The Anti-Aging Diet
Can what you eat help you age gracefully?
Food for Healthy Aging
For maximum benefits, experts say, you should load up on a variety of healthy foods.
“We know about antioxidants and anti-inflammatory activities of foods, but we suspect there could be so much more going on beyond attacking free radicals that promote health and ward off disease,” says Moores.
Moores suggests adding these foods and beverages into your eating plan for good health and to reduce the signs of aging:
- Fish. Follow the guidelines of the American Heart Association and eat twice weekly, especially the fatty kind that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. This is a powerful anti-inflammatory food that offers a multitude of health benefits.
- Fruits and vegetables are powerhouses of antioxidants. Aim for a variety of colorful produce. Enjoy at least 5 servings per day for the maximum benefits.
- Whole grains provide soluble fiber to help lower blood cholesterol levels, and also have phytonutrient content equal to any fruit or vegetable. Strive for at least 3 daily servings.
- Legumes are unsung heroes, packed with nutrients similar to fruits and vegetables and with very few calories. Add them to your diet 3 to 4 times a week.
- Yogurt has all the benefits of dairy foods, plus probiotics that help add healthy bacteria to the intestines. Moores recommends eating a yogurt with active cultures as one of your 3 dairy servings each day.
- Nuts are a great source of B vitamins that are good for your heart and your brain. The healthy fats in nuts benefit the elastin and collagen in skin, helping to maintaining skin’s structure and keep it resilient. Small portions are advised, as nuts are high in calories.
- Water is essential for hydration of the skin, muscles, circulation, and all organs in the body. Enjoy 3-4 glasses of pure water in addition to other liquids and watery foods.
In addition, Perricone suggests these 10 “super-foods,” chosen because of their anti- inflammatory activity:
- Acai fruit (found in health stores)
- Allium vegetables: garlic, onions, leeks, scallions, chives, and shallots
- Green foods, such as wheatgrass
- Buckwheat, both seeds and grains
- Beans and lentils
- Hot peppers
- Nuts and seeds
- Yogurt and kefir
What Else Can You Do?
Micronutrients from food and beverages offer a wealth of health benefits. But when it comes to preserving the skin, some work better as topical applications such as creams.
“Drinking 6-10 small cups of green tea daily adds health-promoting catechins â¦ but no matter how much green tea you drink, your blood level will never be high enough to retard or reverse skin changes,” says researcher Stephen Hsu, PhD. His research found antiaging benefits when green tea polyphenols were applied directly to skin, and “protected the skin by absorbing ultraviolet light and eliminating free radicals.”