It’s a war and nothing less and it begins especially from the age of 30 on! The wrinkling skin, the sagging, the stretch marks, the stiff joints, the aches and pains – the aging!! The causes are many including declining hormone levels, stress, processed foods, alcohol and wear and tear. However, the good news is that the rate of decline is very much in your control. You can significantly slow down the aging process, much more than you could ever have imagined.
The real miracle against anti-aging is in the foods that you eat. This is because you eat at least 3 times a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year – that’s over 7665 times a year! This frequency means food is more powerful against aging than anything else – more powerful than any surgery, pill, lotion or supplement, even more powerful than that other great anti-aging miracle – exercise!
Sometimes we over-look the miracle while looking for the miracle – and good food especially ‘super-foods’ are certainly that miracle. Super-foods are ordinary everyday unprocessed foods available at your super market that are densely packed with vitamins, nutrients, phyto-nutrients (powerful plant nutrients) and anti-oxidants.
Phyto-nutrients and anti-oxidants in particular are the kings in the fight against wrinkling, sagging, bone loss, memory loss, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer and all other consequences of aging. This is because they help combat oxidation which is recognised as being the biggest single cause of aging. Oxidation is a process where free radicals (body waste products) attach to and seriously damage living tissue. Practical examples of oxidation we see everyday are when an apple starts to turn brown, or the rusting of a bike or the green colour you can see on old coins.
A few substitutions in your daily diet with super foods can make all the difference to you. The big secret is consistency, it takes 30 days or more to build new cells and ideally 90 days (3 months!) to see serious results – so don’t lose focus. Often we give up on something when we are just about to see results. Here is a list in alphabetical order of my 10 most important super-foods. It is critical to get these foods in as pure unaltered form as possible. The minute they are processed in any way or extracted into supplement form they begin to seriously lose their power.
Acai Berries – come from palm trees in the Amazon. They are dark red in colour not unlike the red grape and are about the same size. Their power comes from the pulp which is packed with fibre, healthy fats, minerals, amino acids, anti-oxidants and phyto-nutrients. Their amazing anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial activity make them great for the skin and preventing many forms of aging. Recommendation – 10 to 15 berries a day will keep the years far away! Be very careful of supplements as many have so little of the berry they are a complete waste of money.
Blueberries – these are definitely another top anti-aging fruit. They are packed with anti-oxidants and other phyto-nutrients making them amazing for your skin. They also have good levels of potassium and vitamin C which are two much needed nutrients. Blueberries are extremely low calorie. They are anti-inflammatory, help fight heart disease and cancer. Recommendation – 1 mug of blueberries at least 3 times a week.
Brocolli – is considered the king of vegetables. It is packed with bioflavanoids (phyto-nutrients). It has lots of Iron, vitamin A, C and Calcium. It is most famous for being anti-cancer especially breast cancer and prostate cancer! Steam or use in a stir-fry for best results. Avoid raw broccoli if you have thyroid problems. Recommendation – include some whenever you eat vegetables.
Garlic – is famed throughout the centuries for its health and anti-aging benefits. It is notable for its potassium, zinc and selenium, three much needed minerals. It also has great healing, anti-oxidant, anti-fungal and anti-viral benefits making it a real powerhouse for anti-aging. It is also beneficial in helping to remove heavy metals from the body. Recommendation – add garlic to meals at least 3 times weekly.
Green Tea – gets its amazing power from its poly-phenol content (another key phyto-nutrient). It has great anti-inflammatory properties, making it great for the skin. It also increases fat burning and thermo-genesis (heat production) making it helpful towards weight loss. It has been shown to be very promising in the fight against cancer, heart disease, strokes and high cholesterol. Recommendation – 2 cups a day will really help you. You can get great capsules now too if you prefer with one capsule being equal to 2 cups of the tea!
Tomatoes – officially a fruit, tomatoes get their power from their lycopene content. Lycopene is yet another phyto-nutrient that literally mops up free radicals. Remember free radicals? These are the molecules most responsible for aging, disease and the destruction in the body. This makes tomatoes one of your key defences against aging of the skin and body. They have also been shown to be very helpful in reducing the risk of cancer. Recommendation – 2 tomatoes at least 3 times per week.
Water – no super-food list would be right without talking about water. Maybe because it is plentiful and colourless that we don’t give it enough credit and respect. Water is the king of all super-foods. It is the foundation of everything. Repeat – it is the foundation of everything. Cell function in the body just does not work without sufficient water. Drink 1L daily for every 100lbs you weigh. Add 15-20 drops of freshly squeezed lemon per 500ml to help detox and alkalise your body – two great tools for slowing aging. It is best taken first thing in the morning and between meals throughout the day.
Walnuts & Brazil Nuts – in their pure unprocessed state nuts are a real help against aging. This is because of their essential fat content. Essential fats affect virtually every function in the body and especially influence hormone production and balance which is critical to your skin and slowing aging. Shockingly 80% of us do not get enough essential fats every week. A body without essential fats is like a car without oil – and you know what happens without that! Be especially aware of Walnuts which also have monounsaturated fats – great for the heart and Brazil nuts which are high in selenium an amazing anti-oxidant. Recommendation – eat 5 of each nut, organic, raw and unsalted daily.
Wild Salmon – this is the king of meats and a super-food for its beneficial essential fats especially Omega 3 the ones we most need. Omega 3’s help prevent blood clots, lower cholesterol and prevent heart attacks among many other things. Salmon has calcium, magnesium, B vitamins, vitamin D and E too, so it is a real nutrition powerhouse. Recommendation – eat 3 to 4 oz of salmon twice a week.
Natural Yogurt – is classified as a super-food for its calcium and probiotics (friendly gut bacteria). It gives more calcium than milk and what more can I say about probiotics than they are in my top 5 supplements of all time. Yogurts help prevent osteoporosis, help boost immunity and reduce the risk of digestive cancers. Recommendation – 1 natural unsweetened low-fat or non-fat yogurt a day.