Fountain of Youth: 7 Anti-Aging Foods (Slideshow)
January 21, 2014
Aid your skin and health with these timeless foods
The omega-3 fatty acids in cold-water fish (like salmon and tuna) may help deflate inflamed pimples, calm red skin, battle skin damaging free radicals, and smooth fine lines. Salmon and other seafood are also good protein sources. In a British study, women with lower protein intakes had a more wrinkled appearance. Protein provides a building block of collagen—a skin compound that is critical to how healthy your skin looks.
Despite being a high-fat food, almonds and nuts don’t promote weight gain. The reason: People find nuts filling and, after eating them, offset some of the calories by eating less later on. Plus, people who eat nuts at least five days a week live longer than people who eat them infrequently. Since it’s easy to overeat nuts (and therefore take in a lot of excess calories) I recommend counting out a 125-calorie portion—the amount of calories in a 7 Years Younger snack. For almonds, that’s about 18 nuts.
Like other beans, chickpeas are rich in fiber, including the soluble kind that research shows may help reduce belly fat. Plus, substituting beans for meat on a regular basis slashes your intake of saturated fat, which can accelerate signs of aging. Beans also contain the disease-fighting compounds saponins, which (in the lab, at least) inhibit cancer-cell reproduction.
These ruby gems are an unexpected source of vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that can quench free radicals. In a British study of 4,025 women ages 40 to 74, researchers found that those with higher intakes of vitamin C had fewer wrinkles and less dry skin.
Drinking tea may lower your risk of heart attack and stroke, strengthen your immune system, fight cancer, protect tooth enamel, and help fight memory loss associated with aging. Black, green, white, and oolong tea can all deter aging—their leaves all come from the camellia sinensis, or tea plant. And their polyphenols, fluoride, and caffeine—which are thought to contribute to these health benefits—are largely missing from herbal brews.
Research shows that due to its antioxidant content, a little dark chocolate (milk chocolate doesn’t have the same properties) keeps arteries functioning better, lowers unhealthy LDL cholesterol and blood pressure, and helps improve blood flow to the skin and the brain. 7 Years Younger: The Anti-Aging Breakthrough Diet includes dark chocolate (as well as other ways to satisfy your sweet tooth) on the menu.
Dark leafy greens like spinach, kale, and collard greens are prime sources of lutein and zeaxanthin; plant compounds that may help bolster the skin’s natural defenses against sun damage. These anti-agers also help protect your eyes from the harmful effects of UV light.