Every time you open a magazine or turn on a news program there’s a report on a “new” type of diet. Years ago it was the Atkins diet. Then it was the South Beach Diet that was in vogue. And over the years every type of diet imaginable has been mentioned, including the ketogenic diet, vegan diet, Paleo Diet – hey, the list goes on and on.
All diets have a unique approach to managing calories, weight loss, carbs, sugars, and other elements of a balanced meal, but few mention the impact foods have on the aging process. But there are some specific foods that you can include in your diet that are like anti aging medicine for your body. You just have to know which ones are best.
Reversing the Sun’s Damage
One of the keys to looking young is avoiding the harmful UV rays of the sun. If you’ve already been exposed over the years, may have noticed what’s called “photo-aging.” This has nothing to do with your chronological age; rather, it is the sun’s UV rays accelerating the signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles, sagging skin and hyperpigmentation, or age spots.
Foods with high antioxidant values like pomegranates, blueberries, figs, green tea and others help your skin cells rebuild collagen and elastin, which helps minimize fine lines and wrinkles. They also help fight off free radicals that can further damage your skin cells. Even if you don’t have sun damage or photoaging, they’ll help as you grow older with the same benefits.
Salmon is an excellent antioxidant as well as a boost to the immune system. It acts as an anti-inflammatory helping to prevent the signs of aging and photoaging as well. Another “superfood” is avocados, shown to help prevent the negative effects of aging. Tomatoes are very healthy due to their content of lycopene. Turmeric is another ingredient in many cosmetic formulations that has both anti-aging and skin lightening properties. In addition to helping skin look younger and more radiant, it helps with joint health as well as brain and neurodegenerative conditions.
Foods that Keep You Healthy
So what are the 7 anti-aging foods? Here’s the list, along with reasons why they can help fight age-related diseases:
- Squash (and other yellow/orange vegetables)
It isn’t only the key signs of aging that you’re fighting. You want to eat foods that help keep your body and its systems working effectively. Nuts are an example – they contain compounds shown to reduce the risk heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.
One of the newer food compound’s that’s in the spotlight is nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) – something our bodies actually produce naturally. This has a healthy anti-aging impact on animals, and research done on mice showed improvement on metabolism and on energy reserves.
Foods rich in NMN include avocados, mushrooms, peanuts and fresh green tea. Other phytonutrients that can help skin maintain its vibrancy and radiance while preventing collagen breakdown include yellow and orange fruits and vegetables, like squash, carrots, and orange bell peppers.
Garlic is at the top of the list for keeping the heart healthy, by reducing the hardening of the arteries. This will also help to lower the risk of stroke, and thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, help with joint diseases like arthritis as well. And the calcium in milk can help to keep bones strong and prevent osteoarthritis as we age.
Other Foods for Healthy Living
Certain diets, like the Mediterranean diet, have shown to help prevent the rate of cognitive decline in people as they age. This may also help lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. And foods like eggs contain nutrients that can help minimize your risk of developing cataracts and other types of age-related eye diseases.
As you can see, there are many different foods that are available for every diet that can help reverse the aging signs due to exposure to UV rays, as well as foods that are designed to keep your body healthy as you age naturally. A healthy diet now could add years of healthy living to your life!
Image Credit: Maid Milinkic | Unsplash