Living Ageless with Food

by Joanne on May 24, 2011

Well, I did it again  ….

Philly marathon

I’m signed up for the  Philadelphia Marathon on November 20th, 2011.  Why? Because if I want a better marathon time, I have to keep entering marathons.

So here we go again but more on that later.  For now, here is a lengthy write up about nutritional benefits of certain foods.

LIVING AGELESS

When we were on vacation, I picked up a copy of Natural Awakenings Magazine (S.W.FL).  It offered a good article on page 46 “Foods for Ageless Beauty: Nourishing Skin from Inside and Out”.  It’s inspiring to know that the foods we love to eat can offer so many benefits such as fending off certain cancers, promoting a healthy heart, nipping inflammation in the bud as well as helping to maintain glowing, healthy skin.  Here is my recap.

The fruits

Oranges: Fiber, Folate, Potassium, Vitamin C.  Before peeling, zest the skin for the limonoids which can fight cancers of the skin, breast, lung, stomach, colon, and mouth.  When peeling, leave on some of those white stringy parts which contain pectin and can help reduce cholesterol.  Since oranges are among the top 25 types of produce containing pesticides, it’s best to buy organic when you can and especially if using the orange zest.  Recipe suggestion: 

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Braise leeks and orange slices together with a few sprigs of rosemary.  Trust me, you’ll love the flavor!

Blueberries:  Since blueberries are one of my favorite fruits, I know I’ve shared the healthy benefits of this sweet, deep blue fruit, but once, twice is never enough.  The blueberry contains some of the highest antioxidant levels of any food. The phytonutrients called anthocynanins may improve collagen levels in the skin (resulting in firmer skin) and inhibit sun damage.  Recipe Suggestion:  Make a yogurt parfait

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Toast some rolled oats with a little brown sugar.  Put the oats on the bottom of a parfait glass and top with some non-fat greek vanilla yogurt. Add blueberries, then some more yogurt and finish with more toasted oats with a teaspoon of toasted sliced almonds. 

Avocado:  Talk about healthy skin.  You’ve heard that the avocado contains fat well that is the healthy omega-3 fatty acid which will support cell membranes ensuring that necessary nutrients enter cells and waste products are removed.  *That’s why we always pair a little healthy oil with our greener than green salads. The avocado’s nutrient makeup may help to repair, renew, and soothe skin tissue on a cellular level.  *HERE is an AMAZING recipe using avocado and cocoa from Rene’e Loux

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It’s just too good to be a good for you dessert.

Red Grapes (as in Red Wine): 

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Resveratrol is the cell protecting natural chemical found in the skin of the red grape.  It protects the skin from aging and cancer as well as protecting against the suns harmful ultraviolet radiation.  Wine tip:  A Cabernet Sauvignon contains some of the highest levels of resveratrol.

Vegetables:

Cruciferous:  Cabbage, broccoli, kale, radishes to name a few in the cruciferous family.  This colorful bunch offer sulfur containing phytonutrients that detoxify and repair cellular skin damage. They are mineral dense, antioxidant rich, and low in calories.  Recipe Suggestion: 

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Crispy Kale chips.  Wash a bunch of kale. Dry thoroughly.  Preheat the oven to 375 F, and put the dry kale in a single layer on a baking sheet.  Sprinkle with a little (very little otherwise you could burn or get soggy kale) olive oil and toss around. Spread evenly once again and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake until crisp but not burnt.

Dark and leafy green:  Collards, parsley (flat or curly), spinach, Swiss chard offer the least calories but the most nutrients.  Rich in vitamins A and C which are needed for healthy hair and nails. Recipe suggestion: 

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Sauteed Spinach with pine nuts and raisins: Saute a bunch of fresh baby spinach in olive oil and add golden raisins during the last minute of cooking.  Top with toasted pine nuts.

Other good foods:

Chocolate: 

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Dark chocolate of course, at least 65% or higher in cocoa content.  Chocolate is a source of procyanidins which counter act skin damage. Other nutrients in chocolate (similar to those found in green tea) will improve hydration of the skin as well as circulation of blood flow.  Not only does chocolate give us good stuff through it’s nutrient makeup but it makes us SO happy!

Green tea:  This tea is the most minimally processes which allows it to hold on to the catechin (found in chocolate) and help inhibit cancer as well as beautify the skin.

Omega oils:  Flax, olive, pumpkin, walnuts.  Healthy skin, strong nails, and shiny hair.  Who knew?!

Raw Honey: 

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Terrific on toast. Excellent in our oatmeal. Raw honey has vitamins A, C, and E.  Vitamins D and K as well as B-complex vitamins.  All these vitamins enable honey to offer healing, antioxidant, and anti inflammatory benefits.  *The nutrient make up of honey is determined by the environmental conditions of the bees as well as the source.

*Information source:  Rene’e Loux printed in Natural Awakenings

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