Lifestyle Solutions for a Happy Healthy You!

11 Anti-Aging Foods for Women

Famed actress and octogenarian Bette Davis said getting older isn’t for  sissies. Those of us over 50 know that, while the second half of our lives can  be a time of emotional stability, mental acuity, wisdom, and power, the physical  fact of aging is undeniable. And the risk of age-related disease increases with  each passing year.

There’s not much you can do to stop the inexorable march of time; but you can  protect your health, and age more gracefully, with the following foods:

1. Flax seeds are high in lignans, especially important for  women; lignans help protect the body from xenoestrogens–toxic compounds found in  plastics, hormones in meat and dairy, and pesticides, that mimic natural  estrogen and can increase the risk of breast and hormonal cancers. Lignans also  protect against other cancers, including colon cancer.

2. Cauliflower and other cruciferous vegetables  like  kale, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and arugula contain di-indolylmethane  (DIM), a compound that protects against breast and hormone-related cancers.

3. Kale and other leafy greens are high in folic acid,  a type of B vitamin that protects against cervical cancer and cervical  dysplasia. Kale is also a member of the crucifer family, so it offers added  protection against breast cancer.

4. Blueberries are rich in antioxidants that protect against  Alzheimer’s, which strikes one in every six women, as well as age-related  changes in brain and motor function. They also have powerful anti-inflammatory actions to reduce the risk of cancer and  heart disease. Blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, cherries, cranberries,  and prunes are other great sources of polyphenols.

5. Wild Alaskan salmon is high in omega-3 fats to help  prevent mood swings and depression, especially common in menopause. Salmon also  has high levels of astaxanthin and zeaxantin, hard-to-get antioxidants that  protect the eyes from age-related damage. Sardines are another good source of  omega-3 fats.

6. Green tea is rich in antioxidants that protect  against breast cancer and help kill existing cancer cells. It’s also protective  against skin cancer and may reverse the effects of sun damage, and seems to work  by repairing the cell’s DNA.

7. Olives are rich in healthy monounsaturated fats, one of  the few fats that lower “bad” cholesterol and help prevent inflammation.  Additionally, olives and olive oil contain antioxidant compounds that also have  heart-protective, anti-inflammatory effects. Other foods high in monounsaturated  fats include almonds, avocados, and peanuts.

8. Turmeric slows and may prevent the development of  rheumatoid arthritis, which seems to affect women more often and more severely.  Curcumin, the active component in turmeric, also shores up the immune system to  protect the body from infection.

9. Beans are rich in soluble fiber, to reduce  cholesterol, protect the heart, and possibly reduce the risk of colon cancer.  Because they’re high in protein, they’re a good vegetarian substitute for  meat–important, because high intake of red meat may increase risk a woman’s risk  of colon cancer.

10. Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, a relatively hard-to-get  antioxidant that reduces the risk of heart attack, breast cancer and cervical  cancers. Some studies also suggest that cooking and oil make it easier for the  body to absorb lycopene, so eat tomatoes in sauces and soups with olive oil for  maximum effectiveness.

11. Spinach is one of the best food sources of leutin, a  carotenoid that protects the eyes from macular degeneration, the leading cause  of blindness as we age. Spinach is also rich in vitamin K, which is crucial in  bone health and protects the health of the arteries.

(Leesa recommends all produce be organic and turmeric from www.organicindia.com.)

By Lisa Turner

Lisa Turner

Lisa Turner is a food writer, intuitive eating coach, and nutrition  consultant in Boulder, Colorado.  In her consulting practice Lisa combines her  training and degrees in nutrition, mind-body practices and Food Psychology, to  help clients explore both what to eat and why they eat. For  more information, or to schedule a consultation, visit InspiredEating.com.  Lisa is also the developer of The Healthy Gourmet iPhone recipe app; for more  information, visit TheHealthyGourmet.net.

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Comments on: "11 Anti-Aging Foods for Women" (1)

  1. Sounds good to me!

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