Anti-aging: The Top Five Antioxidants for Seniors and Boomers

Anti-aging is a growing frontier for seniors and boomers, not only to add years to their lives, but to live healthier.

The Key Role of Oxygen in Anti-aging

An article in The Canadian wrote that oxygen is necessary for cells to metabolize minerals and vitamins, so the body can survive and thrive. When unable to use oxygen to metabolize, cells ferment glucose for energy which can cause cellular damage - a precursor to cancer.

The body is prepared with a built-in antioxidant defense system. Many enzymes exist as part of an antioxidant defense system.

The Stress of the Toxic Environment on Aging

But our toxic environment and poor health patters can overwhelm our naturally existing antioxidants, and overwhelm the antioxidant defense system. Our increasing toxic environment requires more antioxidants now than over a century ago. Regular exercise increases the potential for oxidative stress, making consumption of antioxidants even more important.

Here are the top five foods for the elderly and boomers, best eaten fresh from organic sources.

  1. Fruits and Berries: The Himalayan goji berry and tropical Acai berries rank highest as anti-oxidants. Blueberries, blackberries, cranberries, raspberries, pomegranates, and strawberries have high ratings. All berries will provide a good amount of antioxidants. Cherries and apples are top providers. Deeper colors indicate richer antioxidant content. Dried fruits rank high as well.
  2. Vegetables: Cooked green veggies, especially spinach, kale, and broccoli. Artichokes have the highest anti-oxidant rating.
  3. Legumes: Black beans and kidney beans have the highest ratings. They're best purchase dry from bulk organic bins, soaked overnight, and cooked the next day. Legumes provide a good deal of fiber to help with digestion.
  4. Nuts and grains: Pecans have the highest rating, with walnuts and almonds following. Steel cut oats are high in antioxidants along with quinoa and whole grains.
  5. Miscellaneous: Good news for chocolate and coffee lovers: high anti-aging foods. Chocolate should be unprocessed, dark and high in cacao content. Organic coffee is preferred.

Residents in North American Assisted Living and Continuing Care residences have long been treated to the Top 5 antioxidants in their diets.