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The Best Foods You can Eat

I wish I could publish this exactly as sent by my friend, Hayfa. It is a beautiful article!

 

The 40 Best Age-Erasing Superfoods

By: The editors of Men’s Health

The latest science on the musclebuilding,

brain-enhancing, wrinkleerasing,

heart-strengthening,

bone-protecting, immunityboosting,

and inflammationfighting

foods you should be

eating every day.

1. Almonds

These energy-rich snacks lower bad

cholesterol, thanks to plant sterols, and

benefit diabetics by lowering blood sugar.

They’re also rich in amino acids, which

bolster testosterone levels and muscle

growth. Almonds are also stuffed with

vitamin E, which helps defend against sun

damage. In a study, volunteers who

consumed 14 milligrams of the vitamin

(about 20 almonds) per day and then were

exposed to UV light burned less than those

who took none. And because vitamin E is

an antioxidant, it also works to keep your

arteries free of dangerous free radicals.

Low levels of vitamin E are also associated

with poor memory performance and cognitive decline, says dietitian Sari Greaves of New York

Presbyterian Hospital–Cornell.

2. Flaxseeds

Rich in protein and fiber, these little

seeds offer a payload of omega-3 fatty

acids, which erase spots and iron out

fine lines in the skin. The British Journal

of Nutrition reported that participants in

one study who downed about half a

teaspoon of omega-3s daily in 6 weeks

experienced significantly less irritation

and redness, along with better-hydrated skin. A recent study of people with high cholesterol

(greater than 240 mg/dL) compared statin treatment with eating 20 grams of flaxseed a day. After

60 days, those eating flaxseed did just as well as those on statins. Try sprinkling ground flaxseed

on oatmeal, yogurt, and salads.

Page | 2

3. Tomatoes

There are two things you need to know

about tomatoes: red are the best,

because they’re packed with more of

the antioxidant lycopene; and

processed tomatoes are just as potent

as fresh ones, because it’s easier for

the body to absorb the lycopene.

Studies show that a diet rich in

lycopene can decrease your risk of

bladder, lung, prostate, skin, and stomach cancers, as well as reduce the risk of coronary artery

disease, and help eliminate skin-aging free radicals caused by ultraviolet rays. “Cooked tomatoes

and tomato paste work best,” says celebrity trainer Gunnar Petersen.

4. Sweet Potatoes

Often confused with yams, these

tubers are one of the healthiest foods

on the planet. In addition to

countering the effects of secondhand

smoke and preventing diabetes,

sweet potatoes contain glutathione,

an antioxidant that can enhance

nutrient metabolism and immunesystem

health, as well as protect

against Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, liver

disease, cystic fibrosis, HIV, cancer, heart attack, and stroke. What’s more, they’re also loaded

with vitamin C, which smoothes out wrinkles by stimulating the production of collagen. A recent

study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that volunteers who consumed 4

milligrams of C (about half a small sweet potato) daily for 3 years decreased the appearance of

wrinkles by 11 percent.

5. Spinach

It may be green and leafy, but spinach—a

renowned muscle builder—is also the ultimate

man food. The heart-health equivalent of a firstballot

Hall of Famer, spinach is replete with the

essential minerals potassium and magnesium,

and it’s one of the top sources of lutein, an

antioxidant that may help prevent clogged

arteries. Plus its vitamins and nutrients can

bolster bone-mineral density, attack prostate

cancer cells, reduce the risk of skin tumors, fight

colon cancer, and, last but not least, increase

blood flow to the penis. “Popeye was on to

something,” says Susan Bowerman, assistant director of the Center for Human Nutrition at the

University of California at Los Angeles.

Page | 3

6. Rosemary

The carnosic acid found in this spice has

been shown to reduce stroke risk in mice

by 40 percent, according to a study

published in the Journal of

Neurochemistry. Carnosic acid appears to

set off a process that shields brain cells

from free-radical damage, which can

worsen the effects of a stroke. It can also

protect against degenerative diseases like

Alzheimer’s and the general effects of

aging.

