Most of us now know that we should be aiming for at least 5 fruit and vegetables a day. The health benefits of eating fruit and vegetables are well-known and have been scientifically proven; they provide us with all the vitamins and minerals that we need. Within this healthy food category there are certain ‘superfoods” that are especially regarded for their powerful antioxidant properties.
It’s the antioxidant value of these foods that protects our cells from damage and slows down aging. Here are some foods that you should definitely include in your diet if you want to look and feel youthful.
Red fruits are generally known to be amongst the superfoods. They have multiple health benefits and are easy to include in your diet. They are small and easy to eat so this causes less waste. Cranberry juice is well-known for it’s general health benefits.
Cranberries provide carotenoids and anthocyanins, which fight the effects of free radicals. Free radicals are the molecules that can cause skin and body aging.
They are also rich in vitamins A and C, and to a lesser extent, vitamin B. They are packed with minerals, especialy calcium, potassium, iron, phosphorus and magnesium.
Eat cranberrys to:
- maintain good brain functioning and strengthen your memory
- prevent and treat urinary tract infections
- improve vision problems
- cure constipation (when consumed ripe)
- cleanse and de-tox your body
- keep your skin young and firm – they protect collagen and strengthen tissues.
Papaya was once an exotic fruit but is now widely available in most countries.
Make papaya a part of your diet and it will:
- make your body more alkaline – it fights acidity that can cause ill health and ageing
- help your constipation
- help you tan easier
- improve your skin marks and eczema
- act as an anti-inflammatory and analgesic – this eases many of the chronic diseases that are associated with ageing
- help to eliminate intestinal parasites, such as worms
- strengthen you immune system so that it can fight the effects of ageing
- help to cure your gastric disorders, like ulcers, colitis, gastroenteritis and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) which are more common as we get older. It keeps our digestive tract healthy as we get older.
It has been suggested that drinking wine keeps us young and we all hope that this is true. However, the anti-ageing properties are also associated with grapes and this is great news for people who do not wish to consume alcohol. This is down to a compound called resveratrol which is highly beneficial for human health. It plays a role in fighting the ageing process in our body’s cells – thus slowing down ageing and preventing age-related illness.
Resveratrol is also thought to prevent metabolic, inflammatory and cardiovascular diseases.
Why not try a freshly blended, grape smoothie complete with skin and seeds where much of the goodness is concentrated.
Avacado may be used as a savoury dish but it is actually a fruit. It is highly nutritious and provides a range of healthy nutrients. It is even used in face and hair products to keep us looking young.
Avocado is rich in proteins and healthy fats – not the unhealthy ones you find in junk food. It is packed with vitamin E and this helps to maintain the elastic properties of skin and stops wrinkles. Avocados also fight fluid retention and help prevent cardiovascular conditions which can get worse as we get older.
Not everyone has heard of this little exotic fruit. If you can get hold of it – eat as much as you can! It has been shown to:
- have anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties
- increase general vitality
- help with weight loss
- prevent cardiovascular diseases
- contain high antioxidant power
- play a role in preventing eczema, dermatitis, acne and psoriasis
- promote healthy kidneys
- improve digestive functions
- deliver high quantities of tryptophan, which promotes emotional well-being and improves mental health
- improve the immune system.
If you can’t get hold of a fresh mangosteen, buy juice from a health food shop.
This fruit is highly rich in polyphenols and have outstanding antioxidant, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties.
Pomegranates also deliver potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, and iron. It contains vitamin C, B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), and niacin. All of this helps to maintain healthy cells and prevents premature aging.