Everyone gets older—it's a fact of life. But being older doesn't necessarily mean that you have to look or feel your age, especially if you take care of yourself with the right diet. For years, physicians have touted the importance of a healthy diet and a growing body of research supports this notion. Good health begins with good nourishment, and by consuming healthier foods you may be able to protect your cells and help delay the effects of aging.
Fill Up on Fruits and Veggies
Pollution, sun exposure, and cigarette smoke can generate molecules called free radicals that damage healthy cells. Sometimes the signs of cell damage aren't obvious. In other cases, such as with skin cells, oxidative damage can be visible in the form of dry skin, fine lines, and wrinkles. Fruits and vegetables abound with antioxidants, which is why it's little surprise that they're potent antiaging foods. Besides being a rich source of vitamins and minerals that you need for everyday nutrition, they contain a variety of antioxidant compounds such as carotenoids, flavonoids, and polyphenols that help neutralize free radicals before they can harm healthy cells. Grapes contain a compound called resveratrol which you may have heard of. Resveratrol is the substance in red wine that's responsible for its antiaging properties that have been reported in many scientific journals. Colorful fruits and vegetables—such as carrots, tomatoes, and apricots—contain carotenoids that support healthy vision, skin, and more.
All Fats and Oils Aren't Bad
The Mediterranean diet is considered to be one of the best antiaging diets because it relies heavily on the serving of olive oil and fish in meals. Olive oil contains antioxidants called phenols that help fight inflammation while fatty fish like tuna, mackerel, and sardines contain omega fatty acids that support the heart, brain, joints, hair, and skin.
Sweeten Your Food Choices
Dessert lovers will rejoice to learn that even chocolate can be a potent antiaging food. Dark chocolate contains higher amounts of cocoa phenols that have heart health properties. In one clinical study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association, scientists in Germany found that dark chocolate helped lower blood pressure levels in subjects who had mild high blood pressure. Another double-blind study on cocoa found that volunteers who consumed cocoa with high flavonol content had greater UV protection in their skin cells after consuming cocoa daily for 12 weeks. There's no surefire way to turn back the clock on aging, but with smarter eating habits, you can at least look and feel good for your age. And by choosing foods that you enjoy eating, healthier meals can also be tastier meals.
- Grotto D. Age-Fighting Foods. WebMD. https://blogs.webmd.com/food-and-nutrition/2013/04/age-fighting-foods.html
- DeNoon DJ. Dark Chocolate Is Healthy Chocolate. WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/diet/news/20030827/dark-chocolate-is-healthy-chocolate