Eat well to age well.
Health is the key to being able to enjoy a long, independent and happy life. We should all be eating foods to maximising this especially in light of the recent push from the NHS for us to look after ourselves. With this thought in mind I have compiled a list of 10 super foods that can easily be incorporated into most people’s daily diet. This is the easiest way for most elderly people to help themselves and eat well to age well.
These foods are rich in anti-oxidants, minerals and vitamins that they will perform all sorts of wonders, not least of which will be to keep you looking, feeling and acting younger.
Garlic has been shown to
- Lower blood pressure
- Reduce cholesterol
- Reduce the risk of stroke, heart attack and vascular dementia as it thins the blood.
- It removes metals from the body
- It is anti fungal
- It is anti-viral
- Improves circulation
- It also rejuvenates the skin.
For maximum benefit garlic should be taken raw although cooked garlic does offer some benefits.
The pigment in tomatoes that makes them red is lycopene which is most easily absorbed when it is cooked – in sauces, soups etc. There is evidence that lycopene reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, some cancers and macular degeneration resulting in sight loss in the elderly.
The amazing blue colour of the blueberry comes from a group of chemicals known as anthocyanins. These are absorbed into the brain’s membranes and can help improve brain function and memory. Plums, blackberries, red grapes and red cabbage also contain anthocyanins but the blueberry is a particularly good source. Frozen fruits are as good as fresh.
4. Oily Fish
Oily fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines contain omega 3 essential fatty acids which are good for maintaining a healthy heart and brain. Studies have shown that mental decline is reduced in people who have a high intake of omega 3 essential fatty acids.
5. Green Tea
Both green and black tea varieties contain antioxidants called catechins. These help to protect against heart disease. Green tea can also significantly decrease the risks of breast cancer in women though as it has the effect of reducing circulating eastrogen which has been implicated in the development of the disease.
6. Ginger, curry and other spices
Ginger is high in anti-oxidants and has anti inflammatory properties. Studies have shown that oregano, sage, peppermint, thyme, clove, allspice and cinnamon can all help to prevent chronic disease. Curcumin which is found in turmeric and yellow curry powders has been suggested as a possible way to reduce the risk of Alzheimers. Indians who eat a lot of curcumin have much lower rates of Alzheimers than other populations.
Honey is a rich source of anti-oxidants as well as containing vitamins B6, C, thiamin, niacin and calcium. There is also some research to suggest that honey can help combat memory decline.
Avocados are a fantastic source of fibre – about 10g per fruit. A study reported in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry shows that avocados contain enough lutein, an antioxidant, to stop cancer growth in a lab experiment. Lutein also promotes good eye health. Avocados are also a good source of oleic acid, a mono unsaturated fat which helps lower cholesterol.
Broccoli is a wonderful source of bio flavanoids and is top of the list of anti-cancer vegetables. It has been shown to protect against breast and prostate cancer. It is also a good source of iron. To get maximum benefit from broccoli it should be steamed or stir-fried lightly or eaten raw.
Oatmeal contains soluble fibre that can help lower cholesterol levels. This improves the health of the cardiovascular system and reduces the risk of heart disease. A diet high in fibre will also offer some protection against colon cancer.
Also please, don’t forget to drink plenty of water. Water helps the body to expel toxins as well as keeping the skin soft and smooth.