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HealthNotes

Eating for Healthy Aging

Get Your Plant-Based Antioxidants
Eating for Healthy Aging: Main Image
 Seniors are frequently at risk for nutrient deficiencies, supplements may help bridge the nutritional gap
Antioxidants are often celebrated as one key to slowing the aging process and keeping us young, because they protect against changes to cells caused by free radicals (oxidation).

Many plants are abundant in different types of antioxidants, which is one reason nutritional guidelines emphasize the need for plenty of fruits and vegetables. However, current eating practices often don’t provide everything we need—and in particular, seniors are frequently at risk for nutrient deficiencies. Supplements may help bridge the nutritional gap. Below are a few plant-based antioxidants that have been studied for their effects on aging:

  • Curcumin: This antioxidant and anti-inflammatory plant chemical comes from turmeric. Preliminary research suggests that curcumin might prevent heart disease and cancer, and reduce inflammation in people with arthritis.
  • Lutein: This common antioxidant is found in many fruits and vegetables, but highest amounts are found in leafy greens. High lutein intake has been associated with lower risks of age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.
  • Lycopene: A red pigment found primarily in tomatoes, lycopene has been studied for its ability to prevent atherosclerosis and macular degeneration, and reduce cancer risk.

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