By Suzanne Laurie, Nutritionist

Forget cosmetic surgery, the elixir of life is probably sitting in your fridge! Some foods are fantastically age defying, and better still, all are delicious, and some a bit naughty!

Blueberries are full of antioxidants, including vitamin C, vital for helping to mop up chemicals called free radicals in our bodies. Over a lifetime, the cellular damage caused by free radicals mounts up and can cause many health problems. Vitamin C also helps make collagen, the body’s natural scaffolding, found in bones and skin.

Carrots contain the antioxidant, beta-carotene, thought to help prevent and the spread of some cancers, particularly cervical and lung cancers. It protects your heart and circulatory health, too. Women who eat at least five carrots a week are nearly two-thirds less likely to have a stroke than those who eat them once a month.

Every time you tuck into your favourite curry, you may be diminishing the risk of developing Alzheimer’s. Studies have found that a chemical in turmeric called curcumin, is effective in blocking the development of this degenerative brain condition.

Soya is full of potent antioxidants called flavonoids, which protect against many types of cancer including those associated with increasing age such as breast and prostate. Try soya milk, ice cream and yogurt instead of dairy.

Green tea
Green tea also contains flavonoids and helps kick starts your liver’s detoxification system. It’s protective against heart disease and cancers, lowers cholesterol, reduces the risk of stroke and even combats the bacteria that cause tooth decay.

Dark chocolate
Another high flavonoid food. Chocolate also helps keep blood pressure healthy and may even activate the immune system against cardiovascular disease and arthritis. But don’t overdo it! Chocolate also contains lots of fat and refined sugar, which are bad for you.

Replenishing moisture lost throughout the day is critical to your long term health. Drinking eight glasses of water per day can improve your memory, , ward off disease, ease joint and back pain, and enhance the glow of your skin.

Red wine
A glass of red wine every few days may protect against heart disease. Alcohol stimulates insulin activity so you need less to keep your blood sugar stable. Moderate drinkers tend to have higher levels of healthy HDL cholesterol than non-drinkers. But moderation is the key: too much alcohol can seriously reverse these benefits.

Garlic can all help the liver eliminate toxins and free radicals. Garlic is also known to help protect the heart, reduce cholesterol levels and stimulate the immune system. Unfortunately over consumption may not win you many friends!

Nuts & Seeds
A handful of walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds or linseeds contains high levels of omega 3 fats, which are great for your heart and have been shown to help maintain good brain function and ward off Alzheimer?s disease. Raw, unsalted nuts and seeds are best.


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