7. Wild Salmon

A 4-ounce serving of salmon has

approximately 2,000 milligrams of

docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and

eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA),

omega-3 fatty acids that serve as

oil for the brain’s hardware by

helping nerve cells communicate

with one another. Thirty-five percent

of your brain consists of fatty acids

like these, but they can decline as

the years stack up. A 2008 University of Cincinnati study, for instance, found that the brain tissue

of 65- to 80-year-olds contained 22 percent less DHA than the brain tissue of 29- to 35-year-olds.

“If you want to keep your wits about you as you age, start consuming omega-3s now,” says

William Harris, Ph.D., a nutrition researcher at the University of South Dakota. Why is wild so

important? Because farmed fish, which are fattened with soy, can be as high in inflammatory

omega-6 fats as a cheeseburger. If in doubt, opt for sockeye salmon, which can’t be farmed and

is always wild. Aim for at least two servings a week, says dietitian Joan Salge Blake, author of

Nutrition and You.

8. Blueberries

“This potent little fruit can help prevent

a range of diseases from cancer to

heart disease,” says Ryan Andrews,

the director of research at Precision

Nutrition, in Toronto, Canada. Think of

blueberries as anti-rust for your gray

matter, too. Besides being rich in fiber

and vitamins A and C, they’re also

packed with antioxidants—only açai,

an Amazonian berry, contains more—

that neutralize the free radicals that cause neuronal misfires. Eat a cup a day, and opt for wild

blueberries whenever possible, as they contain 26 percent more antioxidants than cultivated

varieties.

Page | 4

9. Green Tea

Green tea releases catechin, an antioxidant with proven anti-inflammatory and anticancer

properties. Research found that drinking 2 to 6 cups a day not only helps prevent skin cancer but

might also reverse the effects of sun damage by neutralizing the changes that appear in sunexposed

skin. Other studies show that green tea—infused with another antioxidant called

epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG)—can boost

your cardiovascular health and reduce the risk

of most types of cancer.

10. Dark Chocolate

Flavonoids, a natural nutrient in cocoa, improve

blood flow in the brain, which helps boost

cognitive function. Plus dark chocolate contains

a tannin called procyanidin, which is also found

in red wine, that can keep your arteries flexible

and your blood pressure low. It helps on the outside, too. In a study from the Journal of Nutrition,

women who drank cocoa fortified with a chocolate bar’s worth of flavonols had better skin texture

and stronger resistance to UV rays than those who drank significantly fewer flavonols. Indulge in

1 ounce a day to get all the benefits, says dietitian Sari Greaves of New York Presbyterian

Hospital–Cornell.

11. Tuna

Your favorite deli sandwich has a little secret:

Selenium. This nutrient helps preserve elastin, a

protein that keeps your skin smooth and tight. The

antioxidant is also believed to buffer against the sun

(it stops free radicals created by UV exposure from

damaging cells). Tuna is also a great source of

protein, contains no trans fat, and a 3-ounce serving

of chunk light contains 11 mg of heart-healthy niacin, which has been shown to help lower

cholesterol and help your body process fat. University of Rochester researchers determined that

niacin raises HDL cholesterol (the good kind) and lowers triglycerides more than most statins

alone.

12. Carrots

Think of carrots as orange wonder wands—

good for the eyeballs, and good for clearing up

breakouts. No magic here, though, just plenty of

vitamin A, which prevents overproduction of

cells in the skin’s outer layer. That means fewer

dead cells to combine with sebum and clog

pores. They’re also spiked with carotenoids—

fat-soluble compounds that are associated with a reduction in a wide range of cancers, as well as

a reduced risk and severity of inflammatory conditions such as asthma and rheumatoid arthritis.

Page | 5

13. Dried Plums

Also known as prunes, these dark shrivelers

are rich in copper and boron, both of which

can help prevent osteoporosis. “They also

contain a fiber called inulin, which, when

broken down by intestinal bacteria, makes

for a more acidic environment in the

digestive tract,” says Bowerman. “That, in

turn, facilitates calcium absorption.”

