Every day we are bombarded with commercials and advertisements that tout the health benefits of…
Stay Younger and Live Longer – Super Foods for Anti-Aging!
Anti-aging is often confused with wanting to be young forever, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Wanting to find remedies for anti-aging is more about holding onto your youthful appearance, but also allowing yourself to age gracefully? Luckily, it is possible to reduce the premature signs of aging with something as simple as changing your daily lifestyle.
Paying attention to your health and wellness is an integral part of anti-aging or healthy aging, starting with the food you eat. “You are what you eat” – you have heard this phrase many times before. It isn’t just about your internal health, but your external health as well.
Eating certain foods can help slow the aging process and hide many of the telltale signs of getting older. Many of these foods are probably already in your home and should be included in as many of your snacks and meals as possible.
Here you’ll find information about a lot of delicious foods for anti-aging in a variety of categories such as fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, whole grains, spices, chocolate and more to help you on the journey to living your best, healthiest, and most youthful self.
The first category of foods that are good for your skin probably come as no surprise. These are fruits, ranging from berries like blueberries, to fruits often confused with vegetables, like tomatoes and avocados.
Fruits contain a high amount of vitamins and minerals, which is why so many of them frequently end up on superfood lists. They also happen to be amazing for your skin.
Consider some of these fruits if you are looking for anti-aging food changes.
Vitamins C and E along with the other antioxidants found in blueberries can protect your body’s cells and keep you looking and feeling younger. These antioxidants are able to combat the effects of free radicals that are known to cause cell damage. Blueberries can be eaten on their own or added to cold cereal, oatmeal or smoothies for a tasty treat.
Blueberries are easy to add to your daily foods, even if you are not in the habit of eating them. Whether you choose to make a banana blueberry smoothie, or just top your yogurt in the morning with the berries, you will start to enjoy having them regularly.
In addition to its high antioxidant and monounsaturated fat content, avocados contain boron, which promotes better bone density. The fiber in avocados also helps the body rid itself of toxins that contribute to aging. Avocados can be sliced to use as burger toppings or made into a scrumptious guacamole dip.
Who doesn’t love avocado? You can make a healthy guacamole dip for your whole grain crackers, or enjoy half an avocado with whole wheat toast in the morning for avocado toast. They also happen to be a great source of fiber, and are the type of fat that helps to fill you up.
One of the best reasons for eating tomatoes is that they are known to help prevent certain age-related cancers. The lycopene found in tomatoes has been shown to decrease the chances of developing lung and prostate cancer. Cooking your tomatoes instead of eating them raw may actually help them release more lycopene.
There is a long list of ways to enjoy tomatoes, such as dicing up fresh tomatoes for your salads, making homemade tomato-based soup or sauces, or even having a vegetable juice with tomatoes and other healthy veggies.
This specific type of orange has some unique health benefits. The anthocyanins that give the insides of blood oranges their red color can promote better collagen production and enhance the skin’s elasticity. Blood oranges can also keep bad cholesterol levels down and help you live longer.
Eating these oranges whole can provide a tasty and nutritious treat, or you can try using blood oranges in salads and dessert recipes.
In addition to containing vitamin C and other antioxidants, other health benefits can be found specifically in pomegranate seeds. The juice is these seeds contains ellagic acid, which is a polyphenol compound that combats the harmful effects of free radicals. Collagen can be preserved with the punicalagin that is found in these seeds.
You can slice a pomegranate into slices for a delicious snack or help yourself to a cup of raw pomegranate seeds.
Eating figs can increase your vitamin A, E and K intakes and safeguard your body against certain degenerative diseases. These vitamins also have the power to prevent diabetes, which is a common problem among the aging population. Heart rate and blood pressure can be controlled more effectively due to the high potassium content in figs.
The antioxidants in figs can even help with liver health. High copper levels in figs facilitate red blood cell production. Figs work well in cakes and other desserts or can be used to make spreads for breads and crackers.
The manganese found in pineapples activates the prolidase enzyme, which is needed to form the proline amino acid that is known to promote collagen production. This collagen can make your skin firmer and hide the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.
Pineapples also contain bromelain, which has been shown to reduce potentially dangerous blood clotting, chronic bronchitis and rheumatoid arthritis. You can use pineapples to make smoothies, stuffing and toppers for pork chops and other meat dishes.
Pineapples are also a sweet fruit, so when you start enjoying them more regularly, you can curb your sweet cravings and avoid having excess chocolate or baked goods. Try adding them to your green juice to sweeten it up and cover the taste of any healthy greens you decide to add.
Naturally, the next category of foods for anti-aging is going to be with vegetables. There is an almost endless amount of vegetables that are good for you, as one of the most important food groups.
