We’d all like to keep out youthful glow going as long as possible, but there are so many things working against us in our modern world that contribute to aging. Stress, environmental toxins, fast food, chlorinated water, exposure to UV rays, and overcooked, fried and processed foods all contribute to free radicals running rampant causing damage to body cells and stripping away a youthful appearance. But did you know that eating just four fruit servings a day can make you look around six years younger? And research from Harvard Medical School reports snacking on healthy foods throughout the day can actually reduce the risk of conditions like heart disease and cancer. Here are five diet changes you can make to help reclaim your youth.
1. Antioxidant Foods To Combat Aging
Antioxidants are your powerhouse weapon to fight free radical damage that destroys your body cells and brings on signs of aging. Adding antioxidant foods to your diet can help you keep your youthful appearance. When you think antioxidants, think bright colored fruits and veggies. There are some that have other benefits as well to get the most nutritional bang for your buck. Blueberries are high on the list of antioxidant foods and according to the author of Age-Proof Your Body and Eat Your Way Sexy: Reignite Your Passion, Look Ten Years Younger, and Feel Happier Than Ever, Elizabeth Somer, RD, give you the added bonus of reducing the risk of memory loss and other diseases, fill you up with fiber to help in weight loss, and just one cup gives you 25% of the vitamin C needed daily. One of the antioxidants it provides is anthocyanins which helps protect you from cancer. Another powerhouse antioxidant food that gives you lots of other nutritional benefits is prunes. Not only do you get antioxidant phytochemicals and vitamin A with prunes, but also potassium, fiber, and iron. Oranges are another good choice for antioxidants like vitamin C and it is a source of collagen which helps firm up skin and keep it youthful looking. Broccoli is another good source of vitamin C giving you two-thirds of the daily recommended amount in just a half cup and it has sulforaphane that helps detoxify the liver. According to Paula Simpson, beauty nutritionist, toxins in the body lead to dry and dull skin, hair and nails and at least 80% get neutralized by the liver so detoxing it is important to keep that youthful look. If you don’t get all the antioxidants you need from foods, consider adding this antioxidant algae wholefood supplement to your diet to help out. With a blend of ubiquinol, the active and bioavailable form of Coenzyme Q10, organic flaxseed oil, olive biophenols (Hidrox®), organic reishi and oyster mushrooms, and wild bluegreen algae, you can easily get antioxidant protection to help protect cells from free radicals.
2. Omega-3 Fatty Acids To Stay Youthful
Omega-3 fatty acids not only help protect your heart from disease and inflammation, but are also good for keeping youthful looking skin. Salmon is one of the best sources of omega-3 and gives you vitamin B-12 which is good for the heart, protein, and vitamin D good for blood pressure. Other fish that are a good source of omega-3 include herring, halibut, tuna and other coldwater fatty fish. If you’re not a fish eater, you can get your omega-3’s the way the fish do, from algae. AFA bluegreen algae gives you the perfect ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids you need. Nuts are another way to get omega-3’s and protein as well as magnesium, vitamin B and vitamin E. To avoid getting too many calories from nuts stick with about a fourth a cup a day. You can also get omega-3’s from flaxseeds, flaxseed oil and olive oil.
3. Vitamin and Mineral Foods for Healthy Skin
Dark green leafy vegetables and orange vegetables are definite superfoods when it comes to maintaining a youthful appearance and they pack in a lot of nutrition. Green foods such as spinach, chard, kale, and dark green lettuces give you fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin A, folic acid, lutein, calcium, magnesium, iron and potassium. Orange veggies such as sweet potatoes, carrots, and butternut squash give you the beta carotene which the body converts to vitamin A to protect your skin from damaging rays of the sun, help fight off cancer and infections. Sweet potatoes also have copper that aids in producing collagen to keep skin healthy and firm. Caryn J. Roll, dietitian from Montreal Nutrition advises that to get the most antioxidants, vitamins and minerals from vegetables look for the darkest colors available. Besides adding more vegetables to your diet, make sure you are getting whole grain foods in too. Whole grains give you fiber, magnesium, zinc, chromium, iron, protein, vitamin E, and vitamin B-6 and give you 96% more of these nutrients than processed or refined grains do.
4. Add Lean Protein for a Healthy Diet
Lean protein is another important component of an anti-aging diet to keep skin healthy. One great source of lean protein that gives you lots of other nutrition to support a youthful look is yogurt. Look for low-fat or non-fat yogurt to keep the calories down and one with live active cultures and you’ll be getting probiotics, B vitamins, and calcium as well as protein. Another way to get the lean protein you need is from poultry and you’ll also get zinc and selenium to help produce collagen and protect body cells from free radicals.
5. Hydrate and Moisturize Skin
Since the human body is over 70% water, keeping it hydrated is a must for good health and keeping skin youthful. Drinking plenty of water is of course the best way to stay hydrated, but other non-sugar drinks and fruits with lots of water can help out too. Green tea is a good choice as you also get antioxidants, and it has been found to reduce inflammation, boost the metabolism, lower the risk of diabetes and dementia, and reduce cholesterol levels. Hydrating your skin from the outside is also important and this antioxidant moisturizing lotion can give you a good start. It doesn’t have the parabens, synthetics, and petrochemicals that you don’t want on your skin and does have food grade nutrients such as vitamin E, organic bluegreen algae, and wholesome oils that help reduce fine lines and wrinkles, activate the skin’s immune system and fight off free radical damage.
Adding these types of foods for healthy skin can help you keep your youthful appearance and help you age gracefully. Looking your best is a bonus to what a healthy diet can do for your health and keeping you active as you age.
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