Super foods for the over forties

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AS we age, our bodies burn less energy while resting, resulting in weight gain and from the age of 40, cardiovascular disease and diabetes becomes a concern. To keep those pounds at bay, try eating more of these super foods.

Oats – containing beta-glucans, oats are a soluble fibre that can help lower the unwanted form of cholesterol, and contains antioxidants unique to the grain to protect against the build-up of plaque on artery walls. Eating just 3g of oats every day is enough to reduce total cholesterol by five to ten per cent, say researchers.

Cherries – the fruit is useful in combating several conditions including gout and arthritis as they are a rich source of the antioxidant anthocyanin. Introduce a dozen cherries with yoghurt or seeds or drink a glass of unsweetened juice three or four times a week to ensure you receive the beneficial vitamins.

Almonds – the benefits range from improved blood-sugar levels to reducing cholesterol. Make sure you eat plain varieties not sugared or salted versions.

Oily fish – Omega 3 fats in salmon, mackerel, tuna, sardines and herring can help lower heart rate and blood pressure, and reduce the risk of irregular heartbeat. For optimal benefits, consume at least four times a week.

Soy – Isoflavones in soy beans have been linked to lowering cholesterol, increasing bone density in post-menopausal women and improving male fertility. Consume fresh edamame beans or soy beans in cans two to three times week but be cautious as soy can affect hormone levels and over-consumption is not recommended for pre-menopausal women.

Tomatoes – an excellent source of the antioxidant lycopene which protecting against the formation and spread of cancer cells as well as protecting arteries. Research has shown that drinking 150ml of tomato juice after 20 minutes of exercise offers protection against prostate, lung and stomach cancers and heart disease. Lycopene in tomatoes is more easily absorbed by the body when it is cooked.

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