Cardiologist Clyde W. Yancy, MD, Northwestern Medicine Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute, has a few thoughts when it comes to living a long and healthy life: “Some of the keys in accomplishing healthy aging are maintaining an active and engaged lifestyle, and following a diet that promotes health.” The common theme in those diets? Antioxidants.
Antioxidants block harmful chemicals called free radicals, which can lead to increased risk for diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Although antioxidants come in many forms — including enzymes, vitamins and minerals — fruits, nuts, vegetables and beans are among some of the best sources.
“If you want to age well, eat beans,” adds Dr. Yancy. Legumes provide a great source of plant-based fiber, magnesium and phytochemicals, which help prevent disease. Other superfoods he suggests include apples, spinach and a handful of nuts every day.
Here is a closer look at some foods loaded with antioxidants.