Tuesday 17 October 2023

The 'anti-aging' diet: Six foods you should eat to improve longevity


 For those hoping to slow down the aging process, the solution may be simpler than you think. This is because there are six foods that should be part of your diet which will allow you to eat your way to a youthful glow as well as improve longevity and cognitive function. Experts widely agree that vegetables, healthy oils, legumes, nuts, fermented foods and fruits all contain the right components to provide the proper nutrients. And simply adding these ingredients to your meals can turn back the clock thanks to their antioxidants, chlorophyll and omega-3 fatty acids.

Dark green vegetables are packed with high levels of vitamin A and C, minerals, fiber, nitrates, and bioactives, which help provide a slower cognitive decline and prevent cell damage. Leafy greens have phytochemicals such as chlorophyll which protects against free radicals that cause aging - and the darker the green vegetable the more chlorophyll it contains. They also have antioxidants called lutein which provides hydration and elasticity to protect from sun damage. Their vitamin A helps make the skin's protective tissue stronger while its vitamin C helps provide collagen. Examples of dark green vegetables include kale, bok choy and chard. Watercress is rich with vitamins A and C which help neutralize free radicals, causing fine lines and wrinkles to disappear.

Broccoli is full of vitamins C, K and antioxidants and the vegetable assists with the production of collagen, which helps make your skin strong and elastic. Spinach is packed with vitamins A, C, E, and K as well as antioxidants. Vitamin A provides you with strong hair for a youthful look and vitamin K reduces inflammation in cells. Green tea is made from the green camellia sinensis plant and it reduces the brain's aging as it protects the skin from sun damage. Sweet potato's vibrant orange color comes from its antioxidant beta-carotene which is converted into vitamin A and it helps rejuvenate skin elasticity and skin cell turnover. It is also packed with vitamin C and E which protects the skin from free radicals. Red bell peppers have a high volume of antioxidants and vitamin C which assists with collagen production. Its anti-inflammatory properties also assist with preventing damage on the skin from the sun, pollution and environment.

Plant-based oils contain fatty acids, monounsaturated fats and antioxidants. Coconut oil prevents age spots and extra virgin olive oil specifically contains squalene which boosts the skin's hydration. Olive oil helps skin stay hydrated while improving elasticity which prevents fine lines and wrinkles. It is rich in antioxidants which combats free radicals that assists with premature aging. Both olive and avocado oil help reduce Alzheimer's disease and dementia. Consuming avocado itself helps shed dead skin cells for a glowy look thanks to its vitamin A. The fruit has a carotenoid content that blocks out toxins and damage from the sun, all while protecting your skin against skin cancer, according to Healthline. Skin enthusiasts can also prevent wrinkles and reduce redness by creating a moisturizing mask out of it.

Legumes contain fiber, protein, minerals, complex carbohydrates, vitamin B and help support cognitive function. Black beans are packed with antioxidants the help prevent cell damage. Beans in general also contain anthocyanins and isoflavones which combat premature aging from ultraviolet rays and inflammation. Examples of legumes also include lentils and chickpeas which promote collagen production that provides healthy and glowing skin. The saponins and phytosterols in legumes also help prevent wrinkles.

Nuts provide proteins, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and unsaturated fats. Almonds have vitamin E which protects skin from UV rays, repairs tissues and helps it stay hydrated while preventing wrinkles. Walnuts have omega-3 fatty acids that strengthen skin cell membranes and protect against sun damage. They contain polyphenols which provides high-antioxidants. Brazil nuts not only have omega-3 fatty acids but selenium as well, which increases skin's elasticity. The glutathione in them helps regenerate your skin and prevent wrinkles. Nuts in general help lower cognitive decline and the loss of muscle tissue as a consequence of aging. Pomegranate seeds have been used for centuries as a form of natural medicine. They are packed with vitamin C and antioxidants which help reduce inflammation and prevent damage from free radicals. Punicalagins in the fruit help preserve collagen in the skin.

Fermented foods are created through controlled microbial growth. They have anti-aging, anti-hypertensive, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, anti-carcinogenic and anti-allergenic abilities. Examples include cultured milk and yogurt, wine, miso, sourdough bread, kimchi, sauerkraut, and kombucha. Miso soup is high in antioxidants which prevents signs of aging. Kombucha contains AHA which has amino acids that hydrate the skin. Its vitamin B, C, and D boost the skin's firmness, while its probiotics restore elasticity to the skin.

Papaya is a superfood that is full of antioxidants and vitamins A, C, K and E. Besides its antioxidants fighting off free radicals, the fruit contains an enzyme called papain which has anti-inflammatory agents that help with anti-aging. Eating the fruit also helps your body with shedding dead skin cells. Blueberries are full of vitamins A and C. They also have a specific antioxidant called anthocyanin, which protects skin from the sun, stress and pollution damage by controlling the body's inflammatory response, which prevents collagen loss. The fruit also helps decrease the loss of vision and cognition due to aging. 

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