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Anti Aging Snacks E-mail
Written by Jeff Behar, MS, MBA   

Snacking often gets a bad rap, but if you make intelligent choices about what you eat, youanti_aging_snacks can feel better, reduce your risk to many chronic diseases, improve  your quality of life, and look younger in the process too!

Why Snacks?
Most of us are used to eating three times a day, but it is much healthier to eat smaller meals more frequently. Best practice is five small meals throughout the day. Eating in this way delivers a steady stream of nutrients, blood sugar, and energy to your body throughout the day and is also much less taxing on the digestive and metabolic systems.

And when you eat more small meals throughout the day, you will most likely avoid the pitfalls of overindulging at your next meal and may actually consume fewer total calories for the day.

Keep healthy "grab-and-go" snacks on hand all the time to avoid the tempting lure of high-calorie snacks.

Anti Aging Snacks

There are snacks that are good for you. Some snacks can provide the body with nutrients that can be beneficial to the body in many ways, including slowing down the body's natural aging process. Here are my top five anti aging snack choices:

1. An Apple a Day for Heart Healthapple heart health

There are many reasons to eat an apple - or two or three - every day. One study discovered that subjects who ate five apples or more a week had a healthier lung function than those who did not eat apples. Scientists have also confirmed that apples also contribute to a healthy heart. Thanks to the fruit's rich pectin content, eating two to three apples per day leads to decreased cholesterol levels. Pectin also helps prevent colon cancer, one of the top causes of death in adults over age sixty.

2. Apricots for Anti-Agingapricots

One of the staple foods of the famously long-lived centenarians in the Hunza valley of the Himalayas is the apricot. Research has discovered that apricots have the highest levels and widest variety of carotenoids of any food.

Carotenoids are antioxidants that help prevent heart disease, reduce "bad cholesterol" levels, and protect against cancer.

3. Avocado: Packed with Nutrients

Among the many antioxidants nutrients, glutathione is known as the "master antioavocadoxidant." This naturally occurring compound, found in avocados (as well as asparagus, walnuts, and fish), is made up of the three amino acids glycine, glutamic acid, and cysteine. Glutathione regulates immune cells, protects against cancer, and assists in detoxifying.

A deficiency in glutathione can play a part in Diabetes, liver disease, heart disease, low sperm count, and premature aging. Avocados are also a source of L-cysteine, which helps protect your body from the harmful effects of pollution, radiation, harmful chemicals, alcohol, tobacco and smoke. L-cysteine may also help boost immunity, protect you from heart disease, and build muscle. It is also useful for combating inflammation and encouraging healthy hair and nail growth.

Pair your avocado with whole-grain crackers or whole-grain crisp breads for a fiber-rich tasty treat.

4. Bring On the Berries

Berries provide many health benefits that many people are not aware of. Considering their size, berries are pound for poutypes_of_berriesnd one of the best anti-aging and longevity promoting foods. Because berries are low in fat and packed with nutrients like vitamins, minerals and fiber by adding berries to your diet you can not go . Here are just a few of the many proven health benefits of berries:

