Watch TV commercials or flip through any women's magazine, and you'll likely get bombarded with ads for anti-aging creams. While slathering on these lotions can help your skin stay in top shape, you'll also want to keep aging at bay from the inside out—with what you put on your plate. Before you get all bummed out about aging, let me tell you this is your chance to change how you age. The older I get, the happier I feel. At this point in my life (in my 30s!), I know what foods my body needs for fuel and how to keep it active with exercise. I show it plenty of self care and compassion, too. So is it so strange that my subjective age, the age that I feel, is lower than the age I actually am? Nope. I truly believe that treating your body with kindness and respect helps you age gracefully. Yup, you can get nourishment from nutrient-rich foods that will help your mind and eyes stay sharp. What you eat can even help your skin stay smooth and your hair stay shiny, too. How cool is that?! Wanting to fight the signs of aging and keep your skin elastic as much as possible? You need to know that what you're eating packs the biggest nutritional bang possible. That's why it's important to know the top anti-aging foods to help you stay and feel young. So read on, get an easy-to-follow anti-aging food list, plus a primer on anti-aging nutrition and how eating the right foods will help you look younger.
When it comes to taking care of your mind and body, there's so much you can do—including what you do for stress relief and what you eat. Whether you're thinking about skin health, brain power, inflammation, or gut health, there are lots of secrets that'll help you age gracefully. From healthy foods to dietary supplements, my colleagues and I have tips aplenty to help you. Make it a goal to celebrate Healthy Aging Month all year long! My personal secrets? It comes down to eating nutritious meals and taking the time for self care. I find that acupuncture, Pilates, and even playing fetch with my cats (it's more like I fetch the mice for my cats, but whatevs, I get stress relief and exercise!) are all incredibly stress-relieving activities. You know I love to talk about the many benefits of a healthy diet, and today's no different! I'm spilling all the secrets about what to eat to look younger, complete with an anti-aging food list. Knowing about these anti-aging foods will make your next grocery trip super seamless. Speaking of which, can cutting out processed foods also help you feel young?
Regularly dig into a morning bowl of oatmeal and berries—and you may age more successfully, suggests research. Specifically, if you eat fiber-rich foods such as rolled oats, whole-grain bread, and fruit regularly, you have a better chance of getting to older age sans major health issues like depression, cancer, or heart disease, reveals research in The Journals of Gerontology. In the study, people who had the lowest fiber intake had a 65% increased risk of dying, versus subjects with the highest intake.
A tomato gets its red color from a compound called lycopene. “Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant that may help combat exposure and damage from UV light, which we know is bad for our skin and overall youthful appearance,” says Emily Kyle, MS, RDN, author of The 30-Minute Thyroid Cookbook. Antioxidants provide anti-inflammatory benefits by helping to fight free radicals, which can cause damage. Talk about keeping your skin cells healthy! Try the cooked version for the biggest benefit: One study in The British Journal of Dermatology found that the body may better absorb lycopene from cooked tomatoes—i.e., tomato paste—versus fresh. More research is needed, and older adults may need to discuss use of a lycopene supplement with their healthcare provider. Tomatoes also provide beta carotene, which provides eye health benefits.
Eat a lentil salad or rice and beans, and you could potentially help boost your brain health and increase your lifespan. “Diets higher in beans have been shown to help slow cognitive decline,” says Maggie Moon, MS, RDN, author of The Telomere Diet and Cookbook. In a study in International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry of Taiwanese age 65 years and older, researchers found that infrequent intake of beans and legumes may negatively impact cognitive function. “Of course, beans are also packed with fiber, potassium, and plant protein,” Moon says, who notes her favorites are chickpeas, lentils for quick cooking, and black beans for an anthocyanin boost. Yup, beans are an excellent source of protein!
I just said "over 50," but pretty much everyone should eat these top anti-aging foods. That's because certain ingredients boast skin-helping and powerful antioxidants, bone-building minerals, and heart-healthy nutrients to help you look and feel younger. How to fight inflammation? Get the anti-aging food list for the answer in my Reader's Digest article, then whip up my hummus toast for a tasty way to feel great as you start your day! I'd also add olive oil, pomegranate seeds, and dark chocolate to this list! By the way: By now, you've probably determined that you can't eat the same way in your 30s, 40s, and beyond as you did when you were 18. But what should you be eating as you get older? Are there certain foods that will help you stay trim and fit Yes, skip your trip to the fountain of youth! If you're wondering what the most effective anti-aging foods are? Get tips right from the mouth (and plate and spoon and fork!) of the experts. In my WomansDay.com slideshow, I recommend a variety of superfoods that may help you stay young. Bonus: These superfood trends all really wholesome and yummy. Want to know about more of the top anti-aging foods and the top veggie superfoods? While you can (and should!) add these foods to your plate to help your body slow aging from the inside out, you can also do some good from the outside, too: For example, increase scalp circulation to encourage thicker hair growth. Now find out if your fave health food is on my list! You can even use a few of the ingredients to whip up a delicious and nutritious breakfast! Plus, find out more about how to fight inflammation and reduce inflammation naturally. Want even more healthy anti-aging foods? Eating foods with probiotics is a good start to a healthy gut. And good gut health can help you feel more youthful because this part of the body is connected with so many other aspects of health, including immunity and mood. Find out which healthy-gut foods to reach for in my interview with 24/7 Wall St. Psst... There's also a gut-brain connection, so take a look at the best foods for brain health.
Of course, you should eat a diet rich in vitamins. But that doesn't also mean that certain supplements can't be helpful. It's a fact: The supplements aisle can be mega confusing. That's why it's important to do your research before you purchase supplements. I've done the heavy lifting for you in my ReadersDigest.com article. I typically recommend looking to foods for your nutrients, but supplements can be helpful, too, and here are the ones that doctors recommend!
Even if your day involves more e-mails than pool dips, you can mix up a drink that'll help you feel refreshed, energized, and hydrated. This virgin sangria has a base of green tea, which is at the top of the best anti-aging foods list because it boasts many stay-young benefits. It's one of those superfood trends that never goes away! Protein-rich Greek yogurt is a great way to fuel your body and help preserve lean muscle mass as you age. This smoothie also packs in plenty of immune-helping vitamin C from the orange juice and strawberries. Plus, it's such a pretty way to wake up! Tag me on social to let me know what you think of this creation. I've also gathered 30 recipes that feature the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. These are healthy fats that help to help keep your heart, brain, and eye health in tip-top shape. Don't worry, vegetarians, I've got you covered in this round-up! Also consider adding these quick snack ideas to your daily self-care checklist. This blog post was updated in June 2020. A version of this content originally appeared on WeightWatchers.com.