10 Ways to Eat Yourself Younger:
The fountain of youth just may be flowing with olive oil and dark chocolate. It’s always best to get your nutrients from whole foods, rather than supplements, and those vitamins, minerals, and micronutrients are responsible for the health, maintenance, and repair of your heart, skin, hair, bones, teeth, brain, and other parts that tend to decline with age. Nutrients from food can help build bone density, prevent or even reverse certain types of cancer, and repair the damage caused by free radicals. So if you want to turn back time and stay youthful — eat up!
Loaded with calcium and with twice the protein of ordinary yogurt — about 17 grams in 6 ounces of plain Greek yogurt — it’s good for your bones and teeth. A good thing when women in particular begin to lose calcium and bone density as they age — particularly after menopause. Dairy products are also loaded with vitamin A, which does wonders for your skin.
Fatty fish such as salmon are referred to as brain food because of their omega 3 fatty acids, which are necessary for human health but must come from outside sources as our bodies can’t produce them. Omega 3s reduce inflammation and are important for brain function and overall health. Those healthy fats are fantastic for your skin, too.
A study released last year by scientists at the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University demonstrated the prompt and powerful effect of a short-term blueberry-enriched diet on aged lab animals. The study suggests that even a brief period of blueberry-enriched feeding may prevent and reverse a considerable degree of age-related object memory decline.
Studies have shown that the lycopene content of watermelon helps protect your body from damaging UV rays — from the inside out.
Legumes such as lentils are packed with good things, including B vitamins, which are essential for healthy hair, skin, eyes, muscle tone, and nervous system; they also help with the breakdown of carbohydrates into glucose, providing proper energy. Protein helps repair damage caused by free radicals; the combination of whole grains and legumes provides a complete protein, and a hefty dose of fiber as well.
Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants and flavonoids, which help protect against environmental damage and repair damage that has already been done. Chocolate also triggers feelings of happiness and euphoria, which goes a long way toward feeling younger.
A recent Australian study compared the diets of people in Australia, Greece and Sweden, and determined that those who ate more vegetables, legumes, fish and olive oil had the least wrinkles. Olive oil also delivers vitamin E, which helps protect skin from free radicals. Packed with mono and polyunsaturated fats, olive oil is good for your heart, too.
In the nineties the Center for Science in the Public Interest compared the nutritional value of sweet potatoes to other veggies – they compared fiber content, complex carbohydrates, protein, vitamins A and C, iron, and calcium, and the sweet potato ranked highest in nutritional value. The dark-fleshed varieties in particular are loaded with antioxidants, which have been shown to slow and perhaps prevent the development of many cancers.
Green tea, and matcha in particular, is loaded with antioxidants and polyphenols, which act as anti-inflammatory agents, fighting free radicals that can contribute to premature aging.
Recent studies have shown that regular consumption of walnuts can help prevent cognitive decline. Researchers concluded that adding walnuts to your diet may increase “health span” and provide a “longevity dividend” by delaying the onset of debilitating neurodegenerative disease.