Dining With Ms. Lil: Living Longer and Better

For September 2010 I am promoting three vegetables; tomatoes, garlic and spinach. While searching for a recipe, I ran across an article published in 1999 about ten foods for longevity. We all need to eat smart to help live longer and better lives so I want to share these tips with you.

1. Tomatoes

2. Olive oil

3. Red grapes

4. Nuts

5. Whole grains

6. Salmon


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7. Blueberries

8. Garlic

9. Spinach

10. Tea

TOMATOES – is a strong source of the antioxidant lycopene. Lycopene reduces the risk of cancer by 40% (most notably prostate, lung and stomach cancers) and increases cancer survival. Tomato eaters’ function better mentally in old age and suffer half as much heart disease. Even more remarkable is that canned tomatoes have three times more lycopene than fresh tomatoes. Concentrated tomato sauces like pasta sauces have five times time than fresh.

OLIVE OIL – is a major ingredient in the Mediterranean diet that helps reduce heart disease and cancer. Olive oil more so than any other vegetable oils, is high in antioxidant activity.

RED GRAPES – including red grape juice and wine have modest antioxidant power. Purple grape juice and red wine has four times the antioxidant power of orange or tomato juice. Remember that drinking in moderation increases longevity while excessive alcohol intake cuts life short.

NUTS – almonds and walnuts lower blood cholesterol levels. Nuts are high in monounsaturated and/or omega 3 fats, the good types. Eating more than 5 ounces of nuts a week (not a day) helps prevent irregular heartbeats in men and heart attacks in women by 40% per Harvard researchers.

WHOLE GRAINS – contain cancer fighting agents and help stabilize blood sugar and insulin levels. One study suggests that the more whole grains you eat, the lower your odds of death. Eat more whole grain dark bread and cereals like “old fashion” oatmeal and All Bran.

SALMON (OR OTHER FATTY FISH)– eat at least two servings per week of fatty fish including salmon, sardines, mackerel, herring and tuna that are high in omega-3 fat. Omega-3 fats fight virtually every chronic disease known; without it your brain can’t think, your heart won’t beat right, your arteries clog and your joints become inflamed.

BLUEBERRIES – are so high in antioxidants and are so powerful in retarding aging in animals that they can block brain changes leading to decline and even reverse failing memory. A half a cup of fresh or frozen blueberries a day can help keep dementia or Alzheimer’s away.

GARLIC – is full of antioxidants that fend off cancer, heart disease and all over aging. It has been known to prolong cancer survival time and extend human life spans by about four years. To preserve its disease fighting agents let crushed garlic “rest” about ten minutes before cooking it.

SPINACH – it helped Popeye and it can help us too. This vegetable is second only to garlic in its antioxidant power. It helps fight cancer, heart disease and metal disorders because it’s rich in folic acid; researchers say it may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease. Raw and steamed spinach have strong antioxidant activity.

TEA – drinking one cup of green or ordinary black tea a day can cut your risk of heart disease by 50% per researchers. Be sure to make ice tea from loose tea or tea bags because instant and bottled teas contain minimal antioxidants test results show.

Share your recipes that incorporate the foods listed above in them in the comments section of the site. Please send any photos of recipes you’ve cooked along with the recipes to hwcontact@yahoo.com

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