Research shows that certain foods can dramatically help to reduce free radical damage and slow the aging process. By making smarter food choices, you just might be able to add years to your life. These “superfoods” pack a powerful nutritional punch and are rich in antioxidants known to fight the damaging effects of free radicals. Here are five anti-aging superfoods to include in your daily diet.
- Yogurt – Yogurt is rich in calcium. Calcium is crucial for maintaining healthy bones and reducing your risk of osteoporosis. Yogurt also contains acidophilus or “good bacteria” for a healthy digestive system. It may help diminish the incidence of age-related intestinal illness.
- Blueberries – In a landmark Tufts University study, researchers gave rats blueberry extract for a period of time that in “rat lives” is equivalent to 10 human years. Those rats outperformed rats fed regular food on tests of balance and coordination when they reached old age. Compounds in blueberries (and other berries) reduce inflammation and oxidative damage, which are associated with age-related deficits in memory and motor function.
- Avocados – Avocados contain monounsaturated fat. The fat is so tiny it can slip through membranes and protect cells from free radical damage. This enhances vitality and mental acuity and improves skin texture. Bonus: Avocados may also improve bone density thanks to the mineral boron, which helps absorb calcium, and a whole avocado contains 14 grams of fiber, which expedites the removal of toxins that can lead to aging.
- Dark Chocolate – Dark chocolate is full of cocoa, which is unusually rich in flavanols that help preserve the healthy function of blood vessels. Maintaining youthful blood vessels lowers risk of high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, kidney disease and dementia.
- Nuts – Nuts are rich sources of unsaturated fats, so they offer benefits similar to those associated with olive oil – including a reduced risk of heart disease. They’re also concentrated sources of vitamins, minerals and other phytochemicals, including anti-aging antioxidants.