9 Best Foods To Fight Aging

One of the Martha Stewart Magazines, Whole Living, has a list of 10 foods which can help fight aging, nine of those are vegan. So what are these wonder foods? Well, most of them are in our kitchen, and probably yours too:

  1. Healthy Greens -- They contain folate, calcium, and other nutrients that support bone health, protect against cognitive decline, and help prevent age-related eye problems. Diets high in cruciferous veggies, such as broccoli and cabbage, help reduce risk of memory loss and cancer.
  2. Whole Grains -- Rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, whole grains can lower the risk of age-related illnesses such as cardiovascular disease and cancer. Because they're digested more slowly than processed grains, they also help prevent high blood sugar and diabetes.
  3. Berries -- Blueberries, blackberries, and cranberries are rich in antioxidant compounds known as anthocyanins, which have been shown to slow the growth of certain cancers as well as improve brain function, muscle tone, and balance.
  4. Olive Oil -- Rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory monounsaturated fat, olive oil figures prominently in the Mediterranean diet. It may explain the lower rates of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and age-related cognitive decline in people who follow this way of eating.
  5. Tomatoes -- Certain red fruits, including tomatoes, contain lycopene, an antioxidant compound that helps maintain youthful skin texture and may reduce the risk of some types of cancer (especially prostate, lung, and stomach cancers) and heart disease.
  6. Nuts -- Varieties such as almonds and walnuts contain a generous helping of healthy fats, vitamins, and protein that benefit cardiovascular and brain health. Nuts are also high in compounds that ease inflammation.
  7. Red Grapes -- Grapes contain an antioxidant called resveratrol, which been shown to extend the lives of lab animals (VB note - we do not support animal testing, please see comments below for some of our readers comments on this). Resveratrol has anti-inflammatory and anticoagulant properties, which may explain why red wine and purple grape juice also help promote heart health.
  8. Fish -- An important part of the Japanese and Mediterranean diets, oily fish provide omega-3 fatty acids that help combat inflammation in the body. People who eat several weekly servings of such fish have a lower risk of Alzheimer's disease and stroke.
  9. Teas -- Of the various types of tea, white and green tea contain the most EGCG, one of the most powerful antioxidants. Numerous studies have linked tea consumption to lower rates of conditions such as heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer's disease.
  10. Herbs and Spices -- Spices such as turmeric and ginger contain anti-inflammatory compounds that might reduce the risk of age-related conditions such as Alzheimer's disease. The antioxidant substances in garlic and onions can protect against heart disease and cancer; cinnamon may help lower blood sugar.

Source: Whole Living

There's been a lot of research to support that eating whole foods over processed foods is beneficial to your health. Here's just another example of that. Earlier this month, Lane wrote a post on the 11 Best Foods You Aren't Eating as compiled by the New York Times. Further proof that fruits and veggies are the way to go.

Cheers -- Jane

note: post edited 7/23 -- I inadvertently omitted #5 Tomatoes!

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Comments

  1. Great post.

    As for the fish, well, 8 out of 9 vegan items from Martha Stewart ain’t bad.

    In our family we’ve been getting Omega-3s from flax meal added to other foods.

    For example, we love having rice with Bragg’s aminos, nutritional yeast, and flax meal sprinkled on top.

    My daughter has excema, and the flax does double duty by helping clear that up, too.

    Who needs fish anyway? Not us!

  2. You can use milled hemp seed as an alternative to flax as that has omega 3, as does rape seed oil.

  3. I am somewhat disturbed by the part under red grapes: “been shown to extend the lives of lab animals”. I am not supportive of testing on animals, and it concerns me that lab testing is slipped into an article on healthy foods for humans. The wording of the sentence makes it seem natural that animals are being used for tests. While I think it is positive to remember that a lot of ‘knowledge’ about healthy foods comes from animal testing, the way the topic is mentioned in this article does nothing to question the practice, but instead seems to normalize the practice by letting a serious issue be slipped innocuously into a health article.

  4. I would just add:

    – Probably everyone here know this but… Clinical and population studies suggest that it’s better to get beneficial compounds such as resveratrol and anthocyanins from food rather than supplements. Tastes better that way, too. ;) The China Study and other sources emphasize that there’s no miracle chemical that is the fountain of youth; rather it is the variety of healthy foods that produces the healthful results. There seems to be a tendency among scientists (and perhaps supplement manufacturers) to reduce the healthiness of foods down to a rather small group of chemicals; but who knows that myriad ways in which all these elements (including perhaps hundreds yet to be discovered) work in synergy when consumed in a diet?

    – I’d be wary of extrapolating lab animal data to humans. We probably all know there are countless instances where the effects of a given substance vary significantly between species . Furthermore, animal lab tests are typically done under highly artificial (and cruel) conditions and are often polluted with artifact errors, and the delivery of the substance being studied typically does not mimic the way humans would acquire it in real life. Fortunately, there’s considerable human-based evidence that the above foods (with one glaring exception) contribute to good health throughout life.

  5. Heck, I should live to be at least 120 ;)

  6. Hi Everyone — Please note, we revisited the post… We’d omitted tomatoes from the list (#5). Apologies!
    ——-

    Hi David,
    (Welcome back!) Yes, Jane was excited to see something so pro-vegetarian in such a mainstream publication. It was mostly a lift, so we can’t really take credit, but thanks anyway.
    We’ll have to try your rice. It sounds delicious.

    Hi Kate,
    We just got our hands on some hemp seed, so we’ll be doing a side by side evaluation at some point. Thanks for sharing!

    Hi Kim,
    Thanks for pointing that out. Typically, when we are quoting a source, we don’t edit the quotes, but I’ve gone back and added a note to that item. You’re right, it is a serious issue and in phrasing it that way, there is the potential of “normalizing” the issue.

    Hi Gary,
    We’ve often wondered about the scientific data isolating one component of something… It would seem that the chemical interactions of all the various components of a food would play in together. Perhaps I should have paid more attention in chemistry or biology class ;)
    Agreed, that there is considerable data pointing to the fact that animal testing doesn’t translate smoothly to human testing. We’ll have to revisit that topic soon to make up for the error in not editing that!

    Hi LaTara,
    I remember reading in the recent past, that 120 wasn’t out of the question for humans, and something about kidney function being key to longevity. (But I’m not a physician…)
    Anyway, sounds great!

  7. Furthermore, animal lab tests are typically done under highly artificial (and cruel) conditions and are often polluted with artifact errors, and the delivery of the substance being studied typically does not mimic the way humans would acquire it in real life. Fortunately, there’s considerable human-based evidence that the above foods (with one glaring exception) contribute to good health throughout life.

  8. No kidding. How many times do we have to be told that non processed foods are healthier, why would anyone ever think over processing our nutritional sources would yield healthy results?

  9. Fantastic post however I was wondering if you could write a litte
    more on this subject? I’d bee very thankful if
    you could elaborate a little bit more. Thank you!

  10. I love reading a postt that caan mke peple think. Also, thak you for
    permitting me to comment!

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