FREE RADICALS AND AGING
Looking for the fountain of youth? Well, look no further than your local grocery store! Researchers have discovered that fresh fruits and vegetables contain high levels of antioxidants. Antioxidants are powerful compounds that help protect the cells from free radicals and reduce signs of premature aging. Below is a list of foods that have been proven to help improve skin texture and elasticity, be sure to add them to your shopping list! Spoiler alert, the list contains chocolate!
Almonds are the perfect go-to snack! They contain vitamin E which acts as an antioxidant that can help protect cells from premature aging. They support the body by reducing inflammation, and help improve blood flow.
Literally a handful of blueberries is really all you need to get all the benefits of this antioxidant and anti-inflammatory fruit. As an antioxidant, it helps fight oxidative stress, which is the stress caused by the presence of molecules called free-radicals originating from pollution, smoke and alcohol. They contain vitamins C, K and manganese, plus low in calories, 64 calories for ¾ of a cup.
Spinach is a leafy green vegetable that provides a variety of health benefits. It contains iron and antioxidants that help maintain the skin fresh and hydrated. It is loaded with Vitamin C, helping keep the skin firm and looking youthful.
Chocolate? Yes, we hear you, and we’re excited too. But, there’s a catch: Chocolate is a food that can be anti-aging as long as you consume it in its most natural form, that is over 70% Cacao is best. Chocolate contains flavanoids, a group of phytochemicals that have antioxidant abilities. According to researchers at the Columbia University Medical Center, 1-2 ounces of dark chocolate daily may result in anti-aging effects.
Green/ White Tea
Green tea and white tea contain powerful antioxidants called EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), a compound that helps in fighting DNA damage from UV rays preventing skin cancers. According to the Pacific College of Health and Science, EGCG in green tea can help fight off free-radicals.
Coffee is so debatable, especially because it’s one of those drinks that if consumed in high quantities can be highly dehydrating and damaging to the skin. However, as of recently coffee has been recognized as a drink with anti-aging effects due to the high number of polyphenols (antioxidants) that can have a positive effect on fat storage, and reduces memory loss.
Adding legumes to your diet can bring lots of benefits, they reduce risk of heart disease, Alzheimer’s and diabetes. They are also a healthy alternative to consuming large quantities of carbohydrates like pastas, rice and potatoes which are starchy and may cause high sugar peaks. Legumes like chickpeas, lentils and peas are packed with healthy micronutrients like potassium and magnesium.
Mushrooms are interesting, they’re a fungus and according to researchers at Penn State, in order to slow down aging you should be adding mushrooms to your diet. In their research they found that mushrooms contain high levels of antioxidants (ergothioneine and glutathione). Mushroom’s antioxidants effects can help tackle oxidative stress, a culprit in the likely development of Alzheimer’s, cancer and heart disease.
An apple a day can keep the wrinkles away? Perhaps, it’s been found that apples contain ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) and polyphenols. Both of these antioxidants have been attributed to the minimal presence of free radicals that help protect cells from aging.
Olive oil contains healthy fatty acids (oleic acid) and antioxidants that when consumed in combination with a Mediterranean diet can open anti-aging pathways. According to researchers at the University of Minnesota Medical School, olive oil can activate pathways that help increase the lifespan of cells and prevent age-related diseases.
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