When it comes to longevity, there’s no miracle food. But good nutrition can help you look and feel younger. “What you put into your body can make a big difference in your health." That’s how registered dietitian/nutritionist and certified diabetes educator Terri Sakelaris starts all her nutrition classes at Community Healthcare System. “Fill your body with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory foods to fight aging,” she advises.
That means filling your shopping cart with healthy greens and other whole, clean foods. Most age-fighting foods are fruits and vegetables, but some of their health-promoting powers might surprise you. For example, did you know that blood oranges contain antioxidants that combat damage from free radicals and UV rays?
Start with these five age-fighting foods to combat everything from wrinkles to memory loss.
Fight age with this oily fish, which provides omega-3 fatty acids and protein. Among other benefits, both support brain function. A weekly serving or two fights inflammation and could reduce risk for Alzheimer’s disease and stroke.
2. Fresh Greens
Sakelaris recommends “dense nutrient versatile foods, like kale, dandelion leaves, and spinach”—in other words, healthy greens that contain folate, calcium, and other nutrients that support bone health. They also protect against cognitive decline and age-related eye issues.
3. Infused Balsamic Vinegar
A tasty alternative to salad dressing, infused balsamic vinegars are available at grocery stores. Fun flavors include cranberry pear, honey ginger, mango, and lemon, to name a few. “There are many infused balsamic vinegars that can add flavor but also provide, from grapes, a bioflavonoid with antioxidant properties. Along with having vitamin C, this strengthens the immune system, protects cells, and may enhance insulin sensitivity,” says Sakelaris.
Blueberries, cherries, and the like contain antioxidants called anthocyanins. They are known for reducing risk for some cancers and improving brain function, balance, and muscle tone. Antioxidants also fight the free radicals that cause wrinkles.
5. Cranberry Juice
Known for its effectiveness against urinary tract infections, this healthy juice raises the level of salicylic acid in the body. Salicylic acid promotes heart health, inhibiting swelling and blood clots. In addition, the flavonoids in cranberry juice can counteract the bacteria that cause tooth decay.
Cucumbers have the highest water content in the produce section. They promote hydration and help rinse toxins from the body. In the looks department, silica in the peel boosts collagen to reduce wrinkles and create smoother skin.