Maintaining a healthy, anti-aging diet is a two-part endeavor. On the one hand, you should avoid foods that increase the effects of aging. On the other, it's important to consume foods that reverse these effects.
As for what you should avoid, the list is simple: Foods high in saturated fats -- such as red meat and pastries that are full of shortening and butter -- are clearly those you should only enjoy in small amounts. Since maintaining a healthy weight is part of an anti-aging diet, it's also not a bad idea to stay away from food and drinks that are high in sugar. In general, you should keep highly processed foods to a minimum [source: Women Fitness].
So, what can you add to your diet to replace all those high-fat, high-sugar, processed foods?
Remember that anti-aging foods include those with high levels of antioxidants. Once you've eliminated unhealthy foods from your diet, try incorporating the following categories of food into your daily menu:
- Citrus fruits -- These fruits are high in vitamin C, an antioxidant that can help maintain healthy skin.
- Whole grains -- Oatmeal, brown rice, whole-wheat pasta and whole-grain breads are excellent sources of fiber, iron and B vitamins. Fiber keeps your digestive system in good order while iron and B vitamins keep your energy level up.
- Berries -- This type of fruit is an ideal source of flavonoids, a group of antioxidants. Just a half cup of berries a day could give you a huge boost in anti-aging nutrients.
- Nuts -- Adding nuts to your morning cereal or lunch salad is an easy way to get important minerals like potassium, which helps maintain a healthy blood pressure. They also contain a good dose of vitamin B, and the healthy fats they contain may help preserve your skin's elasticity [sources: Bouchez, Zelman].
For more information on keeping your skin young and healthy, visit the links below.
Related HowStuffWorks Articles
- Bouchez, Colette. "Nutrients for Healthy Skin: Inside and Out." WebMD. (Accessed 9/24/09)http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/features/skin-nutrition
- Cassetty, Samantha B., and Delia Hammock. "Best Anti-Aging Foods." GoodHousekeeping.com. 2009. (Accessed 10/5/09)http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/health/diet/anti-aging-diet-tips
- Davis, Jeanie Lerche. "Expert Q&A: Anti-aging and Diet: An Interview with David Grotto, RD, LDN." WebMD. (Accessed 9/24/09)http://www.webmd.com/diet/guide/expert-q-and-q-antiaging-and-diet
- Hitti, Miranda. "Retinol May Smooth Aging Skin." WebMD. 5/22/07. (Accessed 10/5/09.) http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/news/20070522/retinol-may-smooth-aging-skin
- National Cancer Institute. "Antioxidants and Cancer Prevention: Fact Sheet". (Accessed 9/24/09)http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/prevention/antioxidants
- National Cancer Institute. "Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT)." (Accessed 9/24/09)http://www.cancer.gov/newscenter/pressreleases/SELECTQandA
- National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. "Garlic." National Institutes of Health. March 2008. (Accessed 10/23/09)http://nccam.nih.gov/health/garlic/ataglance.htm
- Warner, Jennifer. "Myth vs. Reality on Anti-Aging Vitamins." Web MD feature located at MedicineNet.com. (Accessed 9/24/09) http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=51301
- WomenFitness.net. "Top 10 Anti-Aging Foods." 2009. (Accessed 9/24/09) http://www.womenfitness.net/anti_aging_food.htm
- Zelman, Kathleen. "The Anti-Aging Diet." WebMD. 2006. (Accessed 10/23/09)http://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/guide/anti-aging-diet?page=5