As we age, the foods we eat can greatly affect our fitness, appearance, quality of life and risk of disease.
Our bodies rely on a variety of nutrients to support the natural aging process. Certain nutrients can help slow signs of aging, such as promoting healthy skin.
It’s important to remember that eating certain foods doesn’t make you noticeably younger, and nutrition is only one aspect of aging well.
Adding nutritionally healthy foods to your diet can help you look and feel your best as you age.
- healthy protein sources
- healthy fats
- foods rich in antioxidants
Here are 10 nutritious foods that support healthy aging:
1. Extra virgin olive oil
Extra virgin olive oil is one of the healthiest oils in the world. It is rich in healthy fats and antioxidants that help reduce inflammation and oxidative damage caused by an imbalance of free radicals in the body.
A diet rich in olive oil has been associated with a lower risk of chronic diseases, including:
- heart disease
- type 2 diabetes
- metabolic syndrome
- certain types of cancer
In particular, monounsaturated fats make up about 73% of olive oil. Some studies have found that a diet rich in monounsaturated fats can be attributed to the powerful anti-inflammatory effects of these healthy fats. Helps reduce skin agingdemonstrated that it could.
In fact, a 2012 study found that people who consumed a diet rich in monounsaturated fats from olive oil had a lower risk of serious skin aging.
Ideally, cold pressed extra virgin olive oilchoose it because it is higher in antioxidants and less processed than oils obtained by other methods.
2. Green tea
Green tea is high in antioxidants that can help fight free radicals in the body. Free radicals are unstable molecules formed as a byproduct of normal cell functioning. They can also occur in response to stress factors from the external environment, such as ultraviolet (UV) light or tobacco smoke. Free radicals can damage your cells if they are present at high levels. This is where antioxidants come into play. These molecules do not cause damage by stabilizing free radicals. You usually get antioxidants from your diet – just like green tea.
Green tea is particularly high in antioxidants called polyphenols. Specifically, it is high in epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), catechins, and gallic acid.
These can reduce your risks of:
- heart disease
- neurological decline
- premature aging
- other chronic diseases
The polyphenols found in green tea can help reduce external skin aging caused by environmental stressors such as sun and pollution by scavenging free radicals before they can damage the skin.
In fact, many skincare products contain green tea extract for its antioxidant and anti-aging properties.
3. Oily Fish
Oily fish is a highly nutritious food that can promote healthy skin. Long-chain omega-3 fats are beneficial against heart disease, inflammation, and many other problems. Also, research has shown that omega-3 fatty acids are linked to a strong skin barrier and can help reduce skin-damaging inflammation.
One of the most popular types of fatty fish, salmon has additional properties that can help support the health of your skin. First, it contains a carotenoid antioxidant called astaxanthin, which is responsible for salmon’s pink color.
In one study, people with sun-damaged skin consumed a combination of astaxanthin and collagen for 12 weeks. As a result, they experienced significant improvements in skin elasticity and hydration. However, although these results appear positive, it is unknown whether the effects are due to astaxanthin, collagen, or both.
Also, salmon and other fatty fish are high in protein, which is important to eat so your body can produce collagen and elastin. These two molecules are responsible for the strength, fullness and elasticity of the skin. Eating protein also promotes wound healing.
Finally, fish is high in selenium. This mineral and antioxidant plays a role in DNA synthesis and repair and can help reduce and prevent skin damage from UV light. Having adequate levels in the body can reduce the severity of skin conditions such as psoriasis.
4. Dark chocolate or cocoa
Dark chocolate is a rich source of polyphenols that act as antioxidants in the body. In particular, it contains flavanols that have been linked to numerous health benefits such as reduced risk.
- heart disease
- type 2 diabetes
Additionally, it is thought that a diet rich in flavanols and other antioxidants may help protect skin from sun damage and slow skin aging.
In a 24-week high-quality study, participants who consumed a flavanol-rich cocoa beverage experienced significant improvements in skin elasticity and facial wrinkles compared to the control group. While these results are promising, other studies have not observed dark chocolate benefits for skin appearance or aging.
Remember, the higher the cocoa content, the higher the flavanol content. So if you want to add dark chocolate to your diet, choose a variety with at least 70% cocoa and little added sugar.
Most vegetables are highly nutritious and low in calories. They contain antioxidants that help reduce the risk of heart disease, cataracts and some cancers.
