Healthy Eats: Anti-Aging Foods
In 1513 Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León went on a quest to find the Fountain of Youth – unfortunately for us, he turned up empty handed. So while there may not be a magic elixir you can drink to turn back the hands of time (yet), there are several foods you can eat that have been proven to slow down the aging process and keep you feeling and looking younger:
This ancient fruit has a rich history and is often linked with health, fertility and rebirth – and for good reason. Even though it is low in calories, this fruit is jam-packed with nutrients like fiber, vitamins C and K, and antioxidants. Vitamin C aids in the production of collagen and elastin, while the multitude of antioxidants prevent tumor growth and have anti-inflammatory properties.
While the seeds may be difficult to harvest, they are well worth the effort. Try tossing a handful on your next salad, or mixing with salsa for a unique flavor.
According to Thai lore, people who dine on black garlic are granted the gift of immortality. While the jury is still out regarding it’s ability to grant eternal life, there is no debate regarding the health benefits offered by this food. Black garlic has twice the antioxidants of regular garlic, which means double the protection against free-radical damage.
An added benefit of black garlic is that you can eat it raw and it won’t have the acrid bite you’re probably used to, instead it has a mild, earthy-sweet taste reminiscent of molasses. Try substituting it in place of it’s white counter-part in your next dish.
Ever heard of this root vegetable? Don’t let the name deceive you, this tuber has no relation to Jerusalem and is actually not a type of artichoke; instead it is a species of sunflower. The tubers have five times more iron than your common potato, an attribute that can actually help you fade those pesky under-eye circles that are often caused by an iron deficiency.
Considered a gourmet vegetable by many, it is similar to a water chestnut in taste and makes a great addition to soups.
Tomato, tomahto – either way you say it, we say this fruit (yes-fruit!) provides a multitude of health benefits. They are rich in lycopene, which reduces the risk of heart disease, cancer and macular degeneration. The lycopene in tomatoes also acts as a delicious and natural sunscreen, preventing the UV damage that can cause wrinkles and sunspots.
Raw or cooked, tomatoes make a yummy addition to a variety of dishes. Add to your chili, a garden salad or sandwich.
The cranberry may be a small fruit, but it packs some large benefits. For one, it is full of bacteria fighting power; with every sip of this beverage you are inhibiting the growth of the oral bacteria that causes plaque to build up. What this means is cleaner, fresher teeth that don’t show the yellowing-signs of aging. Cranberry juice also keeps you young on the inside, offering a natural defense against heart disease and cancer.
Try mixing with a little soda water to make a bubbly and refreshing drink – just make sure that you are using the 100% juice variety with no preservatives or additives, rather than it’s high-in-sugar evil twin, the cranberry juice cocktail.
Last but not least, this tiny silver fish is surprisingly nutritious. The high-levels of omega-3 fatty acids found in sardines encourage the production of collagen and elastin, which promotes more radiant and youthful skin. Omega-3s also contribute to healthy hair growth; adding these fish to your diet will ensure that your locks look luscious.
Bonus benefit – sardines fall so low on the food chain they contain a lower amount of mercury than many other types of fish. Add sardines to your next Greek salad for a fresh twist, or mix with lemon-garlic vinaigrette and serve over fettuccine.