Visit any health food store online and you are bound to find many products that claim to slow the aging process. Science tells us that aging in human beings is a combination of physical, social and psychological changes in the organism. Whereas certain aspects of aging is deemed positive, others, especially the physical degeneration associated with the process, is viewed as appalling by mass media and society at large and ruthlessly battled from every angle imaginable.
Natural health food stores offer welcome alternatives to the chemical formulations that, up until now, have ruled the roost in the anti-aging industry. There is a marked return to more temperate measures where preventative personal care is concerned and a focus on diet is a theme that crops up again and again. In light of this, we have taken the liberty of compiling a list of the top five anti-aging health foods you should have in your pantry right now. These include:
1. Avocados: A health food bar none, this tasty fruit is normally consumed as a vegetable and is packed to the brim with monounsaturated fats that aid in reducing the levels of ‘bad’ cholesterol in the body. It also brings a noteworthy amount of vitamin E to the table – a compound that is known for its role in maintaining healthy skin. As if that isn’t enough, it is also high in potassium that regulates fluid retention and blood pressure.
2. Ginger: This alien-looking root plant is simply delightful when used as a spice. Try grating it over a salad, steeping it as a tea or having it with your sushi and reap myriad benefits that include a boosted digestive- and circulatory system, lowered cholesterol and a fresher breath to boot.
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3. Garlic: The ‘stinking rose’ of the vegetable family has been known to increase vitality for centuries, which accounts for all the old wives’ tales touting it as a talisman against evil. Plus it tastes great on just about anything! On a scientific level this health food has been found to stabilise blood pressure, platelet aggregation, serum triglyceride level, and cholesterol levels. Very impressive.
4. Nuts: Although high in calories, nuts when consumed in moderate quantities are a great source of magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc, copper and selenium. Walnuts, Brazil nuts and almonds rank highest in terms of nutrient density and are best enjoyed raw (unroasted and unsalted). Increasing your intake of nuts has the potential to stabilise your cholesterol, improve the functioning of your immune system and aiding in the prevention of certain types of cancer.
5. Berries: Delicious on ice cream and fantastic in smoothies, blackberries, blueberries, blackcurrants and black grapes all share a common phytochemical known as flavonoids. A powerful antioxidant, it helps to protect the body against free radical damage and thus lessens the effects of aging.
And there you have it – five delicious health foods that will keep the inevitable effects of the aging process at bay. Next time you head out to your natural health food store to buy groceries, remember to put these anti-aging helpers at the top of your list.