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35 Best Anti-Aging Foods For Younger-looking Skin

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35 Best Anti-Aging Foods For Younger-looking Skin September 20, 2018

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

Fruits

1. Blueberries

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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).

How To Have It?

Add fresh blueberries to your smoothies to get its full benefits.

2. Avocado

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.

How To Have It?

You can mash avocados and use it as a spread for your toast or simply slice it and add to your daily salad.

3. Pomegranates

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.

How To Have It?

Add pomegranate to your smoothies and salads for that extra crunch or you can eat it as it is.

4. Watermelon

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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).

How To Have It?

There are many ways to consume this summer fruit but you can simply slice it or cut it in chunks, sprinkle some pepper and eat.

5. Tomatoes

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.

How To Have It?

Tomatoes can be added to your curries, pasta, salads to give that flavorful zing to your dish.

6. Figs

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).

How To Have It?

Make fig tarts, slice it and add to your pizza or fruit salad -there are plenty of ways to consume figs.

7. Strawberries

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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).

How To Have It?

Who doesn’t love strawberries! Strawberry in your salads, smoothies, tarts, and cake toppings – there is no dearth of choices.

8. Lemons

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).

How To Have It?

When life gives you lemons, you can make lemon juice, lemon tarts, sprinkle it on your salads or grills, or just add to your fresh fruit bowl for an extra zing.

Vegetables

9. Broccoli

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).

How To Have It?

Probably the best way to have broccoli is by steaming it and then adding a bit of salt, olive oil, and vinegar. You can even roast it and eat it.

10. Carrots

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These crunchy and tasty vegetables are excellent sources of beta-carotene, potassium, and antioxidants. They aid weight loss and keep your skin healthy (21).

How To Have It?

Carrots can be eaten raw or you can juice it, add in your stir-fry and salads and then have it.

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).

How To Have It?

Red cabbage is easy to prepare. Raw red cabbage can be used in salads. You can make pickles with red cabbage or try something unique like making potato and cabbage hash.

12. Spinach

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.

How To Have It?

Saute spinach leaves with olive oil and a bit of garlic or stir-fry it with a bit of low-fat cream cheese. The simplest way to consume spinach is by adding a few leaves to your smoothie and blend it.

13. Cucumber

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It contains 96% water and is rich in antioxidants that reduce oxidative stress in your body. It also contains tannins and flavonoids that block the harmful free radicals (24), (25).

How To Have It?

Sliced cucumbers with a hint of pepper, salt, and lemon are extremely refreshing on a hot summer day.

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).

How To Have It?

To eat sweet potatoes, you can cut it in chunks and then boil it or simply roast unpeeled sweet potato and then have it with a bit of herb and olive oil.

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).

How To Have It?

It’s a bit difficult for humans to digest raw chaga mushrooms. So, the best way to consume it is by using a chaga mushroom extract (which you can easily buy) and then mix a few drops with your regular tea or juice.

16. Brussel Sprouts

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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).

How To Have It?

You can simply roast brussels sprout with salt and pepper or blanch it then stir fry it with onion and garlic. Or simply steam it, add a bit of lemon juice, pepper, salt, and feta cheese, and relish!

17. Brinjal

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).

How To Have It?

Brinjals can be eaten in many ways. Make a dip with them (Baba Ghanoush), roast it and savour with a bit of salt, pepper, and chopped onions, or just fry it in a bit of mustard oil.

Beverages

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).

How To Have It?

Early morning is the best time to drink green tea. However, make sure you are not having green tea more than thrice a day.

19. Red Wine

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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!

How To Have It?

A glass a day of this healthy drink is fine for your health. However, too much of it can be equally bad for you.

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).

How To Have It?

Almond milk is one of the best substitutes for those who want to avoid dairy. Make smoothies or simply drink it minus any sugar or added flavors.

Herbs and Spices

21. Turmeric

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.

How To Have It?

Turmeric is widely used in Indian cuisines. A Pinch of turmeric in your daily fries, veggies, and a glass of milk is very healthy.

22. Parsley

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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).

How To Have It?

Drizzle it in your salad bowl or toss a handful of this herb in your pasta or just add it in your smoothie – parsley can be consumed in multiple ways.

23. Garlic

A study shows that garlic has antioxidant, antibacterial, and detoxification properties that have youth-preserving and anti-aging effects on your skin (37).

How To Have It?

The best way to have garlic is raw (chop it and swallow it with your favorite drink). However, garlic delivers a pungent and spicy flavor to your roasts and stir fries.

24. Saffron

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).

How To Have It?

The best way to consume saffron is by soaking a few strands in milk and then drink that saffron milk.

Other Food Items

25. Salmon

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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).

How To Have It?

You can have salmon grilled or baked or broil it with spices and butter.

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.

How To Have It?

Mix olive oil in your salad dressing or use it in the marinades and sauces or simply used it as dips instead of mayo or butter.

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.

How To Have It?

Simply add the food items rich in collagen protein in  your diet or you can even get collagen protein supplements in the market.

28. Dark Chocolate

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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).

How To Have It?

Use dark chocolate to garnish your cakes and morning bowl of cereals and oatmeal. And if the bitterness doesn’t bother you, eat it as it is.

29. Beans

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).

How To Have It?

Add it to the hummus to give it a fun twist, cook black beans with quinoa or make a healthy veggie and bean soup – you can eat beans in any way you want.

30. Walnut

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).

How To Have It?

The best way to have walnut is to roast it and have as your mid-day snack. If you want, you can chop some and use it to garnish your cakes, cereal bowls, and cookies.

31. Maca

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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).

How To Have It?

If you have got maca powder you can add a teaspoon to your morning coffee or put some in your smoothie. That’s it!

32. Sesame Seeds

Sesame seeds contain sesamin. This is a type of lignan (phytoestrogens) that has anti-aging effects on the skin (54).

How To Have It?

Chewing raw sesame seed in the morning is good for health. You can consume sesame seed oil. And if you have a sweet tooth then roast sesame seed, mix it in jaggery and roll them into small balls.

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).

How To Have It?

Ghee is extensively used in Indian cuisine. You can use ghee for sauteing, use it on your baked goodies instead of butter or simply use it instead of oil for cooking.

34. Yogurt

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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).

How To Have It?

You can eat plain yogurt or blitz it a bit with your favourite fruit to add some flavor. Yogurt can be used as a dip or as salad dressing in place of mayonnaise.

35. Oatmeal

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).

How To Have It?

Start your day with a bowl of oatmeal and warm milk or mix it with  a bit of yogurt, dried fruits, and sliced fresh fruits and turn it into yummy muesli.

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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