Anti- age­ing Su­per­foods

From dark choco­lates to red wine dis­cover nine su­per­foods that help slow down the age­ing process.

India Today - - CONTENTS - - with in­puts from Dr Am­bica Sharma, Columbia Asia Hos­pi­tal, Ghazi­abad

SPINACH

Why it’s good for you A cup of spinach on a daily ba­sis is all it takes to con­serve your skin’s vi­tal­ity and keep a check on un­wanted wrin­kles. This green leafy veg­etable is packed with pow­er­ful doses of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K and beta- carotene, all of which work to­gether to shield the skin against the ul­tra- vi­o­let rays of the sun as well as air pol­lu­tants. Spinach also helps to sharpen mem­ory, im­prove bone den­sity and vi­sion. Rec­om­mended por­tion 30 grams in one meal Calo­ries 7 How best to eat Add fresh spinach to sal­ads as the nu­tri­ent value de­creases sig­nif­i­cantly when fried or boiled for too long. If boil­ing, do not boil for more than 1 minute.

AL­MONDS

Why it’s good for you Al­monds not only work won­ders for the skin and hair, but also help in main­tain­ing healthy weight be­cause of its rich fiber and pro­tein con­tent which keep you feel­ing full and curb hunger. Vitamin E is known to in­crease co- or­di­na­tion and agility and of the ner­vous sys­tem. So next time you feel like a snack dur­ing the work- day ditch the po­tato crisps and in­stead reach for a packet of al­monds tucked in your of­fice drawer for a healthy snack.

Rec­om­mended por­tion 8 to 10 pieces in a day Calo­ries 80 How best to eat Al­monds soaked in wa­ter overnight are eas­ier to digest and their nu­tri­ents are more ef­fi­ciently ab­sorbed. Al­mond can also be added to stir- fried dishes.

AVOCADO

Why it’s good for you Rich, creamy and full of health­ful es­sen­tial fatty acids, the avocado was re­cently hailed by sci­en­tists as the new su­per­food that could help fight the age­ing process and pre­vent di­a­betes and can­cer. With this trop­i­cal fruit now eas­ily avail­able all over the globe, mil­lions now make sure they in­clude av­o­ca­dos in their diet, whether in sal­ads or sand­wiches or sim­ply as a gua­camole dip. Home- made avocado face and hair packs are also ex­tremely help­ful.

Rec­om­mended por­tion One whole avocado in a day Calo­ries 240 How best to eat Cut into slices or cubes or just scoop up with a spoon. For weight- watch­ers, re­place but­ter and may­on­naise with avocado paste and cream and cheese- based dips with gua­camole.

BLUE­BER­RIES

Why it’s good for you Th­ese tiny de­li­cious fruits are packed with healthy nu­tri­ents. Well known for their an­tiox­i­dants and vi­ta­mins, blue­ber­ries help in the pro­duc­tion of col­la­gen, block ul­tra- vi­o­let rays, pro­mote men­tal health, con­tain the growth of can­cer cells and pre­vent heart re­lated dis­or­ders. Apart from this, blue­ber­ries have been known to re­verse eye de­te­ri­o­ra­tion due to age­ing and can help im­prove any loss in vis­i­bil­ity. Rec­om­mended por­tion 1/ 2 cup in a day Calo­ries 41 How best to eat Get a healthy start to your day with blue­ber­ries which can be en­joyed in a num­ber of ways. Mix it in yo­ghurt, ce­real or oat­meal, add to pan­cake mix or blend in a smoothie.

DARK CHOCO­LATE

Why it’s good for you Here’s another rea­son to re­joice. Be­sides sat­is­fy­ing your crav­ing for some­thing sweet, dark choco­late is re­ally good for you. It con­tains high lev­els of flavonols, a po­tent type of an­tiox­i­dant, which helps to pre­vent dam­age to the skin due to ex­ces­sive ex­po­sure to the sun. Dark choco­late is also be­lieved to help re­tain skin mois­ture which keeps the ap­pear­ance of fine lines at bay. So go ahead and in­dulge in dark choco­late, but do keep an eye on your waist­line.

Rec­om­mended por­tion One square in a day Calo­ries 27 How best to eat Choose those which con­tain at least 60 to 70 per cent co­coa.

RED WINE

Why it’s good for you What bet­ter way to slow down the march of time than with a daily glass of red wine? For ages red wine has been linked to healthy hearts and pro­tec­tion against cer­tain can­cers but stud­ies now show that resver­a­trol, a pow­er­ful an­tiox­i­dant found in the skin of grapes, has anti- age­ing prop­er­ties and can even boost ath­letic per­for­mance. Clearly you should raise a glass of red wine to a long and happy life ahead.

Rec­om­mended por­tion 125 ml Calo­ries 80 to 100 How best to drink At room tem­per­a­ture just be­fore din­ner. Ac­cord­ing to re­search, the liver metabolises and detox­i­fies al­co­hol most ef­fi­ciently be­tween 5 and 6 pm.

GAR­LIC

Why it’s good for you Gar­lic, it is said, is at its most ef­fec­tive when eaten raw. But, there’s no cause for worry as its po­tent anti- age­ing ben­e­fits do not wane even when cooked. Of­ten called the “nec­tar of the gods”, daily con­sump­tion of gar­lic has a num­ber of ad­van­tages. Its anti- bac­te­rial, anti- vi­ral and anti- in­flam­ma­tory prop­er­ties pre­vent cel­lu­lar dam­age and pro­mote cell re­ju­ve­na­tion. Gar­lic is also well known to re­duce puffi­ness and dark cir­cles un­der the eyes.

Rec­om­mended por­tion 3 to 4 cloves in a day Calo­ries 4 for each clove

How best to eat Raw. Chop and use as salad dress­ing, sprin­kle over but­ter toast, mix with gua­camole, add to mashed pota­toes or blend with tea to re­duce the pun­gent taste.

YO­GHURT

FISH

Why it’s good for you Yo­ghurt’s big­gest claim to fame is its rich cal­cium con­tent which staves off bone re­lated dis­or­ders like os­teo­poro­sis. The micro­organ­ism called pro­bi­otic present in yo­ghurt help re­move tox­ins from the in­tes­tine thus im­prov­ing the body’s im­mune sys­tem. A yo­ghurt mask is also ef­fec­tive in soothing skin, pre­vent­ing dis­coloura­tion and ap­pear­ance of fine lines.

Rec­om­mended por­tion 100 to 150 grams in a day

Calo­ries 100 for one cup non- fat

yo­ghurt

How best to eat Around- the- clock. Yo­ghurt can be en­joyed any time of day whether as break­fast, snack or din­ner.

Why it’s good for you While it can­not mend a bro­ken heart, eat­ing fish reg­u­larly can cer­tainly keep your heart beat­ing for a much longer pe­riod of time. The main rea­son for this be­ing that fish is one of the pri­mary sources of Omega- 3 fatty acids which are prob­a­bly the strong­est safe­guard against car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­eases. Since fish is high in pro­tein but low in sat­u­rated fats and calo­ries, it also helps to keep your weight in check.

Rec­om­mended por­tion 50 grams in one meal Calo­ries 100 for 50 grams cooked salmon

How best to eat Steamed, poached or baked. Salmon is largely known as the health­i­est of all fish for its high Omega- 3 con­tent.

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