Maylin Rodriguez-Paez RNThe possibility of living a long and healthy life in the 21st century is a reality. By the calculations of some experts, the average life span in the near future will be an impressive 120.
Of course, a healthy diet is really important when it comes to longevity, especially one that is rich in antioxidants.
Below, we’ll serve up four anti-aging foods that you should definitely be paying attention to if living a long, healthy life is your goal.
Anti-Aging Food: Cold-Water FishCells have a way of "telling time" through telomeres, which are protective fragments of DNA which cap the ends of chromosomes. Research shows longer telomeres are correlated with a longer life span.
In one study, scientists found an association between longer telomere length and higher blood omega-3 levels.1 Cold-water fish are a rich source of omega-3s.
Anti-Aging Food: GrapesThe skin of grapes contain resveratrol, an antioxidant which has been shown to prolong the life span of rodents and yeast.2
Resveratrol turns on a set of longevity genes (sirtuins) that are normally activated during periods of famine and stress.
A cup of red grapes provides about 1 mg of resveratrol per serving, and a liter of red wine may contain only 13 mg.3 Higher doses can be found in resveratrol supplements.
Anti-Aging Food: Açaí berriesDon’t discount açaí berry as a food trend - they contain one of the highest ORAC scores (a measurement of antioxidant activity) known.
A study examined the effects of açaí berries on the life span of flies. Flies fed a high fat diet combined with açaí berry lived longer than the non-supplemented group.4
Note that it’s difficult to find fresh açaí berries at supermarkets. Luckily, the freeze-dried varieties retain most of their antioxidants and can be found easily.
Anti-Aging Food: BlueberriesBlueberries also demonstrate high ORAC scores. A study on roundworms showed that animals given blueberry extract lived longer and aged at a slower pace.5
In a different study, fruit flies lived 10% longer on average when fed a diet containing blueberry extract, showing the widespread benefits of blueberries across different species.6
What About You?Did we miss one of your favorite anti-aging foods? Tell us which food and why in the comments!
- JAMA. 2010 Jan 20;303(3):250-7.
- Biochim Biophys Acta. 2010 Oct-Dec;1799(10-12):740-9.
- Available at: http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/phytochemicals/resveratrol/. Accessed February 6, 2015.
- Exp Gerontol. 2010 Mar;45(3):243-51. Epub 2010 Jan 18.
- Aging Cell. 2006 Feb;5(1):59-68.
- Exp Gerontol.2012 Feb;47(2):170-8.
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