5 Superfoods that Reverse Aging

health food, foods to prevent or reverse aging

By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness

July 8, 2016

      • What is a superfood?
      • Two super-fruits for super health
      • Three more foods that fight aging and disease

Some of my patients want to know if there are specific foods that pack more power than others when it comes to fighting off disease and aging.

These are foods that we call “superfoods”. They contain an abundance of vitamins, minerals and nutrients that prevent almost every disease known to man.

Now, you might think these foods are expensive and hard to come by. That’s not true. And they don’t have to be exotic discoveries from the Amazon rainforests or African jungles. In fact, you probably have plenty of superfoods right in your own kitchen.

So when folks ask me about these foods, they’re often surprised at how easy it is to add more of them to their daily meals.

Here are some of my favorite superfoods that are so common you can eat them every day.

Two Super-Fruits for Super Health

Organic pomegranate should be at the top of your must-eat-daily list. That’s because these nutrient-dense fruits have about 20% more antioxidant power than açaí, cranberries, blueberries and green tea.

The list of health benefits is practically endless. Pomegranates reduce your chances of breast and colon cancer. They lower blood pressure, blood sugar and inflammation.

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Additionally, this delicious fruit helps boost levels nitric oxide in your body. This compound relaxes your arteries, improves blood flow and decreases plaque build-up in your arteries. It even boosts erectile function in men.

If you’ve never tried pomegranate before, get adventurous. Pick one up the next time you’re at the market – just make sure it’s organic. (Or, you can try pure, all-natural pomegranate juice.)

Organic blueberries are one of my favorite treats. These little berries contain anthocyanins, which help reduce plaque in your arteries and lower blood pressure. They can even help slash your risk of heart attack by as much as 33%.

They also help boost brain signaling, which can keep your brain younger and smarter as you age. In fact, people who eat the most blueberries are able to delay cognitive aging by up to 2.5 years.

Blueberries also contain pterostilbene, an antioxidant that’s similar to resveratrol, but about four times more bioavailable.

In animal models it lowers blood sugar and improves insulin response. And it appears to be much better than resveratrol when it comes to brain function and Alzheimer’s disease. It may also offer protection against cancer of the lungs, breast and pancreas.

Three More Foods that Fight Aging and Disease

Extra virgin olive oil is a staple in my kitchen. I use it on almost everything I cook… and even some foods that aren’t cooked. And, of course, it’s a mainstay of the Mediterranean diet.

It’s loaded with natural antioxidants called polyphenols. These compounds can actually change the expression of genes associated with heart disease, obesity and type 2 diabetes. In effect, they shut down inflammation – which is at the root of most disease.

When you add olive oil to a Mediterranean way of eating, it offsets all of the risk factors for stroke and heart attack. It also counters obesity, shuts down inflammation and helps to ward off dementia. So it makes good sense to add it to all of your meals.

Cruciferous vegetables are an absolute must in any diet. They contain powerful phytonutrients called sulfuraphane and indoles that have anti-cancer properties.

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These compounds work together to inactivate carcinogens and protect cells from DNA damage. They also help kill off damaged cells and prevent the formation of tumors.

Eating this type of vegetable can cut your risk of many different kinds of cancer, including breast, prostate, colon and lung cancer.

Veggies that fall into this category include arugula, bok choy, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, kale, mustard greens, radishes, rutabaga, turnips and watercress.

Green tea is another winner in my book. Green tea works at the genetic level. In fact, it can reduce damage to your genes by about 20%. This is a big plus when it comes to warding off age-related diseases.

Plus, people who drink about three cups of green tea each day have longer telomeres than people who don’t. (Telomeres, which are the protective caps on ends of your chromosomes, are a marker of your biological age.)

And they aren’t just a little bit longer… they’re a lot longer! Green tea drinkers have telomeres that are about five years younger than people who don’t drink it.

Green tea is also associated with reduced risk of three different causes of death: Heart disease, stroke and respiratory disease.

Simply invest in a good matcha, longjing or other green tea of your choice and enjoy several cups (hot or cold) each day.

These foods are by no means the only superfoods available to you. There are plenty of other foods – like turmeric, avocadoes, garlic, tomatoes and nuts – that also provide a multitude of health and anti-aging benefits.

SOURCES:

Rocha A, et al. Pomegranate juice and specific components inhibit cell and molecular processes critical for metastasis of breast cancer. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2012 Dec;136(3):647-58.

Wang L, et al. Specific pomegranate juice components as potential inhibitors of prostate cancer metastasis. Transl Oncol. 2012 Oct;5(5):344-55.

Asgary S, et al. “Clinical Evaluation of Blood Pressure Lowering, Endothelial Function Improving, Hypolipidemic and Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Pomegranate Juice in Hypertensive Subjects.” Phytother Res. 2013 Mar 21.

Cassidy A, et al. High Anthocyanin Intake Is Associated With a Reduced Risk of Myocardial Infarction in Young and Middle-Aged Women. Circulation. 2013; 127: 188-196.

Devore EE, et al. Dietary intakes of berries and flavonoids in relation to cognitive decline. Ann Neurol. 2012 Jul;72(1):135-43

Antonio Camargo, et al. Gene expression changes in mononuclear cells from patients with metabolic syndrome after acute intake of phenol-rich virgin olive oil. BMC Genomics, 2010.

Ramón Estruch, et al. Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease with a Mediterranean Diet. New England Journal of Medicine, 2013.

Nancy Babio, et al. Mediterranean diets and metabolic syndrome status in the PREDIMED randomized trial. CMAJ, October 2014.

  1. H. Martinez-Lapiscina, et al. Mediterranean diet improves cognition: the PREDIMED-NAVARRA randomised trial. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery &

Cohen JH, et al. Fruit and vegetable intakes and prostate cancer risk. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2000 Jan 5;92(1):61-8.

Voorrips LE, et al. Vegetable and fruit consumption and risks of colon and rectal cancer in a prospective cohort study: The Netherlands Cohort Study on Diet and Cancer. American Journal of Epidemiology 2000;152(11):1081-1092.

Terry P, et al. Brassica vegetables and breast cancer risk. JAMA2001;285(23):2975-2977.

Lam TK, et al. Cruciferous vegetable consumption and lung cancer risk: a systematic review. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2009 Jan;18(1):184-95.

Han KC. Genoprotective effects of green tea (Camellia sinensis) in human subjects: results of a controlled supplementation trial. British Journal of Nutrition. 2011 Jan;105(2):171-9.

Chan R. Chinese tea consumption is associated with longer telomere length in elderly Chinese men. British Journal of Nutrition. 2010;103:107-113.

Saito E, et al. Association of green tea consumption with mortality due to all causes and major causes of death in a Japanese population: the Japan Public Health Center-based Prospective Study (JPHC Study). Ann Epidemiol. 2015 Jul;25(7):512-518.e3.

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