Aging happens to everybody, but one of the keys to aging gracefully is eating healthy. “What you eat makes a huge difference in how you age and how you feel,” dietician Manuel Villacorta told WebMD.
In fact, even your skin will look younger if you eat right, says Allison T. Pontius, M.D., an expert in anti-aging and regenerative medicine at Williams Center for Plastic Surgery in the U.S. And who doesn’t want that? So say no to junk food, and pile up your plate with these healthy, anti-aging eats.
1. Colorful fruit Tomatoes, eggplants, blueberries, blackberries, and other colorful fruits are packed with antioxidants. These help combat free radicals that damage healty cells and suppress the immune system. Lycopene, found in tomatoes, for example, helps protect against some cancers. Resveratrol, found in grapes, may help lower your odds of getting a heart disease.
2. Leafy green vegetables Dark green leafy vegetables, like spinach and kangkong, are rich in vitamin C, zinc and beta-carotene. These can help protect your eyesight from macular degeneration, the leading cause of vision impairment and blindness in the elderly.
Plus, vitamin C can also boost the immune system and can even keep skin younger-looking. A study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people whose diets consisted of yellow and green vegetables were less prone to wrinkles, possibly a result of the production of collagen thanks to the nutrients from the vegetables.
3. Fish Seafood should be a regular part of everyone’s diet. The Food and Drug Association (FDA) in the U.S. are even encouraging pregnant women and kids to eat more of it (if you're wary of mercury, go for salmon, tilapia, and canned light tuna, which have less mercury content). Why? Because it’s rich in nutrients, specifically omega-3 fatty acids and DHA. Omega-3 fatty, in particular, have many anti-aging benefits. They protect the heart from diseases, lower the chances of stoke, and research suggests it may even help guard against Alzheimer’s disease.
4. Milk Milk isn’t just for kids. The calcium and fortified vitamin D in dairy are crucial to strong bones. This is important as you start to age and lose bone mass, making bones weaker and more brittle. Dairy foods provide the calcium your bones are losing and prevent against problems like osteoporosis. Women after menopause are especially advised to get enough calcium and vitamin D in their diet.
5. Whole grain and nuts Oats, wheat, brown rice, corn and other whole grains are rich in fiber. Fiber can lower your chances of developing type 2 diabetes and keep your blood vessels in peak condition. Nuts, on the other hand, have great anti-aging properties that keep the skin healthy and fight inflammation that have been link to major diseases like cancer, heart disease, arthritis and depression, according to the Harvard Medical School.