Imagine eternal youth.
While most of us wish we could find the ever-enchanting fountain of youth, dive into its healing waters and be cured of inevitable aging, it’s unlikely that’ll ever happen.
But the good news is there are ways to help preserve that youthful look by proper diet and exercise!
Exercise has been proven to help slow down the aging process of cells. How? As we age, telomeres, or the caps at the end of our chromosomes that control aging, begin becoming shorter. The longer the telomere, the stronger its association with longevity.1
Studies have shown that regular exercise helps increase the length of telomeres, which suggests that exercise could be the practical “fountain of youth” for those looking to increase their chances of looking younger and living longer.2
However, the secret to staying young isn’t just found in the gym.
Check out this list of 11 foods that may help turn back the clock on Father Time and keep you looking (and feeling) young.
There is a reason why more centenarians are found in Okinawa than any other place in the world – and it’s the fact that they drink green tea every day! Or at least that’s what the experts think. See, green tea has been proven to have quality effects on your body inside and out.
Here’s how: polyphenols, a type of micronutrient found in green tea, “blocks something called VEGF, a signaling molecule in the body that triggers plaque buildup in the arteries that can lead to heart attacks, stroke, and vascular disease.”3 It’s like a cleaning solution for our bodies’ blood pipes!
As for how green tea affects our bodies on the outside, it can help fight inflammation by improving your skin’s elasticity, which means fewer wrinkles!4
Check out how you can add more green tea to your life, here.5
Before thinking there is no way alcohol could be on this list, check out the reasoning behind why it made the cut –
Red wine, in moderation, has been shown to host numerous health benefits, including protecting against heart disease, type-2 diabetes, cancers and age-related memory loss.6
It’s also been shown to help with brain damage after a stroke, reducing the risk of depression, preventing vision loss, amongst others. (Check out the full list here.)7
As far as cellular aging is concerned, “red wine contains resveratrol, a compound that likely contributes to its benefits—and, according to animal studies, may activate genes that slow cellular aging.”8
Alternative Tip: If you’re not much of a wine drinker, resveratrol can be found in alternative non-alcoholic sources, such as grapes and berries!
Wrinkles, beware! Olive oil is packed with omega-3s which help keep the skin safe from free radical damage, and antioxidants from the olives may also help reduce skin damage, which leads to wrinkles and blemishes that no one wants.9
If olive oil isn’t already a cooking staple in your home, you may want to try giving it a shot as it is considered a “healthy fat” and is better for heart health than its counterparts.
Just like olive oil, salmon is also rich in omega-3s, which helps the skin defend itself against UV damage.10 Noticing a trend here? More omega-3s equals less possible wrinkle damage, but that’s not the only reason why salmon could be an added benefit to your diet.
Vitamin D is also found in this heart-healthy freshwater fish, which is known to help with maintaining healthy teeth and bones.
And it doesn’t stop there. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that “people who ate a little more than 5-ounces of omega-3 rich fish per week decreased the development of pre-cancerous skin lesions by nearly 30 percent.”11
Salmon sushi is starting to sound pretty good right about now.
It’s obvious that skin is one of the number one indicators of age. Fine lines, wrinkles, sun damage and tiredness will reveal your age faster than pulling out your driver’s license.
So, what’s a trick to help turn back time? Grapefruit. This citrus savior is a miracle for your skin.
This is because “each half [of a grapefruit] contains 59 percent of your daily value of vitamin C, which is essential for the protection of skin cells.”12 Vitamin C is also linked to the creation of collagen, which helps with skin elasticity. The smoother the skin, the more youthful the look.
Therefore, next time you’re looking for a healthy snack you may want to gobble up a grapefruit.
Sometimes the best presents really do come in small packages. Blueberries are a powerful antioxidant which can help protect against free radicals, which age and damage hair and nails.13
Blueberries are also bursting with fiber, vitamin C, cancer-fighting compounds, and may help improve memory.14
Check out our list of additional superfoods here.
Yes, dark chocolate made the list and that’s because its high flavanol content that may help protect against sun damage – but that’s just the start of it.
Dark chocolate/cocoa is said to have a higher antioxidant profile than acai berries, blueberries or cranberries!15
Healthline stated, “Research suggests it may reduce blood pressure, increase insulin sensitivity and improve arterial function and elasticity.”16 Just don’t forget that it’s all about moderation! Consuming an entire candy bar of dark chocolate isn’t recommended.
When mom said you should eat your veggies, she was just looking out for your health.
While different veggies help the body in different ways, vegetables in general help provide skin protection and may help prevent that pesky free radical damage to the bodies skin. Antioxidants help with this.17
Find out the best way to cook veggies to retain the most nutrients, here!
Pomegranates just might be your new favorite fruit. Boasting with more antioxidants than green tea18 (we couldn’t believe it either!), pomegranates also “decrease inflammation, help prevent damage from high blood sugar levels and may improve outcomes in patients with colon cancer”19, not to mention help protect the skin from sun damage.
Why are tomatoes important? Because they are high in lycopene – but what is lycopene, and why does this matter? Lycopene is a type of carotenoid, which is basically just a fancy way of saying that it’s really good for you.
The lycopene found in tomatoes helps reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, prostate cancer, and guess what else? Damaging sun rays – just another way to help prevent skin damage!20
A study done in post-menopausal women who ate a mixture of foods high in lycopene showed a measurable decrease in wrinkle depth just after 15 weeks!21
Health Tip: If you’re looking to increase the amount of lycopene being absorbed by the body, cook your tomatoes in olive oil!22
Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. Bone broth has become a popular way for the health-conscious to add collagen to their diets, along with beneficial minerals.
When bones taken from animal products (i.e. beef, poultry, or fish) are cooked for an extended amount of time, collagen from the bones is broken down into gelatin, which is rich in amino acids.
Our bodies can absorb the amino acids and use them to form new collagen in our skin. Collagen helps with “skin elasticity, moisture, and firmness while reducing wrinkles.”23
While it may not be a drink from the Fountain of Youth, this anti-aging bone elixir could help reduce the appearance of aging.