Ageing and age-related diseases are basically related to tissue dysfunction and destruction caused by oxidative damage. It has been found in recent times that many plant-based diets are useful for the prevention of deadly diseases including obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Several experimental studies suggest that proper intake of antioxidants rich foods have beneficial health effects in diabetes risk factors, such as inflammation and oxidative stress. Such antioxidant superfoods if taken in daily diet, can significantly reduce ageing in humans to stay fit. In this article, effects of these antioxidant super foods are reviewed and summarized.
Keywords: antioxidant; ageing; diet; oxidative stress; superfood
Ageing is a very complicated phenomenon which takes place by various succeeding events that promote modifications in the normal functioning of an individual organism over time [1,2].
Internal features ageing factor include the regular biological activity of the cell, whereas the external factors comprise continuing sun-exposure, dietary deficiencies, hormonal difference, and other influences such as pollution and smoking [3,4]. Aging is also associated with significant synthesis of free radicals .
Free radical is characterized by molecule or an atom having unpaired electrons, with capability to make electronic couples. Free radicals are most commonly produced during the metabolic reactions under physiological situations , but in some cases their production also take place during contact to ultraviolet (UV) rays, cigarette smoke, well as during emotional stress .
The oxidative stress is responsible for destruction of various biological molecules including carbohydrates, proteins, DNA, and lipids [8, 9]. Oxidative stress is identified during aging , under some pathological conditions , as an effect of contractile action. Moreover, oxidative stress is often intensified by a diversity of environmental factors including metabolic processing of ingested food, contact with environmental poisons, and infection .
In past few decades, the connection between aging and nutrition is studied by scientists in both humans and animals. Many food supplements having antioxidant probability prevent and treat chronic conditions linked to oxidative stress, resulting into a healthier and longer life. Scientists have proved that antioxidants have beneficial properties on both age-related and chronic diseases, including cancer .
Natural food supplements can prevent various body’s inflammatory and degenerative processes and have favorable effects on the digestive and immune systems, thus improving the quality of life. Antioxidant foods are known to have therapeutic benefits and show health positive effects, principally in the prevention and treatment of age-related syndromes which provide long-term health benefits .
This article highlights the impact of a diet with anti-ageing ability and particularly the consumption foods rich in antioxidants.
Antioxidant Super Foods & Supplements
Natural antioxidants have been identified as essential plant compounds with antiaging properties, such as blueberry polyphenols, black tea theaflavins, and procyanidins from apples, resveratrol, curcumin, and epigallocatechin gallate .
Current studies have revealed that antioxidant foods may modulate a number of phenomena that play a central role in the aging process. Antioxidant natural products such as resveratrol, quercetin, and curcumin have a defensive role against oxidative stress injuries [16, 17].
Examples of Antioxidant-Food: Anti-Ageing Super Food
Antioxidants are widespread constituents of vegetables, fruits, olive oil, chocolate, legumes, and beverages such as tea, wine, and coffee. The consumption of these foods symbolizes a promising therapeutic approach to avert many chronic syndromes and ameliorate health.
Main antioxidant-foods comprise of following eatables.
Fruits: apples, peaches, pomegranates, plums, apricots, sweet cherries, black grapes, prune
Berries such as black elderberry, black chokeberry, plum, low bush blueberry, raspberry, blackcurrant, cherry, strawberry, blackberry
Vegetables: globe artichokes, green chicory, red chicory, broccoli, red onion, spinach, curly endive
Nuts: hazelnuts, chestnuts, walnuts, pecans, almonds
Fruit juices: lemon juice, blood orange juice
Soy: tofu, soy tempeh, soybean sprouts, soy yogurt, soy flour
Green and black tea, red wine, cereals, coffee, and chocolate.
The consumption of berry-type fruits has become very common in recent times because of their beneficial effect on human health, comprising prevention of cardiovascular disease, and cancer. Regularly consumed berries, such as blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, red currants, white currants, blackcurrants, and raspberries, are a rich source of various antioxidants including quercetin, anthocyanins .
Blueberries: These are considered to be “super fruit” because of their capability to prevent various diseases such as cardiovascular, diabetes, and cancer . In recent years, many researches have done on rodent, and human, which recommend that blueberries contain health benefits to cognition and mood and prevent ageing. Actions are seen following dose sizes easily achievable within a usual diet. Blueberry extracts have good antioxidant effect which can lead to improvement of aging symptoms .
Intake of blueberries is often associated with slower rates of cognitive decline during the aging process. Daily supplementation with blueberry results in an enhanced neural action and improved working brain memory performance , and developed memory and executive function performance, especially in older persons. Blueberries have also proved good results in age-related neuropathology. For example, daily blueberry supplementation in diet also improved memory performance , as well as neural action during a working memory exercise, in older persons who were formerly diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment.
Strawberries: These are fruits having high concentration of anthocyanidins, such as cyanidin, pelargonidin, and proanthocyanidins. Strawberries contain antioxidant and anti-inflammatory capacities, also enhance neuronal function and cognition . Increased consumption of strawberries has also been found useful in a lowering risk of Alzheimer’s dementia .
Apples: These are having antioxidant property as they are rich in rutin, chlorogenic acid, epicatechin, catechin, proanthocyanidin B2, and phloretin. The daily intake of apples reduces the cardiovascular disorders and hypercholesterolemia. Apples can significantly decrease lung cancer. It also slow down the oxidation of low-density lipoproteins . Apple may improve the lifespan by 10%. Apple juice exhibits neuroprotective effect also.
Black Rice: It is considered as functional food because of its high content in oryzanol, an ester mixture of ferulic acid and different phytosterols, and anthocyanins. Intake of black rice can extend the lifespan by 14% . Black rice anthocyanins show anti-aging, anti-fatigue, and anti-hypoxic abilities .
Tea: It is the most consumed drink globally after water. Polyphenols are present in tea; green tea contains catechins; black tea consists large amount of tannins. It is observed that high caffeine consumption can decrease the risk of dementia. Green tea has neuroprotective properties, such as anti-inflammation, anti-oxidative stress . Green tea also shows defensive actions on the skin against the acceleration of skin aging due to UV ultraviolet rays, with anti-melanogenic, anti-wrinkle, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory effects. Consumption of green or black tea can inhibit oxidative DNA damage .
Extra Virgin Olive Oil: It is classic example of antioxidant-food. Regular olive oil consumption can slowdown in aging-related changes. Olive oil is predominant source of fat and associated with lower mortality, improved health, greater longevity, reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer and the incidence of age-related mental deterioration in older persons . These health benefits are associated with the presence of polyphenols such as tyrosol, hydroxytyrosol, oleuropein, aglycone, caffeic acid, and oleocanthal .
Extensive research by scientists in the recent times has demonstrated various anti-aging properties of antioxidant super foods in humans along with their ability to slow various diseases associated with aging. Polyphenol antioxidant compounds are present in plant-based foods and beverages, and the inclusion of such polyphenolic-foods as fruits and vegetables in daily diet is recommended by health practitioners to delay ageing and stay younger. Antioxidants present in super foods like as blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, apples and black rice etc. can cause reduction of oxidative stress, a phenomenon related to aging in tissues. Polyphenolic-food is also good to combat metabolic and degenerative diseases associated to ageing and augmented longevity for health living.
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