Food and Detox Diets: The latest Fountain of Youth.
Detox diets help the body eliminate the toxins in the body that can help fight the aging process. Aging is more than simply growing older. Many of the signs of aging are caused by unstable molecures called free radicals. They are produced in response to smoking, UVA/UVB rays in sunlight and even plution.. They can damage any part of our cells, proteins, fats and even our DNA. Potential problem arise from increased free radicals. Wrinkles and heart disease is caused in part by free radicals.
As we grow older, this free radical damage builds up causing our bodies and our minds to deteriorate. In optimal help, our body produces antioxidants to help neutralize and mop up free radicals. This is where antioxidants in food may help reduce the aging process.
The best anti-aging and rich free radical fighting antioxidant rich foods:
Cranberries, blueberries, and blackberries were ranked highest among the fruits studied. Beans, artichokes, and Russet potatoes were tops among the vegetables.
Pecans, walnuts, and hazelnuts were the winners in the nut category, and ground cloves, cinnamon, and oregano were the top three antioxidant-rich spices.
Here's the list of the top 20 food sources of antioxidants, based on their total antioxidant capacity per serving size:
Total antioxidant capacity per serving size
Small Red Bean (dried)
Red kidney bean (dried)
1 cup (whole)
1 cup (hearts)
Red Delicious apple
Granny Smith apple
Russet potato (cooked)
Black bean (dried)
Researchers also found that cooking method also had a significant effect on the antioxidant content of the foods tested, but those effects were not consistent.
"What we're discovering is that we only know about a thimbleful of all the antioxidants that are probably within foods," says Grotto, who is also a spokesman for the American Dietetic Association. "What's unique about eating foods vs. supplements is that there is always more bang for the buck in eating the foods, and you get a lot of those compounds that we really don't fully understand the benefits of yet."
Grotto recommends the following tips to incorporate more antioxidant-rich foods into your diet:
Make bean cubes. Process leftover beans with a little vegetable broth in a food processor until it forms a thin paste. Pour into ice cube trays, and then use the frozen cubes to thicken soups and sauces.
Substitute beans for meats. Most recipes that call for ground or cubed meats, such as stews and casseroles, also work with beans like lentils, chickpeas, or black beans in the starring role.
Be berry sneaky. Toss a handful of berries on your breakfast cereal or blend them into fruit smoothies for a healthy breakfast or snack.