Aging is an unavoidable part of our lives. We must all experience that phase.
But do you know that it is possible to age well, both on the inside and out?
Yes! And in this article, we will examine 10 important foods that can help you look younger, and by 10 years at that.
Here you go…
Extra virgin olive oil
Extra virgin olive oil is a very healthy fat – in fact, one of the healthiest on the planet.
Nutritional studies have shown that extra virgin olive oil is capable of preventing most common diseases associated with aging.
Olive oil has a glowing effect on the skin. It helps the skin to look younger. Studies involving animals have shown that olive oil has very potent anti-inflammatory effects, and also protects your skin from the sun’s damaging effects (5).
Also, studies have shown that no less than 73% of olive oil is made up of monounsaturated fat, and monounsaturated fat increases the firmness and elasticity of the skin (6).
Two studies analyzed questionnaires and food records submitted by older and middle-aged adults. According to the analysis, adults who consumed more olive oil had very low chances of experiencing severe sun damage (7, 8).
Green tea is loaded with antioxidants. And antioxidants offer a protective effect against free radicals.
Free radicals are highly unstable byproducts of metabolism. They are also produced by your body during stressful periods. However, when you eat foods that are rich in antioxidants, these antioxidants alter the structure of the free radicals such that they can no longer cause damage.
Green tea contains a large amount of polyphenols. Polyphenol antioxidants have anti-diabetic effects and anti-inflammatory effects. They can also fight against heart disease and insulin resistance (9, 10, 11).
A particular study involving women with sun-damaged skin found that 8-week treatment with green tea supplement and cream improved their skin elasticity modestly (15).
Fatty fish helps slow down aging.
One of the most well-known fatty fish is salmon. Salmon contains astaxanthin, a carotenoid antioxidant that maintains the young look of your skin. This antioxidant is also responsible for the characteristic pink color of salmon.
Participants in a particular study whose skin was damaged by the sun were treated with collagen and astaxanthin for 12 weeks. Their skin hydration and elasticity improved significantly (21).
Dark chocolate has a very rich antioxidant profile. Its antioxidant profile is even richer than blueberries, cranberries, and acai berries (22).
Chocolate also contains a lot of flavanols. Flavanols are a kind of antioxidant. They protect your skin from sunburn. However, different chocolates contain varying amounts of flavanols (25).
A particular study found that dark chocolate was richer in flavanol and helped people stay longer under the sun before their skin turned red. However, this did not happen in people who took chocolate that contained very little flavanol (26).
Other studies compared the effect of low- and high-flavanol cocoa on the skin. Results from the study showed that those who ate high-flavanol cocoa had better blood flow to the skin. The smoothness, hydration, and thickness of their skin also improved significantly (27, 28).
Note that more cocoa translates to more flavanol. So, you’re better off eating dark chocolate that contains no less than 70% cocoa solids.
Vegetables are rich in nutrients but very low in calories.
Vegetables also contain plenty of beta carotene, a type of carotenoid. These nutrients protect against the damaging effect of free radicals and sun radiation. Both factors can cause your skin to age (32, 33).
Foods that are richest in beta carotene include sweet potatoes, pumpkin, and carrots.
Vegetables are also excellent sources of vitamin C. Vitamin C plays an important role in collagen production. It also has very potent antioxidant effects.
A particular study found that administering 180 mg of vitamin C daily for a month (4 weeks), resulted in a 37% increase in the skin’s antioxidant activity (34).
Good sources of vitamin C include bell peppers, broccoli, leafy greens, and tomatoes.
The health benefits of flaxseeds are amazing.
Pomegranates are very healthy fruits. They are so healthy that some studies even suggest that their antioxidant activity is higher than that of green tea (43).
Researchers have also found that pomegranate can help repair damaged skin and boost the production of collagen as well (49).
Avocados contain fiber, heart-healthy fat, and plenty of vitamins and minerals that boost health (50).
They are also delicious and versatile.
Avocados contain polyhydroxylated fatty alcohols. These compounds have anti-inflammatory properties, can repair damaged DNA, and can also protect your skin from the sun’s damaging effects (51).
Other healthy foods that can help your skin to look younger include:
- Bone broth
Aging is an unavoidable phase of life. But then, eating the foods mentioned in this article can help you slow down the process, and maintain that young look.