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Not Now, Grim Reaper - Another Time, Perhaps

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Woody Allen said, "m not afraid to die. I just don't want to be there when it happens." Thanks to tremendous gains in life expectancy - at an all-time high average of 79.7 years in Canada - society has a death-defying attitude.

Woody Allen said, “I’m not afraid to die. I just don’t want to be there when it happens.”

Thanks to tremendous gains in life expectancy - at an all-time high average of 79.7 years in Canada - society has adopted a death-defying attitude. To begin a “Die? Not now!” program in your life, you can make a number of simple choices in your everyday diet. The anti-aging food facts below will help you start to make these healthful choices on your next visit to the grocery store.

Choose Colour

Fruits and vegetables with deep, dark hues are reported to have more nutrients and greater antioxidant power to scavenge free radicals. Most recently, the nutritional spotlight has been focused on the health-promoting effects of oligomeric proanthrocyanidins - chemicals in plant cells that are responsible for the vibrant coloration of, for example, red grapes, berries, rhubarb, and apples. These chemicals have been found to have therapeutic potential for cardiovascular disease (including heart disease and elevated cholesterol), various cancers, diabetes, and stroke, and have been found to benefit cells in every organ of the body.

Therapeutic Tomatoes

Tomatoes are rich in the nutrient lycopene, which plays a beneficial role in warding off heart disease. Processed tomatoes - in the form of ketchup, tomato paste, and pasta sauces - pack even more lycopenes, as they are concentrated during the reduction process.

Go Fish

“Fatty” fish, such as mackerel and salmon, are rich in essential fatty acids, helping to lower cholesterol, and prevent the aggregation of blood platelets on artery walls. Salmon is especially low in the potentially cancer-causing agent known as methylmercury, as are flounder, cod, and haddock. However, trout, tuna, and halibut, while rich in omega-3s, iron, and magnesium, are fairly high in methylmercury, so limit your consumption of these fish. Avoid swordfish and shark, which are extremely high in methylmercury.

Broccoli Bouquet

Broccoli contains vitamin C, carotenoids, and folic acid; these nutrients can reduce the risk of heart disease. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine found that when you chew fresh broccoli, the plant cells release sulforaphane - a potent cancer-fighting chemical. Remarkably, lightly cooked broccoli cooked at 140F (60C) contains two to three times the sulforaphane as raw broccoli!

Yummie Yogurt

Yogurt is an excellent source of protein and carbohydrates, both necessary for exercise recovery and muscle growth - but avoid eating yogurts with added sugar. Yogurt with acidophilus contains stomach-friendly bacteria, necessary to combat the bad bacteria that would otherwise overrun the gut and cause a variety of ailments. Recent research has also found that yogurt contains conjugated linoleic acid, shown to reduce body fat. Soy yogurt gives you the added benefits of phytoestrogens, which play a part in reducing the risk of cancers, heart disease, and osteoporosis.

Whey To Go!

Australian scientists reported that a creatine and whey combination resulted with greater muscle growth in male weightlifters than those given the nutrients alone. After 11 weeks the men taking creatine and whey were leaner, stronger, and had larger muscle fibers. 

Just a Crust of Bread

Research from the German Research Center of Food Chemistry has found that a novel type of antioxidant, called pronyl-lysine, is eight times more abundant in the cooked crust than in the original, uncooked dough. The antioxidant is present in higher amounts in dark breads.

Beware the Poisonous Fats

Trans fat, a vegetable oil infused with hydrogen, is used in thousands of highly processed commercial foods. This type of fat lowers HDL (good) cholesterol while raising LDL (bad) cholesterol, and it increases blood levels of Lipoprotein(a), thereby increasing the risk for heart disease and diabetes. Per serving, foods that are highest in trans fat include: pot pies, biscuits, french fries, cinnamon rolls, fish sticks, nachos and margarine.

Chocolate Fantasia

We saved this one for last, so you’d be sure to read everything else, first! Researchers from the University of California, Davis determined that a small amount of dark chocolate may be heart-friendly. In the study, the researchers asked 18 healthy adults to consume a handful (25 grams) of semi-sweet chocolate chips. At two and six hours afterwards, the researchers noticed that the concentration of flavonoids increased in the participants’ blood, thereby causing platelets to take longer to clot than before the subjects ate the chocolate.

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