A lot of people focus on beauty creams and serums to help them age gracefully, but your first priority should be to take care of yourself from within. Diet and aging are inextricably linked: Antioxidants, good fats, and vitamins and minerals from whole foods all play a part in helping your organs—including your skin—function optimally.
So, put down that fruit-infused face mask and reach for its source ingredient to help you fight off the signs of aging. Read on to find out which foods are especially good at keeping your skin looking youthful, and your heart and brain in tip-top condition.
Anti-Aging Food List
Let your anti-aging diet plan start with these fruits and vegetables:
Leafy greens. Reach for spinach, its curly cousin kale, or other leafy greens for a dose of Vitamin K, which can fight off heart disease; Vitamin C, which can promote collagen production; and Vitamin A, which is not only good for your eyes but also for your hair. Greens also have chlorophyll, which may help prevent cancer. Try it: Make a salad out of your favorite greens or whip up a green smoothie for a quick breakfast.
Bell peppers. You probably reach for an orange when you need a Vitamin C boost but bell peppers—especially the red ones—contain more of the nutrient than the citrus fruit. They also have carotenoids, which are antioxidants that may help protect your skin from environmental stressors like pollution. Try it: Mix bell peppers into an omelet for breakfast or slice them up and dip them in hummus for a healthy snack.
Eggplants. The nutrient nasunin, which gives eggplant its purple hue, may be able to slow down the development of Alzheimer’s disease and may help fight off cancer. Try it: Slice it up, drizzle with a bit of olive oil, and roast it for a side dish with a slightly smoky flavor.
Tomatoes. Another source of wrinkle-fighting Vitamin C, tomatoes are also loaded with lycopene, a heart-healthy, free-radical-fighting antioxidant that lowers bad cholesterol and helps strengthen bones. Try it: Turn tomatoes into salsa or make spaghetti sauce from scratch.
Avocados. This millennial favorite contains the good kind of fat that can help keep skin looking fresh and plump. It also contains lutein and zeaxanthin, which may help protect your skin from the sun. (However, this doesn’t mean that you should skip the sunscreen if you’ve had your avo-on-toast for breakfast! Think of it as an extra layer of protection but not your first line of defense.) It also contains plenty of other nutrients that are good for your overall health. Try it: Mix sliced avocados into your favorite salad.
Prunes. Prunes have polyphenols, which can help protect your skin from sun damage. It’s also one of the fruits suitable for the elderly because it’s good for the digestive system and helps promote regular bowel movement. Try it: Eat as is or enjoy in juice form.
The Benefits of Going Organic
Should you go organic? Organic fruits and vegetables typically cost more than non-organic ones but it offers a number of benefits:
You avoid harmful residues. Sure, pesticides can keep bugs from attacking crops, but they ultimately end up in the food that you put in your mouth. Going organic assures you that the food you eat—and serve to your loved ones, especially kids and the elderly—were grown without the use of harmful chemicals.
You avoid GMOs. GMOs, or genetically modified organisms, are plants, animals, microorganisms, and other organisms whose genetic makeup has been modified using genetic engineering or technology. Studies on the effects of GMOs have been inconclusive so far but research published in the International Journal of Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine suggests that switching to non-GMO foods has a positive effect on health (particularly digestive problems).
You may get more nutrients. A large-scale review of studies published in the British Journal of Nutrition indicates that organic foods have lower rates of pesticide residue plus have significantly higher levels of antioxidants—the free-radical fighters that keep many diseases at bay. Note that more studies need to be done for more definitive results.
You help protect the environment and help farming communities. Because organic farming uses more sustainable methods, it has positive effects on the environment like preserving soil health, retaining biodiversity, reducing surface run-off, and retaining the air and water quality of the surrounding communities.
Get your anti-aging organic fruits and vegetables from a trusted source like Healthy Options.