By Sarah Axtell, ND • March 18, 2016
Today we are inundated with anti-aging quick-fixes, such as botox, fillers, and anti-aging topical serums. But truly a radiant, youthful and glowy complexion starts in the kitchen. And most importantly these foods have disease-fighting antioxidants to prevent disease and ultimately lengthen your lifespan.
Top Anti-Aging Superfoods
1.Green leafy vegetables– Aim for 2 servings a day of dark green leafy vegetables, such as collard greens, spinach, rainbow chard, kale or arugula. The deeper the color, the higher the antioxidant content. Sunlight can cause unstable free radicals to wreak havoc on your skin, resulting in dark spots and wrinkles. The antioxidants found in greens help neutralize this free radical assault on your skin.
2.Wild caught salmon– Salmon is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are inflammation busters. Inflammation is at the root cause of most chronic diseases. If you suffer from pain in your joints or redness in your skin (ie. Rosacea, acne), you are likely inflamed and could benefit from eating salmon a few times a week and/or taking a fish oil supplement.
3.Avocados– Avocados are one of the best sources of monounsaturated fats. These fats keep your skin looking supple and glowy. Avocados are also a good source of vitamin E and biotin, two nutrients essential for healthy skin.
4.Green tea– Green tea is the #1 anti-aging beverage. Research has indicated that green tea is protective against cancer, heart disease, osteoporosis and it aids in weight loss. Green tea is high in catechins, a particular antioxidant that has been shown to be effective against skin inflammation and cancerous changes in the skin. Matcha green tea is the most concentrated source of these antioxidants.
5.Eggs– Eggs are a complete source of collagen-building amino acids. Women that do not get enough protein can develop rough, sallow skin. Aim for 20 grams protein with each meal or 60 grams total per day.
6.Eggplant– The purple pigment in eggplant is due to anthocyanins, which are antioxidants that combat free-radicals and damage from UV rays. Eggplant has also been referred to as a “brain food” because the anthocyanins help protect the lipids (fats) in brain cell membranes.
7.Brazil nuts– These super-nuts contain selenium, which is a mineral that aids in the production of glutathione. Glutathione repairs cell damage and thus the aging process. Aim for 5 brazil nuts per day.
8.Cacao– Dark chocolate is rich in flavonoids. Aim for 80% cacao content or higher in your dark chocolate bar. Or even better add 100% cacao nibs or cacao powder to smoothies or baked goods to reap the benefit of chocolate without the sugar.
9.Ruby red grapefruit– The vitamin C found in grapefruit is an antioxidant that fights off the damage caused by chemicals and toxins that accelerate aging, such as sun exposure, tobacco, pollution and stress hormones. Ruby red grapefruit not only contains vitamin C but also contains lycopene, a pigment that gives the fruit its red color. Lycopene is a potent anti-cancer compound.
10.Blueberries– One serving of these deeply pigmented berries provide more antioxidants than most fruits and vegetables. Antioxidants fight free radicals that accelerate aging.
Other Tips for Graceful Aging
- Avoid smoking.
- Limit alcoholic beverages to no more than 4 drinks per week. Your best bet is red wine, which is high in antioxidants.
- Drink 1/2 your body weight in ounces of water. If you weight 150 lbs, for example, drink 75 ounces water per day.
- Break a light sweat at least 4 days a week to encourage detoxification. Exercise and saunas are highly recommended.
- Wear a hat and protective clothing while in the sun.
- Avoid gluten.
- Avoid sugar.
- Minimize grilling your food. Avoid smoked meats. Grilled, charred and smoked meats are high in advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs), which accelerate aging.
Editor’s Note: The information in this article is intended for your educational use only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health practitioners with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health program.