Power You Up
by Monica Bhide
GREEN TEA Abundant in catechins, a
type of antioxidant known to protect cells,
green tea may also reduce the risk of certain
cancers, particularly those of the stomach
SWEET POTATOES With their generous
helpings of vitamin B6 and potassium, sweet
potatoes can help protect the immune
system and regulate blood pressure. When
eaten with the skins, they have more fiber
than a cup of oatmeal.
DARK CHOCOLATE Rich in flavonoids, dark
chocolate can aid in decreasing blood pressure and cholesterol levels. In fact, the
British journal BMJ reports that daily consumption of chocolate with at least 60 percent cocoa may reduce heart attacks and
strokes in high-risk individuals.
ASPARAGUS A natural diuretic, asparagus is
high in potassium and vitamin B12, important
for cell repair and maintenance. New research has also shown that B12 can boost the
auditory system: People with low levels have
a 39 percent increased risk of hearing loss.
POMEGRANATES With high levels of antioxidants, pomegranates can help keep the
cardiovascular system healthy. Case in point:
According to a 2011 British study, drinking a
17-ounce glass of pomegranate juice every
day lowered blood pressure.
GARLIC Sulfur compounds in garlic give this
herb both its potent smell and its antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. When
garlic is crushed, it releases allicin, which
wards of heart attacks and strokes.
YOGURT Known for restoring balance to the
gastrointestinal tract, yogurt with live cultures may improve heart health. One study
found that participants were 31 percent less
likely to develop high blood pressure if they
ate just 6 ounces of yogurt every three days.
!The Healthiest Meal For recipes featuring all 16 Longevity Foods, go to aarp.org/food/recipes.
BLUEBERRIES Loaded with antioxidants,
blueberries rank among the top disease-fighting foods. Among recent findings: A
diet high in blueberries may reduce a woman’s risk of heart attack by 33 percent and
stave of memory loss by several years.