Food & Diet
The Best Anti-Aging Foods
We are all self-conscious about the way we look, and looking young for as long as possible is something we wish to achieve. The anti-aging creams that have recently become popular on the cosmetic market can help your skin look fresher and feel smoother to the touch, but there really is no need for spending piles of money on them when you can achieve the same (or a better) effect by just eating certain foods more often.
Generally, lifestyle has a lot to do with the way we look. If you don’t sleep enough, drink lots of alcohol and eat fatty foods rich in starchy carbohydrates, you will probably age quicker than the person with exactly the same properties as you, but leads a healthier lifestyle – sleeps enough, is physically active, eats well and doesn’t overeat even on the good foods. As Elisa Zied, a dietitian and the author of Younger Next Week says, eating small portions of highly nutritive healthy food and eating a varied diet, alongside a healthy lifestyle can slow down the visible signs of aging.
The best foods that will help you slow down your aging process and make you look and feel better are the following:
Fruits and vegetables are commonly considered very healthy, but the crème de la crème of these food groups are pomegranates. This magnificent fruit contains very high levels of vitamin C which helps protect the skin from the sun and the damage it can cause to the skin, especially wrinkling. Moreover, ellagic acid (a polyphenol compound that protects the body from damage caused by free radicals) and punicalagin (nutrients which improve the ability of your skin to produce and preserve collagen, thus making the skin smoother and fresh looking), contained in this fruit are hugely contributing to the effectiveness when it comes to youth preservation. A New York nutritionist, Jackie Newgent says that pomegranate has the best effect if taken as a mixture of juice and seeds, and one cup per week should be enough.
Blueberries are also a great anti-aging food because their high levels of antioxidants provide additional skin protection against sun exposure and the free radicals that damage it. Blueberries can also help your face stay youthful even if you are going through some stressful times (and we all know that stress always makes us look older and more tired). Half a cup per day should be enough to keep your skin tight and wrinkle free.
Oranges are full of water and according to Zied they help your cells and skin stay hydrated. This fruit is also packed with vitamin C which helps the body make collagen and keep the skin young looking. One orange per day is enough to make a change if you stay committed.
Kale and spinach are among the best vegetables when it comes to fighting the aging process. This may be because these veggies contain antioxidants that protect the skin against sun damage. Spinach contains a high level of beta-carotene and lutein, which are known to keep the skin elastic and firm, according to the findings published in the Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry. Newgent suggests taking approximately 3 cups of these vegetables, individually or mixed, on a weekly basis to achieve the wanted effect.
Proteins are also very important, especially in the 40s when muscles begin to loosen and the metabolism becomes slower, which makes it easy for you to gain weight, unfortunately. When you put on weight, your become weaker, slower, and you start looking older (and feeling, too). As protein helps the body build and maintain lean muscle mass, keeps the elasticity of your skin and gives you strength, in order to preserve your youthful looks, proteins are the right choice.
Lean beef is one of the best sources of protein. Zied says, and many doctors and nutritionists agree, that protein helps in the building of collagen. Beef in particular contains chemicals that are produced in the process of cooking, which help the body reverse the aging processes, according to Zied.
Chicken breasts, eggs, seafood, lean pork and other protein rich foods are also good for making the old days come a little later and our faces looking younger and fresher.
Dairy is also very high in proteins, but it also contains minerals such as calcium and potassium which keep your bones strong, and your blood pressure healthy. Dairy products such as yogurt prevent gum disease and according to a Japanese study published in the Journal of Periodontology, drinking some yogurt every day can lower the risk of losing your teeth by 50 percent. The researchers think that the reason for this risk decrease probably lies in the probiotic properties of yogurt.
Salmon is a protein-rich food, but besides that it is packed with omega-3s which are a powerful aid in making the skin-cell membranes stronger and moisturized. Eating around 2 servings per week can help in reducing skin redness caused by inflammation. Moreover, salmon is not the only good fish for maintaining the youthfulness of your skin, as sardines and mackerels are also very good for that purpose.
Oats, as well as other whole grains, are complex carbohydrates with a low glycemic index, and this is exactly the kind of food Dr. Debra Jaliman (a dermatologist and author of Skin Rules) suggests for soothing skin irritation, keeping it young looking and protecting it from skin-cell damage. On the other hand, she explains how foods with a high glycemic index quickly raise blood sugar levels, causes wrinkles and acne, and that is why we should avoid them if we want to prevent the visible signs of aging from appearing on our faces.
Dr. Jaliman also suggests drinking green tea, because it contains catechins which protect the skin from sun damage, and polyphenols that may even reduce the already visible wrinkles and other signs of aging. She claims that one cup per day may provide results within a month.