You truly are what you eat. So why not rely on foods that are both yummy and fantastic for your health? Foods that are packed with nutrients help you stay younger-looking longer. And their great flavor will have you looking happy, as well.
Age-fighting foods for breakfast, lunch, or dinner
Filled with the healthy monounsaturated fat your skin needs, avocado is also high in vitamin E. "Not only does vitamin E ease dry skin," Prevention reports, "but studies also show it may reduce free radicals and protect against damaging UV rays." Holy guacamole! That's a potent dip.
A complex carbohydrate, oats don’t spike your blood sugar like refined breads, rice, and pasta can. That's because they're low-glycemic. High-glycemic foods are also known to cause acne and wrinkles. Oats also have a natural plant chemical that helps to prevent damage to skin cells and soothes skin irritation.
A great way to get high-quality protein, lean meats — fish and chicken, especially — build collagen to keep your skin looking fresh. You should eat lean meats two or three times a week. If you’re a vegetarian, some sources of high quality protein include tofu, eggs, and beans.
An excellent source of vitamins A and C and folate, Brussels sprouts spur collagen and help to prevent sun damage.
Packed with polyphenol antioxidants, pomegranates fight free radicals and regulate skin’s blood flow, making it look rosy. One pomegranate or a few glasses of juice daily should do the trick. When applied to skin, the fruits’ antioxidants help smooth lines and moisturize. Pomegranate seed oil, in particular, has been found to help promote regeneration of skin cells, reducing the visible effects of aging on your skin.
High in skin-healing zinc, kidney beans are also packed with protein, fiber, folate, magnesium, potassium, and flavonoids. In fact, kidney beans contain more health-promoting proanthocyanidins than blueberries and cranberries.
Age-fighting snacks when you're on the go
Full of omega-3 essential fatty acids, nuts — walnuts in particular — help your cholesterol levels, digestion, and immunity, thanks to their rich mineral content. And the fat and calories in them don't promote weight gain. This is because nuts are filling; most people feel satisfied and full after eating just a handful.
Wonderful for hydration, oranges are also an excellent source of vitamin C. Vitamin C builds collagen, keeping your skin firm and supple.
Packed with antioxidants that save cells from premature aging, such berries as
also fight short-term memory loss and can restore some balance and coordination. Blueberries in particular also help prevent cancer and other serious diseases. And they're loaded with vitamin C, a nutrient that as Yahoo! Style reports, "plumps and strengthens aging skin, leaving it oh-so smooth."
Great for hydrating and firming your skin, dark chocolate also contains high levels of antioxidant flavonols. In fact, dark chocolate has been found to have nearly twice the antioxidant content of red wine, and up to three times that of green tea. If you want lots of flavonols, eat chocolate that’s at least 70 percent cacao. "The latest evidence suggests that cocoa flavanols (more predominant in dark chocolate than milky versions) may lower inflammation, keep blood pressure in check, prevent platelets from clotting (which could, in turn, prevent strokes and heart attacks), and boost brain power," WebMD reports. All you need is a few squares a day to improve your skin's glow.
Hassle-free health and youthfulness
If these foods sound too complicated to incorporate into your diet right now, don’t worry. The easiest move you can make is to add more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to your daily menu. Most have no fat, cholesterol, or sodium, and they’re low in calories. What you do get is lots of fiber, calcium, iron, magnesium, and vitamins, which all play a part in keeping you functioning at your best.
Boost your intake of of age-fighting nutrients with this tasty and simple Brussels sprouts recipe:
CRISP ROASTED BRUSSELS SPROUTS
Prep time: 10 min
Total time: 35-40 min
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for the pans
- 2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and thinly sliced 3 to 4 garlic cloves, minced
- Salt and a goodly grind of black pepper
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- Preheat the oven to 450°F. Oil 2 baking sheets with olive oil.
- Combine the Brussels sprouts, garlic, 3 tablespoons olive oil, and a sprinkle of salt in a large bowl and toss to thoroughly coat. (Use your hands to knead it all together; the olive oil will keep them youthful looking.)
- Arrange the sprouts in a thin layer on the baking sheets and bake, flipping once or twice, until the edges are crispy and golden, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl, add the lemon juice and toss. Season with more salt and pepper and fall in love with Brussels sprouts.