Antioxidants neutralize free radicals. Rodents and insects fed large amounts of them have been found to live longer than control animals; and a diet heavy in fruits and vegetables, which are rich in antioxidants, has been shown to be protective against heart disease and cancer in humans. But animals given extra antioxidants also tend to eat less, so part of their increased longevity may be due to their low-calorie diets. And taken alone, some antioxidants can actually create free radicals, so you should take a range of them. The most researched are vitamins A, C, E, and selenium; but there are others with more antioxidant power. Pycnogenol, from pine bark extract, contains antioxidant flavonoids called OPCs (oligomeric proanthocyanids). Pycnogenol is several hundred times stronger as an antioxidant than are vitamins C and E and is used by millions of people daily in Europe. Grapeseed extract is another excellent source of OPCs. A third very powerful antioxidant that helps slow the aging process is alpha lipoic acid (ALA). Other antioxidants include coenzyme Q10, cysteine, glutathione, superoxide dismutase, and zinc.
Ginkgo biloba is an herb used for hundreds of years in Europe and Japan to increase mental function and help memory loss. Research at the University of California has shown that the herb is a strong antioxidant, which increases blood circulation to the brain. Studies at the University of Berlin have demonstrated that 50 mg of gingko biloba extract taken three times daily can improve mental functioning within six weeks.
Another popular youth-preserving herb is ginseng. The two main species of this plant are the Chinese or Oriental (Panax ginseng) and American (Panax quinquefolium) forms. Clinical and laboratory studies have shown that ginseng stimulates, regulates, and normalizes the central nervous system; stimulates and strengthens the heart; normalizes the blood pressure; regulates blood sugar; stimulates and regulates the pituitary, thyroid, and adrenal glands; combats stress and shock; and enhances the body’s resistance to cancer.36 Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus root) is not a true ginseng but is grouped with it because of similar active chemicals and physiological effects. It is used to increase longevity and decrease weakness and fatigue. Ginseng, a “yang” herb, is better for men than for women.
Other herbs with anti-aging benefits are bilberry and green tea.
Cancer Relieved with Common Herb
A woman customer said she had been diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer and had been given only two to three months to live. Then she had read about green tea and started using it, and noticed feeling dramatically better. Two months later, she went back to her doctor, who confirmed her remarkable improvement. Six months after that, she called to order more green tea. Three months after she was supposed to be dead, she said she felt great.
Filed Under: Food & Cooking
About the Author: Leona Kesler is a head-chef at a very popular food restaurant in New York. Also she is a blogger who shares her experiences, tips, and other informative details about food and cooking. Her recipes are featured on many magazines.