Best Anti-aging Foods and Herbs

Ditch the Botox. Just head to the grocery and pick up some food with anti-aging properties. These anti-aging foods are great for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks or even for cooking and baking! These top 10 anti-aging foods are healthy and a perfect, all-natural way to feeling and looking younger. Ready to slow down that aging process? Try these 10 foods and look and feel ten years longer!

Yummy Anti-Aging Foods 

Dark Chocolate: We’ve always known that dark chocolate is better for you than milk chocolate and that is has nutritional value but it also helps build up your skin’s natural shield against dangerous UV rays.

Beans: Beans, beans the magical fruit, the more you eat the more you….don’t age! It helps with your digestive system and even fights cancer!

Blueberries: These tiny little wonders help prevent cancer, diabetes and heart disease.

Oatmeal: One of the best and most energizing breakfast foods! Oatmeal lowers cholesterol and even plumps skin and reduces wrinkles!

Green Tea: Green tea has numerous antioxidants and anti-aging properties. It controls blood sugar levels and even fights against cancer.

Garlic: Garlic can boost your immune system and protect your body’s cell health.

Avocados: Avocados aren’t just great in salads or burritos, but they are also a natural moisturizer. Try an avocado facemask. Simply mash up avocados and smooth over face, let sit for ten minutes and rinse off!

Lemons: Lemons are a natural detoxifier and they even smooth the skin.

Honey: Honey is a sweet way to rehydrate and replenish hands and cuticles.

Fish: The fish oil trend has never been more popular, and there’s a reason. Fish fights against heart disease, reduces inflammation, decreases the risk of arrhythmia and lowers blood pressure. You can get the most benefit from tuna, salmon and sardines.

Incorporate some of these foods into your daily life and look and feel younger instantly!

Anti-Aging Antioxidants to Slow Aging

Anti-aging antioxidants, found in fruits, vegetables, and even green tea, are being closely examined because of the theory that these potent phytochemicals can slow aging and prevent disease. There are many different types of antioxidants, from vitamin C to quercetin, with variations on the power of their antioxidant protection and focus, but in general, they are known to work by neutralizing free radicals that would otherwise cause damage to cells and cellular DNA.

Recent research points to the benefits of eating a healthy diet, filled with a variety of antioxidant-rich foods to promote longevity and well-being, rather than taking antioxidant supplements to slow aging.

Ways that Anti-Aging Antioxidants May Slow Aging
Aging is a natural process due to a number of factors, one of which is free radical damage to cells and tissue. Free radicals are inevitable, as they are a natural byproduct of metabolism; they are also in some situations beneficial, having a place in the whole system of total health. According to an article for the Consumer Health Organization of Canada by Dr. Hari Sharma, "Free Radicals: A Major Cause of Aging and Disease", an excess of free radicals, due to exposure to toxins, a poor diet and even mental stress, can lead to serious health problems. If these unstable compounds are not balanced by their natural counterpart, antioxidants, then they are able to go on and create all forms of damage, from arthritis to atherosclerosis.

This is why antioxidants are considered anti-aging; they are able to slow aging by stopping the onslaught of an excess of free radicals, protecting cells and body tissue. Does this mean that anti-aging antioxidants are the solution to prolonging youth? Research seems to strongly support eating a diet with many antioxidant-rich foods, but antioxidant protection from supplements is still questionable.

New Doubts as to the Antioxidant Protection of Antioxidant Supplements
There have been a number of studies to test the power of antioxidant supplements to slow aging and prevent disease. The results have been positive, negative, and neutral, leaving even the American Heart Association to not recommend antioxidant vitamin supplements right now, instead promoting antioxidant-rich foods as the most safe and effective choice until further research is done.

Jonathan Scheff points out in his article, "Fact of Fiction: Antioxidant Supplements Will Help You Live Longer," (Scientific American) that taking anti-aging antioxidants in supplement form is not a straightforward solution to aging. There are so many different forms of oxidative stress, as well as so many different antioxidants, which may or may not require the support of other phytochemicals only found in whole foods, to be beneficial. It is not necessarily true that antioxidant supplements have to be avoided, although antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables are likely to provide the much sought after powerful antioxidant protection.

