In today's world, no one wants to look even a day older than they really are. People take great strides to fight off signs of longevity, but it can be as simple as eating foods that help you fight aging. You can load up on all the special creams and supplements you want, but what nutrients you are consuming and how you take care of yourself has a much greater impact on both your appearance and your energy.
Foods that contain an abundance of vitamins and nutrients can help preserve your skin, boost your energy levels, and even protect your brain health. "The foods you eat can either perpetuate the aging process or fight it," says nutritionist Andrea Cox to Bustle over email. "Foods high in antioxidants are the most helpful to fight aging and help you live longer. Antioxidants fight free radicals, substances from fried foods, cigarettes, and toxins, which damage the cells in your body."
Eating foods high in these vitamins, instead of just taking supplements, actually helps your body use vitamins more efficiently. If you're doing everything you can to age gracefully and naturally, you should incorporate these seven age-fighting foods into your diet, so you can feel great at any age.
1. Olive Oil
"Healthy fats contain omega 3s and 9s to help with decreasing pain and decreasing free radical damage," says naturopathic expert Dr. Jennifer Burns over email. "It can be used as a fuel for your brain and body."
"One of the best sources of dietary antioxidants and carotenoids are berries," says Dr. Mary Wendt, MD over email. Blueberries especially are high in these nutrients, and they can help fight off wrinkles, prevent cancer, and protect against memory loss, according to an article in the Journal of Neuroscience.
3. Leafy Greens
Dark leafy greens contain an assortment of nutrients, including vitamin C, vitamin K, which can help keep your vision strong, reduce bone loss, and keep your skin smooth. "Choose a salad made with the darkest greens you can find instead of an iceberg wedge," says Wendt.
"Squash is loaded with healthy carotenoids and antioxidants to brighten your complexion and slow cellular aging, decrease wrinkling, and prevent photo damage from sun exposure," says Wendt. The amount of beta-carotene found in squash can also help lower your risk of cancer.
"Red kidney beans are one of the best sources of antioxidants as well as carotenoids," says Wendt. Other beans, such as black beans, are a good source of protein and fiber, and can keep your body and muscles strong.
As most of us know, oranges contain vitamin C, which can not only boost your immunity, but helps firm the collagen in our skin, preventing wrinkles and signs of aging. The citrus fruit is also loaded with water, keeping your cells hydrated and functioning optimally.
Fatty fish such as salmon contain omega-3 fatty acids, which can help preserve moisture in the skin. Omega-3s can also help ward off depression, according to studies by Harvard and Emory University, as the powerful nutrient helps to fight chronic inflammation.
"Remember to consume high antioxidant foods at every single meal," says Wendt. "Over the course of the day, antioxidants are used up and needs to be replenished. Adding healthy foods to every meal ensures that you'll have all the antioxidants you need to prevent aging all day and all night too."