10 Foods That Can Help You Look Younger
Aging is a natural part of life that can’t be avoided. However, the foods you eat can help you age better, both inside and out.
Here are 10 foods that can help you look younger.
1. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Extra virgin olive oil is one of the healthiest fats on earth. Research has shown that it may help prevent many common diseases associated with aging.
It lowers blood pressure, reduces the risk of heart disease, helps prevent metabolic syndrome and may be effective in fighting cancer. Olive oil may also help your skin look younger. Animal and lab studies suggest it has strong anti-inflammatory effects on the skin and may protect it from sun damage.
2. Green Tea
Green tea is high in antioxidants, which can protect against free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that form during metabolism and in response to stress. Antioxidants change their structure so they’re unable to cause damage. Green tea is particularly high in antioxidants called polyphenols, which can fight diabetes, insulin resistance, inflammation and heart disease. Polyphenols may also help protect collagen, the main protein in your skin. This may reduce and even partly reverse some signs of aging.
3. Fatty Fish
Fatty fish is truly an anti-aging food. Its long-chain omega-3 fats are beneficial against heart disease, inflammation and ulcerative colitis, among many other diseases. Studies suggest that they may also protect against inflammation and damage that occurs during sun exposure. Salmon, one of the most popular types of fatty fish, has an additional component that may keep your skin looking younger. It contains a carotenoid antioxidant called astaxanthin, which is responsible for the pink color of salmon.
4. Dark Chocolate/Cocoa
The antioxidant profile of dark chocolate is second to none. It is even more powerful than acai berries, blueberries and cranberries. Research suggests it may reduce blood pressure, increase insulin sensitivity and improve arterial function and elasticity. Chocolate contains antioxidants called flavanols, which protect the skin from sun damage. However, the amount of flavanols varies significantly among different types of chocolate. Remember, the higher the cocoa content, the higher the flavanol content. So make sure to choose dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa solids.
Vegetables are extremely nutrient-dense and very low in calories. They contain antioxidants that help reduce the risk of heart disease, cataracts and cancer. Many vegetables are also high in carotenoids like beta carotene. These can protect against sun radiation and free radicals, both of which can lead to skin aging. Some of the best sources of beta carotene are carrots, pumpkin and sweet potatoes. Many vegetables are also rich in vitamin C, which is important for collagen production and has strong antioxidant effects. Vegetables with the highest vitamin C content include leafy greens, bell peppers, tomatoes and broccoli. They found that those who ate more green and yellow vegetables had fewer wrinkles.
Flaxseeds have amazing health benefits. They contain lignans, which can lower cholesterol, reduce blood sugar and insulin levels, while decreasing the risk of breast and prostate cancer. They are also a great source of an omega-3 fatty acid called ALA, which protects your skin from sun radiation and may reduce sun-related skin damage. In controlled studies, women who consumed flaxseeds or flax oil for 12 weeks showed improved hydration and smoother skin.
Pomegranates are one of the healthiest fruits. Their antioxidant activity appears to be even higher than that of green tea. Pomegranates decrease inflammation, help prevent damage from high blood sugar levels and may improve outcomes in patients with colon cancer. They also help protect the skin from sun damage. What’s more, researchers suggest that different parts of the pomegranate may work together to repair damaged skin and increase collagen production.
Avocados are rich in heart-healthy fat, fiber and several vitamins and minerals that are essential for health. They also taste delicious and are extremely versatile. Furthermore, avocados contain unique compounds called polyhydroxylated fatty alcohols. These can fight inflammation, protect your skin from the sun and help repair damaged DNA. Their high content of monounsaturated fat and the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin provides additional skin and DNA protection.
Tomatoes provide many impressive health benefits, several of which can be attributed to their high lycopene content. Lycopene is a type of carotenoid that reduces your risk of heart disease, stroke and prostate cancer. Studies show that it may also protect your skin from the damaging rays of the sun. In one study, women who ate a mixture of foods high in lycopene and other plant antioxidants had a measurable decrease in wrinkle depth after 15 weeks. Cooking tomatoes with healthy fats, such as olive oil, significantly boosts the absorption of lycopene into the body.
Spices do more than just add flavor to your food. They also contain various plant compounds that may have beneficial effects on your health. Interestingly, research suggests some spices may even help your skin look younger. Cinnamon has been shown to increase collagen production, which may lead to increased skin firmness and elasticity. It may also reduce the skin damage that occurs as a result of advanced glycation end-products (AGEs), which are formed when blood sugar levels are high. Additionally, research suggests that capsaicin, which is found in chili peppers, may reduce some of the age-related changes that occur in skin cells. Furthermore, ginger contains gingerol. This compound has anti-inflammatory effects that may help prevent the age spots that develop due to sun exposure.