We all want to feel more youthful and energetic. If you are up to date with the latest science research about healthy eating, you would be aware that scientists have found a direct correlation between what we eat, and our health and genes.
The food we consume can quite literally kill us, or increase our life span. Below I have listed some of the exact foods you should add to your diet, to not only maintain your health and decrease your chances of disease. But to also keep you looking younger for longer and increase your energy levels.
What Causes Disease and Aging?
One of the major causes of aging and onset of disease is free radicals. Free radicals are our bodies equivalent to nuclear waste. Free radicals are caused by oxidization. Although oxygen is essential to our bodies, it requires a combustion process that can affect surrounding molecules negatively. Free radicals change cells and can speed up the aging process from a cellular level. This is an essential and inevitable process.
Luckily, our bodies have a defense to restore these molecules to their correct state of functioning. This is where antioxidants become important. Antioxidants neutralize the free radicals, giving them what they need and stopping any damage from spreading to other molecules in the body. For more information on how antioxidants work, check out this article.
Unfortunately in today’s society, free radicals can outweigh our bodies ability to neutralize them. It is our responsibility to assist our body by ensuring it gets the right nutrients and intake of antioxidants to allow our body to function properly.
‘Fitness is 20% exercise and 80% nutrition. You can’t outrun your fork.’
Slow down the Aging Process
Scientists have found that a low calorie diet, high in antioxidants can slow down aging. Studies in animals have shown that they can live up to 40% longer! Although long term human studies are still being completed, as nutrition and it’s affect on our genes is still relatively new science, we can expect that the same principles apply to us.
The Best 15 Foods to Eat
Scientists have created a way to score the foods we consume, by how useful their antioxidants are. Below are the highest rated foods and how much is one serving.
The World Health Organisation suggests we eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day. In Australia, it is recommended to eat 2 fruit and 5 vegetable servings per day to help maintain health. My personal opinion is to eat as many fruits and vegetables as you can. All the colors of the rainbow, within your recommended calorie intake.
- Prunes: 1 pitted prune
- Raisins: 1/4 cup
- Blueberries: 1/2 cup
- Blackberries: 1/2 cup
- Kale: 1/2 cup cooked
- Strawberries: 1/2 cup
- Raw Spinach: 1 cup
- Raspberries: 1/2 cup
- Tenderstem: 1/2 cup cooked
- Plums: 1 plum
- Alfalfa Sprouts: 1 cup
- Steamed Spinach: 1/2 cup
- Brocolli: 1/2 cup cooked
- Beets: 1/2 cup cooked
- Avocado: 1/2 cup
This is a list of the top 15 foods with the best antioxidant power. These are the foods that are more likely to keep you youthful and energetic. All fruits and vegetables have value, so ensure you vary your diet. Eating 5 servings of the same fruit or vegetable is not going to be as beneficial as eating 5 different fruits or vegetables.
An important factor to consider when cooking vegetables, is that up to 90% of the antioxidants are lost in the boiling process. To help our bodies even further to stay youthful and energetic, steaming is a significantly better cooking option.
‘Eating well is a form of self respect.’
Thank you so much for joining us today at Healthy Mind, Healthy Body, Healthy Life. We hope you have found benefit in the information we share. What are your favourite fruits, vegetables and antioxidant rich recipes? We would love to hear from you in the comments below.
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Love and Light