Many vegetables are also high in carotenoids, such as beta carotene and lycopene. Some research suggests that a diet high in carotenoids may protect the skin against the sun’s UV rays, which are the main cause of premature skin aging.
Some of the best sources of beta carotene include:
- sweet potatoes
Many vegetables are also rich in vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant. Vitamin C also plays an important role in collagen production. Collagen is the basic building block of the skin, but its production begins to decline after the age of 25.
Vegetables with the highest vitamin C content include leafy greens, bell peppers, tomatoes, and broccoli. It’s important to eat vegetables of different colors, as each color represents different antioxidants that can benefit your skin and overall health.
Aim to eat at least two vegetables at every meal and always protect your skin by using sunscreen.
Flax seeds offer impressive health benefits. They contain lignans, a type of polyphenol that has antioxidant effects and may reduce your risk of developing a chronic disease such as heart disease and breast cancer.
They’re also a great source of omega-3 fatty acids called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Consuming a diet rich in omega-3 fats helps support a healthy skin membrane by helping your skin stay hydrated and plump.
High-quality studies from 2009 and 2011 found more moisture and smoother skin in women who consumed flaxseed or flaxseed oil for 12 weeks. However, more recent research is needed.
Like most fruits, pomegranates are packed with healthy nutrients. It is high in fiber, potassium and vitamin K, which help support a healthy heart. Likewise, they are rich in antioxidants such as flavonols, tannins, phenolic acids and lignans.
Some human and animal studies suggest that the antioxidants found in pomegranates may help support healthy skin aging by reducing UV skin damage and brown spots caused by sun exposure.
These antioxidants also help preserve the skin’s existing collagen and stimulate the skin to produce new collagen.
Foods that increase collagen production in the skin
Although more research is needed, pomegranate seeds and juice may provide a quick, nutritious source of antioxidants in the diet.
Avocados are rich in heart fats, fiber, and various vitamins and minerals essential for health. Its high monounsaturated fat content can help support healthy skin by supporting a healthy skin membrane, while its high antioxidant content can fight free radicals that damage and age skin.
One study showed that a diet rich in plant-based oils was linked to better skin health in older adults.
Given the delicious taste and versatility of avocados, adding them to your diet is an easy way to get some extra nutrients for healthy skin.
As a result; Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fats and antioxidants that help support a healthy skin membrane and prevent free radical damage that leads to aging.
Tomatoes provide many impressive health benefits, many of which can be attributed to their high lycopene content. Lycopene is a type of carotenoid that gives tomatoes their red color. It also acts as an antioxidant to help reduce the risk of chronic disease.
Studies in human skin samples show that lycopene may offer small amounts of protection from the sun’s harmful rays. But this protection is significantly lower than using sunscreen.
In one study, women who drank an antioxidant-rich beverage containing lycopene, soy isoflavones, fish oil, and vitamins C and E every day had a measurable reduction in wrinkle depth after 15 weeks. However, because the drink contains several other ingredients, the study cannot directly link lycopene to these skin benefits.
Pairing tomatoes with healthy oils, like olive oil or avocado, significantly increases the body’s absorption of lycopene.
10. Collagen Peptides
Collagen is the body’s most abundant protein. It is found in high amounts especially in the skin and joints. As we age, our bodies begin to break down collagen and produce it less effectively. This can lead to gradual signs of skin aging such as wrinkles and sagging skin.
While this process is inevitable and a natural part of aging, consuming foods that support collagen synthesis can help keep your skin healthy for longer. These include protein-rich foods and vitamin C.
Avoiding activities that accelerate collagen breakdown may also help. These activities include sunbathing and smoking.
Also, human studies have shown that consuming hydrolyzed collagen peptides, a smaller form of collagen that your body absorbs much more efficiently, can improve skin elasticity, moisture, and firmness while reducing wrinkles.
However, many studies do not take into account other lifestyle factors such as protein intake, overall diet, and smoking. Plus, the body uses protein from collagen wherever it’s needed, which doesn’t guarantee it will be used by the skin.
In conclusion, it seems that consuming a protein-rich diet is key to healthy skin. Focus on eating a protein-rich diet and then if you want to increase your intake even more collagen supplementforehead.
Healthy protein-rich foods that should be consumed regularly include:
- bean curd
- the fish
Try to include at least one protein, one healthy fat, and one or two vegetables per plate per meal to support healthy skin and aging.