Several things get better with age. For example, cheddar cheese and the unbelievably rich flavor of wine. But unfortunately, it’s not the same with your skin. As you grow old, your skin cells start to break down. You won’t believe it, but the first signs of aging start appearing from your mid-20s! Although you cannot reverse the aging process, luckily, you can slow it down and keep your skin young-looking for long. How? Through Nature’s best-kept secrets. And here, I have shared all those secrets with you. Read on!
Essential Nutrients That Keep You Young
Fresh and healthy food contains vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants that keep your cells active and prevent any age-related diseases. These nutrients fight the harmful free radicals that damage your skin, thus reducing the signs of aging drastically. The essential nutrients include:
- Amino Acids: Stimulate elastin and collagen production, giving the skin a wrinkle-free and smooth appearance (1).
- Carotenoids (Retinol, Beta-Carotene, Vitamin A): Fight the harmful free radicals. A study found that people with high level of carotenoids (antioxidants) in their system had younger-looking skin (2).
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids: They have anti-inflammatory properties, and their supplements have shown to slow down the aging process (3).
- Polyphenols: The consumption of polyphenols protects you from UV damage. They are potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agents and have anti-DNA damage effects (4).
- Vitamin D: This vitamin protects your skin cells from damage due to UV exposure, prevents skin infections, and has an anti-aging effect (5).
- Selenium: It boosts the antioxidant defenses of your skin, protects the skin cells from UV damage, and has anti-inflammatory effects (6).
- Vitamin C: It protects your skin against pollution and other environmental effects, boosts collagen production, and exhibits antioxidant properties (7).
- Vitamin E: It protects your skin from oxidative stress, thus preventing long-term damages such as wrinkles, edema, erythema, and thickening of the skin (8).
- Flavonoids: They prevent oxidative stress, thus preventing the signs of aging (9).
- Green Tea Polyphenols: The topical application or consumption of green tea polyphenols prevents damage due to UV rays and chemical carcinogens. The tea has anti-inflammatory properties that prevent antioxidant depletion on your skin (10).
You will find all these anti-aging nutrients and vitamins in certain food items. Here’s the list of top anti-aging foods for younger-looking skin.
35 Best Anti-Aging Foods that Make You Look Younger
Blueberries are rich in flavonoids such as myricetin, quercetin, and kaempferol. These are rich sources of vitamins C and K and other nutrients that have an anti-aging effect and prevent cell damage (12).
Avocado is one of the anti-aging superfoods with immense health benefits. It is rich in potassium, vitamins A, C, E, and K, and antioxidants that fight the effects of aging (13). Moreover, it’s good for your overall health.
The ruby red seeds of pomegranate contain important compounds such as vitamins C, D, E, and K along with selenium, magnesium, and proteins. All these compounds have an anti-aging effect and help your body fight diseases and the signs of aging.
Watermelon not only provides respite during hot and humid days, but it also protects your skin from premature aging. This fruit is rich in vitamins C, E, and K, selenium, calcium, manganese, potassium, protein, and carbohydrates (14).
Tomatoes contain lycopene. This is a non-provitamin A carotenoid that protects your skin from sun damage (15). Moreover, the skin of tomato has an anti-inflammatory effect on the human skin, and the flavonoids in the fruit slow down aging.
This fruit is packed with polyphenols and flavonoids that give it antioxidant properties. Figs prevent different types of oxidative stress, thus keeping your skin and system healthy (16).
These juicy red fruits are a powerhouse of essential micronutrients. They are loaded with phenolic compounds that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. They boost cellular metabolism and cell revival, preventing oxidative stress and slowing down the aging process (17).
Lemons and limes are excellent sources of vitamin C that helps in keeping your skin healthy and glowing. Vitamin C is an important antioxidant that protects your skin from the effects of free radicals. They also contain flavonoids that are good for the skin (18).
Broccoli is abundant in vitamins C and K1, potassium, folate, and other minerals. The high antioxidant content of this vegetable makes it the ultimate superfood that helps you fight the signs of aging (19), (20).
These crunchy and tasty vegetables are excellent sources of beta-carotene, potassium, and antioxidants. They aid weight loss and keep your skin healthy (21).
11. Red Cabbage
Compared to its green variant, red cabbage is higher in lutein, beta-carotene, and antioxidants. This not only keeps your system healthy but also slows down the aging process (22).
Spinach is an excellent source of vitamin A (it contain carotenoids), vitamin C (promotes skin health), folic acid (fosters cell function), and iron (keeps your tissues strong) (23). It is also rich in antioxidants that help you get younger-looking skin.
14. Sweet Potatoes
The presence of beta-carotene gives them their orange color. Sweet potatoes are rich in antioxidants and contain almost no fat, carbohydrates, and proteins. They also have anti-inflammatory properties (26), (27).
15. Chaga Mushrooms
They are also known as medicinal mushrooms as they contain high levels of antioxidants. They have anti-inflammatory properties and prevent cell damage and the effects of harmful free radicals (28).