14. Whole Grains

Whole grains—oatmeal, wheat flour, barley,

brown rice—are high in fiber, which calms

inflamed tissues while keeping the heart

strong, the colon healthy, and the brain fueled.

Whole grains can be loaded with carbs, but

the release of those sugars is slowed by the

fiber, and because they can pack as much as

10 grams of protein per 1/2-cup serving, they

also deliver steady muscle-building energy.

But not all breads and crackers advertised as “whole grain” are the real deal. “Read the label,”

says Lynn Grieger, an online health, food, and fitness coach. “Those that aren’t whole grain can

be high in fat, which increases inflammation.”

15. Red Wine

Swimming in resveratrol—a natural compound that

lowers LDL, raises HDL, and prevents blood clots—red

wine can truly be a lifesaver. A recent review in

Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, for

instance, suggests that resveratrol may prevent or delay

the onset of chronic disease. But limit your intake to two

drinks a day. According to a study of 6,000 patients in the

Journal of the American Medical Association, you’re 97

percent more likely to reach your 85th birthday if you

keep your daily alcohol consumption to fewer than three

drinks. Vin rouge is also a rich source of flavonoids, antioxidants that help protect the lining of

blood vessels in your heart, and may make you less likely to die of cardiovascular disease,

according to Japanese researchers.

16. Yogurt

Various cultures claim yogurt as their own

creation, but the 2,000-year-old food’s health

benefits are not disputed: Fermentation spawns

hundreds of millions of probiotic organisms that

serve as reinforcements to the battalions of

Page | 6

beneficial bacteria in your body, which keep your digestive tract healthy and your immune system

in top form, and provide protection against cancer. Not all yogurts are probiotic, though, so make

sure the label says “live and active cultures.”

17. Avocado

Chock full of monounsaturated fat, avocados

deliver a double-barreled blast to LDL

cholesterol (the bad kind). They are also rich in

folate, a water-soluble B vitamin that helps

lower the levels of homocysteine, an amino

acid that can hinder the flow of blood through

blood vessels. Eat a 1/4 cup twice a week,

says Greaves.

18. Walnuts

Richer in heart-healthy omega-3s than salmon,

loaded with more anti-inflammatory polyphenols

than red wine, and packing half as much musclebuilding

protein as chicken, the walnut sounds like

a Frankenfood, but it grows on trees. Other nuts

combine only one or two of these features, not all

three. A serving of walnuts—about 1 ounce, or

seven nuts—is good anytime, but especially as a postworkout recovery snack.

19. Turmeric

Curcumin, the polyphenol that gives turmeric

its tang and yellow hue, has anticancer

properties, anti-inflammatory effects, and

tumor-fighting activities known in nutritionspeak

as anti-angiogenesis. Researchers at

UCLA have also found that it helps deter the

accumulation of amyloid plaques in the

brain, tiny blockages that may cause

Alzheimer’s disease. Turmeric’s prevalence

in India, the researchers suggest, may help explain why so few of the country’s senior citizens

have the disease, whereas the statistic is close to 13 percent in the United States, according to

the Alzheimer’s Association. One tip: Pair it with pepper in curries. “Adding black pepper to

turmeric or turmeric-spiced food enhances curcumin’s bioavailability by 1,000 times, due to black

pepper’s hot property called piperine,” says nutritionist Stacy Kennedy of the Dana Farber

Cancer Institute.

20. Black Beans

Page | 7

People who eat one 3-ounce serving of black beans a day decrease their risk of heart attack by

38 percent, according to a study in the Journal of Nutrition. And while other beans are also good

for your heart, none can boost your brainpower like black beans. That’s because they’re full of

anthocyanins, antioxidant compounds that have been shown to improve brain function. They’re

also packed with superstar nutrients, including protein, healthy fats, folate, magnesium, B

vitamins, potassium, and fiber.

