The major causes of stress are mental stress and physical stress. You must be familiar with mental stress, but physical stress is the ‘oxidative stress’; both these stresses lead to aging.
Let’s rewind the time to your 20s—flashbacks begin: When you waited until a deadline before submitting an assignment! When you felt terrible and depressed, but found no one to share your feelings with, and choked your emotions to death!
Instead of working out the problem, you munched on an entire pizza, not just a slice, to hide away from your emotions. Why?
Your food has anti-aging effects that reduces both mental and oxidative stress. I am mom of 2, a traveler and love to explore cultural and gastronomical traditions of different countries. I understand why Mediterranean and vegan diets are a hit. They include all the anti-aging and anti-oxidant whole foods that are beneficial to our health.
What Happens When We Are Under Stress?
When you are mentally stressed, the release of cortisol increases, causing digestive issues. In fact, stress can trigger inflammations and a loss of appetite. A greater trigger to age faster—more wrinkles, loose skin, fine lines, and an aging brain!
Oxidative stress, on the other hand, is a normal bodily process that results from metabolism. It’s basically an imbalance of free radicals in the body that cause cell and tissue damage. It plays a great role in the aging process due to constant cell damage. Sagging skin and neurodegenerative diseases is all your get!
Studies show that oxidative stress for a long duration can lead to chronic health conditions such as diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.
It’s true that you are what you eat; the more non-nutritious food you consume, the more stressed you feel and, thus, you prestigiously walk down the aisle of aging!
More articles about diets and food
- 10 Superfoods For Weight Loss
- Healthy Brain Food: Eat Yourself Smarter!
- How To Lose 10 Pounds In 2 Weeks When You’re Over 40
- How Many Calories Do You Need To Lose Weight?
- 10 Important Reasons Why I Can’t Lose Weight
How to Look Younger After 40?
Although less-processed, fresh foods aren’t going to erase the crow’s feet stamped onto your face or replenish your energy like a teenager, but it can definitely boost your skin quality, increase immunity, and reduce oxidative stress.
As a bonus for healthy eating, you are rewarded by zero to minimal disease charts in the upcoming years!
Let’s explore the 10 anti-aging super foods for super skin and super brain:
Expert Tip: If you don’t have the determination and willpower to change your food habit, surround yourself (in your home) with healthy food choices and let the junk food sit on store’s shelves! At least you don’t have the temptation in front of you!
1. Dark Chocolate
Yes, you have to replace your milk chocolates and sugar-filled Nutella treats with dark chocolate. It’s your chance to lock in the amazing anti-aging benefits of a dark chocolate. In fact, dark chocolate is loaded with antioxidants that it’s more potent than blueberries, cranberries, and acai berries.
A dark chocolate is filled with antioxidants ‘flavanols’, beneficial for skin as it increases blood circulation to the skin cells. The flavanols protect your skin against sun damage by absorbing UV radiations. Moreover, flavanols improve thickness, smoothness and hydration of your skin.
With high flavanol content, a dark chocolate increases the capacity of people to stay under the sun without turning red or getting sunburn, reveals this study. Have this super food for super skin recovery and prevent aging.
Moreover, as per these studies, dark chocolate boosts arterial elasticity, raises insulin sensitivity, and decreases blood pressure.
While getting your dark chocolate, ensure that it has at least 70% cocoa solids in it!
Berries have anti-aging properties, especially blueberries. The little berries are loaded with antioxidants that protect your skin against free radicals from stress, pollution, and sun exposure.
The fruity berries are rich in vitamin C that prevent wrinkles or you may say ‘laugh lines’. It’s rich in vitamin A that promotes skin health. Another super antioxidant ‘anthocyanin’ present in berries slows down the aging process. It keeps the skin elasticity intact and prevents inflammations on skin to push forward the aging.
I love blueberries for breakfast in muffins (to go) and in yogurt with some muesli.
Nuts (especially almonds and walnuts) are super sources of vitamin E, which plays a vital role in skin repair, moisture retention, and skin protection against UV damage. Moreover, they contain anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids that give you a natural glow on your skin.
Nuts can ramp up production of collagen, necessary to keep your skin youthful, plump, and elastic.
Nuts are amazing mood boosters. They are rich in antioxidants that keep your mental and physical stress in check; thus, slow down the ‘mental aging processes’.
Top your salads with a bit of nutty sprinkles or take them as a snack whenever you have a craving. However, be sure to keep the skin intact as almost 50% of the antioxidants are present in it.