16. Brussel Sprouts
They are exceptionally rich in vitamins C and K (29). While vitamin K is good for your bone health, vitamin C is an antioxidant that boosts your immunity and keeps your skin healthy. Brussel sprouts help reduce oxidative stress in your skin cells (30).
Also known as eggplant or aubergine, this purple vegetable is loaded with anthocyanins. These are a type of flavonoids that eliminate harmful free radicals from your body, keeping your skin youthful (31).
18. Green Tea
Green tea contains polyphenols that boost the production of keratinocytes, thus slowing down the aging process of your skin. Moreover, it reduces the extracellular matrix damage on your skin, thus eliminating wrinkles (32).
19. Red Wine
This is the latest weapon to include in your anti-aging arsenal. Red wine contains resveratrol, which mimics the benefits that you get with exercise and a low-calorie diet. It helps in rejuvenating your cells and slows down the aging process (33). More reason to say cheers!
20. Almond Milk (Fortified)
Almond milk has a high percentage of vitamin E. Just 28 grams of almond milk provides you with 37% of your daily requirement of vitamin E (34). It protects your skin from the damaging effects of free radicals. When fortified, almond milk also becomes a source of vitamin D and calcium (just as dairy milk).
Herbs and Spices
This medicinal spice is the answer to many health issues. And it also has anti-aging properties. Turmeric contains curcumin that can slow down oxidative damage and low-grade inflammation that contribute to aging (35). Both consumption and topical application of turmeric are good for your skin.
Parsley is not just for garnishing your food, but it also is a storehouse of vitamins A, C, K, B1, and B3. It is rich in flavonoids, especially luteolin, which prevents oxidative cell damage, keeping your skin glowing and healthy (36).
A study shows that garlic has antioxidant, antibacterial, and detoxification properties that have youth-preserving and anti-aging effects on your skin (37).
This aromatic herb inhibits the activity of tyrosinase and decreases melanogenesis (a process through which melanin is produced). This has an anti-aging effect. Moreover, it contains phenolic components such as monoterpenoids, kaempferol, and quercetin that inhibit melanogenesis (38).
Other Food Items
Astaxanthin is the compound that gives salmon its reddish hue. It not only prevents inflammation but also reduces oxidative stress, thus slowing down the signs of aging (39). Also, salmon is packed with selenium and is rich in omega-3 fatty acids (40).
26. Olive Oil
Extra virgin olive oil contains oleic acid that reduces the effect of C-reactive protein (41), (42). C-reactive protein is associated with age-related issues. It also impairs the cell regeneration process in your body (43). By reducing its effect, olive oil helps you stay young.
27. Collagen Protein
Collagen is the most important compound that helps you stay healthy and young. Marine collagen peptides protect your skin by improving the antioxidant levels in your body (44). It also helps in repairing and regenerating your skin. Collagen protein is often found in foods such as fish, vegetables, citrus fruits, etc.
28. Dark Chocolate
A study found that consuming dark chocolate prevents wrinkles and maintains skin elasticity and hydration levels. The flavanols present in dark chocolate prevent the damage caused by UV rays (45).
Be it soybeans, black beans, or any other type of beans – they are blessed with anti-aging properties. Beans (especially black beans) contain anthocyanins and isoflavones (46), (47). These compounds prevent skin aging and damage caused by UV rays, inflammation, and ROS (Reactive Oxygen Species) (48), (49).
High levels of inflammation speed up the aging process. Walnut contains gamma-tocopherols (a particular form of vitamin E) that have anti-inflammatory effects on your body. It also prevents cells damage caused by UV ray exposure (50), (51).
Maca root has tremendous health benefits. A study also found that when applied to the skin, maca extracts prevent skin damage caused by UV exposure (52). They contain polyphenol antioxidants that keep your skin healthy (53).
32. Sesame Seeds
Sesame seeds contain sesamin. This is a type of lignan (phytoestrogens) that has anti-aging effects on the skin (54).
33. Clarified Butter (Ghee)
Ghee is loaded with vitamins A, C, D, E, and K. It contains alpha-tocopherol that protects your skin from damage and keeps it youthful (55).
This is one of the most consumed fermented milk products. It is loaded with gut-friendly bacteria that act as probiotics. A study says that probiotics slow down both intrinsic and extrinsic aging and keep your skin glowing (56).
Oatmeal contains avenanthramide. This compound is only found in oats and is a strong antioxidant. It has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that help in slowing down aging (57).
Here is a quick recap of all the anti-aging superfoods for beautiful skin that should find a place on your plate:
They say, “beauty is only skin deep.” True that! When you eat well and enrich your body with nutrients, it shows on your face. Include all these superfoods in your diet, and you will not have to rely on anti-aging treatments and creams to look young.
Let me know what you think about this article. And if you think I missed something, feel free to drop a comment below.
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