Friday, 13 May 2011

Foods for Longer Life

Eating a nutritious diet high in raw organic produce, whole grains, and clean water can slow the aging process and fight degenerative disease. Here are ways on how to combine foods to create a diet that targets the body systems most susceptible to aging and disease-reproductive, circulatory, musculoskeletal, and digestive.

Reproductive System

Susceptible to: Prostate and testicular cancer, breast, uterine, and cervical cancer, uterine fibroids, fibrocystic breasts, lack of sexual drive, and sex hormone imbalance.

Foods to eat:

* nuts and seeds and their oils for omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids
* zinc-containing foods such as pumpkin seeds, which are good for prostate health
* leafy greens, whole grains, wheat germ, citrus fruits, carrots, and mangoes, which have vitamin B6 to help absorb zinc
* vitamins A and C for their antioxidant power (citrus fruits, leafy greens, peppers, strawberries, cantaloupe)
* vitamin E to promote estrogen production during menopause (wheat germ, broccoli, eggs, olive oil, carrots)
* foods rich in vitamins B, E, and zinc, for regulating healthy sex hormones
* iodine-rich foods such as kelp, seaweed, and fish to help prevent hyperthyroidism, a condition commonly associated with fibrocystic breasts.

Main foods to avoid: Alcohol, caffeine, refined sugar, and carbohydrates

Circulatory System

Susceptible to: Heart disease, chronic heart failure, arteriosclerosis, atherosclerosis, and stroke

Foods to eat:

* healthy oils from fish, flax, hemp, and other nuts and seeds
* raw fruits and vegetables for their soluble fibre content, which binds with cholesterol in the digestive tract and helps eliminate it
* soy products for lecithin, which keeps the arterial lining free from cholesterol
* wheat germ and avocados, which contain vitamin E to increase the oxygen supply to the heart and improve heart function
* foods with magnesium, including chlorophyll-rich greens, figs, almonds, and wheat germ, can help treat heart arrhythmias
* foods with vitamin C and E, which help maintain arterial walls.

Main foods to avoid: Anything containing trans fatty acids and hydrogenated oils, including margarine

Musculoskeletal System

Susceptible to: Osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, arthritis, broken bones, muscle strains, generally weakened state, loss of bone, and muscle mass

Foods to eat:

* rolled oats, lettuce, sprouts and cabbage, all of which contain silica to help form bones, decrease pain in joints and increase mobility
* green leafy vegetables, organic, raw dairy products and whole grains, which contain calcium, also necessary for forming bones
* foods with vitamin D, including cold-water fish (salmon, cod, halibut) and egg yolk, necessary for the body to absorb calcium
* magnesium-containing foods, including broccoli, barley, cashews, tofu and seaweed, to stimulate the production of calcitonin, which increases levels of calcium in bones
* EFAs to lubricate joints properly and inhibit arthritis formation. Eat cold-water fish, flax seed, hemp seed and avocado
* raw fruits and vegetables to minimize weight gain because excess weight puts undue stress on joints
* vitamins C and E, antioxidants for eradication of free-radical damage that causes inflammation in joints; also help build cartilage around joints
* turmeric, which contains anti-inflammatory curcuminoids, to help ease arthritic pain by blocking enzymes that cause inflammation in the joints.

Main foods to avoid: Members of the nightshade family, including potatoes, tomatoes, and green peppers. Foods in the nightshade family contain solanine, which interferes with the enzyme action of muscles and can cause pain; also avoid animal proteins, which produce uric acid in joints, making them painful.

Digestive System

Susceptible to: Cancers of the esophagus, stomach, intestines, rectum, colon, as well as heartburn, bloating, gas, bacterial (yeast) infections, and constipation

Foods to eat:

* raw fruits and vegetables, which contain the necessary enzymes for breaking down each main food type (carbohydrates, proteins, and fats); they also contain both soluble and insoluble fibre. Soluble fibre binds with cholesterol and helps eliminates it; insoluble fibre acts as bulk and helps eliminate all waste quickly. Eat at least 12-one-half-cup servings of raw or steamed vegetables and fruit daily.
* friendly bacteria, including Lactobacillus acidophilus and bifidus, which aid digestion and keep the environment of the gastrointestinal tract healthy by discouraging the growth of unfriendly bacteria such as Candida albicans. Raw, natural yogurt and kefir are good sources of friendly bacteria.
* water, which hydrates your GI tract and keeps food moving through your system at an appropriate pace. Water prevents constipation so your bowels can easily remove waste and toxins from the body. It also helps your liver and skin do the same. Drink at least eight glasses of water daily.

Main foods to avoid: Refined carbohydrates (white flour, sugar, and rice), fast food, and junk food, which contribute to the growth of Candida and promote constipation. They also contribute to weight gain, which is unhealthy for a body system.

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