The most beautiful people I know are not model perfect. They are people who wear a gorgeous smile along with their glowing skin, bright eyes, healthy body and positive energy. They look good because they feel good, and they know the foods that can help them look and feel younger. But eating well doesn’t mean sacrificing the foods you love or giving up satisfying, great-tasting meals.
My new book, The AGE BEAUTIFULLY Cookbook, is filled with delicious foods that also deliver the benefits of health, well-being and longevity. It’s not a diet program or a meal plan, but a way to incorporate ingredients with great benefits into your meals.
In researching foods, herbs and spices that might help us live longer, I have learned so much. Here are just a few longevity foods you may want to learn more about:
- Japanese people enjoy a long life expectancy, and a far lower incidence of most chronic, age-related diseases. In fact, it’s among the highest in the world. Researchers believe fucoidans, which are found in certain types of seaweed, are partly responsible for the extraordinary longevity observed in Japan. Fucoidans enhance immune function, combat infectious diseases, and support defense against cancer. Fucoidans also combat metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease by modulating glucose and insulin, disrupting formation of advanced glycation end products, and lowering triglyceride levels. In human studies, fucoidans (extract from seaweed) demonstrate beneficial effects at doses of 75-300 mg daily. Learn more about fucoidans
- According to anti-aging specialist and FoodTrients contributor Dr. Mark Rosenberg, Polyphenols can help extend our lives by as much as 30%. Where do you find polyphenols? They are abundant in many foods:
- Fruits. All berries, apples (leave the skin on, just wash it!), citrus fruits (except grapefruit and pineapple), pit fruits (peaches, plums, apricots), cooked tomatoes.
- Dark green leafy vegetables like kale, broccoli, etc; root vegetables like parsnips, turnips; tubers like sweet potatoes; onions (scallions, reds, white, yellow), leeks, garlic, eggplant, fennel, peppers.
- All mixed nuts and seeds (pumpkin, flax and sunflower) – forego the salt though.
- All beans, peanuts, peas.
- Whole grain cereals. In order of highest to lowest polyphenols: Whole wheat, corn, oats, and rice. Even popcorn contains polyphenols! Just eat it smartly without all the salt and butter.
- Coffee and tea. Even your morning cup of “Joe” and afternoon spot of tea can boost your health. Best choices are black tea, green tea, oolong, caffeinated or decaf.
- French red wines are highest in polyphenols, but only slightly over California wines, including Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Egiodola, Syrah, Grenache (a very dark purple/black French/Sardinian) wine.
- Choose high cocoa powder content of 70% or better. This can be in bars (just choose a sugar-free variety or sweetened with stevia) or make your own cocoa.
- Many common kitchen spices contain high levels of polyphenols, so make frequent use of them in your cooking! These include cinnamon, garlic, rosemary, sage, basil, chives, oregano, parsley, tarragon and thyme.
- Mustard contains turmeric – high in polyphenols. Ketchup made from tomatoes can add polyphenol content – yet find a variety that doesn’t contain high fructose corn syrup. Horseradish is also high in polyphenols as are dill pickles.