains at least 70 percent cacao.

Holiday celebrations where so many rich and fattening foods are served may be one reason people choose weight loss as their New Years resolution. It is possible to get through the holiday season without gaining unwanted pounds. Arming oneself with a list of healthy foods and nutritional information makes it possible to enjoy a holiday season that is both happy and healthy.

Switch Off The Aging Process

agingHow To Slow Your Genetic Clock And Live 20 More Years.

Instead of allowing your genetic clock to run at top speed, why not adopt a few simple lifestyle habits to SLOW it down and reclaim years, even decades, of quality time and how to reduce your disease risk by a whopping 80% by adopting just 4 lifestyle habits.

In this FREE eBook we will also reveal to you the popular foods that ACCELERATE aging (you need to avoid these!). Plus you will discover about the body tissue that promotes longevity.

If the idea of aging before your time horrifies you (as it should) grab this eBook now!

A free ebook for you!

Read it right here     switchoff-off-the-aging-process

15 Foods That Are Good For Your Heart

foods good for your heartHere are 15 foods that are good for your heart.

A healthy diet can be good for your heart as well as your waistline.

  1. Eat fish high in omega-3s, such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring and trout.
  2. A handful of healthy nuts such as almonds or walnuts will satisfy your hunger and help your heart.
  3. Berries are chock full of heart-healthy phytonutrients and soluble fiber. Try blueberries, strawberries, cranberries or raspberries in cereal or yogurt.
  4. Flaxseeds contain omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and phytoestogens to boost heart health. Take them in ground or milled form to reap the greatest benefit.
  5. Oatmeal: the comfort-food nutrient powerhouse.
  6. Dark beans,such as kidney or black beans, are high in fiber, B-vitamins, minerals and other good stuff. Veggie chili, anyone?
  7. A 4-ounce glass of red wine (up to two for men and one for women per day) can help improve good (HDL) cholesterol levels.
  8. Try marinated tofu in a stir-fry with fresh veggies for a heart-healthy lunch or dinner.
  9. Red, yellow and orange veggies such as carrots, sweet potatoes, red peppers and acorn squash are packed with carotenoids, fiber and vitamins to help your heart.
  10. Popeye was right – spinach packs a punch! Use it in sandwiches and salads instead of lettuce.
  11. Fruits such as oranges, cantaloupes and papaya are rich in beta-carotene, potassium, magnesium and fiber.
  12. Tender, sweet asparagus is filled with mighty nutrients such as beta-carotene, folate and fiber, and only provide 25 calories per cup, or 5 calories per large spear.
  13. Tomatoes – even sun-dried varieties in winter months – provide lycopene, vitamin C and alpha- and beta-carotene.
  14. Dark chocolate is good for your heart health, but just be sure that it’s at least 70 percent cocoa.
  15. Crisp, fresh broccoli florets dipped in hummus are a terrific heart-healthy snack with a whopping list of nutrients, including vitamins C and E, potassium, folate, calcium and fiber.

Top Anti-Inflammatory Foods

anti-inflammatoryAlthough inflammation is often necessary as a protective defense against infection and injury, unchecked, chronic inflammation is implicated in a number of diseases. The lifelong accumulation of molecular damage that results from chronic inflammation has been suggested to serve as a major contributor to the aging process. When the immune system begins overacting and starts attacking healthy body tissue, inflammation can lead to a whole litany of issues – most notably, arthritis, autoimmune diseases, and certain cancers.

Considering these facts, it only makes sense that preventing and/or eliminating inflammation is one of the best ways to maintain a healthy life. Nature has provided a variety of foods and nutrients that have anti-inflammatory properties, and it only makes good sense to protect your health, by including some of these in your diet. You will be happy to know that most of these foods are flavorful and pleasant to eat.

Chocolate; you can enjoy this rich and delicious treat without a lot of guilt, but only dark chocolate with 70 percent or more concentration of cacao. Milk chocolate is not healthy, due to the high concentration of sugar and fat.

Berries; especially blueberries, strawberries, blackberries and raspberries. These delicious fruits are packed with flavor as well as fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

Fatty fish; not everyone loves fish, but many people enjoy a Friday night fish meal. Salmon is high in Omega 3 oils, but rather costly so taking a daily fish oil supplement is advisable.

Cruciferous vegetables; including broccoli, cauliflower, kale and brussels sprouts are high in beneficial antioxidants. These veggies are easy to include in your nutritious diet and are readily available at a reasonable price.

Avocadoes; this versatile fruit is packed with healthy fat, fiber and antioxidants. It tastes great in salads, sandwiches and is the main ingredient in guacamole, the flavorful Mexican dip served with chips and veggies.

Green tea; if you are like millions of people around the world, you begin your day with a cup of coffee. Coffee does contain some antioxidants, but green tea is a better choice. Green tea will provide the caffeine you need to quick-start your day, but its much higher antioxidant level also helps to protect against cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

Mushrooms, olive oil and tomatoes; these three foods are included as ingredients in many healthy recipes – either separately or together. Many Italian dishes include these ingredients, and the combination provides a powerful cocktail of anti-inflammatory compounds. Lycopene is a compound found in tomatoes that has been found to reduce inflammation and protect against various types of cancer. In addition, cooking tomatoes in olive oil increases the amount oflycopene that you can absorb by eating the combination.

Mushrooms are an ingredient found in many dishes, and they also contain anti-inflammatory compounds. Since cooking can reduce the anti-inflammatory benefits, most nutritionists recommend eating mushrooms raw or only slightly cooked.

Turmeric; while turmeric is not technically a food, this spice has been used to flavor Indian dishes for hundreds of years. Curcumin is a powerful anti-inflammatory nutrient contained in turmeric which effectively reduces the pain of arthritis and is also thought to help prevent cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. The effects of turmeric can be greatly increased if you eat black pepper with it. Black pepper contains piperine, a nutrient that aids in the absorption of curcumin.

Inflammation is the natural immune response of your body to anything it recognizes as a threat, and the reaction is meant to protect your health. Without a certain amount of inflammation your health would be at risk from invading microbes, viruses and bacteria. Some foods such as red meat and refined carbohydrates can cause inflammation in your body, so eliminating or reducing them in your diet can keep you healthier.

Fortunately, the healthy foods that fight inflammation are appetizing and easily available. Your best chance to live a long and active life is to avoid unhealthy foods that cause weight gain and inflammation, and educate yourself about which foods provide proper nutrition and antioxidants to help fight disease.