Tomatoes, almonds among must-have foods for 40-plus

Tomatoes, oats, almonds and fish are among the essential food items that can slash the risk of heart diseases and diabetes in those over 40, experts say. The risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes can become a concern after the age of 40 and an unhealthy lifestyle can lead to rise in cholesterol levels and blood pressure. Experts advise that stocking up on certain food items can help ward off the risks. Researchers say that eating just 3g of oats daily is enough to reduce total cholesterol by five to ten per cent. Oats contain beta-glucans, a soluble fibre that can help lower the unwanted form of cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the Daily Mail reported. It is estimated that the risk of developing heart disease drops by two per cent for every one per cent reduction in total cholesterol. Tomatoes are also a 'wonder-food' for the 40-plus as they are an excellent source of the antioxidant lycopene. They offer a degree of protection against the formation and spread of cancer cells as well as protecting arteries from atherosclerosis. Research has shown that drinking 150ml of tomato juice after 20 minutes of exercise offers protection against prostate, lung and stomach cancers and heart disease. In another study, researchers found that 20 adults eating 60g of almonds daily for four weeks showed a nine per cent reduction in blood-sugar, suggesting almonds could offer protection against cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Experts also believe that Omega 3 fats in oily fish can help lower heart rate and blood pressure, and reduce the risk of irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia). Isoflavones in soy beans have been linked to lowering cholesterol, increasing bone density in post-menopausal women and improving male fertility. Cherries are useful in combating several conditions common in middle age, including gout and arthritis. They are a rich source of the antioxidant anthocyanin. Full-fat milk can help combat the reduction in muscle mass associated with getting older, especially after the age of 50, experts say. A 2006 study found that drinking full-fat milk after exercise helped ensure that muscle mass was enhanced. Chicken which is a great source of protein can help combat common cold, experts believe. Highlighting the benefits of chicken, a study in 2010 showed that a 'moderate increase in protein' resulted in maintenance of weight loss compared with higher-carbohydrate diets. Source: Indian Express, Images:

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