"To your health," is more than just a toast. Many alcoholic drinks that are generally accompanied by a toast have been found to be rich in antioxidants and other compounds that fight the diseases of aging.
But anti-aging drinks aren't just those that contain alcohol: Green tea, along with several other traditional beverages, is a powerful anti-aging drink, as is the relative newcomer beet juice.
• Green tea. People who drink more than three cups of green tea each day live longer, according to a Japanese study.
Green and white teas contain generous amounts of EGCG, a powerful antioxidant linked to a lower risk of heart disease, Alzheimer's disease, and numerous types of cancer. Catechins, which are antioxidant compounds found in green tea, also protect aging eyes from glaucoma.
A study at Japan’s Okayama University found that senior citizens who drank large amounts of green tea slashed their risk of dying from heart disease by as much as 76 percent. In addition, their risk of dying from colorectal cancer was reduced by 31 percent.
Compared with those who drank less than a cup of green tea each day, those who drank seven cups or more lowered their risk of dying from cardiovascular disease by an average of 76 percent. Men lowered their risk by 70 percent and women lowered their risk by a whopping 82 percent.
• Coffee. Rich in antioxidants polyphenols and flavonoids, a study published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease found that drinking at least three cups of coffee a day could prevent the onset of Alzheimer's.
Scientists from the University of South Florida and the University of Miami studied people aged 65 to 88 who had mild cognitive impairment (MCI). They found that 100 percent of patients who had high levels of caffeine in their blood (the equivalent of drinking several cups) did not develop full-blown Alzheimer's during the follow-up that lasted two to four years.
Other studies show coffee lowers the risk of many diseases of aging including heart disease, gout, prostate cancer, colon cancer, and Type 2 diabetes. Researchers at Cornell University found that coffee protects eyes from retinal degeneration due to glaucoma, aging, and diabetes.
• Wine. Some studies found that red wine, which contains the powerful polyphenol resveratrol, may stimulate genes that slow aging on the cellular level. A moderate amount of wine each day — two glasses — can protect against many of the diseases of aging including heart attack, Alzheimer's, diabetes, obesity, tooth decay, and several types of cancer.
Spanish researchers found that grape seed extract and red wine slowed the growth of bacteria that form biofilms in the mouth and can lead to gum disease. Wine can also protect skin, reducing the number of precancerous skin lesions called actinic keratoses.
Resveratrol may help improve mobility in seniors and prevent life-threatening falls, according to a study that was presented at a meeting of the American Chemical Society. Within eight weeks of eating a diet supplemented with resveratrol, the balance of old mice increased to the point where they were on par with young mice.
• Beer. Beer, in moderation, can help keep aging bones strong. Tufts University studied 100 commercial beers and found they were high in silicon, a key mineral that keeps bones strong. "Silicon impacts bone mineral density in humans, and supplementing silicon in the diets of osteoporitic women increased bone density," the authors wrote.
Moderation is the key, however, since other studies have shown that more than two drinks a day can increase the risk of fractures.
A study published in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology found that the silicon in beer reduced the body's absorption of aluminum, which is known to destroy brain tissue.
Beer is also good for arthritis. Harvard study found that women who drank a couple of beers every week over a long period of time reduced their risk of rheumatoid arthritis by 31 percent.
The sudsy brew can even lower the risk of kidney stones. A Finnish study found that drinking a single bottle of beer a day lowered a man's risk of kidney stones by 20 percent.
Researchers don't understand the exact mechanism, but they believe that beer keeps the body hydrated and the hops it contains causes calcium to be released more slowly from bones — calcium that could be reabsorbed as kidney stones.
• Beet Juice. While beet juice may not be at the top of your list of favorite drinks, maybe you should give some thought to stocking it in your fridge. Beets are rich in nitrates, which if natural, are heart-healthy and keep blood vessels flexible.
A 2011 study published in the journal Nitric Oxide found that older adults who ate diets high in nitrates (not the artificial ones found in processed meat) increased blood flow to the brain, especially in the frontal lobe which is linked to dementia.
Studies show that beet juice lowers blood pressure, increases stamina, and fights inflammation.
© 2021 NewsmaxHealth. All rights reserved.