By Cindy Papp
Anti Aging foods work. To some, anti aging means surgery; like getting a face lift. But the best looking and effective anti aging practices work from the inside out. Real, natural anti-aging begins with your lifestyle and diet. Check out these 4 best anti-aging foods that you can add to your diet today.
Fresh fruits and vegetables are the best anti aging foods. Perhaps you eat these already, but the key is to use these foods to replace highly processed foods that can accelerate aging - or at least the look of aging. Start your anti aging diet by making the main part of each meal fresh vegetables. Eat them raw, steamed or lightly sauteed for best results.
Fresh vegetables provide nutrients, antioxidants and phytonutrients that help our bodies in numerous ways. Many of the compounds found in various veggies are antioxidants that help fight free radicals. In addition, certain vegetables help your body make fresh new cells to replace dull, dead cells (think of your skin cells which do this, or should do this, on a daily basis). The nutrients and phytochemicals of vegetables also help your body make important proteins such as collagen for youthful skin. You cannot get the same result from vitamin pills, so try to eat your daily requirement of veggies each day.
Fresh fruits contain lots of antioxidants that combat free radicals and internal inflammation. This type of inflammation is a constant internal state and linked to a host of diseases from heart disease to cancer, osteoporosis and even diabetes. Often, we associate many disease with aging; but disease with aging is not inevitable. Free radicals also are a contributor to wrinkles and can cause skin to look dull and old. Eating enough fresh fruit can help in your fight against all of this.
Proteins are an important anti-aging food. Protein helps maintain muscle mass; which is especially important after the age of 40 when muscle mass declines each year. Strive to eat a small amount of protein a few times a day instead of all in one meal. This helps your body to utilize it and not store it. Strive for lean proteins such as chicken or turkey breast, free range eggs, lean beef, and fish. Add variety, health and essential fatty acids by eating nuts and seeds for protein, too.
Speaking of Essential Fatty Acids, or EFA's for short, this is our next group of anti-aging foods that most of us do not get enough of. Remember how the antioxidants in fruits help keep internal inflammation at bay? Well EFA's do this, too. In fact studies consistently show that consuming EFA's on a daily basis reduces the risk for heart disease, cancer and arthritis. In addition, fatty acids are imperitive for healthy brain function. According to the University of Maryland, essential fats appear to be important for cognitive, or brain performance, and behavioral function, while The Franklin Institute states that the brain uses fatty acids to create special brain cells that allow you to think and feel.
As far as natural anti-aging, EFA's may seem to help keep your brain sharp and contribute to good health by helping your body combat disease. But these fats go a step further; they keep your skin smooth, your hair healthier and are necessary for healthy hormonal function.
Foods that contain the Essential Fatty Acids include fish, nuts, seed, avocados and olive oil, among others. Try to get a balance of the various EFA's including Omega 3's, 6's and 9's. If you need a supplement, look for one that is balanced. You can even find them with lemon oil so you can avoid a fishy aftertaste.
Whole grains are our fourth anti-aging food. Whole grains are an excellent source of selenium, a mineral that protects your skin from UV rays. An Australian and Dutch study found that those with higher amounts of selenium in the blook had 60% lower incidence of non-melanoma skin cancer. They also contain EFA's for skin and hair, help curb appetite, lower risk of stroke, heart disease and diabetes and help maintain a healthy weight.
Strive to replace refined flours with whole grains in your daily diet. Refined flours raise insulin levels and increases internal inflammation that damages skin. So try to remove foods that contain white flour and bleached flour from your diet. Instead, eat whole grain such as rice, amaranth and oats as part of your anti-aging diet.
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