Even though aging is an inevitable part of life, there are certain foods that can help you stall it and even keep it at bay. Unaware we may be but many a time, certain foods can help you age better and gracefully, both inside and out.
Following are 7 foods that can help you retain your youthfulness for longer.
The humble tomato, commonly found in every household, is the source of several health benefits. Due to their high antioxidant lycopene content, tomatoes offer many impressive health benefits such as reduction in the risk of heart disease. Lycopene is a type of carotenoid that minimizes your risk of stroke and prostate cancer.
They are also a rich source of great source of Potassium, Folate, Vit. C and K.
Research and studies have proven that it may also protect your skin from the damaging rays of the sun. In another study, wherein women who ate a combination of foods high in lycopene and other plant antioxidants it was noticed that there was a measurable decrease in the depth of wrinkles after 15 weeks. Another interesting fact that came to light was that when cooked with healthy fats, such as olive oil, it impressively boosts the absorption of lycopene in the body.
Read more here about how tomatoes can help in anti-aging.
Did you know that Extra Virgin olive oil is one of the healthiest fats on earth? Studies have demonstrated that it may help in preventing many common diseases associated with aging. Preparing food using Extra Virgin Olive Oil may lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease, help prevent metabolic syndrome and may be effective in fighting cancer. Read more about it here.
Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, Olive oil may also help your skin look younger and may even protect it from sun damage. Besides, nearly 73% of olive oil consists of monounsaturated fat, which is associated with increased skin elasticity and firmness.
As an example of two studies that looked at food consumption behaviour and questionnaires filled in by middle-aged and older adults, it was found that those with the highest intake of monounsaturated fat from olive oil were least likely to experience photoaging and severe sun damage.
Antioxidants help in the fight against free radicals and Green Tea is one of the richest sources of antioxidants. Free radicals are known to speed up the process of aging. They are unstable molecules that form during the body’s metabolism and during its response to stress factors. Antioxidants can change the structure of free radicals so they're unable to cause damage.
Green Tea is high in polyphenols, an antioxidant that fights diabetes, heart disease and inflammation. They also preserve collagen which is responsible for the elasticity in our skin even partly reverse some signs of aging.
Dark chocolate is one of the most powerful and abundant sources of antioxidants. In fact it contains more antioxidants than even cranberries and blueberries. There are various research and studies that suggest it reduces blood pressure and improves arterial function and elasticity. Read more about it here.
Dark Chocolate is high on antioxidants called flavanols, which protect the skin from sun damage. An interesting study points out that flavanol-rich dark chocolate doubled the amount of time people could stay in the sun before turning red as compared to people who ate chocolate with less flavanols.
In a separate research carried out regarding cocoa and their flavonol content in relation to skin function, those who consumed high-flavonol experienced better blood circulation and flow to the skin and significant improvement in thickness, hydration and smoothness.
So it is good to remember this and choose higher flavanol content chocolate with at least 70% cocoa solids.
Green and bright coloured vegetables are extremely rich in antioxidants. They are nutrient-dense and very low in calories. The antioxidant content helps reduce the risk of heart disease, cataracts and cancer.
Many vegetables such as carrots, pumpkin and sweet potatoes (beta carotene) are high in carotenoids. These carotenoids often play an important role in protecting you from sun radiation and free radicals, both of which can lead to skin aging.
Vegetables can also be a rich source of Vitamin C, which is important for collagen production and has strong antioxidant properties. It was duly noted that when people were given 180 mg of vitamin C daily for 4 weeks, their skin's antioxidant activity increased by 37%. You may prefer vegetables with a high vitamin C content such as leafy greens, bell peppers, tomatoes and broccoli.
In a different study it was found that those who ate more green and yellow vegetables had fewer wrinkles.
Flaxseeds are the new fad food nowadays due to their omega rich content. They have demonstrated amazing health benefits as they also contain lignans, which can lower cholesterol, reduce blood sugar and insulin levels, while decreasing the risk of breast and prostate cancer.
Since they are also a great source of Omega-3 fatty acid ALA, which protects your skin from sun radiation and may reduce sun-related skin damage, it is advisable to include flaxseeds as an important part of diet.
Pomegranates are known for their various health benefits. They help protect the sin from sun damage. The antioxidants in pomegranates are higher than even Green Tea. They are known to decrease inflammation and they help prevent damage from high blood sugar levels.
Researchers have found that different parts of a pomegranate may collaborate to repair damaged skin and increase collagen production.
Even though aging is an inevitable part of our lives, the foods mentioned above can improve the function of your skin and help you look younger.