Anti Aging Superfoods

Anti age menu concept, top view

Add These 5 Foods to your Diet Now to Slow the Aging Process

Looking for the fountain of youth? Change your diet to extend your life. These anti-aging superfoods can help you to live a longer and healthier life. Some of them pull double or triple duty to help your body fend off free radicals, improve heart health, and keep you sharp as a tack!

1. Blueberries

It might surprise you to find out that blueberries have more antioxidants than any other fruit. They’re full of these antioxidants, which halt free radicals from forming in your body. Free radicals are the cause of many debilitating diseases, and they speed up your aging process.

Did you know that blueberries have anti-inflammatory properties and can reduce your risk for arthritis? They can help your cholesterol numbers. Amazingly, they actually slow down the mental deterioration that leads to Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Thank you, blueberries! Pretty powerful stuff for a little blue fruit!

2. Tomatoes

Forget about apples, and eat a tomato a day instead! Tomatoes are chock full of lycopene, the antioxidant that protects your skin. It will boost your bodies resistance to UV rays.

Tomatoes also help boost collagen production, which keeps your skin smooth and young. They can cut cholesterol and help fight cancer.

Tomatoes are great at multi tasking to keep you young!

3. Broccoli

Mom was right! Eat your broccoli!

Broccoli is high in antioxidants that protect against cell damage and cancer. Folate, a B vitamin that helps with mental sharpness, is in high abundance in broccoli.

This superfood also contains vitamin K, which actually increases bone density. It also contains calcium. This combination will lead to good bone health in your later years.

If that wasn’t enough, look to broccoli for potassium and fiber, both of which will help you have a healthy heart.

How’s that for a powerhouse superfood?

4. Salmon and Tuna

Adding Salmon and Tuna to your diet helps control the aging process as well. The Omega-3 fatty acids help prevent cholesterol build up. They help with keeping your mental state sharp.

This is another superfood that helps with your skin and fighting the signs of aging. The high protein content and anti-inflammatory properties work with your body to maintain healthy skin.

Try to have 3 to 4 servings of salmon or tuna each week.

5. Olive Oil

For beautiful, young looking skin, be sure to include olive oil in your diet.

It contains vitamin A and vitamin E. They work together to protect your skin from free radicals, and aid in natural skin repair. We’re talking fewer wrinkles and a more even skin tone and texture. In fact, olive oil can be used as a moisturizer. Put a little bit in your bath water for beautiful skin.

Monounsaturated fatty acids found in olive oil can aid with several health concerns. Improve your heart health, cholesterol, and blood sugar by keeping olive oil in your diet.

You should use it as your cooking oil.

Maybe you’ve already incorporated these anti-aging foods into your diet. If not, focus on adding these fantastic five in right away! Harness the power of food as medicine!

Source by Cat Harvey

Superfood Spotlight: Cacao

Dark chocolate with cocoa

Cacao. Cocoa. Chocolate. Its scientific name, Theobroma Cacao, as dubbed by Carolus Linnaeus, means ‘food of the gods’ in Latin. Whatever you want to call one of the world’s favorite foods, it is indisputably delicious. However, depending on the form in which you consume it, it may or may not be nutritious. Most of the planet’s chocolate consumption is comprised of roasted, heavily processed beans brewed into artificial confections mixed with preservatives, sugar and milk, severely limiting its nutritional value. Many of the beneficial vitamins and minerals are destroyed during this process. On the other hand, cacao, when consumed raw, is one of the healthiest foods you can put in your body. The common misconception that raw cacao is too bitter to be tasty is founded on nothing but ignorance. After trying a properly concocted raw cacao dish, your mindset on chocolate will be indelibly altered.

A Brief History

Cacao has a storied history that few foods can compete with. Cultivated as early as 1800 BC, the cacao bean has its roots deep in the jungles of South America. The Olmecs were the first to consume it and domesticate the tree. They also considered it to hold divine properties, using it in sacrificial rituals. The Mayans were so fond of it that they used it as currency. It was most commonly consumed in beverage form, mixed with water, herbs and spices. The most famous ancient usage of cacao was by the Aztecs, particularly by emperor Monteczuma II, who supposedly drank 50 cups of it daily out of a golden goblet. He also apparently always downed a goblet before attending to his harem. He is quoted as having these high praises for it,

“The divine drink, which builds up resistance and fights fatigue. A cup of this precious drink permits a man to walk for a whole day without food.”

