The Age Train is coming! And, the word is out that what we eat can either speed that train up or slow it down. Anti-aging foods are a tasty and trusty way to slow that train down, if not derail it altogether. Diet has a big impact not only on how we feel on a day-to-day basis but also on how we fight back against aging.
Food Is (Delicious) Medicine
The bright colors and wonderful flavors of fruits and vegetables, the earthy crunch of nuts, and the warmth of spices look, taste, and smell great. But, they are also rich in ingredients that your body needs to face the day and fight back time.
Those blues, reds, yellows, and greens mean your meal can be full of powerful phytochemicals like anthocyanins and carotenoids, along with a very long list of vitamins and minerals. All of these are important nutrients with either antioxidant or anti-inflammatory properties or both.
What Makes Foods “Anti-aging”?
They Fight Free Radicals
Free radicals are natural by-products of exercise and energy conversion, but they cause cell damage through oxidative stress. Antioxidants are your body’s weapon against free radicals.
They Take the Fire Out of Inflammation
Inflammation is a contributor to many of the things we associate with “age” like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and joint pain. Anti-inflammatory nutrients are key to the prevention and management of many chronic conditions.
They Rev Up Metabolism
It isn’t a secret that fruits and vegetables help to boost metabolism. This is partly due to their fiber and water content, but phytonutrients like papain might actually have a direct effect on cell turnover rate.
5 Best Anti-aging Foods
Here are five nutritional superheroes that are ready to keep your train on track:
In this popular fruit, vitamins C, E, and K fill the antioxidant bill, while B vitamins and monounsaturated fats fight inflammation. Fiber boosts metabolism, and you get does of heart-healthy fats, too.
All berries can boast antioxidant powers and high fiber content. These little powerhouses also have anthocyanins that have anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and anti-cancer properties.
B vitamins, magnesium, polyphenols, and zinc all provide antioxidants. Magnesium may also have calming benefits, which can help with stress and better sleep.
Rich in vitamins A, C, E, and K, along with calcium, potassium, and phosphorus, papaya is one of the most nutrient-dense foods out there. Papain, an anti-inflammatory enzyme found only in papaya, helps your body shed dead skin cells.
This juicy gourd gets its name for good reason: just a few slices will provide needed hydration. Watermelon is also packed with a phytochemical called lycopene, which works to protect the skin from ultraviolet rays that can cause sun damage.
Fight Aging With Your Diet!
Anti-aging foods don’t have to be like Science Fiction Goop. They can be crispy, crunchy, juicy, and fresh. Nature really is the best medicine! And if you want to drizzle cacao over your papaya or watermelon, who are we to question that?