Vegetables have a lot of health benefits, from being low in fat and calories, to being nutrient-dense with lots of essential vitamins and minerals. As with fruits, many vegetables also contain nutrients that are good for your skin.
Here are just some of the many veggies you can enjoy on a regular basis to help improve your skin.
The plentiful lutein and beta-carotenes in spinach work to protect the skin from sun damage and help it retain its elasticity. Eating more spinach can also keep your eyesight protected as you age and may even reverse some of the effects of macular degeneration. Spinach is a great supplement to a salad and additionally works well in some soups and casseroles.
If you are not a fan of spinach, don’t worry! You can easily add it to different types of foods and not worry so much about the taste. Here are some more ideas:
- Make a salad with mixed greens, including spinach and your favorite greens along with it.
- Try a handful of spinach in your breakfast smoothie, adding enough sweet fruits to cover up the flavor.
- Use spinach in your omelets or scrambled eggs with other veggies.
- Add chopped spinach to soup or chili.
Mushrooms provide a natural source of vitamin D, which is necessary for adequate calcium absorption. Inflammation, viral infections and immune system problems can also be reduced by eating more mushrooms. Mushrooms additionally help lower blood pressure, control insulin and cholesterol levels and limit cell mutations that may lead to cancer growth.
There is even evidence suggesting that eating more mushrooms may lower your chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. You can use mushrooms as pizza or burger toppings or add them to homemade pasta sauce recipes or casseroles.
All types of peppers can slow the aging process, but bell peppers are particularly beneficial for maintaining vitality. Their vitamin C can help boost immune system functioning, promote better protein metabolism and heal wounds faster. Age-related macular degeneration and heart disease can further be slowed with the peppers’ increased antioxidant levels. Stir-fry dishes, stews and pizzas can all taste better with the addition of bell peppers.
This leafy green vegetable has the lutein, potassium and vitamin K that are required for strong bones, lower blood pressure and healthy skin. Kale also packs hearty doses of phosphorous, potassium and omega-3 fatty acids. Eating more kale helps your body flush out toxins that are known to damage cells and accelerate aging.
Steaming kale can give you maximum health benefits while eating it. Kale also makes a great substitute for lettuce that is used in salads. You can even try adding it to a smoothie for a healthy treat.
Brussels sprouts may not be on your list of favorite foods, but eating more of them can help you turn back the hands of time. These sprouts have higher amounts of protein than most other vegetables and can help you stay more youthful by increasing your fiber and antioxidant levels.
Brussels sprouts also feature indole, which plays a role in fighting inflammation and cancer. To make these sprouts tastier, try caramelizing or breading them to add more flavor. If you are on more of a high-fat diet, you can cook bacon in a pan, then add Brussels sprouts to the same pan and sprinkle the cooked bacon on top.
Not only do sweet potatoes help fight aging, they can also increase fertility. The vitamin A in sweet potatoes can help preserve eyesight and improve the chances of child conception in women by promoting better cervical fluid and follicle production. Sweet potatoes additionally help with collagen production because of their high amounts of copper.
You may even notice an improvement in your eyesight as you eat more of these potatoes. Some of the cleverest ways to increase your sweet potato intake is to eat sweet potato fries or making sweet potato balls or pies.
3. Nuts, Seeds, and Beans
Next up, you have your nuts and seeds, as well as beans. As part of a healthy, balanced diet, these are not only good for your body, weight management, and getting more nutrients into your system, but for your skin as well.
You may think that nuts contain too much fat, but that’s not true! You just need to eat them in moderation. Below is a small list of the best nuts, seeds, and beans for your skin, and especially for anti-aging purposes.
Brazil nuts, in particular, work well in fighting aging by replenishing selenium levels that naturally decline as you get older. More selenium in the body can help with brain functioning. Selenium also plays an important role in DNA synthesis and can reduce oxidative damage and the development of certain infections.
Eating more of these nuts is also a great way to help control your cholesterol levels. Brazil nuts can be eaten whole by themselves or added to fruitcakes or other desserts.
Eating more sesame seeds is one of the best ways to increase your calcium intake. More calcium in the body can prevent osteoporosis and bone fractures that are known to occur with age. The magnesium found in sesame seeds can keep the central nervous system better intact. Grabbing a handful of these seeds to munch on while on the go is always a good idea. Sesame seeds also make great toppings for salads.
Sesame seeds are a great way to get all of these delicious nutrients into your diet, and top salads for that extra crunch you have been looking for. Don’t forget about other seeds – they often have anti-aging nutrients as well.
Many types of beans are known for their anti-aging properties. The vitamin B, potassium and iron found in beans can slow the aging process naturally. Soy and kidney beans are especially beneficial to eat because of their genistein and protease inhibitors that can prevent certain cancers and keep you healthy into your golden years. Beans go great with many Mexican dishes, casseroles and salads. Try adding more beans to your regular diet and you will fill up, get lots of protein, and get all those anti-aging nutrients.
