“Everybody wants to live forever, but nobody wants to grow old” (Jonathan Swift). This is the utmost truth! Everyone wants to defeat aging and be young and healthy forever, especially in today’s world when you see the beauty of celebrities with covetous eyes and think how these people never age. This obsession with a youthful appearance has led to tremendous research and culminated in the upswing of cosmetic industry and development of drugs and supplements that claim to delay the effects of aging.
Aging is a physiologic phenomenon. With time, due to the accumulation of damage by oxidative free radicals and incomplete repair, cells lose their function and result in cellular senescence. One cannot prevent aging but can slow down the process or prevent its premature occurrence. If you want to tackle aging from the point of view of nutrition, know that your fork is the best weapon to fight aging.
12 Foods To Help You Delay Aging
Eating right food provides you with the nutrients that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties thus helping you combat aging. This article overviews the best anti-aging foods that you can easily incorporate into your diet.
Cooking your food in olive oil or simply adding a teaspoon in that salad of yours can help you delay aging.
Recent studies indicated that olive oil has a beneficial impact on the aging process and these effects are partially due to the activity of phenolic compounds found in the olive oil.
Research published in the journal Molecules reports that the constituents in extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) are likely to affect human cells directly and indirectly through their antioxidant properties and modulating gene expression, respectively.
Olive oil is also the richest source of oleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid that contributes towards the cardio-protective effects; it’s good because cardiac issues are relatively common with aging.
Guava is very common fruit that is low in calories but contains high quantity of vitamins particularly vitamin C. We see many health experts singing praise to vitamin C.
“Vitamin C is the world’s best natural antibiotic, antiviral, antitoxin, and antihistamine.” (Andrew Saul).
Guava also contains antioxidants like lycopene and carotene which play a remarkable role to slow down the aging process.
People often neglect this fruit in the diet because of its hardness and seeds. Here, try this refreshing smoothie that has guava in it.
- 2 chilled guavas (medium sized)
- ½ frozen banana
- 2 tablespoons of plain yogurt
- ½ cup whole milk
- 1 tablespoon sugar (better use honey)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Chop the guava without removing its skin.
- Add banana, guava, yogurt, milk, vanilla, and honey in a blender.
Blend it properly to grind all the content. Put it in a refrigerator. You’d enjoy it best when its chilled.
Avocados have long been known for their powerful anti-aging effects. This fruit is rich in oleic acid, vitamin E (tocopherol) and carotenoid antioxidants. It has the highest amino acid contents amongst all fruits particularly glutamine which is very good for skin. Avocados also contain glutathione which is important in delaying the effects of aging.
Now, how to include avocados in diet?
The best way is to add them to your regular vegetable or fruit salad because a study published in the Journal of Nutrition showed that in contrast to taking an avocado-free salad, adding avocados to salad potentiated the absorption of alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and lutein by 7,15 and 5 folds, respectively. In this way, avocados help potentiate the anti-oxidant effects of other fruits and vegetables in your diet.
It is another low-calorie fruit which is loaded with vitamin A, vitamin C, and beta-carotene antioxidants. These vitamins and antioxidants play a pivotal role to keep cells and their membranes healthy, and therefore, delay senescence which is the natural aging process.
The significant quantity of beta-carotene found in papaya enables the body to generate large amounts of vitamin A which is then utilized by the body to promote healthy skin. Papaya is also rich in potassium which has a protective effect in cardiovascular diseases.
You can try this mouthwatering papaya smoothie.
- 2 cups of plain yogurt
- 1 mango (sliced)
- 1 papaya
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- Honey (2-3 tablespoons)
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
Blend mango slices and the peeled papaya slices in the blender. Add yogurt, lime juice, honey, almond extract and 1 cup ice cubes, and blend until the mixture is smooth. You can add another 1/2 cup of ice cubes to create the desired consistency of your smoothie mixture. Pour the mixture into large chilled glasses.
An overwhelming body of research has now established that the dietary impact of berry fruits has a positive and profound impact on human health, performance, and disease.
Berries are one the healthiest foods that contain a large quantities of vitamin C and flavonoids. They are also a rich source of dietary fiber and folic acid. Moreover, ellagic acid that is found in high quantities in berries has a photo-protective effect, i.e., protecting the skin from ultraviolet radiation.
Adding some extra berries to your diet will definitely help you delay the aging process and look younger.
A new study published in the Journal of Nutrition reported that consuming 1-2 servings of walnuts per week (1/4 cup makes one serving) was associated with reduced risk of developing impairments in the physical function and reduced the dependency of older women during the aging process.
The most captivating thing about walnut is that it is the richest source of omega-3 essential fatty acids. Omega-3 is crucial for brain health and in this way walnuts protect against dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, both associated with old age. Walnuts are also rich in B vitamins which help in promoting healthy skin.
A study conducted in Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) found that the risk of serious chronic diseases like cancer is reduced with increased tomato consumption. The incidence for most types of cancer tend to increase with age.
Tomatoes are composed of potent flavonoid antioxidants like lycopene and zeaxanthin that help protect against oxidative free radicals. Lycopene has also shown to strengthen skin by inhibiting the activity of collagenases—enzymes involved in the breakdown of collagen in the skin.
Interestingly, cooking tomatoes double their lycopene power and maximize their anti-aging effects. Tomatoes also contain high amounts of bases that prevent acidosis and maintains body pH to the optimal value.
