Founder of MD Longevity and Anti-Aging Expert, Dr. Ann J Peters, shares how key foods impact aging.
The top Anti-Aging foods that Dr. Ann Peters recommends are packed with antioxidants. Foods including berries will help you age successfully. The darker or bluer varieties of berries, such as blueberries or blackberries, have the highest antioxidants. A study published in the Annals of Neurology determined that eating blueberries or strawberries consistently will help prevent mental decline as we grow older.
The antioxidant compounds found in Green Tea, called “polyphenols”, give it a bitter taste but offer more antioxidants than some vitamin C. Green Tea has been used in traditional Chinese and Indian medicine to aid in digestion and to prevent heart disease for decades. However, Dr. Peters warns about the sugary Green Tea soft drinks on the market today and recommends the old-fashioned brew. She also notes that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) “does not consider it appropriate to fortify snack foods like carbonated beverages” and advises patients not to purchase these. In addition to the antioxidants Green Tea offers, there is research that it may also lower cholesterol and prevent several types of cancers such as bladder, breast, ovarian, and colon cancer.
Fish, including salmon, herring, tuna, sardines, are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids. Eating these types of fish will help prevent heart disease and can fight inflammation. Dr. Peters recommends fish because it reduces mortality rates, especially in people who have had a heart attack. Since fish is high in protein and low in saturated fat it is much better than other types of meat. The American Heart Association recommends fish for your heart health and believes omega-3 fatty acids can reduce the risk of arrhythmias (abnormal heartbeats). Dr. Peters warns that some fish, like sharks, swordfish, contain higher levels of mercury and other environmental contaminants. Shrimp, salmon, canned light tuna, and catfish have lower levels of mercury and for seniors, the benefits far outweigh the potential risk of mercury in fish.
Red wine is good for your heart. It is high in antioxidants and an anti-aging component called resveratrol. According to a Harvard study, resveratrol reduces blood clots, decreases inflammation, and possesses anti-cancer properties.
We know vegetables are good for our health, but recent studies show there is more to this idea and that consuming more vegetables high in antioxidants will help maintain our memory as we age. Vegetables high in vitamins such as vitamin A, K, C, and E (i.e. broccoli, carrots, spinach, asparagus, and kale) cooked or raw, are rich in antioxidants.
Olive Oil also contains polyphenols. Researchers believe the benefits of olive oil included memory improvement, digestive health, and skincare if used topically.
Yogurt contains “friendly bacteria,” or probiotics that are naturally present in the digestive system. It also contains protein and calcium.
Dark Chocolate, with its cocoa flavonols, is on the list because it offers significant anti-cancer properties as well. Animal studies have shown the compounds in cocoa can improve the cognitive abilities of older animals and increase their lifespan.
Dr. Peter’s says “The old saying…” the better you eat, the better you will feel” is a scientific fact”, and that “by including Yogurt, Olive Oil, Fish, Berries, Leafy Vegetables, Green Tea, Wine and Chocolate into your diet you are sure to not only enjoy your meal but benefit from it”.