ANTIOXIDANTS: KEY FOR LONGEVITY!

When it comes to boosting antioxidant intake, recent research indicates there’s little benefit from taking diet supplements. A better way, according to a report in the September issue of Mayo Clinic Health Letter, is eating a diet rich in antioxidant-containing foods.
Antioxidants such as vitamins C and E, carotene, lycopene, lutein and many other substances may play a role in helping to prevent diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease and macular degeneration. Antioxidants are thought to help because they can neutralize free radicals, which are toxic byproducts of natural cell metabolism. The human body naturally produces antioxidants but the process isn’t 100 percent effective and that effectiveness declines with age.
Research is increasingly showing that those who eat antioxidant-rich foods reap health benefits. Foods, rather than supplements, may boost antioxidant levels because foods contain an unmatchable array of antioxidant substances. A supplement may contain a single type of antioxidant or even several. However, foods contain thousands of types of antioxidants, and it’s not known which of these substances confer the benefits.
Some of the better food sources of antioxidants are:
-Berries: Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries and cranberries
-Beans: Small red beans and kidney, pinto and black beans
-Fruits: Many apple varieties (with peels), avocados, cherries, green and red pears, fresh or dried plums, pineapple, oranges, and kiwi
-Vegetables: Artichokes, spinach, red cabbage, red and white potatoes (with peels), sweet potatoes and broccoli
-Beverages: Green tea, coffee, red wine and many fruit juices
-Nuts: Walnuts, pistachios, pecans, hazelnuts and almonds
-Herbs: Ground cloves, cinnamon or ginger, dried oregano leaf and turmeric powder
-Grains: Oat-based products
-Dessert: Dark chocolate






THE TRUTH ABOUT CHOLESTEROL AND EGGS

Chicken eggs are high in cholesterol, and a diet high in cholesterol can contribute to high blood cholesterol levels. However, how much the cholesterol in your diet can increase your blood cholesterol varies from person to person. Although eating too many eggs can increase your cholesterol, eating four egg yolks or fewer on a weekly basis hasn’t been found to increase your risk of heart disease.
When deciding whether to include eggs in your diet, consider the recommended daily limits on cholesterol in your food:
-If you are healthy, it’s recommended that you limit your dietary cholesterol to less than 300 milligrams (mg) a day.
-If you have cardiovascular disease, diabetes or a high low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or “bad”) blood cholesterol level, you should limit your dietary cholesterol to less than 200 mg a day.
One large egg has about 186 mg of cholesterol — all of which is found in the yolk. Therefore, if you eat an egg on a given day, it’s important to limit other sources of cholesterol for the rest of that day. Consider substituting servings of vegetables for servings of meat, or avoid high-fat dairy products for that day.
If you like eggs but don’t want the extra cholesterol, use only the egg whites. Egg whites contain no cholesterol. You may also use cholesterol-free egg substitutes, which are made with egg whites.