10 Anti-Aging Superfoods That Keep Your Skin Healthy
By Lauren Kessler
True, food isn't everything, but much of the hope (and hype) surrounding the anti-aging movement is focused on food and in particular on what are being called "superfoods." This is not a scientific term. It is not a term used by dietitians or nutritional scientists.
A superfood is a food particularly rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, amino acids, enzymes and other essential nutrients with proven health benefits. It has more of the good stuff per calorie than other foods and fewer (or none) of the properties considered to be negative.
And when it comes to your skin, these are the top 10 foods you should always eat:
Broccoli—the "eat it, it's good for you" food that George Bush (the elder) proclaimed his distaste for—is one of the most nutrient-dense foods on Earth. It has protein; bone-building calcium; fiber; vitamins A, C and K; a phytoestrogen shown to benefit cognitive skills; and a chemical that, at least in animal studies, reversed age-related damage to body tissues and organs. Done.
Blueberries are one of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) top ORAC foods. That stands for "oxygen radical absorbance capacity," which means these foods are antioxidant powerhouses that, as the USDA says, "attack aging at its roots" and can "help slow down the effects of aging in humans" by protecting the body against cellular damage. (Remember the pollution caused by those cellular engines, mitochondria?) Or that's what the USDA used to say.
Recently, the agency has recanted, removing the ORAC list from its Web site because "metabolic pathways are not completely understood and non-antioxidant mechanisms [are] still undefined."
In other words: More research is needed. But studies at Tufts support the "powerhouse food" approach, finding that several compounds in blueberries help to mitigate inflammation. (Inflammation has been linked to just about every disease of aging).
It's one of the richest sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which help to lower cholesterol, prevent blood platelets from sticking to artery walls, decrease inflammation, decrease the risk of strokes and prevent heart attacks. Salmon has lots of protein, is a good source of iron and is low in mercury—a concern for fish lovers. In 2009, Madonna went on a well-publicized salmon binge to "knock 12 years off her appearance," as the Boston Globe reported. Hard to separate the effects of salmon, a 24-7 personal trainer and possible skilled plastic surgery, but the woman looks amazing.
Almonds (walnuts too and pistachios) are proven reducers of bad cholesterol. Like broccoli, they are rich in a type of antioxidant thought to be instrumental in battling free radical damage. They're high in fiber, in phytochemicals that may protect against cancer and in arginine, a precursor to human growth hormone. They are also high in calories, so limit the amount you consume.
Beans also make the short list because they are very high in soluble fiber, which has been linked to lower risks of heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers; reduced cholesterol and blood glucose levels; lower blood pressure; and less inflammation.
Sweet potatoes, with their prodigious vitamin A content (good for the skin and eyes), their host of powerful antioxidants and their potassium, which helps blunt the effects of sodium on blood pressure and bone loss, are nutritional powerhouses. If you grew up thinking sweet potatoes appeared on the dinner table only once a year, topped with brown sugar and mini marshmallows, that's no way to treat a top 10 superfood.
The Greek-style kind (thicker and creamier) has triple or more the protein of regular yogurt. Yogurt is calcium rich, like milk (and can be tolerated by many of the lactose intolerant), and is full of what is euphemistically called "active cultures"—better than saying it's good for you because it's loaded with bacteria. But it's the good kind, the gut-enhancing kind.
Quinoa (KEEN-wah) is the only grain on the list. It's high in protein, fiber and iron. Besides, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration scientists tasked with feeding astronauts in space chose it because it supplied the most "essential life-sustaining nutrients" of any single food. What they meant was that it contained all the essential amino acids and was thus a complete protein—not that it contained every nutrient needed to sustain life.
Adapted from Counterclockwise.
This article was reposted with permission from our media associate Rodale Wellness.
The ghoulishly named ogre-faced spider can "hear" with its legs and use that ability to catch insects flying behind it, the study published in Current Biology Thursday concluded.
"Spiders are sensitive to airborne sound," Cornell professor emeritus Dr. Charles Walcott, who was not involved with the study, told the Cornell Chronicle. "That's the big message really."