  • Berries contain many vitamins, minerals and fiber that provide numerous health benefits. Increasing fiber in your diet reduces the risk of many chronic diseases, and also helps with controlling hunger too!
  • Berries contain enzymes that can help improve health and prevent certain chronic illnesses and diseases from developing. In animal studies done at Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, University of Illinois, wild blueberry extracts inhibited an enzyme called ornithine decarboxylase, which is responsible for tumor progression.
  • Darker berries ( like blueberries, blackberries, goji berries and raspberries contain high levels of antioxidants which studies have prove exert a protective effect against oxidation—a principal cause of cellular damage and death—which ultimately results in illness and disease.  Studies show that antioxidants can also reduce inflammatory stress within the body.While you can not go wrong eating any of the darker berries, it is the fabulous blueberry that come out on top in the anti-oxidant department.
  • Berries improve memory, and improve cognitive function. Studies have shown that berries can improve cognitive function. In a landmark study in 1999, researchers at Tufts University fed older rats one cup of blueberries a day. The study found that the old rats that were fed the blueberries,  learned faster than the young rats, were more coordinated, showed improved motor skills and even outperformed the young rats in memory tests. The study was significant because the researchers discovered blueberry's potential for reversing some age-related impairments in both memory and motor coordination. The researchers concluded that these findings suggest that, in addition to their known beneficial effects on cancer and heart disease, the phytochemicals present in antioxidant-rich foods may be beneficial in reversing the course of neuronal and behavioral aging. Studies have also shown that darker berries such as blueberries possess powerful neuroprotective properties that shield brain cells from damage, helping to slow down the age-related onset of memory loss, Alzheimer's, and senility.
  • Berries contain a giant portion of phytochemicals which can exert a positive effect on brain function. Researchers at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University recently published a report showing that these nutritional antioxidants, such as the phytochemicals found in dark berries can reverse age-related declines in brain function, namely the cognitive and motor deficits associated with Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.
  • Blueberries, bilberries and raspberries contain lutein, which is important for healthy vision.
  • Raspberries are rich in anthocyanins and cancer-fighting phytochemicals such as ellagic, coumaric and ferulic acid.
  • Pomegranates contain bioflavonoids, antioxidant compounds that reduce free radical damage. These flavonoids are more potent antioxidants than vitamin C and vitamin E, and they also help to reduce inflammation - more effectively even than aspirin!
  • Pomegranate fruit extract has strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and has been found to be particularly beneficial in inhibiting the growth of cancer cells and and improving symptoms of coronary heart disease and periodontitis (gum disease).
  • Raspberry, strawberry, cranberry, elderberry, blueberry and bilberry extracts have all been found to significantly inhibit H. pylori bacteria.
  • Bilberry extract is rich in anthocyanins, a class of flavonoids and at type of, phytochemical, often found  together with proanthocyanidins;  the precursor of anthocyanins; are also powerful antioxidants, exhibiting numerous health benefits in their own right. Studies have shown that anthocyanins have many beneficial health properties, such as improving vision, and improving gastrointenstinal health, by supporting the gastrointestinal mucosa in laboratory animals, indicating that it could be a protectant against ulcers. Recent studies also indicate that bilberry, which contains five anthocyanins  may also inhibit the growth of human leukemia cells and and human colon cancer cells in vitro. There are several studies that suggest that these compounds also protect you against cancer, arthritis, and heart disease because they lower cholesterol.
  • Cherries also contain  anthocyanin compounds, which stimulate your pancreas to produce insulin, which may help people that a pre-diabetic, as well as those that suffer from, insulin sensitivity, metabolic syndrome as well as Type 2 Diabetes.
5. Nuts and Seeds Keep You Young

Healthy and appetizing, nuts and seeds are absolutely the best snack of the bunch. Helpnuts_and_seedsing yourself to a handful of nuts and seeds every day can improve circulation and muscle tone.

And nuts and seeds are especially full of arginine, an amino acid that helps to combat heart disease, impotence, infertility, and high blood pressure, and it also facilitates the healing process. Additionally, arginine can stimulate the pituitary gland at the base of the brain.

The pituitary releases growth hormones, which begin to decline quickly in humans after age 35. This means that after 35, your hormones start to plunge and you experience some aging symptoms. The skin loses elasticity, the muscle loses mass and strength, the lean body tissue decreases, fertility and virility decrease, and other signs of aging start to set in.

Many nuts and seeds are rich sources of vitamin E, lignants and omega-3 fatty acids, which protect you from cardiovascular disease (heart disease) and also from the ravages of aging. Almonds, brazil nuts, flax seeds, peanuts, pine nuts, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, and walnuts: mix them in any combination and enjoy!  Keep in mind that there are more nutrients in raw nuts and seeds than in roasted nuts and seeds.

Conclusion on Anti Aging Snacks

I hope you find the ways to nourish your body with healthy snacks! I invite you to visit this site often and check up on the latest articles, tips and studies we will post regarding healthdisease prevention, nutrition, and anti aging.

About the Author Jeff Behar

Jeff Behar
Jeff Behar, MS, MBA
Jeff Behar, MS, MBA is a recognized health, fitness and nutrition expert
, regularly writing about hot topics in the areas of health, fitness, disease prevention, nutrition, anti aging and alternative medicine. Jeff Behar's work often appears in several of the major health and fitness newsletters, health and fitness magazines, and on  major health, and fitness websites. Jeff Behar is also a well sought after personal trainer, motivational speaker and weight loss expert.
 
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