New research has identified specific nutrients that help people be better protected from harmful environmental factors and stress, hydrate their complexion and skin cells, keep their organs functioning more efficiently and properly, boost energy, lose weight, and look and feel younger.
Nutrition plays an extremely important part in limiting the aging process in people (and all living beings, for that matter).
As a simple rule, fresh fruits and vegetables are almost always high in flavonoids and carotenoids, 2 powerful plant-based antioxidants, which help aid in removing free radicals from the skin and body that cause people to age prematurely.
Certainly, a well-balanced diet will help keep bodies in functionally optimally, help people live longer and feel fitter, but it can also help you actually look younger. Make a conscious decision for a better every day by starting with the foods that are eaten that become, essentially a part of YOU.
Spinach, broccoli, kale, brussels sprouts, collard greens, and bok choy are great choices, as they contain lutein, folate, and sulforaphane which has been shown to reduce heart disease and macular degeneration by aiding the body in detoxification.
This is one of my top choices in this group. This green vegetable is an excellent source of calcium, vitamins a and c and fiber, which aids in digestion and weight loss.
Kale is my second favorite superfood in this group. Kale’s crisp, dark leaves are bursting with micronutrients, potassium, and carotenoids, all essential for lowering risks of heart disease and even cataracts.
Low-calorie kale is also calcium-rich, and its high concentration of vitamin A has been linked with a reduced incidence of cancer.
Ranks top 3 in this group and is an excellent source of vitamin C, which the body needs to manufacture sebum, an oily substance produced by the sebaceous glands. Sebum is the body's "natural conditioner," and keeps hair shiny, smooth and young looking while preventing dryness.
Eating a variety of green vegetables is believed to keep your heart healthy and aid in cancer prevention.
Water is one of the easiest additions to one’s diet and one of the best ways to prevent wrinkles, improve one’s digestive system, and to stay healthy.
Try to keep a water container or bottle handy so it becomes a habit to drink regularly and throughout the day. Consume at least eight glasses of water a day.
This will allow the body to flush the toxins away, hydrate the skin, and give the body the water it needs to function optimally. Similarly, all-natural juices such as tomato or apple juice are a great way to increase water intake plus receive the vitamins one may need.
Cucumbers are good for the skin. The silica in the peel helps reduce wrinkles and boost collagen. Buy them unwaxed if possible.
Fennel, an anti-inflammatory; octopus, a rich source of Omega-3 fatty acids, B12, iron, and zinc; Gigantes beans, giant lima beans rich in potassium. Speaking of beans, lentils are a great source of zinc and fiber.
Beans, which are high in protein, promote hair growth and help thicken hair cells by making the fibers stronger.
Blood oranges contain anthocyanins, antioxidants that combat free radical damage and UV rays.
Mangos provide 96% of your daily vitamin C needs and help prevent periodontal disease.
Low Fat cottage cheese is full of protein, and therefore promotes hair health (since hair is mostly protein). Just be wary of hidden sodium levels.
Olive Oil contains monounsaturated fats which are largely responsible for the low rates of heart disease and cancer on the Greek island of Crete.
Olive oil also contains polyphenols, powerful antioxidants that may help prevent age-related diseases.
Lean beef is full of iron. Iron deficiency can cause nail beds to be thin and concave
Just one serving of berries, especially blueberries, provides more antioxidant activity than most fruits and veggies.
Antioxidants fight the free radicals that cause wrinkles. Blueberries are another essential "brain food," because they consist of loads of phytonutrients, or plant chemicals recently touted for their role in preventing age-related neurological disorders.
An excellent source of zinc, which aids in protein synthesis and collagen formation.
These are rich in vitamin C, which helps build collagen and fight off free radicals.
Contain lignin phytoestrogens, which prevent collagen breakdown and boost the skin's lipid barrier.
Tuna contains Omega-3 fatty acids that fight UV-related cell damage and are a rich source of niacin, a deficiency of which causes skin rashes.
Another fish, cod contains selenium which safeguards your skin from sun damage and cancer. Sardines, rich in omega-3 fatty acids, promote hair growth and shine to keep your locks looking young.
These fish are an abundant source of omega-3 fats, which help prevent cholesterol buildup in arteries and protect against abnormal heart rhythms.
Avocados are one of the richest sources of monounsaturated fats and contain biotin for healthy skin. Avocados are one of the most alkalizing foods available.
