The quest for the fountain of youth began in the 16th century, with Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León on the hunt for the legendary waters that would reverse age. Unfortunately for us, he never found that fountain (it sucks, we know!). The good news is, there are things you can do to fight aging–starting with the foods you eat!
Eating a well balanced diet not only makes you feel good, but can also make you look younger. Stock up on these good-for-you foods and you’ll combat signs of aging that the fountain of youth never could!
Berries: Blueberries, strawberries, blackberries are all chock-full of antioxidant compounds known as anthocyanins. These compounds have been found to slow the growth of certain cancers, improve brain function, as well as muscle tone and balance. Not only that, but antioxidant rich berries help the body produce collagen which leaves skin smooth and firm. Aim to eat a cup of berries at least three times a week to reap the benefits.
Nuts: Nutrient dense nuts such as almonds, walnuts, and cashews are a great source of protein, healthy fats, magnesium, vitamins B and E as well. These nutrients help the body to fight inflammation, repair cell damage, and slows down the skin’s aging process. Just a handful of nuts a day is all you need to get your dose of anti-aging vitamins and minerals.
Teas: This brew, especially the Green tea varieties, have tons of health benefits. High in the powerful antioxidant EGCG, that fights free radical damage as well as the overall signs of aging. The antioxidant compound, catechin, also helps the body protect against sun damage which leads to hyperpigmentation. In the morning, have a hot cup of tea. You’ll save calories from your usual cup of joe, still get your caffeine fix, but get the additional health benefits as well.
Whole Grains: Much better than their processed counterparts, whole grains are rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. The complex carbs in whole grains maintains blood glucose levels, because they’re digested more slowly than processed grains. Overall, whole grains can help prevent the damage that processed grains can cause: heart disease, cancer, diabetes, etc. Ideally, all six of your daily recommended grain servings should be whole grains.
Leafy Greens: From spinach, to kale, romaine, and chard, dark leafy greens are a nutritional powerhouse. Besides antioxidants, leafy greens are a great source of vitamin K, a vitamin that helps the body retain calcium inside the bones. Folate, a B vitamin, is another nutrient found in these greens that can reduce your risk for dementia, stroke, and heart disease. Aim to get at least two servings a day. Add these greens to salads, sandwiches, even soups!
Water-Rich Fruits: Watermelon, cucumbers, apples, and other melons are high in water content. These water-rich foods are excellent for not only hydrating the body but your skin as well. Fruits high in water also help flush the body of toxins and regulate metabolism. Foods generally account for around 20 percent of our daily water intake, so make sure to squeeze in the recommended 3-5 servings a day.
Avocados: The rich and buttery avocado is one of the most versatile fruits, and is an excellent source of monosaturated fat (yes, the good kind!). This is the healthiest type of fat for the cardiovascular system, as it does not promote inflammation. Biotin is another nutrient found in avocados that is great for maintaining healthy skin, as well as other antioxidants that boost collagen formation. Add some avocado to sandwiches, salads, or mix it up with cilantro, lime and peppers for a healthy guacamole!