Once the Spaniards arrived, they brought it back to Europe, shared it only with Portugal, and drank it like the Aztecs did for the better part of a hundred years in the 15th and 16th centuries. It took the rest of Europe a considerable time to realize the value of the mysterious bean, with one English pirate ship reportedly mistaking a shipload of them for sheep droppings and burning the whole lot.

When Cacao finally caught on in the rest of Europe, it embarked on a long journey of transformation and bastardization. It spread through France, Italy and England in the 1600s, eventually making its way to America in the 1700s. in 1828, A Dutchman by the name of Coenraad Van Houten invented a machine that extracted the powder, allowing it to be made into a confection, and in the process, changing the face of chocolate forever. The English made the first chocolate bar in 1847, and then in 1879, two Swiss men, Daniel Peter and Henri Nestle collaborated to invent milk chocolate, marking the unceremonious abandonment of the traditional, healthy, liquid preparation method used in South America for two thousand years. A hundred and thirty years later, your average chocolate bar bares very little resemblance to the cacao brews of Mesoamerica and has a fraction of the nutritional value.

The World Market

Over 3,500,000 tons of cacao is produced annually. Approximately 70% of that comes from West Africa, with the Ivory Coast and Ghana ranking first and third in global production. Our beloved Indonesia places 2nd on that list, accounting for just under 20% as recently as 2010! Unfortunately, it is estimated that less than 1% of global production is organic. Hopefully we can change help change that from our organic friendly island of the gods, Bali. It would only be fitting that the revitalization of the organic production of the food of the gods began on the island of the gods. Cacao only grows in the tropics, within 10 degrees of the equator, and is traded as a commodity on two global exchanges, one in London and one in NYC. Arguably the most endearing aspect of cacao production is that a huge amount of it takes place on small family farms, making it conducive to a more balanced income distribution that is so desperately needed by many of the poor countries that produce it.

Nutritional Value

Cacao is ripe with vitamins, minerals and many other beneficial phytonutrients. Chock-full of anti-oxidants such as flavanoids, which have been found to field anti-allergic and anti-cancer properties, cacao has the potential to help cure a plethora of health issues. It is high in sulfur and magnesium, two of the most essential minerals for good health. It improves blood vessel function and blood flow, which some doctors believe might lead to improved cognitive function. This quality has lead many to speculate that it could play a role in limiting the negative symptoms displayed by sufferers of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.

While it does contain trace amounts of caffeine, its more prevalent stimulant is theobromine, an alkaloid similar to caffeine yet lacking the physically addictive properties. Theobromine has been shown to reduce asthmatic symptoms, relax and smooth out muscles and lower blood pressure. Cacao also contains enzyme inhibitors that may facilitate youthening & rejuvenation.

Asides from the positive physical health affects cacao has, it can also aid in the improvement of mental and emotional health. Phenylethylamine, a chemical created by the brain and released when we are attracted, excited, or in love, is present in healthy amounts. Anandamide, a chemical released when we feel good, is another constituent of cacao. There are also more enzyme inhibitors that decrease the body’s ability to break down anandamide, which means that positive feelings will last longer when you eat cacao. Lastly, it is loaded with tryptophan, a chemical that is required to synthesize serotonin, a chemical that makes us feel happy. Basically, cacao makes you feel great. A healthy dose of cacao in your diet has been shown to have incredible long term benefits on both physical and mental health. Be careful though, raw cacao is very powerful and has an intense effect on the central nervous system, so consuming too much at one time can lead to similar reactions produced by caffeine; hyperactivity followed by drowsiness.

Source by Jon S Dale

The Truth About Superfoods

Superfoods

Superfoods, the foods that are considered…well..super! I can picture it now. A man wearing a shirt with a big G on the front standing for Goji Berry Man. Superfoods have always caught my attention just because people like to hear about quick fixes so they get a lot of publicity. Actually I should rephrase that statement. Americans are all about quick fixes. In America the supplement industry has taken off. We have supplements for just about everything you can imagine. It is just natural for people to be promoting superfoods. Superfoods just feed that hunger for a quick fix or a one size fits all cure for everyone. The question then becomes if superfoods really work, or are they just scams like most of the supplements released. It is an interesting topic so lets take a look.

More …