They are very high in vitamin E which is essential for glowing skin and shining hair. It also helps keep those wrinkles off your face.
Watermelon is a source of lycopene, which protects the skin from UV rays. Both the flesh and seeds of the watermelon are nutritious.
The flesh contains vitamin A, B and C; the seeds contain selenium, essential fats, zinc and vitamin E, all of which help against free radical damage and aging.
Sea vegetables and kelp contains vitamins C and E, which protect fats in the skin's moisture barrier from free-radical damage, boost energy, and fights stress and fatigue so you can stay active and alert.
Sea vegetables are the leading sources of natural carotenes like Vitamin A (beta-carotene) and bioflavonoids – antioxidants that help clear up the cellular debris that accumulates in the eyes.
These two sources also contain a significant amount of vitamins, protein, ionic minerals and trace minerals enhances your brain’s performance specifically Asparagine, which energizes the brain and also boosts the immune system, while Boron improves mental clarity as it assists in unclogging arteries.
Pumpkin seeds are pumped full of antioxidants and magnesium, which help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Actually, most nuts, especially walnuts and pecans, almonds and pistachios are rich in such items as iron, potassium, and magnesium, plus more.
The nut family helps improve one’s digestive system, too, which in turn helps the body’s immune system and metabolism.
Free range eggs are high in iron and biotin.
Pomegranate seeds contain juice rich in ellagic acid and punicalagin - 2 agents that fight damage from free radicals and preserve the collagen in your skin.
Oatmeal is high in soluble fiber which reduces LDL cholesterol (the "bad" cholesterol").
Black currants contain a compound called anthocyanosides, which can help improve vision.
Additionally, this superfood contains 5 times the vitamin C than oranges do, making it a superb immunity booster.
Cranberry juice disrupts the formation of plague and thereby prevents yellowing of teeth. The flavonoids in cranberry juice also counteract the damaging effects of bacteria that cause tooth decay.
Be careful that you aren't drinking a sugar-laden cranberry juice cocktail.
Dark chocolate will help curb your sweet tooth and is rich in flavonoids. Cocoa, which is unusually rich in flavanols, help preserve the healthy function of blood vessels.
Maintaining youthful blood vessels lowers risk of high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, kidney disease and dementia.
Red wine made with the dark skin and seeds of the grapes are rich in polyphenols, a type of antioxidant that includes resveratrol.
If you aren't a drinker, opt for grape juice or a resveratrol supplement available at your drugstore for about $25.
Pure noni juice, known for its anti-inflammatory properties, can help fight the formation of tumors – and wrinkles. Noni and noni products, like DERMAdoctor Photodynamic Therapy Noni Lotion, build collagen and are high in antioxidants and polyphenols.
Guava is packed with vitamin C which boosts collagen production to smooth skin. Two cups of guava per week are the perfect dose of this anti-aging powerhouse.
Wheat germ is rich in zinc, which plays a crucial role in the production of new skin cells. It also has anti-inflammatory properties to help prevent eczema; recent studies even indicate that wheat germ can help reduce acne.
Get half a cup of wheat germ per day for your daily dose of zinc. Try sprinkling it over salads and yogurt or adding it to smoothies.
Garlic is one of the most important foods provided to us by nature. Garlic prevents cell degeneration, helps keep the blood thin and also prevents heart diseases. It is most beneficial when eaten raw.
Romaine lettuce is a leafy green vegetable high in vitamin A, a vitamin that helps revitalize skin by increasing cell turnover and encouraging new skin cell growth. Add 6 leaves to your salad or as a side with dinner for your daily allowance of vitamin A.
Tomatoes provide lycopene, which helps prevent heart disease, elevated cholesterol, and cancer. Lycopene acts as a natural sunblock, preventing the UV damage that causes sunspots, dryness, wrinkles.
Remember to cook tomatoes for the maximum anti-aging effect.
Carrots are an excellent source of vitamin A; this nutrient is essential to a healthy scalp and youthful-looking, shiny hair.
Yogurt is rich in calcium, which helps stave off osteoporosis and contains “good bacteria” that help maintain gut health and diminish the incidence of age-related intestinal illness.
This bacteria helps absorption of nutrients in the intestines and stabilizes the immune system. Yogurt also rich in potassium, protein and B vitamins.
Resources: LivingWell.com, WebMD, Self.com, LiveStrong.com, Longevity.About.com, dr.Oz.com