“The secret of staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age.” ~ Lucille Ball
I often write about food from the perspective of weight loss and healthy eating, but food can influence so much more than just your waistline.
As my birthday is coming up this week, I got inspired to do a little research into foods that are great for anti-aging.
So in honor of being a little bit older, and hopefully wiser, here are 6 superfoods that may help you to live longer and look better…
Salmon, tuna, and mackerel, oh my! Consuming fish on a regular basis can make you look and feel younger. This is in large part due to the omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to lower risk of cardiovascular disease, support brain function, and to regulate mood. Even better, the same omega 3’s can also make your skin appear more youthful by helping to prevent wrinkles, increase hydration, and improve circulation.
Rejoice fellow chocolate lovers; a little bit of the delectable treat can be good for you. Cocoa contains a generous amount of flavanols. These powerful antioxidants work in the body to maintain healthy function of blood vessels. This helps to improve cardiovascular health, improve memory and cognition, and potentially lower the risk for high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.
The key to remember is the darker the better, as dark chocolate contains more of the pure cocoa. The high sugar and fat content in milk chocolate means that it will not be beneficial.
Regular consumption of nuts may just help you live longer. Nuts are a terrific plant source of protein, and they are rich in fiber, vitamin B, vitamin E, magnesium, and healthy antioxidants. These little treats can lower your risk of heart disease, reduce blood pressure, improve blood flow, and reduce body weight. Some of the very best options are almonds, walnuts (super high in omega-3 fatty acids), pistachios, hazelnuts, and pecans.
Berries are a wonderful (and delicious) source of antioxidants and vitamins. These antioxidants can reduce the inflammation, which contributes to many age related diseases. They also slow down the aging process by reducing free radical damage. Keep in mind – while all berries have some benefit – the darker in color, they more powerful they will be. In general, blueberries top the list as the most bang for your nutritional buck.
Many cultures (no pun intended) throughout history have considered yogurt to be restorative and health enhancing. Yogurt contains a number of beneficial nutrients including protein, potassium, and magnesium. It is also, of course, a great source of calcium, which we know is important for bone health and preventing osteoporosis. The real health secret of yogurt however, may be its live cultures. These probiotics help to regulate digestive health and may play a very important role in immunity.
Additionally, plain yogurt can be used on the skin for a rejuvenating mask.
The monounsaturated fats in olive oil are known to lower the rate of heart disease when used as a regular part of the diet. It also helps to lower bad (LDL) cholesterol and raise the levels of good (HDL) cholesterol. Also it is another great source for omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids.
Not only that, but many people swear by using it directly on the skin for moisturizing and reducing the signs of aging.
Here is a link to a Dr. Oz Video to find out more about all of the benefits of olive oil: