Longevity The Best Fruits

Longevity The Best Fruits

longevityThe science is clear: Eating the right foods can lead to a longer life or longevity.

Most fruit is inherently nutritious for longevity and good for you. With all of the antioxidants in colourful berries and fibre from whole fruits to the banana’s potassium content, fruit is easily the best way to naturally curb your sweet tooth. Some stand in higher on the list than others though.

When it comes to the most nutritious fruits, we want to take into consideration the healthiest fruits for longevity, weight loss, and good choices for diabetics because natural sugar is still sugar, after all. We’ll take into account disease fighting properties and components that provide preventative benefits from keeping your eyesight sharp to providing a source of healthy brain food.

Berries

Any variety will do, but including plenty of berries in the diet might be the key to longevity. A 2013 study focused on the polyphenol (an antioxidant) intake of participants showed that the individuals with the highest intake were at 30% reduced risk of death. Pretty cool, huh? Blueberries are also a good fruit for diabetics considering the average serving of 3/4 cup contains just 16 grams of carbohydrates with a low glycemic index score of 41. Perhaps their low sugar and GI also makes berries the best fruit for weight loss.

Pomegranates

These seedy (and messy) little fruits are nutritional powerhouses for longevity. They’re often touted as one of the healthiest fruits and for good reason. Pomegranates arguably have the most powerful antioxidant properties of all fruit. A unique compound found in pomegranates called punicalagin is fantastic for the heart and blood vessels. This antioxidant can lower cholesterol and blood pressure, ultimately warding off disease and preventing things like heart attacks and strokes, easily tacking on a few extra healthy years.

Apples

The phrase “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” holds more truth than you might think. Adding an apple to your morning routine could keep you in tip-top shape. Besides, with all the variety, there’s an apple for every eye. Green apples are lower in sugar than red apples making them helpful for weight loss and a good fruit for diabetics. Granny Smiths are even beneficial to regulating blood sugar. With tons of soluble fibre, apples can help you stay satiated making them an ideal afternoon snack. Every apple variety boasts anti-cancer properties, the red coloured fruits being highest in antioxidants. Just remember to eat the skin!

Cranberries

Cranberries aren’t just for the beloved holiday sauce, and we’re certainly not giving props to the gel you might find in a can. Nope, we’re talking the fresh stuff. Dried cranberries and cranberry juice pack the same power, but keep in mind concentrated sugar content especially if you’re diabetic. Fresh cranberries are low in calories, pack in some vitamin C, have loads of antioxidants, and score low on the GI scale with a glycemic load of 2. Fresh cranberries are good for protecting the cardiovascular system and the liver. You can boil them down with a natural sweetener or other berries for a lovely sauce or jam.

Guava

This might be the most obscure of the healthiest fruits on our list, but don’t give up on the search for one of these if you aren’t having luck at the supermarket. Chances are, you can find them at an ethnic grocer. This winter fruit is one of the best foods for a long life and overall health. Guava boosts immunity and lowers your risk of cancer with its potent antioxidant content. It’s one of the best fruits for diabetics considering its high fibre count and low glycemic index. Vitamin A can even help keep your eyesight in good shape while its magnesium can help to lower stress. Finally, its B vitamins will keep your brain sharp leading to a better quality of life, even as you age.

Papaya

Ah, yet another fruit we often overlook or don’t consume often. While apples and bananas are fine and dandy, papaya is a true superfood. The ripe papaya is sweet, juicy and luscious with a tropical flavour you’ll want to indulge in. These fruits can help boost digestion with their enzymes which is more potent in an underripe fruit. Papayas contain loads of antioxidants and vitamin C which helps protect the heart and is even thought to prevent Rheumatoid Arthritis. The fibre in the fruit is able to lessen your risk of colon cancer by binding to cancer-causing toxins in the colon.

Grapefruit

With 52% of your daily vitamin C and 23% of your daily vitamin A per 100 grams, this low-sugar citrus fruit is a stellar addition to your breakfast staple dish. It’s famously known as one of the best fruits for weight loss. The juice from grapefruits can prevent kidney stones, cleansing the liver, and even preventing prostate cancer. Thanks to its high antioxidant levels, this fruit has some serious super powers. Pink grapefruit has even been shown to reverse the damage of cigarette smoke in the lungs and prevent lung cancer. Pretty crazy, huh? Finally, grapefruit is good for gum health making it helpful in preventing oral cancer.

