A prolific poet once said, “The years start coming and they don’t stop coming.” Simple. Elegant. Wise. Aging is inevitable, but it is also a privilege. Given that many parts of modern life speed up the signs of aging, we’re just over here trying to do all we can to age gracefully and in good health. One of the best places to start: what we eat. In that vein, we put together this list of top anti-aging foods. We may not be able to poosh pause on the years that keep on coming, but we can fill our plates with these antioxidant-rich, collagen-boosting foods to support healthy aging from the inside out.
You avoca-don’t wanna miss out on the benefits of this beloved fruit. It’s packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which help regulate inflammation—and inflammation is a major contributor to aging on our outsides as well as our insides.
“As we age, we begin to lose concentration of collagen, elastic fibers, and fat underneath our tissues,” Neeyaz Zolfaghari, founder of Unspoken Nutrition, told us. “This usually results in the loss of skin elasticity, the ability to be stretched and bounce back to its original shape.” Luckily, omega-3s can also help increase collagen production and plump skin.
These nutritional powerhouses are small and mighty. Sprouts have a wide variety of nutrients and bioactive compounds and have been found to play an important role in warding off chronic diseases like diabetes and cancer. Plus, they offer major antioxidant benefits, thanks to their high contents of polyphenols and L-ascorbic acid.
All tea leaves are full of polyphenols (those super powerful antioxidants we talked about earlier), but matcha has a bit of a leg up. “Matcha is the only tea where you can ingest the leaf. Most teas are steeped and then thrown away. This is why you get so many benefits from matcha like detoxification, sustained energy and focus, and antioxidants galore,” wellness expert Stefani Beckerman told us.
Red bell pepper
Red bell peppers contain 153 milligrams of vitamin C per serving—yep, even more than oranges. Our bodies need vitamin C to make collagen. Collagen helps skin cells bind to one another, making skin stronger and more elastic.
Bring on the broccoli. This cruciferous veggie “contain[s] powerful antioxidants, fiber, and incredible substances that can help your body prevent disease,” certified nutritionist Serena Poon previously told Poosh. One such incredible substance in broccoli? Sulfur. According to Dr. Paul Jarrod Frank, cosmetic dermatologist, Chief Medical Officer, and founder of PFRANKMD, sulfur helps our bodies produce more glutathione, a super powerful antioxidant.
“You know how someone tells you that stress caused their gray hairs? They weren’t lying,” Cara Clark, clinical nutritionist, told us. You know what can help with that? The polyphenols in blueberries and other berries, which help fight stress and free radicals. Berries also contain collagen-boosting vitamin C.
If you haven’t grown out of your tomato-hating phase yet, now is the time to try. “Eating tomatoes is one of my favorite ways to care for my skin. Lycopene, a plant nutrient responsible for giving the red and pink pigment to foods such as tomatoes and watermelon, has been shown to suppress oxidative stress,” Shauna Faulisi, holistic nutritionist and wellness chef, told us. “Not only that, but it helps to prevent UVA and UVB damage caused from sun exposure. There’s a reason why these foods are plentiful in the sunny summer months! Nature is always supporting us.”
Boil them, mash them, or put them in a stew, because sweet potatoes are rich in carotenoids and beta carotene, both of which are turned into vitamin A by the liver. In addition to its potent antioxidant powers, vitamin A also helps our bodies regenerate tissue, like our skin.
These often-overlooked veggies contain nitric oxide, which helps to improve blood flow and oxygen throughout the body. Increased blood flow and oxygenation = more supple, youthful skin. Like tomatoes, beets also contain good-for-skin lycopene. And, ofc, beets are high in antioxidants.
Seems random, but beans are actually really good for your skin and overall health. They contain lots of protein and fiber, which help prevent blood sugar spikes. ”The more we spike, the faster we age. Crazy, but true. Every glucose spike accelerates a process called glycation in the body—which ages us internally and externally. When glycation attacks our collagen, we develop wrinkles,” Jessie Inchauspé, founder of @glucosegoddess, told us. Beans are, like the rest of the foods on this list, high in antioxidants.
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