Reduce the Effects of Aging with these Antioxidant-Rich Foods
Anti-aging foods are rich in antioxidants and nutrients that can help combat the effects of aging by reducing oxidative stress and promoting cellular health. Including a variety of these foods in your diet, such as berries, herbs and spices, leafy greens, and fatty fish, can contribute to improved cardiovascular health, enhanced cognitive function, and the maintenance of a healthy gut.
Fun Fact: Did you know that frozen berries can be equally, if not more, nutritious than fresh ones? This is because they are typically frozen at their peak of ripeness when polyphenol levels are at their highest.
Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries are packed with a diverse array of antioxidants, vitamins and polyphenols. The vibrant color of berries, ranging from deep purples to bright reds, is often indicative of their high polyphenol content, which contributes to their antioxidant properties and potential health benefits.These small but mighty fruits pack a powerful punch and have been shown to reduce inflammation and protect your DNA from free radicals that damage cells. Berries are also packed with vitamin C, soluble fiber, and prebiotics that provide fuel to the probiotics in our gut. Ample research shows that regular berry consumption reduces risk of age-related conditions like heart disease, cognitive decline, and skin aging.
Tips to increase your berry intake:
- Add a cup of mixed berries to smoothies
- Top morning oatmeal with berries of choice
- Yogurt and berries as a midday snack
- Use blueberries in a kale salad
- Strawberries dipped in dark chocolate for a sweet treat
Herbs + Spices
Herbs and spices not only enhance the flavor and aroma of dishes but also provide a variety of powerful polyphenols. Research shows that herbs and spices like turmeric, ginger, and garlic have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases and promote overall well-being. The active ingredient in turmeric is called curcumin, which has been shown to actively reduce inflammation. Be sure to pair turmeric with black pepper as it enhances curcumin absorption by 2,000%! Garlic is considered a functional spice because it contains high levels of vitamins and an antioxidant called allicin, which has been linked to reducing oxidative stress in our cells. Using herbs and spices while cooking is a great way to decrease salt consumption and increase the nutritional value of your dish.
Dark Leafy Greens
Leafy greens, including spinach, kale, collard greens, and Swiss chard, are considered anti-aging superfoods because they are packed with vitamins like C and K, as well as fiber and an array of antioxidants. They also serve as an excellent source of magnesium, a critical mineral essential for various bodily functions, including nerve and muscle function, blood sugar regulation, and maintaining strong bones. Research shows that a diet rich in leafy greens is linked to enhanced brain health and a reduced risk of cognitive decline and dementia. With their remarkable versatility, leafy greens can be used in salads, soups, smoothies, or even scrambled into your morning eggs.
Consuming fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, and trout can provide a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, particularly EPA and DHA. Research shows these essential nutrients have a positive impact on various aspects of our health, including heart health, cognitive function, and mood regulation, while also aiding in reducing inflammation. The American Heart Association recommends incorporating 2-3 servings of fatty fish into your weekly diet but advises limiting the consumption of fish high in mercury, such as tuna, halibut, swordfish, and seabass. Omega-3 fatty acids have not only been associated with lowering triglyceride levels and enhancing blood vessel function but have also been linked to promoting longevity. By utilizing Ahara's biomarker test, individuals can receive a precise measurement of EPA and DHA levels in their blood, allowing for an assessment of potential deficiency risk due to both diet and genetics. This valuable information serves as a crucial step toward reducing the risk of chronic diseases and promoting healthy aging.
Here’s a list of low mercury fish that is packed with omega-3’s: