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 and the skin and general health. Lutein was found to significantly increase hydration and elasticity and lipid levels of the skin in human volunteers that consumed 10mg of lutein daily for 12 weeks. There was further improvement if a cream was applied to the face containing lutein.
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, unlike spinach, the calcium is better absorbed from kale.
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 so that the benefits of this food can be realized.
These are low in calories and they contain only a little sugar and are popular foods for those of all kinds of diets and those people who want to reduce sugar like those on low carb diets, this fruit is perfect!
Blueberries are loaded with phytonutrients called Anthocyanidins which are powerful antioxidants thought to be responsible for the majority of health benefits that you get when you consume Blueberries. I highly recommend that you try to consume Blueberries often, a little every day if you can.
Some of these benefits might include Improved memory, protection against colon cancer and ovarian cancer, protection from neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease, improved vision, improved arterial health, and improvement in skin health.
Ellagic acid is another antioxidant found in various berries such as raspberries, strawberries, cranberries, pomegranates and is also is able to prevent UV damage from the sun.
Blueberries are a powerful anti-inflammatory food that will not only keep you healthy on the inside but the outside also. Eating 1/2 to 1 cup of blueberries a day is enough to start enjoying the health benefits of this 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 and numerous benefits of drinking it were found. In one study it lowered the risk of
all-cause mortality 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 and the reason behind this is thought to be the consumption of green. 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 until you can give up. But for everyone it looks like consuming green tea is beneficial and there are no obvious risks of consuming up to 10 cups per day.
Green tea and aging. There was a recent study done on Chinese elderly men which had shown that those that drank the 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 and looking at white blood cells. This is just one of the many benefits of consuming green tea over many years.
Green tea also contains an amino acid called L-theanine and this reduces anxiety and depressive symptoms in humans by blocking cortical neuron excitation. Those that drank 4 cups of green tea daily had a 44% lower risk of depression.
Other benefits to green tea are; Possibly lower risk of many cancers such as lung cancer, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, leukemia, and prostate cancer.
Green tea lowers inflammation, improves allergies, improves 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 also.
Since green tea has virtually no calories it is worth trying to add it to your diet. It’s not all that uncommon for this amount of tea to be consumed in Asia. 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 am not a wine drinker, it’s impossible to ignore the benefits that consuming a glass of wine a day could have for you. Red wine is full of antioxidants and in certain wines such as pinot noir, they contain high amounts of Resveratrol which is found in the skins of grapes.
Recently, resveratrol has undergone a lot of testing to see if extends the lifespan of mice who eat a junk food diet because it’s thought that the Resveratrol compound mimics some of the effects of calorie restriction.
Resveratrol showed remarkable protection against the damaging effects of consuming a bad diet, and many people had rushed out to buy resveratrol supplements based on that study.
Later came another study showing that failure to extend the lifespan significantly for mice that consumed a regular diet and were not obese, but it did confer some protection against aging damage, and there was an increase in lifespan when low dose resveratrol was combined with a mild level of calorie restriction.
The amount of resveratrol that you will get from red wine is not anywhere near the amount is given to mice in these studies, but 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.
These are one of my favorite fruits. I grow my own tomatoes now, usually, the small cherry tomatoes, sweet million variety, and they have such a delicious sweet taste that I have never experienced from store bought tomatoes, so I enjoy them every day during the summer months.
They are easy to grow and maintain also so I highly recommend that rather than spending money buying tomatoes, you should really consider growing your own this year. It’s best to start very soon by sowing the seeds indoors
and then take them outdoors when there is no danger of the plants dying. So why do I consider this one of the best foods? Well, it’s low in calories and high in vitamins and minerals.
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 of men could lower men’s risk of this disease even further.
As for anti-aging benefits, lycopene is a strong antioxidant and there was one study had shown that the 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 also help keep your bones stronger. 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 higher bioavailability. Make sure that you consume tomatoes with a little fat to help absorption also.
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, and also 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 are found 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 a yogurt. Also eating nuts on a daily could extend your life by up to 3 years according to one study on seventh day Adventists in California.
Article reviewed and updated 12/2018