The more research that goes on regarding nutrition and health, the more foods added to the list of ‘super’. According to the latest list, reported in this months issue of AARP, adapted from The Longevity Kitchen, by Rebecca Katz, here they are. Coffee– loaded with antioxidants, protects against cell damage and disease, including diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Thyme– an antibacterial, also is effective in treating acne (in tincture form). Salmon-a strong ally in premature aging, helps maintain telomere length (telomeres are small bits of DNA on the ends of cells). Kale-high in vitamin K, which is vital for blood clotting, also contains lutein, which helps stave off eye diseases such as cataracts and macular degeneration. Avocados are a good source of glutathione, an antioxidant which improves overall hormone function. Basil/Mint (relatives)-long used in Chinese medicine for a digestive aid, also contains luteolin, an immune system booster. Walnuts-have more antioxidants than any other nut, and are good for the heart. Green tea-rich in catechins, an antioxidant known to protect cells, and may also reduce the risk of certain cancers such as stomach and esophageal. Sweet potatoes-high in B6 and potassium, help protect the immune system and regulate blood pressure (make sure you eat the skins!!!). Asparagus-a natural diuretic, is high in potassium and vitamin B12, needed for cell repair and maintenance. Recent research also indicates B12 can boost hearing. Pomegranates-great for the cardiovascular system by lowering blood pressure. Garlic-one of the best anti-inflammatory foods, is also excellent for warding off heart attacks and strokes. Yogurt-important for restoring balance to intestinal flora and lowers blood pressure. Happy eating….

Potpourri: A recent study found that sitting with legs crossed at the knees increased blood pressure, even in those with normal value readings. Crossing at the ankles did not influence blood pressure. To help with posture and decrease stress on the spine, raise the level of your rearview mirror. It forces you to sit up straighter. To reduce the amount of food you eat (if you want to lose weight or eat less), use taller and skinnier, not fat wider food vessels. Humans always tend to go with the taller containers, but these containers actually hold less food.

Stay well, John R Blilie, M.S.