Health and Fitness, OYou BootCamp 2012

10 Smart Foods that Help You Stay Young

OYou 2012 Boot Camp: Healthy You, Healthy Life– Week 5

“You are what you eat.”  We all heard that growing up, yet still so many of us struggle with the life-long lesson.  So today I am sharing my top 10 foods that will help us all of us stay young…providing a little more time to enjoy life!

  • Blueberries– My personal favorite!  This food seems to do everything.   Containing powerful antioxidants that slow down brain aging, boost your memory function, protect your eyes, fight cancer, reduce belly fat, sharpen your memory, fight inflammation, reduce wrinkles and even strengthen your blood vessels.  Seriously!!!  And that isn’t even all.  The point is….you should be eating them and sharing them with those you love.
  • Greek Yogurt – The live Greek-style yogurt enhances your ability to fight off disease, builds your immune system, helps you to lose weight and contains vitamin B 12 that helps prevent dry skin, premature aging, diabetes, heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease.   Totally packs a punch!
  • Cucumber– The high water content of cucumbers makes it a great hydrating food preventing dryness and wrinkling.  But more importantly, it assists in the removal of toxins that age you.  This simple food helps balance your body’s water, lowers your blood pressure and prevents you from retaining water.  Who knew?
  • Almonds – I know…you have heard this one before but let me tell you what you may not know.  Many of us are aware that almonds regulate blood-sugar levels and lower the bad cholesterol, but it does more!  Not only do they contain vitamin E that helps protect against age spots and wrinkling, they give us omega-6 fatty acids which helps the heart and regulates mood swings and menopause.   So when I start to feel a little cranky, I’m reaching for the almonds!
  • Celery– Within this simple veggie there is a chemical that helps to expand blood vessels lowering our overall blood pressure…with as few as 4 stalks a day.  PLUS, celery contains a protein that helps with anxiety and insomnia (both of which cause premature aging).  So when packing a snack for work, throw in some celery!
  • Quinoa– This power food actually amazes me.  For many vegetarians, it is hard to find plant foods that have all the necessary amino acids.  Quinoa totally solves their problem!  It contains all the essential amino acids, a great range of minerals and vitamin B giving your body the fuel it needs to renew skin, hair, teeth, nails, bones and organs.   It also contains Omega-6 fatty acids which help to fight off inflammation.  All of which helps our body to stay young!  Another cool fact…Quinoa is actually a seed and not a grain making it a great alternative for vegetarians who can’t tolerate wheat or gluten.
  • Cilantro – You are constantly exposed to metals in our body but with the help of this delicious herb, you can fight back.  Studies show that Cilantro helps to breakdown the buildup of toxins in your body, bones and blood which may cause symptoms associated with anxiety, poor memory, skin complaints, insomnia and depression.  So not only does it protect our liver from these toxins, it helps fight invaders looking to compromise our immune system…like an aging super hero.
  • Avocados – A true super food, avocados help to keep our hearts, eyes, brain and liver healthy as well as helping to keep our skin looking youthful by fighting off wrinkles and changes in pigment.  I even like to save the outer peel to run on my elbows or give myself a quick facial.  Fantastic and yummy!
  • Turmeric – Traditionally used in Chinese and Indian medicine for many years, this well-known Indian spice hasn’t found its way into everyone’s spice rack…BUT it should!  Statistics have shown that heart disease, inflammatory diseases like arthritis and cancer are much lower than those in the West and it may be due to the high levels of turmeric in the Indian diet.  Its active compound, Curcumin, helps to prevent multiple sclerosis, most digestive disorders and Alzheimer’s disease and more.  If you don’t have it….get it!
  • Garlic– This stinky yet yummy essential has an anti-fungal and antibacterial compound, Allicin, that helps to fight off invaders and cancer, strengthens your cardiovascular system, fights acne inflammation and decreases your storage of fat.  Not only will it help to keep you well, but it keeps you young.  SO worth it!

The reality is that we don’t really need all of the expensive creams and anti-aging concoctions.  We simply need to do what we learned when we were children…become what we eat.  So be sure to bookmark this page and refer back to it before you make your next shopping list.   It may just add a few years to your life!

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