This is a leafy green vegetable from the Brassica family of vegetables which include Broccoli, Cauliflower and Brussel Sprouts. It’s probably one of the most nutrient-dense foods that you can eat and is loaded with antioxidants and bioavailable nutrients to maintain your health.
Kale contains a significant amount of Beta-Carotene, Lutein, and Zeaxanthin, which are good for the eyes, immune system, skin, and general health. Lutein was found to significantly increase hydration and elasticity and lipid levels of the skin in human volunteers that consumed 10 mg of lutein daily for 12 weeks. There was further improvement if lutein-based cream was applied to the face as well.
In the group that just took the supplement, skin hydration was increased by 38%, skin elasticity was increased by 8%, and lipids were increased by 33%.
Kale is also a good source of calcium for those that are vegan! It’s a much better source of calcium than spinach.
Kale also contains sulforaphane which is thought to have anti-cancer benefits as well as being antibacterial and antiviral.
Kale also contains indole-3-carbinol which is able to boost DNA repair, increase the rate at which the body metabolizes substances like caffeine, and also is able to block the growth of cancer cells.
I would consider this a superfood. If you add kale to green smoothies then it is a lot easier to consume a significant amount of the vegetable!
Blueberries are low in calories and they contain only a little sugar. They are super popular and included in many different diets. Even people on a low carb diet may indulge in blueberries.
They are loaded with phytonutrients called Anthocyanidins, which are powerful antioxidants that are thought to be responsible for the majority of health benefits. To get the most of out of this fruit, I recommend that you try to consume them every day.
Some of the benefits of blueberries might include improved memory, protection against colon cancer and ovarian cancer, protection from neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease, improved vision, improved arterial health, as well as better skin health.
Ellagic acid is another antioxidant found in various berries and can help protect against the damaging effects of the sun.
All in all, blueberries are a powerful anti-inflammatory food that will not only keep you healthy on the inside but also on the outside.
Eating 1/2 to 1 cup of blueberries a day is enough to start enjoying the health benefits of this amazing superfood!
Green tea is consumed more than any other tea in the world, especially in China and Japan where they drink sencha and matcha green tea. The health effects of green tea are thought to be because of a compound named Epigallocatechin-gallate. Many studies over the past few years have been published where it was discovered that green tea has a lot of health benefits.
In one study, all-cause mortality was reduced by 16% for those that drank 5 cups or more a day. And there was a 26% lower risk of cardiovascular disease than those only drinking less than 1 cup of green tea per day.
Interestingly in Asia where smoking rates are higher than in the west, they have lower risks of cancer and heart disease. It’s hypothesized that the reason behind this the fact that many people drink green tea in these countries’.
So for those that are still smoking, and are still trying to give up, it might be worth consuming green tea to prevent some of the damage induced by smoking.
Green tea and aging
There was a study done on Chinese elderly men which had shown that those who drank green tea had telomeres that were longer: at least a 5-year difference, the researchers claimed.
They looked at this by measuring the telomere length from taking blood samples, then examining the white blood cells.
Green tea also contains an amino acid called L-theanine that is able to reduce anxiety and depressive symptoms in humans by blocking cortical neuron excitation. People who drink up to 4 cups of green tea daily show a 44% lower risk of depression.
A lot of benefits!
Some research suggests that green tea may lower the risk of many cancers such as lung cancer, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, leukemia, and prostate cancer.
Green tea lowers inflammation, improves allergies, skin health, and also protects you from sun damage. There is some evidence in animals and humans that green tea might lower the risk of autoimmune diseases such as Sjorgren’s, Lupus and Multiple Sclerosis.
Since green tea has virtually no calories, it’s worth adding it to your diet.
If you don’t like the taste of green tea, you can buy various flavored teas like mint or lemon, which might be easier to consume than natural green tea.
Although I’m not a wine drinker, it’s impossible to ignore the benefits of consuming a glass of wine a day. Red wine is full of antioxidants and in certain wines such as pinot noir, it contains high amounts of resveratrol.
Recently, resveratrol has undergone a lot of testing to see if extends the lifespan of mice who eat a junk food die.t because it’s thought that the resveratrol mimics some of the effects of calorie restriction.
Resveratrol has been shown to provide remarkable protection against the damaging effects of consuming a bad diet. However, another study showing that it failed to extend the lifespan significantly for mice who consumed a regular diet and were not obese. Even if it did offer some protection again the diseases of aging and was combined with mild CR.
And before you pick up the red wine, the amount of resveratrol that you will get from each bottle is not anywhere near the amount that is given to mice in these studies.
Regardless, there is a significant amount of evidence showing that drinking red wine, at least a glass a day, is very beneficial for your health. Studies have shown that red wine might protect you from heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and other age-related diseases.
So, drink in moderation!
Tomatoes are one of my favorite fruits. I grow my own tomatoes now: the small cherry tomatoes or sweet million variety. They have such a delicious sweet taste that I had never experienced from store-bought tomatoes.
They are easy to grow and maintain, so I highly recommend that you consider growing your own this year.
So why do I consider tomatoes one of the best foods? Well, it’s low in calories and high in vitamins and minerals for a start.
It also contains something called lycopene, which is beneficial in helping prevent cancers like prostate cancer. And there is evidence that adding green tea and broccoli to the diet could lower men’s risk of this disease even further.
As for anti-aging benefits: Lycopene is a strong antioxidant. Studies have shown that lycopene gives people better protection from sun damage and that it boosts levels of procollagen in the skin so that your skin stays youthful for longer.
Tomatoes also contain a significant amount of vitamin K, which could help keep your bones strong.
I recommend that men consume plenty of tomatoes for prostate health.
Remember to cook the tomatoes, use tomato paste, or tomato sauce, as these have more bioavailable lycopene. Make sure that you also consume tomatoes with a little fat to help absorption.
Nuts are very good for your health and might help you live longer. Almonds contain a significant amount of vitamin E, magnesium, and monounsaturated fat.
Almonds have been shown to protect again various diseases like heart disease, diabetes, help you lose weight, and protect from problems that come with excess weight.
Walnuts are also very healthy for you as they contain many minerals, one of the highest being magnesium. Walnuts are also a good source of ALA which is converted to DHA/EPA. These two are found mainly in fish and are beneficial for lowering inflammation and protecting against depression, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and many other diseases.
Include just a handful of nuts in your diet every day! You can mix them with fruit, put in your oatmeal, or as I do you can put them into yogurt.
Eating nuts on a daily basis could extend your life by up to 3 years according to one study on seventh day Adventists in California. So, go nuts!
Article reviewed and updated: February 2019.