Kiwi

These little guys are serious powerhouses for a long and healthy life. By the way, if you’re not eating the skin, you should be! The fuzzy fibre keeps you full and helps cleanse your digestive tract of toxins. Kiwi is also great for restoring alkaline balance, which essentially means its high mineral content counteracts all of the acidity we take in. Alkaline balance can lead to better sleep, skin and energy for a more vibrant life. Kiwis fight blood clotting making them one of the healthiest fruits for fighting heart disease and reducing triglycerides (the “bad” cholesterol).

Tart or sour cherries

Now here’s a fruit where the juice is nearly as nutritious as the fruit itself. It might be easier to find tart cherry juice than it is to find the whole fruits anyways. Listen up if you’re looking to get better sleep. Cherries are packed with anthocyanins which provide anti-inflammatory effects similar to Ibuprofen without any negative side effects. Less inflammation in the body can help to prevent cancer, cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, and Alzheimer’s disease, which inevitably means a longer life. Tart cherries also protect muscles and promote quicker recovery after a tough workout. Finally, due to tart cherry juice’s natural way of making melatonin, this stuff is great for a bedtime elixir.

Cantaloupe or rockmelon

While most melons are a good choice when it comes to choosing healthy fruits, cantaloupe is the shining star in this category. Their high levels of vitamins and minerals boast benefits such as cancer prevention, a boost for the immune system, healthy skin due to the beta-carotene, and lessened stress and anxiety symptoms due to their high potassium. Cantaloupe has also been connected to improved insulin metabolism, so this is a suitable fruit for diabetics. It’s one of the best fruits for longevity.

The Best, Nutritionist-Approved Autumn Food

The Best, Nutritionist-Approved Autumn Food

autumn foodAutumn can bring a time of change with different foods coming into season. Here are 5 healthy autumn food suggestions.

1. Figs

Figs are in plentiful supply during autumn and a great option when it comes to boosting fibre intake. Figs offer a powerhouse of nutrition including potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron and copper. Figs can be eaten raw, poached or baked, served with yoghurt for a quick breakfast or snack.

2. Beetroot

Beetroot is an in-season autumn food and root vegetable rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. It is a nutrient-dense and versatile option when it comes to autumn vegetables. Try freshly grated and added to meals, fermented or roasted and tossed through cooked grains.

3. Miso

Miso paste is made from fermented soybeans and can be used as a stock, to make soup, in dressings or as a marinade for meat. Once opened, it lasts for up to two years so it’s a great ingredient to have on hand in the fridge.

4. Lentils

Lentils as an autumn food offers  a great source of plant-based protein along with fibre. A slight chill to the air often has us craving more hearty and warming dishes. Lentils are quick way to create a meal sure to satisfy. Use in soups, stews, stir-fries or warm salads.

5. Fermented vegetables

A strong immune system is needed leading into the cooler months and fermented vegetables like sauerkraut and kimchi are rich in live enzymes and good bacteria. They’re made by adding salt to vegetables (such as cabbage) and allowing the process of lactic acid fermentation and growth of friendly bacteria over time to create a nutrient dense ‘condiment.’

Beat The Aging Process With 5 Key Tips

Aging is inevitable. No matter how hard we try, it will catch up with us eventually, but that does not mean that you have to sit back and let it prematurely take your youth beat the aging process away. No, there are things you can do starting right now to beat the aging process, and maintain your youthful looks and vigor well into an age nobody will be able to guess!

These tips are extremely simple- there’s no magic pill here. Read on to find out  five keys tips to beat the aging process you should be doing:

Sleep More

Sleeping is one of life’s simple pleasures, and something that should come naturally to everyone. However, more than half of the USA’s adult population is chronically sleep deprived, in the sense that they get less than the recommended 8-9 hours nightly, many days running. Sleep is the one thing that everyone has going for them, since it is the hit reset button for your body.

During sleep, repair ensues, so that proteins in the skin are fixed, hormone production is ramped up, and the process of rebuilding in general. Chronic sleep deficiency inhibits the ability of the body to fix structural defects, including in DNA, which can accelerate greying of hair, wrinkling of skin and deterioration of organs.

