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10 Foods That Are Loaded with Antioxidants Which Help Prevent Aging

10 Foods That Are Loaded with Antioxidants Which Help Prevent Aging

Picture an apple that you started eating and then put aside and temporarily forgot about. Did you notice how quickly it turned brown? That is exactly what is happening to your body if you do not consume enough antioxidant-high foods to combat its own oxidation process.

For example, take that same apple and coat it with orange juice, which is high in Vitamin C, an antioxidant. You will then see that it takes much longer to turn brown. The same thing happens to you when you eat plenty of foods that are high in antioxidants.

Free radicals in our body are always looking to become whole, and they will use healthy molecules if necessary. The more free radicals that we have, which are increased in numbers the more processed foods, soft drinks, pollution and stress that we consume or experience, the greater the likelihood that we will experience things such as cancer, heart disease, cataracts in the eyes and reduction of long-term memory and learning ability. To avoid all these, we need to look for food with antioxidants.

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Fortunately, there are plenty of foods that are loaded with antioxidants. It is also proven that antioxidants can help prevent aging. Below is the list.

1. Goji Berries

These fruits, which possess a taste similar to cherries and cranberries, possess very high levels of zeaxanthin, which is noted for its impact on eye health. Goji berries also protect the immune system and lower blood cholesterol. These tasty fruits are native to China and are gradually gaining popularity throughout the world.

2. Açaí Berries

Açaí berries, which have their roots in the Brazilian rainforest, have been described as a berry that has the aroma of chocolate and is packed with natural antioxidants.” In fact, açaí berries have more antioxidant strength than well-known foods such as blueberries. Many people use this tasty fruit in smoothies and tea.

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3. Raw Cacao

This is chocolate stripped to its essence, which is important as the average chocolate bar that you may buy in the supermarket is not that nutritious. Raw cacao is made from unroasted cocoa beans that have been cold pressed. This differs from cocoa, which is roasted, a process that removes much of its nutritional value. Raw cacao, however, is believed to be the most concentrated source of antioxidants.

4. Herbal Green Tea

Another powerful beverage is green tea, which contains high levels of catechin polyphenols, which help with fat oxidation and the burning of fat at higher levels than would otherwise be the case. This tasty beverage also helps reduce rates of heart disease and cancer. It’s important to know that companies will often times add sugar, high fructose corn syrup, or artificial sweeteners into their green tea which will kill the antioxidant value that green tea offers.

5. Wild Blueberries

When blueberries  are one of the healthiest fruits on earth. The antioxidant value is very strong with blueberries. Cornell University in one of their research studies on wild blueberries discovered that antioxidants in blueberries perform better in cells compared to antioxidants from cranberries, apples, red and green grapes.

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6. Eggs

Contrary to what many believe, eggs actually prevent heart disease and cancer. The yolks contain tyrosine and tryptophan, which are both high in antioxidants. However, eggs do lose about half of their antioxidant strength when they are cooked although they do still pack quite an antioxidant punch even in that case.

7. Flaxseed

One of the most important things that you can do for your diet is eat more products with high levels of omega 3, and flaxseed is one of the best sources for omega 3. In fact, King Charlemagne of Europe realized how powerful this food was more than 1,200 years ago and required that his citizens to eat it. Many people add it to oatmeal and cereal.

8. Wheatgrass

This food is known as a significant alkalizer, which is important as it helps reduce the acidity that other foods may have presented to your stomach and body. The flavonoids that are present in wheatgrass also help take care of those pesky free radicals. This food can be eaten raw, juiced or in powder form.

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9. Pomegranate

This tasty fruit has been described as an antioxidant superstar. People have been consuming this nutritious food in western Asia since ancient times. Most of the pomegranate that Americans eat today is grown in the Southwestern United States.

10. Watercress

This can serve as a more nutritious substitute for lettuce on sandwiches or in salads. Watercress is noted for being a good source for zexanthin and lutein, antioxidants that promote eye health.

Featured photo credit: ayngelina via flickr.com

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Last Updated on October 16, 2018

The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

It’s well past midnight and you’ve got to get up in less than six hours. You toss and turn all night. Before you know it, another hour passes by and you start panicking.

If I don’t get to sleep in the next 30 minutes, I’m going to be exhausted tomorrow!”

One thing is for sure, you’re not alone. Over 70M+ Americans have stated that they don’t get the proper sleep they need at night.[1] So what could possibly be causing this insomnia epidemic?

Throughout my entrepreneurial journey of building my language learning company, I have experimented and researched dozens of best sleep practices. Some have flopped but a few have dramatically improved the quality of my life and work.

In this article, I’ll look into the reason why you’re sleep deprived and how to sleep through the night tonight.

Why you can’t sleep through the night

The first step to improving anything is getting to the bottom of the root problem. Different studies have shown the reasons why most people cannot sleep well at night.[2] Here are the main ones that the average person faces:

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Stress

If you’ve ever stayed up at night worrying about something, know that it’s a major sleep inhibitor. When you’re feeling stress, your mind and body becomes more activated, making it incredibly difficult to fall asleep. Even when you do manage to sleep, it won’t be deep enough to help you feel rested the next day.