The net-casting, ogre-faced spider (Deinopis spinosa) has a unique hunting strategy, as study coauthor Cornell University postdoctoral researcher Jay Stafstrom explained in a video.
They hunt only at night using a special kind of web: an A-shaped frame made from non-sticky silk that supports a fuzzy rectangle that they hold with their front forelegs and use to trap prey.
They do this in two ways. In a maneuver called a "forward strike," they pounce down on prey moving beneath them on the ground. This is enabled by their large eyes — the biggest of any spider. These eyes give them 2,000 times the night vision that we have, Science explained.
But the spiders can also perform a move called the "backward strike," Stafstrom explained, in which they reach their legs behind them and catch insects flying through the air.
"So here comes a flying bug and somehow the spider gets information on the sound direction and its distance. The spiders time the 200-millisecond leap if the fly is within its capture zone – much like an over-the-shoulder catch. The spider gets its prey. They're accurate," coauthor Ronald Hoy, the D & D Joslovitz Merksamer Professor in the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior in the College of Arts and Sciences, told the Cornell Chronicle.
What the researchers wanted to understand was how the spiders could tell what was moving behind them when they have no ears.
It isn't a question of peripheral vision. In a 2016 study, the same team blindfolded the spiders and sent them out to hunt, Science explained. This prevented the spiders from making their forward strikes, but they were still able to catch prey using the backwards strike. The researchers thought the spiders were "hearing" their prey with the sensors on the tips of their legs. All spiders have these sensors, but scientists had previously thought they were only able to detect vibrations through surfaces, not sounds in the air.
To test how well the ogre-faced spiders could actually hear, the researchers conducted a two-part experiment.
First, they inserted electrodes into removed spider legs and into the brains of intact spiders. They put the spiders and the legs into a vibration-proof booth and played sounds from two meters (approximately 6.5 feet) away. The spiders and the legs responded to sounds from 100 hertz to 10,000 hertz.
Next, they played the five sounds that had triggered the biggest response to 25 spiders in the wild and 51 spiders in the lab. More than half the spiders did the "backward strike" move when they heard sounds that have a lower frequency similar to insect wing beats. When the higher frequency sounds were played, the spiders did not move. This suggests the higher frequencies may mimic the sounds of predators like birds.
University of Cincinnati spider behavioral ecologist George Uetz told Science that the results were a "surprise" that indicated science has much to learn about spiders as a whole. Because all spiders have these receptors on their legs, it is possible that all spiders can hear. This theory was first put forward by Walcott 60 years ago, but was dismissed at the time, according to the Cornell Chronicle. But studies of other spiders have turned up further evidence since. A 2016 study found that a kind of jumping spider can pick up sonic vibrations in the air.
"We don't know diddly about spiders," Uetz told Science. "They are much more complex than people ever thought they were."
Learning more provides scientists with an opportunity to study their sensory abilities in order to improve technology like bio-sensors, directional microphones and visual processing algorithms, Stafstrom told CNN.
"The point is any understudied, underappreciated group has fascinating lives, even a yucky spider, and we can learn something from it," he told CNN.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
In 'Road Map for a More Sustainable Future,' NY Regulator Tells Banks to Consider Climate Risks in Planning
By Brett Wilkins
Regulators in New York state announced Thursday that banks and other financial services companies are expected to plan and prepare for risks posed by the climate crisis.
There are many different CBD oil brands in today's market. But, figuring out which brand is the best and which brand has the strongest oil might feel challenging and confusing. Our simple guide to the strongest CBD oils will point you in the right direction.
A NASA spacecraft has successfully collected a sample from the Bennu asteroid more than 200 million miles away from Earth. The samples were safely stored and will be preserved for scientists to study after the spacecraft drops them over the Utah desert in 2023, according to the Associated Press (AP).
Exxon Mobil will lay off an estimated 14,000 workers, about 15% of its global workforce, including 1,900 workers in the U.S., the company announced Thursday.
- Will Chevron and Exxon Ever Be Held Responsible for Decades of ... ›
- Exxon Goes on Trial for Lying About the Climate Crisis - EcoWatch ›
- Exxon Sues Massachusetts Attorney General to Block Climate Fraud ... ›