4. Flax seeds
Seeds are superfoods, the tiny sprinklers can benefit you in millions of amazing ways. Flax seeds contain lignans that lowers cholesterol, dampens blood sugar levels, and reduces the risk of prostate and breast cancer.
Flax seeds are stuffed with omega-3 fatty acids ‘ALA’ that protect your skin against UV radiations and skin damage.
As per following study, women who eat flax seeds or use flax oil in their diet for about 3 months had more hydrated and smoother skin.
Avocado are rich in omega-3s that are anti-inflammatory fatty acids; thus, reducing both oxidative stress and inflammation caused by mental stress. Instead, omega-3s boost immune functions and assist your body and mind age more gracefully.
Avocado is jam-packed with essential nutrients such as B vitamins, potassium, vitamin A, E, C, and K. Vitamin C boosts collagen production and skin elasticity, vitamin E increases skin repair, vitamin K helps with balanced digestive health, and vitamin A aids to shed dead skin cells, where the carotenoid blocks toxins that cause damage to the skin.
So, prepare a toast, add it in your salads, or have an avocado pudding to reap the amazing anti-aging benefits of avocado.
6. Green Tea
Green tea is packed with antioxidants that promotes youthful skin and healthy cell growth. The antioxidants reduce the oxidative stress within the body, rejuvenating you with vital energy for long-term work.
The powerful antioxidants ‘flavonoids’ boost your immune system and prevent DNA damage due to toxin that cause cellular destruction and aging.
There are skin plumping antioxidants ‘EGCG’ that fight wrinkles by boosting skin turnover. Moreover, green tea is effective in weight loss. It’s a really good age miracle drink for your skin and body.
As I sometimes struggle to drink 2 liters of water per day, I replace it by a couple of cups of green tea, it changes somewhat from water and it brings me all of the above benefits.
Pomegranates are the healthiest fruit. The antioxidant activities triggered by vital nutrients in pomegranate are higher than that of green tea.
Pomegranate is an antioxidant food that reduces inflammation, maintains your blood sugar level and prevents damage due to high insulin level.
It protects your skin from harmful UV radiations. Pomegranate boosts collagen production and blood circulation to make the skin plump and youthful.
Spices are commonly added in Asian cuisines. They bring color and flavor to your food. Variety is the spice of life; but, here, spice brings the variety in life—to make your tasteless food delicious and worth a try!
Spices contain several plant compounds that have beneficial effect on health. Spices can enhance the texture of your skin—making it look smoother and younger.
Cinnamon increases collagen production; thus, playing a vital role in skin elasticity and firmness. It can protect you against damage caused by advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) that are formed during high blood sugar levels.
Capsaicin present in chili pepper can potentially reduce age-related changes prominent in skin cells.
Gingerol in ginger has anti-inflammatory effects that prevents the aging spots caused by excessive sun exposure.
Curcumin in turmeric combats chronic diseases, cell damage and aging. Moreover, it also keeps the telomere (the DNA end caps) from shortening, a major cause of neurodegenerative diseases and aging.
Vegetables are dense in nutrients—both vitamins and minerals that fight against age-related disease. Vegetables boost your mood by reducing the stress level.
The antioxidants present in vegan diets decrease the risk of cataracts, cancer, and heart diseases.
Vegetables are usually high in beta carotenes. They are great weapons against skin-damaging radiations as well as body free radicals, both are responsible for aging the skin. Carrots, sweet potato, and pumpkin are great sources of beta carotene.
Vegetables are also rich in vitamin C, the collagen booster. As per the following study, people who consumed 180 mg of vitamin C for about 4 weeks had higher antioxidant activity as much as 37%. Bell pepper, tomatoes, leafy greens, and broccoli are rich sources of vitamin C.
As per another research on 700 Japanese women, those who consumed more yellow and green vegetables had more skin elasticity and less wrinkled skin with growing age.
Broccoli is not simply a brain booster, but an amazing anti-aging food. Studies show that lutein, also present in broccoli, can keep your brain from aging faster into the elderly years.
10. Olive Oil
Among all the plant oils, olive oil contains about 75% of health monounsaturated fatty acids. It boosts the younger looking skin elasticity.
Additionally, the antioxidants ‘polyphenols’ in olive oil can destroy the free radicals present in your body. Ultimately, it prevents premature aging, but it doesn’t reverse aging.
Stuff your platter with the ingredients mentioned above and appreciate the most anti-aging health benefits simply by consuming healthy (vegan) foods. No matter what age you are, in addition to those anti-aging creams, reap some long-lasting benefits by eating healthy!
Let me know in the comments how you counter the aging process—is it only the cosmetics or a diet alteration too?