You are what you eat. And while being that Swedish-Fish-Oreo-meets-ramen-burger-mash-up might feel pretty damn good sometimes, the energy high that comes from wholesome, nutrient-dense foods has a much longer payoff. It’s true that no single food will erase laugh lines or really make you feel 17 again, but a healthy diet full of anti-aging foods can boost skin quality, improve immunity, and more.
Fortified Plant Milks
“Fortified plant milks are great for their optimal bone-supportive nutrients,” says Julieanna Hever, a plant-based dietitian. “Include a serving or two of hemp, soy, almond, or rice milk fortified with calcium and vitamin D [into your daily diet]. This will provide you with the same quantity of bone-building nutrients as dairy milk without the hormones [that can be found in conventional dairy] and saturated fat.” Make sure to look for ones enriched with these nutrients and don’t buy sweetened varieties, which can be massive sugar bombs.
“Pomegranate seeds contains compounds that fight damage from free radicals and increase your body’s ability to preserve collagen,” DeFazio says. Or, try swigging the juice: “A UCLA study showed that older adults with age-related memory complaints who drank eight ounces of pomegranate juice daily showed increased verbal memory performance and functional brain activity in MRI testing after just four weeks,” say Lakatos and Lakatos Shames. As per usual, you’ll want to look for unsweetened varieties!
Make a snack out of an ounce of dry roasted almonds (about 23 almonds or one handful), which contains 34 percent of the recommended daily value of vitamin E. “This antioxidant plays a role in anti-inflammatory processes and helps build up the immune system,” says Miller. And antioxidants protect cells from the damaging effects of free radicals in the body, which may help reduce the risk of certain chronic diseases like Alzheimer’s disease.”
Lemon and Lime Juice
“Vitamin C plays a critical role in maintaining optimal genetic health. Getting enough vitamin C is not just good for your DNA, it’s a crucial way to keep your skin looking brighter and younger,” says Moalem. “A research study looking at the health effects of vitamin C intake found that women who consumed greater amounts of vitamin C actually had fewer wrinkles and improved skin texture.” To get your fix, Moalem recommends consuming the juice of a lemon or two limes every day.
Treat yourself to a slice at night to keep your skin young. “Watermelon is packed with lycopene, which helps to protect the skin by acting as a natural sunblock, protecting it from ultraviolet rays that damage and age the skin, create sunspots and make skin look weathered,” say Lakatos and Lakatos Shames. “The water content also keeps your skin hydrated and plump,” says DeFazio.
Beans and Lentils
“These superfoods are loaded with plant-based essential amino acids to meet all of your protein requirements,” says Hever. “As women age, protein needs increase slightly. Beans and lentils are superior sources of protein because they’re also loaded with disease-fighting fiber and phytochemicals.”
Vitamin D deficiency leads to many health complications including improper calcium absorption. This condition is one of the reasons for early aging in women. You can obtain a considerable amount of vitamin D from mushrooms which help your body to absorb calcium correctly. Therefore, do not forget to add mushrooms to your salad or sauté some with other vegetables to get the benefits.
Honey is a sweet substance that contains anti-viral, anti-inflammatory properties along with antioxidants. These properties are potent enough to ward off factors that lead to premature aging or aging. So, next time when you crave something sweet, try some honey on toast and get a quick dose of health beneficial properties.
Sipping on some warm green tea before bedtime is relaxing and health-friendly at the same time. Green tea is a powerhouse of various enzymes, antioxidants, anti-bacterial properties, and polyphenols that fight against free radicals. Green tea also provides catechins – a substance that protects skin cells from the adverse effects of ultraviolet (UV) rays. If you want to follow an anti-aging diet, do not forget to add green tea to your diet.
Apart from plenty of vitamins and minerals, broccoli is a storehouse of lutein – a molecule. This molecule helps retain your brain’s memory function to prevent age-related memory decline. Nutritionists have revealed that eating broccoli on a regular basis also reduce the risk of psychological problems. The fiber in the vegetable is essential to improve digestion as well.
Sesame seeds are rich in iron, phosphorus, magnesium, dietary fiber, and calcium. So, you should make them a part of your daily diet. This mineral-dense food source promotes bone density and prevents age-related bone diseases. You can add sesame seeds to many stir-fry dishes or prepare mouthwatering sauces like tahini to get essential minerals.
Olive oil is one of the anti-aging oil that you can consume without worrying over fats or calories. Adding a small portion of olive oil to your salad or soups can provide polyphenol antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids. Both nutrients are excellent to maintain heart health. Polyphenol antioxidants combat free radicals that weaken skin cells and lead to the onset of wrinkles. If you are not a fan of olive oil, you can consume olives to get the benefits and prevent aging.
Dark chocolate has high cacao content which has resveratrol – a powerful antioxidant. You should make it a part of the anti-aging diet plant. Eating dark chocolate in moderation is also a good choice to maintain a healthy heart.