Thursday, February 09, 2006

The Longevity Diet

12 superfoods that have anti-ageing and disease-fighting properties. They are high in antioxidants - the nutrients that reduce free radical damage to our cells caused by sun, smoke and air pollution.


Avocados contain folate, needed for cell division and blood-cell formation, essential for cell regeneration, and antioxidants.They include the antioxidant vitamin E (good for skin).


One of the most health-protective, anti-ageing foods - their vitamin C content is high and their beta-carotene means they are good for dealing with free radicals.


High in fibre, with lots of beta-carotene, folate and vitamin C to help to prevent and fight heart disease.


High in beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant - we absorb more beta-carotene from cooked carrots than from raw, but since vitamin C is highest in raw carrots I'd make sure you have raw or cooked daily.


This is a wonderful anti-cancer and heart-preserving food, but you need to eat it raw to enjoy its health benefits - through a finely-chopped clove into a salad dressing or guacamole.

Ideal fo non-fish eaters, hemp oil is a good vegetarian source of omega-3 fatty acids. Its also rich in vitamin E, a great antioxidant, and useful in preserving youthful skin.


This contains probiotic bacteria such as lactobacilli and bifida, which are thought to help the gut produce anti-cancer substances called butyrates.


Oats are rich in soluable fibre, which can lower levels of LDL, so-called bad fats. They also have a low GI rating, which means that they help to keep your energy levels up and steady.

Onions belong to the same family as garlic and are great for lowering bad cholesterol levels and blood pressure, and thinning the blood to minimise the risk of clotting and resulting strokes and heart attacks.


Prunes mop up more free radicals than any other fruit. They are high in soluable fibre, which is why they've been used as a laxative - they gently stimulate the bowel and soften the stool, great for helping to avoid bowel cancer.

Sardines - like herrings, mackerel, salmon and fresh tuna - are very high in omega-3 fatty acids.


Tea is full of antioxidants, but only when it's served black - milk reduces its power drastically. Fountain Of Youth

Health Warning - How Bird Flu has spread

Although more than 150 people have contracted the H5N1 virus, experts point out that cross-infection to humans is still relatively rare, and usually occurs where people have been in close contact with infected birds.

Many scientists fear it may be carried by migrating birds to Europe and Africa but say it is hard to prove a direct link.

But as H5N1 spreads west from its original hotspot of south-east Asia, there is mounting concern that it may combine with a human strain to produce a mutation that is more dangerous and difficult to combat.

Nutritional Advice - The Basics

You are what you eat... A good diet is central to overall good health. But which are the best foods to include in your meals, and which ones are best avoided? This section looks at the facts, to help you make realistic, informed choices.

The basics:

Bread, cereals and potatoes

This food group also contains pasta, rice and noodles and is full of starchy carbohydrates - your body's main source of energy.

Fruit and vegetables

Fruit and vegetables are brimming with fibre, plus a whole range of vitamins and minerals, and because they're low in calories, they make an important and healthy addition to any diet.

Meat, fish, eggs and alternatives

This food group includes poultry, pulses, beans, nuts, seeds, soya products and vegetable protein foods such as quorn and seitan. They're grouped together because they're all rich in protein.

Milk and dairy

This food group includes milk, cheese, yoghurt and fromage frais - but not butter, margarine or cream, which belong in the fat and sugar group. The foods in this group contain many different types of nutrients but are particularly rich in calcium.

Fats and sugar

The foods in this group are best eaten sparingly because, although an energy source, they contain few nutrients. Don't be fooled into thinking they're entirely 'bad', though. Fat is an important contributor to good health.

The digestive system

Ever wondered what happens to your food once it passes your lips? Well, once you've taken a mouthful, your food embarks on an incredible journey......

You have roughly 10,000 tastebuds on your tongue, which come alive the moment you put food in your mouth. As nerve endings, they're responsible for sussing out the chemicals in the food you've eaten and transmitting messages to your brain. Without them you wouldn't be able to experience salty, bitter, sweet or sour sensations. While your tastebuds are busy at work, your teeth grind the food into easily digestible pieces and your saliva moistens everything, so it doesn't scrape your digestive (gastrointestinal) tract on the way down.Nutrition