21. Apples

An apple a day reduces swelling of all kinds, thanks to quercetin, a flavonoid also found in the

skin of red onions. Quercetin reduces the risk of allergies, heart attack, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s,

and prostate and lung cancers. If given the choice, opt

for Red Delicious. They contain the most inflammationfighting

antioxidants.

22. Alaskan King Crab

High in protein

and low in fat,

the sweet flesh of the king crab is spiked with zinc—a

whopping 7 milligrams per 3.5-ounce serving. “Zinc is

an antioxidant, but more important, it helps support

healthy bone mass and immune function,” says

Bowerman.

23. Pomegranates

The juice from the biblical fruit of many seeds

can reduce your risk of most cancers, thanks to

polyphenols called ellagitannins, which give the

fruit its color. In fact, a recent study at UCLA

found that pomegranate juice slows the growth

of prostate cancer cells by a factor of six.

24. Pak Choy

This crunchy cruciferous vegetable is more than the

filler that goes with shrimp in brown sauce. “Bok

choy is rich in bone-building calcium, as well as

vitamins A and C, folic acid, iron, beta-carotene,

and potassium,” says celebrity trainer Teddy Bass.

Potassium keeps your muscles and nerves in check

while lowering your blood pressure, and research

suggests that beta-carotene can reduce the risk of both lung and bladder cancers, as well as

macular degeneration.

Page | 8

25. Oysters

Shellfish, in general, is an excellent source of zinc, calcium,

copper, iodine, iron, potassium, and selenium. “But the creamy

flesh of oysters stands apart for its ability to elevate testosterone

levels and protect against prostate cancer,” says Bass.

26. Broccoli

One cup of

broccoli contains a hearty dose of calcium, as

well as manganese, potassium, phosphorus,

magnesium, and iron. And that’s in addition to

its high concentration of vitamins—including A,

C, and K—and the phytonutrient sulforaphane,

which studies at Johns Hopkins University

suggest has powerful anticancer properties.

27. Kiwis

Like bananas, this fuzzy fruit is high in bone-protecting

potassium. “They’re also rich in vitamin C and lutein, a

carotenoid that can help reduce the risk of heart disease,” says

Bowerman. “I try to eat at least one or two a week after

exercising.” Freeze them for a refreshing energy kick, but don’t

peel the skin: It’s edible and packed with nutrients.

28. Olive Oil

The extra-virgin variety is rich in beneficial monounsaturated

fats. “Its fatty acids and polyphenols reduce inflammation in

cells and joints,” says Grieger. A study in the journal Nature

found that it’s as effective as Advil at reducing inflammation.

“Have 2 tablespoons a day,” says Bowerman.

29. Leeks

“Leeks can support sexual functioning and reduce

the risk of prostate cancer,” says Michael

Dansinger, M.D., an assistant professor of

medicine and an obesity researcher at Tufts–New

England Medical Center, in Boston. “Chop the

green part of a medium leek into thin ribbons and

add it to soups, sautés, and salads as often as

possible.” These scallionlike cousins of garlic and onions are also packed with bone-bolstering

thiamine, riboflavin, calcium, and potassium, and they’re also rich in folic acid, a B vitamin that

studies have shown to lower levels of the artery-damaging amino acid homocystein in the blood.

Page | 9

30. Artichokes

Lauded for centuries as an aphrodisiac, this fiber-rich

plant contains more bone-building magnesium and

potassium than any other vegetable. Its leaves are

also rich in flavonoids and polyphenols—antioxidants

that can cut the risk of stroke—and vitamin C, which

helps maintain the immune system. “Eat them as often

as you can,” says Bowerman. Ripe ones feel heavy

for their size and squeak when squeezed.

31.

Chili

Peppers

“Chilis stimulate the metabolism, act as a natural

blood thinner, and help release endorphins,” says

Petersen. Plus, they’re a great way to add flavor

to food without increasing fat or calorie content.