Take look at this wonderful tomato soup recipe.
- 8 cups of tomatoes
- 1 large onion chopped into large chunks
- Garlic (4-5 peeled cloves)
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into large wedges
- 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cups vegetable broth (gluten-free can also be used)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Fresh basil leaves (one handful would be enough)
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Put onions, garlic, bell pepper, and tomatoes on the over tray. Add some olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper. You have to bake these in the oven for about 40-50 minutes. Make sure that all ingredients are nicely done and tender.
Now cool down the baked tomato mixture and remove some or all the tomato and pepper skins. Transfer this mixture to a blender and add one cup of veggie broth. You should use a regular blender here, and be very vigilant not to get it splashed and burn your skin.
Add more broth and blend until you reach the desired consistency. Now add the basil, but save a few leaves for garnish. Add salt and pepper to taste. The soup is ready.
Professor Daniel Kalman, of Emory University in Atlanta, said that broccoli is a direct avenue to a drug that could make people live better for longer.
Broccoli makes the list of anti-aging foods because it is full of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A, vitamin C, and zinc that are important for healthy skin. It also has lutein, a carotenoid that protects the skin form the effects of oxidation and prevents wrinkles and dryness.
Most importantly, broccoli florets contain sulforaphane compounds that protect the skin against the damage from sunlight.
A naturally occurring compound in broccoli, Indole-3 carbinol (I3C), has potent anticancer properties, neutralizes free radicals, and enhances detoxification. It is thought to activate liver enzymes that have detoxifying properties.
Knowing such amazing benefits, you can’t help trying broccoli recipe given below.
- 5-6 cups broccoli florets, this is about 2 1/2 heads of broccoli (450g)
- 1 cup (115g) cheddar cheese (do not shred it fine; keep it thicker)
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds, good if salted (60g)
- 1/2 cup crumbled bacon (60g)
- Dried cranberries half cup (85g)
- 1/3 cup red onion slices into small pieces (50g)
- Items for dressing
- White wine vinegar one and a half Tablespoon
- 3/4 cup mayo, you may use olive oil mayo (175g)
- 1/2 cup sour cream (70g)
- Sugar 3 Tablespoons (40g)
- Salt per taste
- Pepper 1/4 teaspoon
- Add all the mentioned ingredients, i.e., broccoli florets, cheddar cheese, dried cranberries, bacon, sunflower seeds, and onion in a large bowl.
- In another small bowl prepare the dressing, beat together mayo, sour cream, vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper until well-combined and smooth.
- Pour dressing over the contents in a large bowl and stir well.
- Serve and enjoy. You can store this dish in the refrigerator if not consuming right away.
Research shows that cinnamon has beneficial effects in delaying aging. A recent study reported that cinnamon extract promotes type I collagen biosynthesis within dermal fibroblasts through its major constituent cinnamaldehyde. This collagen prevents wrinkling and sagging of skin that accompanies aging.
Not only does it have a great taste, but cinnamon also reduces LDL cholesterol levels thus providing cardio-protective effects.
To make cinnamon tea:
- Add the cinnamon (stick or ground form) to a teapot.
- Add the boiling water.
- Let the cinnamon tea steep for 8-10 minutes.
- Add your favorite tea.
- Let steep for 2-3 minutes.
- Strain the tea into your cup.
- Add any optional sweetener or milk.
This popular tea can prevent skin damage, protect the skin form harmful effects of sunlight, and delay the process of aging. Catechins found in green tea work to protect and improve the health of your skin in multiple ways.
Green tea is superior to black tea as it contains much less quantity of caffeine. Adding green tea or white tea to your anti-aging program can help you enhance the results and fight against aging. The most important antioxidant found in green tea is epigallocatechin gallate which has potent antioxidant activity of the catechins.
Researchers at the University of Kansas found that catechins- the antioxidants found in green tea- are even more effective than vitamin C when it comes to neutralizing free radicals.
Dark chocolate contains antioxidants called flavanols which protect the skin from UV radiation. They are also useful in preventing high blood pressure, diabetes, dementia and even kidney diseases.
In a study, researchers from the University of California San Diego School of Medicine reported that the epicatechin, a flavanol found in foods such as dark chocolate, reduced aging related damaging oxidative stress and neuro-inflammation in a mouse model.
Research studies report that eating honey can boost the levels of antioxidants in the blood. Natural honey contains many flavonoids, phenolic acids, ascorbic acid, tocopherols, catalase, superoxide dismutase, and reduced glutathione all of which have potent antioxidant activity.
Researchers also reported that dark honey has a higher total phenolic content and consequently a higher antioxidant capacity. Antibacterial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory activity of honey is also another important finding in different studies
You can use the following simple recipe with potentiating effect of both cinnamon and honey.
- 1 tbsp of organic honey
- A tsp of organic cinnamon
- 1 cup of filtered water
To make it simple, one part cinnamon and two parts honey is what is required for this recipe.
- Put the cinnamon in a bowl
- Boil 1 cup of filtered water
- Pour the hot water over the cinnamon
- Steep for 15 minutes
- Add honey to the cooled liquid
Always add honey to the cooled liquid – the hot liquid will destroy the enzymes in the raw honey.
Note: Drink this twice a day on an empty stomach; use 1/2 cup in the morning and 1/2 cup before going to bed.