Get Your Veggies

Eat lots of vegetables. It doesn’t really matter which, but include a variety of different ones, as each bring something different to the table. Most vegetables are extremely low calories, making them perfect for bulk at mealtimes, as you can eat a lot, and not get a lot of calories. In addition, vegetables are full of fiber, which keep intestinal and colon health on point, as well as tons of anti-oxidants, vitamin and minerals, which fend off free radicals and compounds that damage DNA and promote aging.

Shed Bad Recreational Hobbies

Sure, watching TV late into the night is a bad hobby, and it is damaging, but it is not bad in the sense we are referring to. The ways we are talking about, relate to drinking, smoking and eating junk food. Excessive alcohol consumption places undue stress on the liver that’s primary job is to remove toxins from the body, and in some cases makes it unable to do its job. This accumulation of toxins is bad for health, and kick starts the aging process.

Smoking, on the other hand is worse in many aspects. With negative effects ranging from the lungs, to blood vessels and more, smoking can age you 25 years in just 5 years. Nutrient delivery suffers, so skin ages and wrinkles far sooner than it should, and you increase the risk of dying from complications of the lung.

Stay Happy

We don’t expect you to be euphoric all day long, but being happy has proven benefits over being sad, or pouty. This can be explained by endorphins, feel-good chemicals produced in the brain that boost mood, reduce heart rate and blood pressure, and reduce stress levels as well.

Practicing mindfulness meditation is one of the best ways to develop your appreciation of the little things in life, and improve your happiness and outlook not to mention the fact that frowning just speeds up development of wrinkles and fine lines!

Weight Train

A little jogging or cycling is good at any point of your life, but in order to diminish the effects of aging, weight training is a must. Not only does muscle help you fill out your clothing, but it can also help prevent skin from sagging, wrinkling, or your posture from stooping.

Nothing screams old like a hunched back and sagging skin, but luckily, weight lifting can delay this for years to come, not only that, but your overall mobility will be kept in check, and you will look great, so hit the weights!

You can beat the aging process by taking a few simple steps!

Superfoods for Seniors

superfoodsWhat are superfoods? We hear about them in the news as being something we should consume on a regular basis. Why and what are they?

Superfoods are loaded with nutritional value and contain powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants fight against free radicals that cause damage to cells. They are important for seniors because they reduce the risk of common health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, inflammatory diseases and even cancer.

Antioxidants also help boost the immune system and can actually slow the aging process. Many types of foods are considered superfoods, but some in particular – including one spice – are especially beneficial for seniors.

The Superfoods

Tomatoes reduce the risk of heart disease, prostate cancer and digestive tract cancers. They can also improve bone health. Lycopene, which is the pigment responsible for a tomato’s red color, helps eradicate cancer-causing free radicals in the body. Lycopene has also been linked to a decreased risk of osteoporosis in women.

Green tea not only reduces the risk of certain cancers, it also improves brain function, reduces inflammation and reduces the risk of depression and diabetes. Furthermore, green tea has long been an ancient anti-aging secret among people in China and Japan.

Consuming red wine has several surprising benefits including reducing the risk of heart disease. Red wine can improve good cholesterol (HDL), blood clotting and has anti-aging properties. It also can promote a lowered risk of tooth decay and gum diseases as well as the risk of osteoporosis. If on medication, be sure to consult a physician before adding red wine to your diet since mixing alcohol and medication can be dangerous.

Another heart-healthy food is dark chocolate, which can reduce the risk of diabetes and improve brain function.

Pomegranates are considered a cure for menopausal hot flashes, gastric irritation, conjunctivitis and viral infections such as the flu.

Beans and peas are loaded with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that exhibit anti-inflammatory properties. Good examples include chickpeas, kidney beans, lentils, black beans and red beans.

Cinnamon is a “super spice” and helps decrease the risk of heart disease and diabetes, lowers bad cholesterol levels, and has anti-inflammatory and medicinal properties. It can also help regulate blood sugar by improving sensitivity to insulin. Additionally, even just smelling the aroma of cinnamon boosts cognitive processing and visual motor responses.

As far as antioxidant properties, blueberries have been ranked as possessing one of the highest antioxidant properties of all fruits and vegetables.  They are a rich source of dietary fiber. Blueberries are also a potent source of vitamin C in that one serving meets 25 percent of the daily required needs. In addition to improving brain function and reducing the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer, blueberries enhance the immune system and help prevent urinary tract infections. One study suggests that blueberries hinder the formation of tumor cells.

All of these super foods can be found in your local grocery store or food market.


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

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.