Anti-Aging Diet– Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are a close second behind cranberries as an iconic holiday food.  While the plain white  potato is a high carb time bomb, sweet potatoes are packed with  nutrition.  They are actually related to morning glory flowers rather than the true potato.  Sweets have  as much fiber as  famous – for- fiber oatmeal and about 30%RDA  of vitamin C.  For only about 120 calories, 1 cup of sweet potatoes  has 500%  RDA  for vitamin A.  This is almost scary high  since too much vitamin A can cause bone and nerve problems.  But unless some fool invents the sweet potato  diet,  one or two sweets/week will not cause a problem.

The real dangers with  these orange beauties are the extra ingredients that are commonly added.  Top of that list is of course marshmallows.  Made of sugar,egg whites and corn syrup,  these fluffy white gobs  are like a glucose drip.  Brown sugar, maype syrup, butter and cream are also common ingredients in sweet potato recipes.  To add sweet potatoes to a holiday feast without adding risks for aging, enhance their flavor with cinnamon or nutmeg, and sweeten with Agave or sugar-free mayple syrup.

Cranberries- Thanksgiving’s Beauty Fruit

The Thanksgiving feast  may seem like a calorie  overload, but there  is a lot of great nutrition packed onto that table.  There are anti cancer fighters in the broccoli and  a boatload of vitamin A  in the sweet potatoes, but  the nutrition king of the Thanksgiving table is the cranberry.

Cranberries  have fiber, vitamin C and manganese, an essential mineral.  But what makes  cranberries  a superstar  its  its antioxidant power.  In fact, out of the 277 most commonly eaten foods, cranberrries has one of the very highest anti0xidant levels.  Since antioxidants reduce risk of heart disease and cancer and raise immunity, cranberries are a true beauty fruit.  

Studies have shown that   cranberries   can prevent and treat urinary infections, reduce risk of blood clots and in the lab seems to kill cancer cells.  Most of cranberries power seem to be   its ability to keep things from sticking togetting.  It prevent bacteria from attaching to the walls of the urthera so that they can’t cause an infection.  In the blood vessels it prevents cells from sticking together so that the  vessels remain clear and unclogged.  This reduces risk of  high blood pressure, stroke and heart attack.  And  its helpful to remember that  healthy blood vessels  are essential to  maintaining healthy, strong wrinkle busting collagen. 

But as gorgeous as they are, cranberrries are not only sour they are bitter.  This means that most cranberry drinks and sauces are packed with sugar.  To  get cranberries health benefits, I sweeten my Thanksgiving cranberry sauce with Agave, a natural faux sugar made from a cactus.  It still has calories, but it is absorbed  much more slowly, so my blood sugar doesn’t spike.   I have type  2 diabetes, so its always important for me  to prevent sharp swings in blood sugar, but  blood sugar surges are also known to damage collagen and increase skin aging, so its actually important for everyone who wants to look good. 

Anti-Aging Cranberry Sauce

Ingredients: 2 cups of cranberries ( one bag), 2/3 cup of water, 1/2 cup Agave syrup, 1 teaspoon finely grated orange peel, 1/4 cup pecans.

Technique:  In small  pan, toast the pecans on a medium flame for  about one minute.  Watch them constantly so that they don’t burn.  Chop  the nuts coarsely and set  aside.  Now combine the water and cranberries in a medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil then reduce heat, cooking for  6-8 minutes until the skins are all popped.  Take the pan off the heat and add the Agave, orange rind and finally fold in the nuts.  Some cranberries  can be especially bitter so taste  to see if you need additional Agave.

Fashion Flash Monday

This week Fashion Flash is hosted by Staness of Menopause Makeover, a great new addition to  our blogging carnival.  Staness looks at the wide range of physical, emototional, and personal changes that are part of the menopause package.  She offers support and advice from  bothexperts in the field and  women  who are dealing with menopause in real time.

After  you click through all our blogs, check out the special  beauty bonus in the April issue of Woman’s Health.  It has a wonderful article on the ten foods which are linked to beautiful skin and features two of my favorite experts–  Dr Ellen Marmur of Mount Sinai  Hospital who has been my dermatologist for my anti-aging  journey in No-Nonsense Beauty Blog and Kari Glassman is one of New Yorks best nutritionists.  Together they discuss  how and why the ten beauty foods work  to improve skin hair and nail health.                                                                                                                                          

These ten foods which include blueberries, dark chocolate,  green tea and yogurt are  all bursting with vitamins, fiber and anti-oxidants.  I  was especially  intrigued to read that  a splash of olive oil on a tomato helps the body absorb lycopene, a powerhouse of an antioxidant that protects the skin from sun damage. Awesome.