Tuesday, July 13, 2010

10 Superfoods to Look Younger

10 Superfoods to Look Younger

There are many different kinds of superfoods, but only a select number include the necessary ingredients to help stall the aging process, which are EFAs, or essential fatty acids, antioxidants or fiber. Any or all of these three things have been proven to help regulate blood sugar levels and metabolism, to lower blood pressure and cholesterol and to protect against cancer and heart disease.

Yogurt and Kefir
These two foods go hand in hand because of their extremely important probiotic characteristics. According to Dr. Nicholas Perricone, fermented and cultured foods, such as yogurt and kefir, actively promote optimal health, and are what some researchers refer to as "functional" foods.

Sprouts, an excellent source of protein and Vitamin C, are an essential food because of its unusually high enzyme content. Enzymes are vital to many of our body's functions and eating sprouts is a great way to replenish your supply of enzymes.

Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds, in addition to being loaded with protein, can also decrease your risk for cancer, heart disease and diabetes while also helping you to control your weight and reduce several visible signs of aging such as wrinkles and sagging skin, according to Dr. Perricone.

Hot Peppers
From the jalapeno to the bell pepper to the extremely spicy habanero, hot peppers contain something called capsaicinoids, which are compounds that are very high in antioxidants and contain more than twice the amount of Vitamin C found in citrus fruits, according to Dr. Perricone. These capsaicinoids can also have anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects as well.

Green Foods
Although it's only a color, the color green has a number of different healthy and anti-aging properties, at least when it comes to food. That's because chlorophyll, the chemical that gives plants its green color is capable of inhibiting disease bacteria.

Buckwheat, according to Dr. Perricone, has more protein than rice, wheat or corn. It is also, "high in the essential amino acids lysine and arginine, in which major cereal crops are deficient." It is also capable of reducing hypertension and lowering cholesterol.

Beans and Lentils
Beans and lentils, featured in cuisine all over the world in just about every culture, is very low in calories, fat and sodium, but high in complex carbohydrates and dietary fiber, as well as EFAs, such as Omega-6 and Omega-3, according to Dr. Perricone.

Barley, although not typically a staple of many people's regular diets, can have extraordinary effects when eaten on a daily basis. These effects, including lowering cholesterol, protecting against cancer and slowing starch digestion, can all help stall the anti-aging process, according to Dr. Perricone.

The Allium Family
The Allium family, which includes onions, garlic, chives, leaks, shallots and scallions, contain compounds called flavonoids which stimulate the production of glutathione. Glutathione is largely responsible for eliminating toxins and carcinogens in our body, according to Dr. Perricone, and thus is a very vital antioxidant.

The Acai berry, little-known but quickly gaining popularity, is largely considered to be one of the most nutritious and powerful foods in the world, according to Dr. Perricone. Grown in Brazil, it is full of antioxidants, amino acids and EFAs and has a concentration of antioxidants that can help fight premature aging.


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