Anti-aging Foods: Your First Line of Defense in Fighting Off Wrinkles and Disease

By By Michelle R. Yamaguchi
Wednesday - July 11, 2007

If you are what you eat, it seems to make sense that certain foods will help you age more gracefully while others will age you quicker.

Following that same thinking, we believe ‘Umeke Market Natural Foods & Deli has a lot to offer in the way of anti-aging.

In the ‘Umeke Market Deli we help take the mystery out of health foods by offering a wide range of prepared foods that include things like: quinoa, wheat berries, bulgur wheat, barley, couscous and brown basmati rice. And we make these healthy whole grains taste great by making our delicious grain salads with fresh herbs and vegetables.


While some of these grains may be unfamiliar to you, they are healthy and natural. According to the Mayo Clinic, whole grains have not had their bran and germ removed by milling, making them good sources of fiber - the part of plant-based foods your body can’t digest. Whole grains are also a source of vitamins and minerals, such as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin E and magnesium, phosphorus, selenium, zinc and iron. Also, various nutrients found in whole grains play a role in regulating blood pressure and heart health.

You can start simple: eat brown rice instead of white rice. That’s all we serve. We’ll even let you in on our secret: soak your brown rice well ahead of time, drain off the old water and put in fresh water before cooking. It will be soft, fluffy and delicious. It’s a common theme we hear from our newer customers: they don’t like brown rice because it’s crunchy. It doesn’t have to be. Ours isn’t. Ask us for a sample!

For research and recipes, we find the Mayo Clinic to be an excellent resource for health-related information:

In the ‘Umeke Market Deli, we are committed to serving fresh foods that are natural, and local and organic as much as possible. We avoid foods with preservatives - ingredients said to accelerate the aging process.

We think you’ll love the convenience of our ready-to-go whole grain foods like our: Curry Couscous Salad, Watercress Barley Salad, Greek Grain Salad, Orzo Salad w/Fresh Thyme & Cherry Tomatoes. Our selection changes every week so you’ll always find something new.

When it comes to anti-aging, and good health overall - first and foremost - increase the amount and varieties of vegetables and fruits you eat. Easier said than done, sure, but in the ‘Umeke Market Deli, we like to think we’re a leader in providing some great choices in vegetable salads. Our Organic Raw Kale Salad, for example, is our top seller. It’s a simple salad of fresh Organic kale, purple cabbage, carrots, lemon juice, garlic, liquid aminos (a healthy shoyu substitute) and olive oil. We also have a wonderful Raw Beet Salad with beets, fresh thyme, balsamic vinegar, fructose (a fruit sugar alternative) and olive oil. And we love to pass out samples because the food sells itself!

Think of eating fresh vegetables and fruits as an anti-aging serum that works from the inside out.

Food pyramids provide a good guideline for the kinds of foods we should be eating. Mayo Clinic even offers food pyramids based on different ethnic groups. Vegetables and fruits dominate the bottom portions of all food pyramids because that’s what we should be eating the most. While vegetables and fruits once dominated the American diet, it’s difficult for most families to eat a minimum of four servings of vegetables and three servings of fruit each day.

Making healthy foods more convenient to families is the only way, we believe, for people to get healthier. Try our healthy musubis - made only with brown rice. Based on the school tours we’ve given, we know that about 90 percent of these first graders love the healthy musubis once they try them. And we’re talking about Green Musubis made with Spirulina, a blue-green algae from the Big Island.

In changing our ways, including eating habits, it’s important for the entire family to participate. The change from being a healthier person or family should be a permanent change, not a temporary solution to reduce your cholesterol or high blood pressure.

The Bento is another local tradition that we’ve tried to improve upon with healthier selections. All our bentos have an entrée (or protein) of chicken, tofu or fish, brown rice and two vegetables. The vegetables may include: green beans with garlic, roasted red beets, seasoned bean sprouts, miso eggplant, soy beans, takuan, Okinawan sweet potato. The choices are as endless as our imaginations.


The hardest thing to overcome in convincing people to change their food choices is the mindset that healthy foods don’t taste good - because that is simply not true.

We invite you to come and taste the difference. Check out our selection. Ask for a sample. Try our whole grain salads, vegetable salads, green salads, sandwiches, wraps, free-range chicken, casseroles, soups and hummus and dips.

We may not be able to stop aging, but we can try to hold it at bay. Make good food choices.

If you are what you eat, are you a tuna sandwich on multigrain bread, fresh kale salad and apple slices or are you breaded fish on a white bun with French fries and an apple pie?

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