What if we told you staying young and vibrant starts with what's on your plate? Your diet plays a huge role in your overall health and how you feel. If you want to live an active, healthful life for as long as possible, these healthy eating habits can help keep you just about as youthful as you feel, inside and out.
An antioxidant-rich diet can help your skin look younger and healthier. That’s because antioxidants are natural fighters that help protect the skin from damaging things like UV rays and free radicals that age the skin dramatically.
Yummy foods that are high in antioxidants include:
Changing what you cook your food in can play a big role in keeping your body and skin young. Extra virgin olive oil, or EVOO, is one of the healthiest oils on the planet. An EVOO-rich diet offers plenty of healthy fats and has been linked to reduced risks for some chronic conditions, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and certain cancers.
Olive oil is also high in monounsaturated fats, which studies have found may help reduce skin aging thanks to strong anti-inflammatory effects. Opt for cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil when you can. This type contains more antioxidants and is less processed than other oils.
Some spices, like turmeric and saffron, are known for their anti-aging properties. Turmeric is immune boosting and anti-inflammatory, two key ingredients in the healthy aging puzzle, while saffron has been shown to fight inflammation, reduce hyperpigmented skin, and support wound healing.
Omega-3s in fatty fish like tuna and salmon are essential for healthy cell membranes. Cell membranes act as barriers to the cell and help retain moisture, which translates to plumper and younger-looking skin. When your diet lacks omega-3s, your skin may become dry, flaky, and dull. So increase your intake of fatty fish, spinach, kale, and walnuts to keep your skin healthy and glowing.
Processed trans fats interfere with cell function, leading to various health concerns like inflammation, hormonal imbalance, and depression. Since trans fats raise your LDL (bad) cholesterol levels while lowering your HDL (good) levels, a diet high in these fats increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. It's almost impossible to cut them out completely, but try to prioritize healthier fats where you can.
Alcohol ages you from the inside out, leading to dehydration, dry and dull skin, bloating and weight gain, and more serious issues like liver disease and cancer. To help your body thrive, try to limit your alcohol intake to two drinks per week.
If you’re bored with water, turn your plain old agua into a fun and flirty mocktail. Swap flat water for sparkling, and add fresh berries and mint for a refreshing drink that invigorates rather than ages you.
Orange vegetables hold impressive anti-aging powers thanks to beta-carotene, which is extremely important for healthy eyes and skin. Pack your diet with sweet potato, carrots, butternut squash, pumpkin, and bell peppers to reap these benefits.
Did you know that eating orange vegetables can even protect your skin from sunburn? Preventing sun damage is a critically important part of healthy, youthful-looking skin.
If breakfast is the most important meal of the day, oatmeal is the star of the show. Chock-full of fiber, oats also feed the good bacteria in the gut and help balance your blood sugar. Without this anti-inflammatory bacteria, blood sugar levels could spike, potentially leading to other unwanted effects. A diet containing oats will also help strengthen tissues and support your skin's elasticity.
Why not share the (health is) wealth? There’s nothing quite like getting together with loved ones over a great meal, and that shouldn’t change just because you’re getting older. Make it a priority to gather your family and friends for a delicious meal—it's an instant mood booster that helps you enjoy the benefits of socialization.
As you age, socialization plays a key role in staving off loneliness, sharpening memory and cognition, and increasing happiness; these are all things that keep you feeling young. It may even help you live longer!
Obesity is a contributing factor in several chronic diseases, including heart disease and diabetes. What’s more, one study found that the more you weigh, the older your biological age becomes—did you know that obesity adds the equivalent of nearly nine years to your body?
To avoid this rapid aging, prioritize a balanced diet high in protein and loaded with fresh fruit, veggies, and other nutrient-dense foods. Remember that "minding your portions" doesn't mean leaving yourself hungry. It means listening to your body and eating slowly, stopping when you're full.