Here are some benefits of eating beans:
- They can be a good protein alternative when you are on a vegetarian or plant-based diet.
- You can enjoy them as a “free” food on the new Weight Watchers plan.
- They help to bulk up meals and make you fuller for longer.
Unless you can’t eat grains due to a gluten sensitivity or because you are on a low- carb diet, they are highly recommended. Adding grains to your diet allows you to stay full, get even more vitamins and minerals, improve your hydration, and take good care of your skin.
They also allow you to have more balanced meals, which can help with overall health and wellness as well. Take a look at these delicious grains that do your skin good.
This healthy seed facilitates the development of connective tissues and repairs cells with its rich vitamin B12 content. The magnesium in quinoa promotes healthier skin cell and hair growth. Quinoa even helps the body stay hydrated, which is important if you want to maintain youthful skin.
Many South American dishes use quinoa as an ingredient, but you can also use the seed in chili, meatloaf and chicken recipes. Another great aspect of quinoa is that it is gluten-free, which makes it the perfect alternative if you have a sensitivity to grain products.
This low-glycemic food source can prevent the onset of diabetes that sometimes comes with aging. These lower glycemic levels can also improve skin appearance by keeping acne and wrinkles at bay. Many skincare creams sold in stores also contain oats.
The natural plant chemicals in oats can further help prevent cellular damage. You can get a hearty serving of oats by eating oatmeal for breakfast or using oats to make muffins or cookies. Applying oatmeal directly to the skin is another great way to fight skin aging.
In addition to its antioxidative properties, corn enables your body to rid itself of toxins by adding more fiber to your diet. Corn also contains a compound known as IP6, which is believed to inhibit the rapid cell division that leads to cancer. The high calcium levels in corn further help with preventing osteoporosis and other bone diseases. Corn on the cob is always a tasty snack, or you use corn as a side dish or to make taco salads, corn fritters or corn and shrimp chowder.
5. Other Healthy Foods
These final foods are a combination of different food groups and categories. They are additional recommendations when you want those fatty acids and nutrients that are going to care for your skin, reduce lines and wrinkles, and increase hydration. This is all important for beautiful skin as you age.
Fish has long been touted as a heart-healthy food that slows the aging process. The omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon, tuna and other cold-water fish can further reduce signs of aging by inhibiting inflammation. Whether you prefer to bake, broil or fry your fish, there are many ways to prepare this popular seafood. You can also enjoy a lot of the nutritional benefits of fish by taking fish oil supplements.
Olive oil contains polyphenols that are known to prevent certain age-related diseases. The oil’s monounsaturated fat content has also been shown to protect against heart disease and certain forms of cancer. Try using olive oil as a salad dressing or using it to cook some of your favorite Mediterranean dishes.
More than just a yummy indulgence, dark chocolate can help keep you younger by enhancing your brain health. Blood flow to the brain increases when you eat dark chocolate, and this is known to promote better cognitive functioning. There is also evidence that dark chocolate reduces stroke and Alzheimer’s disease risks. You can either eat a dark chocolate bar or bake some cookies using dark chocolate chips.
This soothing beverage promotes vitality by giving the body a healthy dose of antioxidants that slow cellular aging. Green tea’s high concentration of flavonoids can safeguard your knees and other joints by reducing the destruction of cartilage and collagen.
A hot cup of green tea is always good in the mornings or whenever you find additional free time in your day. After you have finished drinking your tea, you can use a cotton ball to soak up the remaining traces of tea from inside your cup and rub it onto your skin for a moisturizing and cleansing effect.
If you want more youthful cells, eating yogurt can give you fantastic results. You can speed up your cell turnover rate by treating yourself to some yogurt just before you go to sleep. Applying yogurt directly to your skin is another excellent way to achieve a more youthful appearance.
Yogurt also has the ability to balance your gastrointestinal flora and keep you safeguarded against certain stomach illnesses that sometimes come with age. For a more creative way to enjoy your yogurt, you can try making a yogurt and cucumber salad or using it as an ingredient for cookies or pound cake.
More than just a savory spice, cinnamon has many anti-aging benefits that can work wonders for you. Cinnamon may help control symptoms of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease and minimize inflammation. The cinnamaldehyde that gives cinnamon its flavor and aroma has been shown to work against colorectal cancer, which may develop at an increased rate with age. Cinnamon can be sprinkled on coffee, cocoa or cereal to bring out more flavor.
Incorporating more of these foods into your diet is one of the best ways to slow the aging process and retain your youth for many years to come. Many of these foods come with additional nutrition benefits that can keep you healthy for life.