Chilis are also rich in beta-carotene, which turns

into vitamin A in the blood and fights infections,

as well as capsaicin, which inhibits neuropeptides (chemicals that cause inflammation). A recent

study in the journal Cancer Research found that hot peppers even have anti-prostate-cancer

properties. All this from half a chili pepper (or 1 tablespoon of chili flakes) every day.

32. Ginger

Contrary to popular belief, ginger—a piquant addition to so

many Asian dishes—isn’t a root, it’s a stem, which means it

contains living compounds that improve your health. Chief

among them is gingerol, a cancer suppressor that studies

have shown to be particularly effective against that of the

colon. Chop ginger or grind it fresh and add it to soymarinated

fish or chicken as often as you can. The more

you can handle, the better.

33. Cinnamon

Known for making desserts sweet and Indian food complex,

cinnamon is rich in antioxidants that inhibit blood clotting and

bacterial growth (including the bad-breath variety). “Studies

also suggest that it may help stabilize blood sugar, reducing

the risk of type 2 diabetes,” says dietitian Nancy Clark, author

of Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook. “What’s more, it

may help reduce bad cholesterol. Try half a teaspoon a day in

yogurt or oatmeal.”

Page | 10

34. Eggs

Those who have eggs for

breakfast lose 65 percent more

weight than those who down a

bagel breakfast with the same

number of calories, according

to a study in the International

Journal of Obesity. Eat the

yolk, too. Recent studies have proved that the fat in the yellow part is important to keep you

satiated, and the benefits of its minerals and nutrients outweigh its cholesterol effect.

35. Figs

Packed with potassium, manganese, and antioxidants, this

fruit also helps support proper pH levels in the body, making

it more difficult for pathogens to invade, says Petersen.

Plus, the fiber in figs can lower insulin and blood-sugar

levels, reducing the risk of diabetes and metabolic

syndrome. Select figs with dark skins (they contain more

nutrients) and eat them alone or add them to trail mix.

36. Grass-Fed Beef

Nothing beats pure protein when it comes to building

muscle. The problem with most store-bought beef, however,

is that the

majority of

cattle are

grain fed, which gives their meat a relatively high

ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids. That, in

turn, contributes to inflammation. The fatty acids

in grass-fed beef, on the other hand, are skewed

toward the omega-3 variety. Such beef also

contains conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which

studies have shown help reduce belly fat and

build lean muscle.

37. Mushrooms

Delicious when added to brown rice, reiki, shiitake, and

maitake mushrooms are rich in the antioxidant ergothioneine,

which protects cells from abnormal growth and replication. “In

short, they reduce the risk of cancer,” says Bowerman, who

recommends half a cup once or twice a week. “Cooking them

in red wine, which contains resveratrol, magnifies their

immunity-boosting power.”

Page | 11

38. Pineapples

With its potent mix of vitamins, antioxidants,

and enzymes—in particular, bromelain—

pineapple is an all-body anti-inflammation

cocktail. It also protects against colon cancer,

arthritis, and macular degeneration, says

Grieger. (If only the “colada” part of the

equation were as healthy.) Have half a cup,

two or three times a week.

39. Fruit or Vegetable Juice

Raise a glass of the good stuff. In a 2006

University of South Florida study, people who

drank three or more 4-ounce glasses of fruit or

vegetable juice each week were 76 percent less likely

to develop Alzheimer’s disease than those who drank

less. The high levels of polyphenols—antioxidants

found in fruits and vegetables—may protect brain

cells from the damage that may be caused by the

disease, says study author Amy Borenstein, Ph.D.

40. Bing Cherries

Research by the U.S. Department of

Agriculture shows that eating about 35 bing

cherries a day can lower the risk of tendinitis,

bursitis, arthritis, and gout, says Bowerman.

Studies also suggest that they reduce the risk

of chronic diseases and metabolic syndrome.

February 3, 2012 - Posted by | Food, Health Issues

1 Comment »

  1. loving all these, except beef and oysters! I think that one issue we all face is re-training our taste buds to appreciate just how amazing all these foods can taste. Thank you for posting this :)

    Comment by adiamondinsunlight | February 5, 2012 | Reply


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