Exposure to blue light before sleep time

We’re exposed to harmful blue light on a daily basis through the use of our digital screens. If you’ve never heard of blue light, it’s part of the visible light spectrum that suppresses melatonin, our sleep hormones. Other harmful effects include digital eye strains and macular cellular damage.

While daytime exposure to blue light is not very harmful, night time exposure tricks our brain into thinking it’s daytime. By keeping your brain alert and suppressing melatonin, your mind is unable to shut down and relax before bedtime.

Eating close to bedtime

Eating too late can actually be an issue for many people, especially those who are older than 40. The reason is, eating before laying down increases the chances of Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), in which stomach acid backflows into the esophagus.

Another reason not to eat too late is sleep quality. Even if you manage to sleep right after eating, it’s likely that you’ll wake up tired. Instead of letting your body rest during sleep, it has to digest the food that was entered before bedtime.

Rule of thumb: eat 3-4 hours before bedtime.

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Medical conditions

In some cases, it could be medical conditions that cause your sleep problems. If you can’t relate yourself to the above reasons or any of these common sleep problem causes, you should visit the doctor.

The vicious sleep cycle

The biggest danger to repeating the bad habits mentioned above is the negative cycle that it can take you through. A bad night’s sleep can affect not only your energy but your willpower and decision making skills.

Here’s an example of a bad sleep pattern:

You get a bad night’s sleep
–> You feel tired and stressful throughout the day.
–> You compensate it with unhealthy habits (for example junk food, skipping exercises, watching Netflix etc.)
–> You can’t sleep well (again) the next night.

    You can imagine what could happen if this cycle repeats over a longer period of time.

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    How to sleep better (throughout the night)

    To help you break the vicious cycle and stop waking up in the middle of the night, I’ll explain to you a list of actionable steps to solve your trouble staying asleep.

    1. Take control over the last 90 minutes of your night

    What you do (or don’t do) before bedtime have significant impact on the quality of your sleep. Many times, it can be the difference between staying up until 4am and sleeping like a baby.

    Here are a few suggestions:

    • Go from light to dark – Darkness stimulates production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Turn off unused light around the house, and think about investing into warm light that you can use in the bedroom before bedtime.
    • Avoid screens (or wear blue light blocking glasses) – Keep the bedroom a technology-free zone as the light from electronic devices can disturb your sleep. If you need to work, wear blue light blocking glasses (also known as computer glasses) throughout or before you sleep to prevent sleep disruption.
    • Find an activity that helps you to wind down  This could be anything that calms you down, and reduces thinking (especially unnecessary stress). Fir example, listening to soothing/good feel music, taking a hot bath, reading or meditating.
    • Keep any electronics you have on the other side of the room or outside the room – One of the most harmful things that can disrupt your sleep is the notifications you get from your smartphones. The simplest way to avoid this is to keep it away from you.
    • Create a bedtime routine – A night routine is a couple of things you do prior to going to bed. By doing these things every night, you’ll have a more restful and high-quality sleep. Learn how to pick up a night routine here: The Ultimate Night Routine Guide to Sleep Better and Wake Up Productive

    2. Eat the right nutrients (and avoid the wrong ones)

    What you eat (not just when we eat) plays a critical role in your sleep quality. If you’re ever in doubt of what to eat to improve your sleep, take the following into consideration:

    • Kiwi – This green fruit may be the ultimate pre-bed snack. When volunteers ate two kiwis an hour before hitting the hay, they slept almost a full extra hour. Kiwis are full of vitamins C and E, serotonin and folate—all of which may help you snooze.
    • Soy foods – Foods made with soy such as tofu, miso and edamame, are rich in isoflavones. These compounds increase the production of serotonin, a brain chemical that influences the body’s sleep-wake cycle.
    • Fiber-rich foods – Eating more fiber could be key for better sleep. Eating fiber was associated with more restorative slow-wave sleep—the more you eat, the better you sleep—per a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. Fiber prevents blood sugar surges that may lower melatonin. Get a fiber boost from beans, artichokes, bran cereal and quinoa.
    • Salmon – Most fish, especially salmon, halibut and tuna boost vitamin B6, which is needed to make melatonin— a sleep-inducing hormone triggered by darkness.

    3. Adjust your sleep temperature

    Once you’ve gone through the first 2 recommendations, the last step to experiment with is temperature. According to Sleep.org, the ideal temperature for sleep is 60-67 Farenheit. This may be cooler than what most people are used to, but keep in mind that our body temperature changes once we fall asleep.

    Rule of thumb: sleeping in cooler temperature is better for sleep quality than warmer temperature.

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    Find out how to maintain the optimal temperature to sleep better here: How to Sleep Faster with the Best Temperature

    Sleep better form now on

    Congrats on making it to the end of this guide on sleep. If you’re serious about taking the necessary steps in improving your sleep, remember to take it one step at a time.

    I recommend trying just one of the steps mentioned such as taking a hot bath, blocking out blue light at night, or sleeping in cooler temperature. From there, see how it impacts your sleep quality and you can keep doing what works, and throw away what doesn’t.

    As long as you follow these steps cautiously and diligently, I know you’ll see improved results in your sleep!

    Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

    Reference

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