Top 25 foods for longevity
The following 25 incredibly healthy foods have the potential to slow biological aging by acting in a number of ways. They provide unique antioxidants and nutrients that bolster our immune system, they defend against free radicals, they maintain a healthy blood-glucose and insulin level and they help to keep inflammation at bay.
Almonds: Rich in vitamin E (an antioxidant) and a good source of monounsaturated fat (an anti-inflammatory).
Avocados: High in monounsaturated fat and an excellent source of folate (which helps to repair DNA in cells).
Beets: Contain anthocyanins (antioxidants) and betaine, a compound that protects cells from aging.
Berries: Packed with many phytochemicals that act as potent antioxidants.
Black beans: Deliver low-glycemic carbohydrate, plenty of plant protein and their antioxidant content outranks other beans with anti-cancer properties.
Cabbage: Rich source of glucosinolates, phytochemicals that mop up free radicals and help rid the body of carcinogens
Broccoli: Contain sulforaphane, a phytoc of glucosinolates, phytochemicals that mop up free radicals and help to rid the body of carcinogens
Dark chocolate: Good source of flavonoids, compounds that have antioxidant, ant-inflammatory and anti-blood-clotting properties (all it takes is one small square!).
Flaxseed: Excellent source of alpha linolenic acid or ALA (an omega-3 fat) and lignans, phytochemicals thought to guard against breast and prostate cancer.
Garlic: Loaded with natural sulphur compounds that help to boost your immune system and may keep your heart healthy.
Green tea: Rich source of flavonoids, powerful antioxidants that may help to prevent heart disease and certain cancers.
Kale: Good source of vitamins A, C and K, folate, calcium and potassium and is plentiful in phytochemicals that help preserve eyesight.
Lentils: Great source of soluble fibre (the type that keeps LDL cholesterol in check) along with slow-burning, low-glycemic carbohydrate and folate.
Oats: Deliver cholesterol-lowering fibre and unique antioxidants called avenanthramides that protect LDL cholesterol particles from free radicals.
Olive oil (extra-virgin): Excellent source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat along with vitamin E and anti-inflammatory phytochemicals
Oranges: Packed with vitamin C, a nutrient that keeps your immune system healthy as you age, as well as limonoids, phytochemicals linked with disease protection.
Pomegranates: Seeds deliver polyphenols, antioxidants thought to reduce the risk of heart disease and possibly prostate and lung cancer.
Red bell peppers: Good source of vitamin C and beta carotene, two antioxidants linked with protection from heart disease and certain cancers.
Red grapes: Contain resveratrol, a phytochemical with anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties.
Salmon: One of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids, anti-inflammatories shown to combat aging in cells by preventing special sequences of DNA (called telomeres) from shortening; telomere shortening is linked with the aging process and poorer health.
Soybeans: Nutrient-rich and an excellent source of isoflavones, phytochemicals that may help to reduce the risk of breast and prostate cancer.
Spinach: packed with lutein for eye health and a good source of anti-cancer compounds including vitamins A and C, beta-carotene and flavonoids.
Sweet potatoes: Rich in beta carotene, a phytochemical that not only protects from free-radical damage, but is also thought to guard against cancer by stimulating communication between cells.
Tomatoes: Contain lycopene, a phytochemical shown to help lower prostate-cancer risk when consumed from heat-processed tomatoes (e.g. tomato sauce).
Walnuts: Important source of monounsaturated fat and alpha linolenic acid (ALA), an omega-3 fatty acid that helps to reduce inflammation.
by Leslie Beck
Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2012
Special to The Globe and Mail
From Leslie Beck’s Longevity Diet
Originally published at ourbetterhealth.org on October 15, 2016.