There are foods, and then there are superfoods. The former typically give us a normal dose of the nutrients we need to survive. Superfoods, on the other hand, flood our bodies with a higher-than-average amount of nutrients that keep us healthy and vibrant. That’s why superfoods are so closely linked to the fight against the signs of aging: they contain the vitamins and minerals you need to hold onto your youthful spirit, even as the years pass by. Add the following 10 foods into your regular menu and welcome back the pep into your step.
Let’s start this list with something that’s not technically a food: it’s a soothing beverage that can be served hot, cold or full of chia seeds. Regardless of how you take your tea, it is chock full of antioxidants that have a direct effect on the aging process. According to researchers at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, those who drank three cups per day had longer telomeres than those who drank a quarter cup daily. Telomeres are directly linked to aging, which is why those with longer telomeres lived an average of five years longer, according to this study. Drinking green tea can also help your body defend itself against sun damage and wrinkles. So, in short, drink up.
You’ve likely heard of the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet, but did you know that researchers also believe that the low number of heart disease and cancer cases on the island of Crete can be attributed to the monounsaturated fats in olive oil? Aside from its work on the inside, olive oil can also help your skin plump up and fight wrinkles.
Another food that’s famous in the world of weight loss, grapefruit has its merits in anti-aging, too. The citrus fruit has tons of vitamin C, which is a powerful agent in fighting the signs of aging — pair a few tangy slices with walnuts, which, thanks to their healthy fats, further plump skin and smooth over wrinkles.
Soviet Russia had a large population of centenarians in the 1970s, and they had no qualms divulging their anti-aging secret: yogurt. The creamy breakfast or snack food is loaded with calcium, which keeps your bones strong for years to come. It also has live cultures and probiotics that keep your gut health in check and ward off any intestinal issues. And, hey, yogurt pairs well with just about any antioxidant-rich fruit and nut on this list — grab a spoon and dig in.
Speaking of fruits that pair well with yogurt, a handful of these tangy fruits will deliver a heaping helping of antioxidants to your system. They then get to work to improve the health of your urinary tract, sharpen brain function and clear up any skin blemishes.
Guacamole, anyone? It’s not hard to work avocado into your diet, since it goes so well with tortilla chips, eggs, sandwiches and salads. In fact, you’ll find it even easier now that you know how good it is for you: like olive oil, avocado has the monounsaturated fat necessary to keep your heart healthy. These fats also keep your skin looking dewy even as the years go by.
Let them eat chocolate. Cocoa contains flavonols, which keeps your blood vessels in tip-top shape. And, surprisingly, these little guys have a hand in keeping your blood pressure in check, as well as warding off diabetes, kidney disease and dementia. Have a square of the dark-chocolate variety after dinner for a sweet end to a savory meal.
There’s a reason why people take omega-3 supplements: they have an incredible ability to fight against cholesterol in your arteries, which could quite literally save you from heart disease in the future. Get yours naturally by incorporating fish into your diet. The underwater protein also serves to improve the look of your skin.
A tiny clove of garlic has more power than its size lets on. The flavorful veggie helps you ward off inflammation while strengthening your immune system. Obviously, the latter will help you stay on a healthy track as you age, since it stands between you and any sort of free radical that could get you sick.
First chocolate, now wine. Most research into the beverage revolves around red wine, which has an astounding number of benefits. It contains resveratrol, which has been shown to slow cellular aging in animal test subjects. If red wine isn’t your thing, any type of moderate alcohol consumption keeps your heart in check, lessens your chances of contracting diabetes and fights against age-related memory loss. So, go ahead and pour yourself a glass and enjoy it — even if you’re trying to fight the onset of aging, it’s okay to live a little.