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Anti-oxidant Food Guide

What can you do to keep your skin looking beautiful and your body healthy? Here are some healthy foods that you can incorporate into your meals to not only look younger, but live longer! It's all about getting your vitamins. As you age, small vitamin and mineral deficiencies build-up over time and lead to premature aging and many other health problems. It is important to ensure your body has a variety of vitamins and minerals by taking a daily multi-vitamin. Try to take your multi-vitamin in the morning with breakfast. If you're taking multi-dose vitamins, spread them out throughout the day. A large dose all at once will be wasted as the body will eliminate the excess through urination.

Sunflower Seeds

Contain the highest vitamin E potency of any other food. A 1-ounce serving gives you 93% of your daily requirement. "Vitamin E is one of the most important nutrients around for looking younger," says Barry Swanson, Ph.D. at Washington State University. "No antioxidant is more effective at fighting the aging effects of free radicals". Vitamin E also reduces your risk of heart disease, strokes, and Alzheimer's disease. Other sources include canola oil, margarine, and almonds.


Grape Juice

Keeps middle-aged skin from sagging in addition to reducing the risk of heart disease or stroke. "Grapes are filled with antioxidant polyphenols that help to keep your skin flexible and elastic," says Swanson.


Leafy Greens and Beans

Australia researchers found that people who ate the most leafy green vegetables and beans had the fewest wrinkles. This is due to compounds that help prevent and repair the gradual damage that occurs as your skin gets older.


Red Bell Peppers

Research from UCLA indicates that the life expectancy of someone who takes 300 mg or more of Vitamin C a day compared to someone who takes less than 50 mg is 5.5 years longer. A large red bell pepper contains 57 mg/oz compared with only 14 mg/oz in a large orange. Vitamin C also reduces your risk of heart disease and cataracts. Other excellent sources of C include kiwifruit, broccoli, and of course oranges. Note that store-bought unfrozen orange juice loses its Vitamin C potency very quickly (down to 0% in less than 2 weeks) compared to frozen orange juice.


Carrots

If you only eat one vegetable you should pick the carrot. A half cup provides dietary fiber, beta-carotene, potassium, vitamin C, calcium, and several other essential nutrients and each serving is just 50 calories.


Tomatoes

Tomatoes contain a powerful anti-oxidant called lycopene. Lycopene reduces your risk of cancer and does wonders for your skin. Lycopene is especially prominent in cooked tomatoes (ketchup, salsa). Another excellent source of lycopene is in watermelons.


Honey

Honey has powerful antioxidants qualities that help protect you from heart disease. Substitute honey for sugar whenever you can. A bit of honey when cooking beef or poultry will reduce the formation of cancer-causing free radicals in the food.

Milk

Calcium is an important nutrient for healthy bones. When your diet lacks enough calcium your body will actually leach it from your bones. As you grow older your bones can grow weaker through Osteoporosis. One in three women and one in eight men are affected by osteoporosis in their lifetime. Another excellent source is calcium fortified orange juice (frozen is better). Calcium fortified orange juice contains the same amount of calcium as milk, but is also more bioavailable to the body. This is an especially good choice for those that are lactose-intolerant or want an alternative to calcium supplements.

Water

Your body is more than 60% water. It is important to not only keep hydrated, water is the essential element of life. Water flushes out wastes that are present in your body which maintains the healthy functioning of your internal organs not to mention your skin. Fruit juices and milk are terrific ways of getting vitamins with your water.

Soy and Green Tea

The traditional asian diet includes these important foods. Antioxidants, blood pressure and cholesterol reduction are to name just a few of the benefits. There are numerous soy products including tofu, soya sauce (an excellent marinade), soy drinks, and soy meat substitutes. Soy is the only vegetable that contains the complete set of essential aminoacids in protein besides meat products. Soya sauce is a great substitute for salt. Green tea can be found in several varieties. Especially notable is its effect of breaking up oil and fats when ingested or applied topically. Many skincare products designed for oily skin incorporate green tea extract. Green tea contains 30% less caffeine than coffee and has a very light taste.
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