We’d all love to turn back the clock—at least superficially. It’s why we get Botox. It’s why we get bimonthly colorings. It’s why we collectively spent $11 billion on teeth whitening treatments in 2017 alone. But for truly age-defying beauty, none of these treatments are necessary. As it so happens, you can keep your your skin as taut as a guitar string and hair as lustrous as silver (without a single silver strand, of course) with just a few dietary additions. So read on and eat on—and get your Benjamin Button on. And for more ways to optimize your diet, start eating more of the 30 Best Foods For Maximizing Your Energy Levels.
Sure, the salt-and-pepper look lends gravitas, but it also belies age. So, if you’re not at—or would like to look younger than—the right age (graying should begin about mid-40s for most folks), there’s an easy fix. According to a study in Biological Trace Elemental Research, one of the primary causes of premature graying is copper deficiency. To boost your levels, slate more shiitake mushrooms into your diet; just one cup of the fungi holds more than 100 percent of the daily recommended value.
When it comes to keeping your muscles taut as you age, one nutrient reigns: Protein. However, some key sources of protein—red meat, in particular—have aging effects, thanks to high fat and LDL cholesterol (that’s the bad kind) levels. Instead, get your protein from a low-fat, healthy source, like sardines. As a bonus, they’re also loaded with Omega-3s, which help reduce LDL cholesterol, and Vitamin B12, which helps promote cardiovascular function. The only tough part is figuring out how to stomach these nasty fish.
If you’d prefer to get your protein from a non-aquatic source, you could do far worse than a helping of Greek yogurt. For one thing, it’s loaded with protein. But the stuff is also high in Vitamin B12. In fact, according to research out of Harvard Medical School, just two 6-ounce servings of plain, nonfat Greek yogurt contains the daily recommended amount of Vitamin B12.
You’re forgiven if you haven’t heard of this foodie trend du jour. But in recent years, maca root has grown increasingly popular, thanks to its near-magical skin-boosting properties. The stuff is loaded with riboflavin, niacin, and Vitamin B6, all of which, according to High Altitude Medicine and Biology, have been shown to promote skin cell regeneration. You can get your maca fix from smoothies (via powder form), pastries (either your local health-conscious bake shop or own recipes), or supplements.
Phytonutrients—also referred to as phytochemicals—are found in anything that goes through photosynthesis. (In other words: Pretty much all plants.) Phytonutrients are known to boost your skin’s ceramide content, which, according to the American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, leads to softer, smoother, younger-looking skin. And when it comes to getting the most bang for your buck, you can’t beat rosemary. The aromatic herb contains more than a dozen phytonutrients.
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