According to the National Institute on Aging, aging is associated with changes in dynamic biological, physiological, environmental, psychological, behavioral, and social processes.
Some age-related changes can lead to declines in function of the senses and activities of daily life and increased susceptibility to and frequency of disease, frailty, or disability.
Aging is a natural process, and try as we may, there is no escaping its inevitable repercussions. Even though there is no fountain of youth that we can drink from to set off this ticking clock and no magic spell to cast away the shadow of advancing age, the overwhelming wish to look young and stay healthy forever still remains.
Most of us are willing to try every trick in the book, from unconventional diets and strenuous workouts to radical skincare products, to fulfill our aspirations for eternal youth and to look and feel our best regardless of our age.
10 Anti-Aging Foods to Stay Young Backed by Science
10.Red Bell Pepper
Red bell peppers are loaded with antioxidants that offer anti-aging benefits. In addition to their high content of vitamin, C-which is good for collagen production-red bell peppers to contain powerful antioxidants called carotenoids, such as alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein, cryptoxanthin, and zeaxanthin.
Carotenoids are plant pigments responsible for the bright red, yellow, and orange colors you see in many fruits and vegetables. Orange pepper was found to exhibit the highest concentration of zeaxanthin among all other varieties.
A tomato a day can reverse the effects of aging. Lycopene is the major carotenoid of tomato and can be credited with a number of favorable antiaging benefits.
Lycopene protects the skin from harmful free radicals and acts as a natural sunblock that shields the skin from UV damage, thereby diminishing the occurrence and appearance of sun spots, dryness, and wrinkles.
A 2001 study published in the Journal of Nutrition demonstrates that it is feasible to achieve protection against UV light-induced erythema in humans by ingestion of a commonly consumed dietary source of lycopene such as tomato paste, Also, a tomato-rich diet boosts the production of collagen, the protein that keeps skin supple by preserving its strength and elasticity.
Tomatoes also have the ability to cut cholesterol, prevent heart disease, and ward off a range of cancers.
Dark chocolate is a superfood. It is loaded with antioxidants that help protect your body from free radicals, which cause oxidative damage to cells. Free radicals can speed up the aging process and also cause different types of cancer.
The cocoa present in dark chocolate has flavanols that encourage blood vessels to relax, keeping them youthful, supple, and pliable. This, in turn, lowers risk of high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, kidney disease, and dementia.
Olive oil is high in antioxidants, including vitamins A and E. While vitamin A protects the skin from free radicals responsible for accelerating the aging process, vitamin E aids in skin repair and renewal.
Olive oil has strong anti-inflammatory effects on the skin and may protect it from sun damage. A 2014 study published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology reports that olive oil has antioxidant properties and may play a role in the treatment and prevention of photoaging.
Broccoli, among other cruciferous vegetables, can significantly slow down the aging process as it boasts high levels of antioxidants and an impressive number of anti-aging nutrients.
This superfood contains the compounds sulforaphane and indoles, which help protect against oxidative stress-induced cell damage and might even mitigate the risk of cancer.
A 2008 study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology shows that sulforaphane, a chemical in broccoli, switches on a set of antioxidant genes and enzymes in specific immune cells, which then combat the injurious effects of molecules known as free radicals that can damage cells and lead to diseases.
Salmon is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids and hence can be used to delay the aging process. Omega-3 fatty acids help prevent cholesterol buildup in the arteries, protect against abnormal heart rhythms, and keep you mentally sharp as you age.
A 2008 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports that modest fish consumption was associated with a lower risk of total cardiovascular disease, consistent with cardiac mortality benefits but not with total cancer or overall major chronic disease; n-6 fatty acid consumption did not influence these relations,
Green tea is a commonly used ingredient for the manufacture of a host of beauty products due to its powerful antioxidant properties, which help protect the skin from harmful free radicals that cause wrinkling, brown spots, and skin aging.
These antioxidants can slow down premature aging and help keep your skin looking young and supple by reversing free radical-induced cellular damage. This healthy beverage also helps protect against skin cancer.
The phenomenal success of green tea as a skin-friendly beverage can be attributed to its rich content of catechin polyphenols, compounds that work with other chemicals to increase fat oxidation to utilize the burnt fat as fuel for the body.
Spinach is highly rich in antioxidants. A 2013 report published in Food Analytical Methods found spinach to have an exceptionally high total polyphenol and flavonoid content.
Spinach is a great source of lutein and zeaxanthin, two powerful antioxidants that greatly help reduce age-related mental decline, eye and vision conditions, and bone degeneration.
A 2014 study published in Preventive Nutrition and Food Science found that increased consumption of fresh vegetables that are high in polyphenols such as spinach has been associated with a reduced risk of oxidative stress-induced disease.
Antioxidants possess some significant age-defying prowess, and lucky for you, the readily available and scrumptious blueberries can give you more than your fill of these potent compounds.
The main antioxidant compounds in blueberries belong to a large family of polyphenols called flavonoids. Blueberries have perhaps one of the highest concentrations of proanthocyanins and anthocyanins, which can be credited with their strong antioxidant activities. The antioxidants work as free radical scavengers and help combat and repair the age-related oxidative damage caused by the free radicals, which is often at the root of several serious diseases and premature aging.
Replete with polyunsaturated fats, the omega-3 fatty acid content of walnuts is so high that 1/4 cup of this superfood provides approximately 113 percent of the daily recommended intake of omega-3 fatty acids.
These essential fatty acids help regulate your cholesterol level and reduce the risk of heart disease. These phytochemicals also help mitigate the inflammatory pressure on your brain and thereby preserve and promote cognitive activity for years to come.
Moreover, walnuts are a godsend for your age-related skin woes; their inherent omega-3 fatty acids help fortify the skin from sun damage, strengthen skin cell membranes, and impart the skin with a healthy glow by preserving its natural oil barrier.