Benefits of Anti-Aging Antioxidants From Eating Antioxidant Rich Foods
Whole foods are able to supply the body not only with anti-aging antioxidants, but also myriad other beneficial phytochemicals, many of which we do not fully understand at this point. Antioxidant fruits and vegetables are also excellent sources of fiber, water, plant enzymes, vitamins, and minerals, all of which are known to slow aging and promote well-being.

The reason isolated anti-aging antioxidants have been examined in the first place is because of the observation that people who eat a diet filled with high amounts of antioxidant-rich foods, mainly fruits and vegetables, as opposed to a mostly processed food, meat, and dairy focused diet tend to live longer and healthier.

Following is a list of fruits and vegetables that are high in antioxidants:

Antioxidant Fruits

  • pomegranates
  • blueberries
  • dates
  • cranberries
  • strawberries
  • prunes
  • cherries
  • plums
  • apples
  • grapes
  • pineapple
  • kiwi
  • grapefruit

Antioxidant Vegetables

  • spinach
  • artichokes
  • eggplant
  • beets
  • purple cabbage
  • sweet potatoes
  • Brussels sprouts
  • broccoli
  • avocados
  • carrots
  • arugula
  • kale
Not only are fruits and vegetables excellent sources of anti-aging antioxidants, but whole grains, nuts, and seeds provide plenty of these beneficial phytochemicals as well. As each food carries its own particular formula of phytonutrients, it is important to eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, and other whole foods to not only slow aging, but to reduce the risk of many degenerative diseases, and for overall well-being.

Anti-Aging Herbs

It is an obsession in current culture to stay youthful. Whole industries are built around the concept of being forever young. While this may be simple vanity at times, there is a realistic goal to be vital and healthy throughout life. Although certain herbs such as ginseng have garnered the world’s attention, there are plenty more herbs that might be less known at present, and yet they have the potential to restore vitality and health.

As mentioned, it is realistic to expect to have good health, mobility, vitality and a functioning mind well into old age. Unfortunately in present culture this is a rarity instead of the rule. With the vitality in the early twenties, it is unthinkable to consider that the body will breakdown in time. Illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, dementia, osteoporosis, and arthritis all take their toll in time. The good thing is that there are options to reverse all of these.

Anti-Aging Herbs to Keep the Body Strong
In particular, Asian and South American medicine seems to hold the keys to longevity with herbs and diet. Some of the underutilized herbs are as follows:

Fo-Ti Teng – A very common herb in traditional Chinese medicine, it is rarely used in the western world. Essentially it restores energy to a weak kidney meridian, one of the subtle lines of energy running through the body. It helps restore overall energy, darkens greying hair, boosts sex drive, and promotes longevity.

Wolfberry (Goji) - One of the heavily marketed berries is the Chinese wolfberry or goji berry. Although health food marketing companies would like its customers to believe that there is a difference between inexpensive Chinese wolfberry and expensive Tibetan goji berries, the fact remains it is the same plant and comes from the same area. The only difference is the price the consumer pays. Look for an inexpensive source in the Asian markets in most major cities. They are also marketed under the Latin name Lycium. Whatever it is called, wolfberries are packed with nutrients and medicine to treat a number of health conditions. In particular, they help regulate blood sugar, rebuild tissue, lower cholesterol, fight cancer, boost immune function, and provide a boost of energy. They will help make an old wolf young again.

Maca – A root vegetable from the Peruvian Andes, this medicinal food is known as a hormonal balancer and vitality booster. In particular it is being marketed as boosting lagging sex drive in both men and women.

Gynura – Almost unheard of in western culture, this Asian herb regulates blood sugar and protects the eyes and kidneys which can be comprised with age and diabetes.

Maral Root – This Siberian plant is being studied by sport medicine doctors as an adaptogen for strengthening muscles, endurance and regulating blood sugar levels. It could be just the boost for muscles that lose their strength through time and illness.

Herbs for a Sound Mind

Gingko Biloba – Gingko is probably one of the more popular herbs for maintaining mental clarity with age. It is thought that it increases blood flow, especially to areas of the brain.

Bacopa – Another Asian herb, this one is fast gaining the reputation for helping to protect mental functioning. This plant should not be confused with the bacopa that is often found in hanging baskets sold at garden nurseries

Sushni – This member of the fern family from Bangladesh, resembles a small four leaf clover. According to Otto Richter of Richter’s Herbs, it is used as brain food and to help alleviate insomnia. It has also been shown to lower cholesterol levels.

Gotu Kola – Well used in Chinese medicine, this herb is thought to rejuvenate the cells of the brain.
Aging and Lifestyle Choices

Herbs are not the only way to maintain youthful energy. Drinking plenty of water and having daily exercise both go a long way to keeping the body healthy and energetic. Walking daily is one of the best habits to form. In a sensible society, food is also seen as medicine. A diet low in fat, decreased meat consumption, and high in organic fruits and vegetables will improve overall health.

One of the less tangible qualities is a positive attitude. There has been enough research to show that a positive attitude, a life full of laughter despite its challenges, and a balanced lifestyle all contribute to improved health and longevity.

Using Natural Antioxidant Supplements for Anti-aging Nutrition

Certain major forms of aging in the body, including decline in brain function and deteriorating quality of skin, are linked to the action of what are called free radicals. Free radicals are harmful particles produced by the body and inhaled and ingested from various sources; antioxidant-rich foods and antioxidant supplements fight free radicals to delay or reverse the aging process.

Sources of Free Radicals and Anti-aging Supplements
Free radicals are a byproduct of the oxygenating process used to break down foods for the body's fuel; no one can avoid free radicals entirely. Beyond this internal source, there are many means whereby people come in contact with free radicals: through pollution, including car exhaust; from fried or browned foods; and from exposure to the sun. One puff on a cigarette unleashes about a trillion free radicals in the body.

Fortunately, there are abundant natural antioxidant sources; Patrick Holford and Dr. Hyla Cass recommend taking an antioxidant supplement (along with a good multivitamin and mineral supplement) in addition to eating an antioxidant-rich diet, particularly if one is older or living in a polluted (urban) environment.

Natural Antioxidant Sources for Anti-aging Nutrition

These foods are highest in antioxidants:
  • prunes
  • raisins
  • blueberries
  • blackberries
Secondary good sources of antioxidants include kale, spinach, strawberries, raspberries, plums, broccoli, and alfalfa sprouts.

Choosing High Quality Antioxidant Supplements
Antioxidant supplements will generally have a number of vitamins and minerals to support antioxidant action, including: vitamins A, C, and E; beta-carotene, zinc, selenium, gluthathione, and cysteine, as well as a plant-based antioxidant such as anthocyanidins from a source such as bilberry or Pycnogenol.

Ginkgo Supplements for Anti-aging Nutrition
Famous for aiding memory and brain function, this Asian herb enhances vitamin E and other antioxidant nutrients for added anti-aging benefits. In addition to general antioxidant properties, gingko supplements improve blood circulation within the brain, effectively boosting the ability of oxygen and other nutrients to get into the brain. Ginkgo has also proven itself as a powerful aid for those with Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, and can even relieve depression.

Holford and Dr. Cass recommend a dose of 120-240 milligrams per day of an extract of 24 percent flavonoids. Take half the total dose twice a day. Should be taken with caution for those on blood-thinning medication.

The Natural Antioxidant Power of Ashwaganda
Ashwaganda, an herb known as "Indian Ginseng," has a broad spectrum of positive effects in addition to its antioxidant properties. Ashwaganda improves immune system function, increases energy, and augments brain function through lowering levels of the stress hormone cortisol. It also works as an aphrodisiac.

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