Healthy, anti-oxidant rich, anti-aging foods can enhance your health, energy, mental fitness and slow many of the signs and changes of aging.
Many consumers have been taught that low-fats foods, such as lean meat, dairy products, yogurt and vegetables are the best foods to keep you healthy and prevent aging and skin wrinkles. But scientist now tell us that simply eating some salad or vegetables every now and then won’t do much. To understand which foods are the best and why, you need to understand how free radicals affect your skin health and increase the aging process.
Most longevity experts say that free radicals are the main cause of aging. Free radicals are oxygen molecules that have an ‘extra’ or free electron. This free electron makes the molecule unstable. It seeks another molecule so they can become stable. When the free radical bonds to another molecule it causes proteins and other essential molecules to not function as they should. This reactive process sets up a chain reaction of which damages the body’s cells.
Recently, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and the USDA created a new food classification system that rates the antioxidant content of various food. This list is called ORAC, or Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity.
A quote from the ORAC report reads, “The development of various chronic and degenerative diseases, such as cancer, heart disease, and neuronal degeneration such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease may be attributed, in part, to oxidative stress. Oxidative stress has also been implicated in the process of aging. Although the human body has developed a number of systems to eliminate free radicals such as reactive oxygen species from the body, it is not 100% efficient.”
It is believed that the anti-oxidants found in certain foods can protect the body from the damage caused by these free radicals. High ORAC ratings means the food has high anti-oxidant potential and thus rates as a good Anti-aging food.
Here are some highlights from the USDA ORAC list:
Release 1 – November 2007. Values were reported for 277 food items. Release 2 – May 2010. Values were added for 49 food items, including maple syrup, acai, and goji berries, for a total of 326 food items.
Cinnamon: 100 grams of ground cinnamon has a rating of 267,536, making it extremely high on the anti-aging and free-radical-blocking scale. This is why many longevity experts suggest sprinkling some cinnamon on your food or hot drinks.
BEANS: A half cup (dried beans) of small Red Beans has a score of 13727 , Red kidney beans 13259 , Pinto beans11864 and Black beans 4181.
FRUITS: Each ORAC number is for 1 cup. Wild blueberry1 13427; Cultivated blueberry 9019; Cranberry 8983,Blackberry 7701, Prunes (½ cup )7291 ; Raspberry 6058; Strawberry 5938; Red Delicious apple I whole) 5900 ; Granny Smith apple 5381 ; Sweet cherries (1 cup) 4873; Black plum 1 plum 4844 ; other plums have 4118 each and a Gala apple has a rating of 3903.
Artichoke hearts 1 cup, cooked ranked in at 7904. An ounce of Pecans scored 5095 and a single Russet potato cooked came in at 4649.
This list presupposes that the fruits and vegetables are fresh and that they pesticide free. Naturally organic foods and skincare choices like anti-aging masks are best since organic foods and natural skin treatments have no toxic chemicals.
So, if you are concerned with aging skin and are interested in longevity, ensure that the food you put in your body does not have toxic chemicals and are high on the anti-oxidant list.
You can obtain the FDA complete ORAC listing at The FDA ORAC scale here: