Today I want to talk to you about anti aging foods. As you know, bad habits can have a negative impact on premature aging. Fast food and industrial food are highly processed, and therefore most of the nutrients have disappeared. Plus these food products usually contain a high level of chemicals like artificial flavors, preservative and a lot of salt and sugar.
Besides an unhealthy diet, also sun bathing, stress, alcohol or tobacco will have a negative impact on your body, inside and out!
As time goes by, and if we do not do anything about this, these bad habits could translate in health problems like nutritional deficiencies, obesity, diabetes or cardio vascular diseases.
We might not realize when we are in our twenties and maybe thirties, when we look young and beautiful and feel great despite these bad habits. We think these habits will not affect us. It is only when the first (visible) signs appear, that we start taking action. Think about the first wrinkles, skin problems, tiredness or the extra kilos that are more difficult to get rid of.
We all know the importance of living a healthy life and avoiding premature aging, like getting enough sleep, doing exercise, being positive and living in the present moment. But one of the most important aspects of aging well is a healthy diet! Some foods help slow down the aging process. Therefore, a healthy and balanced diet is important for your health.
Benefits Of A Healthy Diet
A healthy diet is the key to a healthy body and mind. It will give you the energy you need to do your daily activities and it will avoid any nutritional deficiencies that could be the cause of diseases. The principal benefits of eating healthy foods are:
- it brings the necessary energy for the proper functioning of our cells
- it reduces the risk of developing certain (chronic) diseases, thus increases life expectancy
- waste and toxins are eliminated
- the intestinal flower is kept in balance
- it keeps your skin flower in balance and gets rid of skin secretions, which will beautify your skin
- it will help you resist external agressions, whether they are viral, immunal or bacterial
As a Reminder: The 5 Basic Food Groups
As you might know, there are 5 basic food groups in which we divide our nutrition. It is recommended that we include a variety of foods from each group into our daily menu, as they provide the most essential nutrients and vitamins that our body needs to function properly.
Each group has a major role to play in what they bring to our body:
Functional foods: these are the foods that provide fibre, minerals and vitamins to protect our system and are necessary to the proper functioning of our body. They can be found in the groups of vegetables and fruits.
Constructional foods: these are necessary for building our bone structure and to develop our muscular mass. These are to be found in the proteins and the grains.
Energetic foods: these provide the necessary energy for our cells but also for our reserves. You can find these in the groups of grains and fats.
The 5 main food groups are:
1. Grain (cereal) foods:
This is our first source of energy and should be part of every meal. Always go for wholegrain and/or high fibre varieties of grain foods, whether you choose bread, pasta, cereals or rice. In this food group you’ll find the carbohydrates or slow sugars, as well as Vitamins B1 and B2, which play an important role in your energy supply. Potatoes and legumes fall into this category as well.
2. Vegetables and fruits:
Rich in vitamins, phytonutrients and minerals, they should be a large part of every meal, even for snacks. Thanks to their dietary fibre, they stimulate our digestion. It is always recommended eating seasonal fruits and vegetables, their quality will be better when they are in season.
Tip: Check out my articles on in season vegetables for more information on which vegetables are in season:
3. Meat, fish and eggs:
These foods all provide a similar quantity of proteins, but the level of fats, vitamins and minerals varies strongly from one food to another. Therefore, it is recommended to alter your foods withing this group on a regular basis, in order to make sure you get the essential nutrients from each of them.
4. Dairy products:
Here we find milk, yogurt, cheese and other dairy products. These constructional food products have an important role during adolescence, as they are rich in calcium and help develop the bone structure. Other nutrients they provide include proteins (necessary for the renewal of the vital organs and tissues, especially the muscles), fats, minerals like calcium (important for the bones and teeth) and phosphor and vitamin A (important for growth, vision and skin renewal), vitamin D (helps the body use the calcium) and the vitamins of group B, which has multiple benefits in our energy supply.
In this category you can find butter, cream, oils and margarine. The fats they contain help preserve our energy reserve, they slow down our digestion and are part of our cells. They all have a different level of fatty acids, which means we should vary them in our diet as they play an important role on our body (especially the cardio vascular system). Fats also contain different vitamins. A for growth, vision and skin renewal just to name a few. D for permitting the body to use the calcium, E is an antioxidant and K participates in the blood clotting system.
Now, without further a due, lets look at the list of the 15 best anti aging foods for women after 40, which I have listed according to the food group they belong to.
Top 15 Anti Aging Foods For Women After 40
Grain (cereal) foods:
1. Brown rice:
Rich in fibres, antioxidants, plant proteins and fats. Brown rice has many benefits for your skin; thanks to the ceramide molecules, it tightens pores and refines skin texture, it stimulates cell renewal and collagen formation, it alleviates eczema and calms irritations and it tones the skin. It’s nutrients also help decrease the risk of cardio vascular diseases, diabetes, obesity and certain cancers.
2. Nuts and grains:
They contain a high level of zinc, selenium, vitamin E and omega 3. They protect the cells against inflammatory lesions and maintain the elasticity of the skin longer.
Vegetables and fruits:
Contain a high level of vitamins B, C and E. The substance that we find in the avocado pulp can trigger more collagen, which smoothens your skin.
This vegetable contains many antioxidants phytonutrients which help prevent wrinkles. Eating regularly a portion of squash is a good way to preserve your skin’s youth.
Tip: Try Pumpkin Seed Oil as skin care for your cleavage. A rich oil containing many nutrients that are good for your skin. According to Blake from The Zoe Report, after 2 weeks of use, you actually see a difference, maybe not as far as a breast lifting oil, but your skin definitely looks smoother and firmer.
Rich in vitamin A and C, broccoli also contains the compound sulforaphane, which contains many antioxidants. Broccoli reinforces the immune system and helps reduce the risk of cardio vascular diseases.
In France, each person consumes approximately 800 grams of garlic per year. In Spain this is as much as 4 Kg per person! Garlic contains a high number of antioxidants and especially tocophenol which fights against the free radicals that are responsible for the premature aging of the cells, which are the cause of our wrinkles for example. Garlic also contains minerals like calcium, magnesium and potassium and oligo-elements like iron, zinc and selenium, all of which are important for the proper functioning of the body.
Better known as a plant that helps against urinary disorders, the cranberry has a whole range of valuable substances such as potassium, phosphorus but also vitamin C and other antioxidants. These antioxidants fight against the free radicals and help prevent premature aging of the skin and reduce the risk of cardio vascular diseases.
Very low in calories, very high in vitamins! Its the level in vitamin C, K, E and B that strengthens our immune system and helps reduce our stress, anxiety or even colds. Its intake helps in preventing cardio vascular diseases and hypertension, thanks to its high concentration in potassium.
They are a great source of antioxidants, especially anthocyanins, which prevents from cell aging and collagen destruction and reduce the risk of cardio vascular diseases. They also help protect the skin from the sun, against stress and pollution. Another advantage is that they increase satiety and regulate the blood sugar level. And finally, they reduce the amount of lipids in fat cells.
Oranges are famous for their high level of vitamin C. They are great allies for helping repair your skin tissue. One orange contains many vitamins A and B as well, it’s a natural anti-age-er. It’s pulp is generous in minerals and fibre. This fruit is very low in calories and brings a lot of energy!
Meat, fish and eggs:
A great source of proteins and essential fatty acids, which are important for skin renewal. It is recommended to add mackerel to your menu 1 or 2 times a week. The good thing with mackerel is that is not expensive!
Salmon contains many essential minerals like calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, potassium, phosphorus, copper, selenium and is one of the richest foods in Omega 3 fatty acids. It is recommended to include salmon 1 or 2 times per week into your menu
Eggs are great allies when it comes to skin care. They contain vitamin D, proteins and antioxidants (vitamin A, E, selenium,…) which protects our skin against wrinkles. So, whether in an omelet, boiled or poached, there’s no reason not to eat them.
14. Soybean Milk:
Soybean milk contains lecithin, a great source of vitamin E, choline and inositol (part of the vitamin B family), which are very efficient in preventing wrinkles.
Fact: Did you know that soybeans are often used in cosmetics, especially in anti-aging products? It is well-known that soybeans are rich in proteins. It is from these proteins that anti-aging peptides are extracted, which densifies the skin tissue and gives your skin a younger and smoother look.
15. Olive oil:
The Mediterranean olive tree is a symbol of longevity and strength. It’s oil is not only good for its taste, it has also many virtues for our health and skin. Olive oil has an anti-cholesterol, detoxifying and regenerating effect. With its 70% mono-unsaturated fatty acids, they clean and protect the arteries, the digestive and biliary system and helps reduce the risk of cardio vascular diseases. For me, it is the only fat source I use in the kitchen.
These are no foods, but they should be mentioned here anyway!
Drinking plenty of water is one of the best things you can do to prevent your skin from premature aging! With plenty, I mean at least 1,5 liters per day, 2 liters being even better. When getting older, the hyaluronic acid concentration of the epidermis decreases, which can cause skin imperfections, wrinkles and other nasty stuff. Cosmetics can provide extra hydration, but drinking water is essential for your good health.
which contains antioxidants that fight against free radicals that cause premature aging of our skin. It is the tannin in the tea which have the ability to tighten the skin pores. Green tea can also help clean greasy skin (use a cotton soaked in green tea to rinse your face). It’s vitamin C allows the increase of attention and concentration as well as a reduction of fatigue.
Life is full of challenges and eating healthy is definitely one of them! It’s important to realize that these foods are not miraculous on it’s own, as for them to be efficient, it is necessary to integrate them in your every day menu and to vary as much as possible. Besides eating well, adopting a healthy lifestyle also means doing regular exercise, getting enough sleep and drinking at least 1,5 liters of water per day.
What are your favorite anti-aging foods? What are their benefits? I would love for you to share your thoughts with us, just leave a comment below.
Now all this writing has gotten me hungry! I’m off the grab a nice healthy snack and then go for my daily power walk!