Early aging has a lot to do with your diet and your lifestyle. Our body is like a machine—good input leads to good output. What you ingest and put in your body has a huge impact on your biological system and your long-term health. A natural lifestyle does not have instant effects, but the long-term benefits are invaluable. Staying active and eating a nutrient-packed balanced diet can help slow the aging process and even prevent numerous diseases.
Here are a few foods that can help you live a long and healthy life with great skin and a great body.
Olive oil has many anti-aging benefits. The monounsaturated fats in olive oil are can have a huge impact on the prevention or delay of heart disease and cancer. Olive oil also has polyphenols, which are powerful antioxidants that may help prevent age-related diseases. It is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids and the protein, minerals, and vitamins you need for healthy skin and hair. It has vitamins B and D to prevent the appearance of wrinkles and oleic acid and polyphenols to help smooth skin.
Packed with vitamin C, pomegranates are great for softening skin and guarding it against sun damage. The juice in pomegranate seeds contains punicalagin and ellagic acid, which is a polyphenol compound that combats damage from free radicals. Punicalagin is a super nutrient that improves your body’s ability to preserve collagen, a subdermal connective tissue that makes skin look smooth and plump.
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 avocados? 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.
Blueberries contain more antioxidants than almost any other food. These give your skin an extra defense against skin-damaging free radicals that result from exposure to sun, over-exercise, and even emotional stress. Half a cup of blueberries every day can help in the prevention of the cell-structure damage that can lead to fine lines, wrinkles, and loss of firmness. Anthocyanin is also found in blueberries and functions just like an anti-inflammatory and can help maintain healthy brain function.
Yogurt is rich in calcium, which plays a huge role in staving off osteoporosis, and contains good bacteria that help in the maintenance of gut health. Yogurt contains live bacterial cultures, such as Lactobacillus acidophilus, that fight the growth of harmful intestinal bacteria and help restore balance in the intestine. These probiotics result in better health and can help prevent age-related illnesses.
Fish is an abundant source of omega-3 fats, which helps prevent cholesterol buildup in the arteries and provides protection against abnormal heart rhythms. Fish oil and fish proteins are used in the beauty industry worldwide. They promote healthy looking skin and the omegas found in fish are essential for regulating blood clotting, body temperature, body pressure and the immune system.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 different 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.
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.
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.
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