As your numerical age climbs the ladder, you want to do anything to keep your mental, emotional, and physical ages lowered. Although you’re technically getting older, there are ways you can help your body slow down the aging process, so you don’t feel like you’re older. As they say, age is just a number!
This can include activities ranging from an exercise routine to changing your habits, to adding different foods to your diet. If you’re looking to incorporate some age-reducing foods into your daily routine, check out what some of the professionals on our Medical Expert Board have to say. Then, check out Eating Habits Aging Your Body By a Decade, Say Dietitians.
“Berries are potent sources of antioxidants that will scavenge free radicals,” says registered dietitian Sydney Greene, RDN. “Free radicals are one component of aging and can contribute to things like sun spots, wrinkles, and dry/dull skin.”
Antioxidants are commonly known for having “anti-aging” superpowers. These molecules and vitamins protect cells from the damage caused by the free radicals by reacting with the free radicals. This prevents the free radicals from reacting with other beneficial molecules and cells.
Different berries (and certain foods) contain different types of antioxidants. However, blueberries are one of the best sources to get your nutrients.
Watercress is a mild-tasting and flowery-looking vegetable that contains four times more beta carotene than an apple, and 238% of your daily recommended dose of vitamin K per 100 grams. These compounds keep your skin looking youthful.
“This green veggie is loaded with vitamins, minerals, and nutrients,” says registered dietitian Amy Shapiro, MS, RD. “It acts as a skin antiseptic and actually helps to increase the flow of minerals from this plant to the cells in the skin. Basically, this increases oxygen to the skin and prevents aging.”
Shapiro also mentions that watercress is high in vitamins A and C, which are both powerful antioxidants that fight free radicals. Watercress is also rich in calcium, which will keep your bones strong as you age too.
“Avocado is an incredible source of vitamin E,” says Greene. “Vitamin E functions as an antioxidant as well and can support skin health and decrease inflammation.”
The vitamin E in avocados also helps to benefit the skin, fingernails, and hair. The fatty acids found in avocado help to nourish the body with the fat and minerals it needs to maintain healthy oil levels.
This fruit is also beneficial for your body from other foods that could cause your body to age more rapidly. This includes potentially lowering blood pressure, lowering the risk of metabolic syndrome, lowering “bad” (LDL) cholesterol, and protecting your heart.
These veggies are rich in vitamin C—a powerful antioxidant that helps promote collagen production. It is also high in antioxidants called carotenoids.
“Carotenoids give peppers their red-yellow color and fight inflammation while also helping to protect the skin from sun damage, pollution, and environmental factors,” says Shapiro.
Bell peppers are also great for weight loss and are versatile to use. Whether they’re raw or cooked, you can throw them into most dishes for a little extra crunch or flavor.
“These nuts are high in vitamin E which helps repair skin damage,” says Shapiro. “The fat helps to keep skin moist and resistant to UV rays which lead to external damage.”
Shapiro further explains that almonds are also high in fiber. They can also help to prevent heart disease and type 2 diabetes, and promote cognitive function in later life.
“When thinking about keeping your brain sharp and young, think of foods found in a Mediterranean diet,” says Greene. “Studies suggest that greater adherence to the Mediterranean diet is associated with slower cognitive decline.”
The Mediterranean diet has been linked to stronger thinking skills later in life, keeping you mentally sharp throughout the later stages of your life. The diet is also positive for the heart and has been linked to a longer life.
Some examples of these Mediterranean foods include nuts, fish, olives, legumes, and spices.
Kayla Garritano is a Staff Writer for Eat This, Not That! She graduated from Hofstra University, where she majored in Journalism and double minored in Marketing and Creative Writing. Read more