7 Anti-Aging Foods to Help You Look and Feel Your Best
Botox may be the quick and easy way to make fine lines less noticeable, but there are certain foods that are far more powerful for anti-aging than injections— and they cost a fraction of the price. Not only do these foods fight visible signs of aging by reducing inflammation, they also provide the nutrients you need to feel younger (because anti-aging isn’t only skin deep).
1. Bone Broth
We may seem a little biased by putting bone broth at the top of the list, but we’re convinced it’s one of the best things to prevent aging. Its unique nutrient profile makes it a powerful anti-aging cocktail (and one you’ll want to sip on or cook with every day).
First off, bone broth is one of the only true sources of dietary collagen — a protein that’s responsible for keeping your skin smooth, plump, and supple. Our bodies begin to produce less collagen around the age of 25, which is when you may begin to notice a few fine lines, dark spots, or crow’s feet that weren’t there before. (1) You might also noticethat wounds take longer to heal than they used to. But don’t fret: this doesn’t mean you’re doomed.
Research shows that getting collagen from dietary sources, such as bone broth or hydrolyzed collagen peptides (powdered collagen supplements), can help slow down collagen degradation and prevent the loss of skin firmness and elasticity. (2) And this is only one way bone broth can help you look and feel younger.
Bone broth also contains several anti-inflammatory amino acids, such as glycine, which can help improve sleep quality (although getting enough rest is at the top of the list when it comes to anti-aging). There are also several other compounds and minerals that help strengthen bones and joints, such as glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, and magnesium. If that’s not enough, bone broth also contains a compound called hyaluronic acid, which helps keep joints lubricated (to prevent them from becoming stiff and sore), and keeps skin hydrated (which is key for that dewy, youthful glow).
In fact, many anti-aging clinics use hyaluronic acid dermal fillers to help prevent signs of aging. But before resorting to needles (ouch), why not try having a daily mug of bone broth to see if it improves your skin’s appearance? Not only does it taste good, it’s painless — and you’ll get the bone and joint benefits, too!
Note: If you’re interested in learning the specifics on how bone broth can improve your skin (including anti-inflammatory skin conditions, such as acne and eczema), we have a separate post on 4 Reasons Why Drinking Bone Broth Improves Your Skin .
How to Add Bone Broth to Your Diet:
Never underestimate the power of plants for looking and feeling younger.
Chlorella is a single-celled green algae native to Japan. It’s best known as a superfood for promoting detoxification and fighting against free radicals (which accelerate the aging process) due to its high chlorophyll content. But chlorella also contains a specific nutrient for anti-aging called Chlorella Growth Factor (CGF).
As suggested by the name, Chlorella Growth Factor is only found in chlorella. It contains the nucleic acids RNA and DNA, which are two key nutrients for cell renewal and repair. This is crucial because healthy cells are the foundation of your youth. In other words, when your cells are healthy, your body can produce more energy, your immune system is stronger, and your skin is bright and glowing. (3) Chlorella also is rich in beta carotene, which your body can convert into vitamin A to help prevent vision loss.
How to Add Chlorella to Your Diet:
Chlorella can be found in powders, which can be blended into green smoothies or juices, or be taken as a nutritional supplement in the form of capsules and tablets.
3. Dark Leafy Greens
If you hopped on board the kale trend a few years ago, you were already on top of your anti-aging game. All leafy green vegetables, such as kale, swiss chard, mustard greens, spinach, watercress, and collard greens, contain potent flavonoids that help reduce inflammation, which is directly linked to premature aging. (4)
Inflammation is caused by both dietary and lifestyle factors, such as stress, oxidative damage, poor digestion, food allergies, a diet high in processed foods, and sleep deprivation. (5) Surely none of us are strangers to these at times!
Leafy greens are also a great source of fiber, which is a fundamental part of a healthy diet to support the body’s natural detoxification processes. As one of the richest sources of vitamin K, leafy greens also help maintain bone density. (7) In fact, ½ cup of kale provides over 100 percent of the daily recommended value.
How to Get More Leafy Greens in Your Diet:
There’s no easier way to load up on greens than by blending them into a smoothie. Why not make green smoothies part of your morning anti-aging ritual? Keep them interesting by rotating between frozen seasonal fruit (think: pineapple in the summer, and berries and apples in the winter). You can also add them to stir fries, soups, stews, and scrambled eggs, or saute them on their own and season with your favorite herbs, lemon, and a pinch of sea salt.
4. Acai Berries
The acai smoothie bowl trend has blown up the internet, and we say eat your heart out. Acai berries are loaded with the nutrients your body needs to synthesize collagen, such as vitamin C and omega-3 fatty acids, a natural anti-inflammatory that also supports healthy cognitive function. (8)
How to Add Acai Berries to Your Diet:
Most health food stores carry frozen acai berries, but they can cost a pretty penny. So far, we’ve found the best value to be dehydrated acai powder, which is easy to use in almost any recipe, from smoothie bowls to homemade dark chocolate (bonus points for double the antioxidant power if you make your own chocolate from raw cacao and coconut oil).
5. Brazil Nuts
Brazil nuts are one of the world’s richest sources of selenium, a trace element that wears multiple hats when it comes to anti-aging benefits. Selenium protects skin cells from environmental toxins, promotes heart health, supports thyroid and cognitive function, and prevents hair loss. (9) The powerful antioxidant activity of selenium also improves the absorption of other antioxidants, such as vitamin E and C.
One brazil nut provides approximately 90 mcg of selenium, which is more than the daily recommended allowance. (As a side note, selenium can be toxic in high amounts, so it’s recommended to consume no more than 2 to 3 brazil nuts per day.)
6. Wild Salmon
Have you heard of astaxanthin before? It’s a carotenoid that gives wild salmon its pink color, and is also found in lobster, crab and microalgae.
Astaxanthin is said to have more potent antioxidant activity than vitamins A, C, and E. (10) Research also suggests astaxanthin can help protect your skin from sun damage or excessive sun exposure, which is a primary cause of premature lines, wrinkles, and age spots. (11)
And here we go again with the anti-inflammatory health benefits: wild salmon and other fatty fish, such as mackerel, are great sources of omega-3 fatty acids — which is why you may also want to consider pairing it with a high-quality fish oil supplement to boost your intake of healthy fats.
7. Matcha Green Tea
Matcha green tea is known as a brain and skin booster because it’s rich in catechins, a potent antioxidant. One particular catechin found in high concentrations in matcha is called EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), which also helps support healthy liver function, prevent cell damage, and protect against chronic illness and disease, such as cancer. (12)
While regular green, white, and black teas also contain catechins and small amounts of EGCG, matcha contains more than 130 times the amount. (13)
How to Add Matcha to Your Diet:
You can drink matcha green tea in place of your morning coffee, or use matcha powder as a superfood addition to your green smoothies.
Other Important Factors to Prevent Aging
In addition to having these anti-aging foods in your diet, you’ll get even better results if you also avoid the foods that are known to cause cellular damage and accelerate the aging process. Those things include trans-fats, refined sugar, and alcohol.
And, let’s not forget that your lifestyle plays just as much of a role in anti-aging as the foods you eat (and avoid). Stress is a huge cause of inflammation, so it’s crucial to prioritize proper rest and stress relief through self-care rituals, such as yoga and meditation. It’s also important to surround yourself with uplifting people in a positive environment. Make it a priority to laugh every day.
To sum it all up, eating a diet rich in plant-based foods, staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water (and bone broth), daily exercise, and reducing your stress levels are the real tricks to keeping your mind and body young.