While it’s true that no single food will erase laugh lines or make you feel 22 again, a healthy diet full of anti-aging foods can boost skin quality, improve immunity, and more. Stock up on these expert-approved ingredients next time you’re looking to fill that grocery cart.
There’s a reason this leafy green is a staple in salads: Not only does it taste great, but spinach also has loads of phytonutrients that help protect your skin from sun damage. It also has beta-carotene and lutein, two nutrients that research has found to improve skin elasticity. If you missed the stuff at lunch, supersize your salad and dig in at dinner.
2. GREEN TEA
Green tea is great for keeping your body young because it helps maintain healthy cells, protects them against damage, and decreases stress. “It’s [also] packed with powerful antioxidants called flavonoids that protect against disease and block DNA damage associated with toxic chemicals that cause destruction in the body, [in turn] aging it,” Latakos and Latakos Shames say.
Hearty and soothing, oatmeal is delicious without being too rich. “[It’s also] a comfort food that’s rich in carbohydrates that boost your body’s feel-good hormone serotonin,” Lakatos and Lakatos Shames say. “There’s no better way to look and feel young than to feel happy.”
4. BEANS AND LENTILS
“These superfoods are loaded with plant-based essential amino acids to meet all of your protein requirements,” Hever says. “As women age, protein needs increase slightly, and beans and lentils are superior sources because they’re also loaded with disease-fighting fiber and phytochemicals.”
You may not have liked broccoli as a kid, but there’s a good reason to eat it as an adult: A 2016 study found that it contains the plant pigment lutein, which is linked to “crystalized intelligence” — the ability to use the skills and knowledge you have now well into your elderly years.
“Mushrooms are one of the few foods that naturally contain vitamin D, a [nutrient that] most people don’t have enough of,” Lakatos and Lakatos Shames say. “Without [it], you can’t properly absorb calcium, which will lead to osteoporosis, broken bones, and a hunched spine — and nothing ages you more than that.”
7. POMEGRANATE SEEDS
Besides being wildly addictive in a froyo swirl, these tiny seeds also add a nice burst of sweetness to salads. “Pomegranate seeds contain compounds that fight damage from free radicals and increase your body’s ability to preserve collagen,” DeFazio says.
Treat yourself to a slice of this summer fruit to keep your skin young. “Watermelon is packed with lycopene, which [acts] as a natural sunblock, protecting it from ultraviolet rays that damage and age the skin, create sunspots, and make skin look weathered,” say Lyssie Lakatos and Tammy Lakatos Shames, AKA The Nutrition Twins. The water content doesn’t hurt either, as its massive amounts helps keep your skin hydrated and plump, DeFazio adds.
These tiny berries pack a mighty punch, as they contain more antioxidants than almost any other fruit, says celebrity nutritionist Lisa DeFazio. “They [also] give you protection against skin-damaging free radicals from sun exposure, stress, and pollution, and they have vitamin C, which helps prevent the wrinkles.”
10. DARK CHOCOLATE
Sorry, but you’re going to have to pass on the milk chocolate and pick up the dark variety if you want to lock in those anti-aging health benefits. Why? “Dark chocolate is loaded with flavanols, which are believed to benefit [your] appearance by increasing blood flow to the skin,” says Mitzi Dulan, R.D., author of The Pinterest Diet. “Flavanols also absorb UV radiation, protecting your skin from the damaging effects of the sun.”
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