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Eternally youthful

The process of ageing can be slowed with the right diet and antioxidant supplements.

health and fitness Updated: Jul 15, 2010 13:36 IST
Dr Anjali Mukerjee
Dr Anjali Mukerjee
Hindustan Times

New evidence suggests that it’s possible to delay the process of ageing. Ageing happens because of the presence of free radicals. These free radicals damage your cells, and make you look older and your skin less youthful. Apart from smoking, other factors like overeating, over-exercising, exposure to toxins, stress, anger and anxiety create free radicals.

The process of ageing can be slowed with the right diet and antioxidant supplements. Antioxidants are the main element in a good diet. Foods rich in antioxidants provide a protective shield against heart diseases, hypertension and cancer.

Anti-oxidant rich foods
Dark chocolates: Cocoa, the main ingredient in chocolate, is responsible for neutralising free radicals. It has more flavonoids than red wine and green tea, relaxes blood vessels and reduces blood pressure.

Blueberries: Compounds in blueberries come handy to counter the oxidative damage associated with loss of memory and motor functions. They are also a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium and iron.

Omega-3 fat rich fish: Salmon, mackerel and tuna are great sources of Omega-3 fatty acids. A diet rich in omega fatty acids prevents cholesterol build up and heart blockage.

Nuts: Nuts are a good source of monounsaturated fats and hypertension-fighting compound L-arginine. They’re also rich in vitamin E, selenium and zinc.

Red Wine (or a small glass of red grape juice): Flavanols found in red wine can help sharpen the mind, improve cardiovascular health, boost immunity and increase life span.

Yoghurt: The presence of millions of friendly bacteria helps improve your defence against diseases.

Fresh Figs: Figs contain flavanols, and they’re loaded with antioxidants, B-complex vitamins, iron and manganese, which stave off anaemia and fatigue.

Awla: Gooseberries are an excellent source of vitamin C, and contain high amounts of polyphenols.

Nutritional reminders
Cut down on fried, spicy and sugary foods.

Eat fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, on-fat skim milk and lean meat, especially fish.

Drink at least about 10-12 glasses of water every day.

Prefer complex carbohydrates rather than fast digesting carbohydrate foods like rice, white bread and refined flour pasta.

Choose lots of green vegetables, and increase your intake of ginger, garlic and onions.

Eat plenty of yellow, orange and red-coloured fruits and vegetables like tomatoes, carrots, mangoes and oranges, which are rich in anti-oxidants.

First Published: Jul 15, 2010 13:08 IST