Now it’s time for the fun part: all the good foods you can eat that will also protect you from aging. Some of these foods may seem unfamiliar to you, but that’s okay. Experiment with different ways of preparing them and you’ll open up a whole new world of culinary delights.
1. Turmeric: If you love Indian food, you’re in luck because this is one spice you’ll want to use a lot because it is packed with benefits. It is really great in any kind of food so stock up. Turmeric has been shown to help prevent cancer and also protects brain and skin cells from free radical damage. This means your concentration can improve and wrinkles will appear more slowly.
A 2013 study published in Cellular Physiology and Biochemistry stated that “Age-related cerebrovascular dysfunction contributes to stroke, cerebral amyloid angiopathy, cognitive decline and neurodegenerative diseases.” But, curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, after one month of use, showed promising results. “Curcumin treatment may be an effective therapeutic strategy to reverse age-related cerebrovascular dysfunction. Curcumin administration may represent a promising lifestyle intervention for preventing age-related cerebrovascular disturbances.“
If all that isn’t enough, turmeric has also been shown to be an anti-inflammatory. It improves blood circulation and acts as an anti-coagulant. What all this means is, if you have joint pain from arthritis or another disorder, turmeric can help with the pain. It also helps treat sprains, strains and bruises. With so many benefits, you can see why turmeric is listed as the number one anit-aging food.
2. Cruciferous Vegetables: Green cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, broccoli and Brussels sprouts have been found to help reduce the risk of memory loss contribute to bone health. They may also help prevent cancer. These benefits are due to green veggies being rich in folate, calcium and other vital nutrients.
3. Leafy Greens: Leafy greens like spinach and kale are rich in the antioxidants zinc, beta-carotene and vitamin C. These nutrients are shown to help protect against macular degeneration as you age. Spinach also contains lutein, a nutrient known to improve skin elasticity.
4. Pomegranates: A bowl of pomegranate seeds is reminiscent of a bowl of shimmering rubies, but you’ll find them valuable for keeping wrinkles at bay. Pomegranates are rich in vitamin C, powerful antioxidant that fights free radicals that damage your skin. Pomegranate juice contains both ellagic acid, a polyphenol compound that fights damage from free radicals, and punicalagin, a supernutrient that has been found to increase your body’s capacity to preserve collagen.
Pomegranates are best enjoyed as the whole fruit. That is, eat a cup of seeds each week instead of drinking the processed juice. Fruit juices are not as healthy as whole fruits because the sugars are more concentrated (giving you more sugar per serving than you need) and you lose the benefits of fruit fiber.
5. Berries: Cranberries, blackberries and blueberries all are rich in anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are antioxidant compounds that improve brain function and muscle tone. They may also slow certain types of cancer. They may also improve heart health and protect against obesity.
Anthocyanins can also be found in pomegranates, grapes and red onions. They are what give these foods their bright color. A bowl of mixed berries is a treat for sure, and your body will thank you.
6. Salmon: Salmon, and other cold water fish like tuna, sardines and mackerel, help keep your skin looking young and healthy because they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s strengthen cell membranes to moisture can’t escape. They also reduce inflammatory compounds that age your body faster.
7. Walnuts: Like salmon, walnuts and other nuts are rich in omega-3s. They are a good snack if you want to lose weight because they fill you up fast without eating very many. Nuts also have lots of minerals that make your immune system stronger. In addition, they aid in digestion, help balance cholesterol levels, and contribute to healthier looking skin. Research has shown that the omega-3s in walnuts may also reduce inflammation that leads to age-related dementia.
8. Tomatoes: Because they contain the antioxidant lycopene, tomatoes help keep your skin young. They may also reduce the risk of heart disease and some types of cancer.
9. Red Grapes: Another antioxidant rich food, red grapes have one called resveritol. In studies, resveritol extended the lives of lab animals. It also has anti-inflammatory and anticoagulant properties that contribute to a healthy heart. Enjoy the fruit or, on occasion, some grape juice or red wine.
10. Olive Oil: Olive oil has monounsaturated fat – that’s the good fat – that is found to reduce cognitive decline according to a study from the University Medical Center Utrecht in the Netherlands. This could be due to the anti-inflammatory effects of omega-3s which inhibits the synthesis of cytokines and mitogens, which slow cognitive function. So keep your brain sharp as you age by using olive oil in your foods.