In 2017, I had my first baby and turned 30, which means that I’m thinking about aging much more than I used to. As I’ve watched the elasticity start to disappear from my skin (and appear more in my wardrobe — hello, yoga pants!), I’ve been working to incorporate anti-aging foods into my diet.
Eating these superfoods means looking better and feeling better, plus fighting off diseases and other ailments. Because even if my son is accelerating the aging process, having him makes me want to stick around for the long haul.
Related: 5 easy ways to drink more water.
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I’ve always known that blueberries were good for preventing wrinkles, thanks to their free-radical-fighting antioxidants and flavonoids, but they carry a host of other benefits too. Some studies have shown that eating blueberries — and other types of berries, as well — can help reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, and even Alzheimers. Enough said.
Guys, there’s just no way around it: Beans are amazing for you, so if you haven’t found a way to acquire a taste for them, now’s the time. We’ve got some pretty smart ideas like roasted chickpeas (the ideal snack), black-eyed pea brownies (they taste amazing, I promise), and hummus (which comes savory and sweet; you’re welcome). Beans deliver tons of protein, fiber, and nutrients, and can reduce bad cholesterol and the risk of heart disease.
3. Dark chocolate
Okay, I was eating chocolate long before I realized its anti-aging properties, but now I can indulge without the guilt. (That’s how it works, right?) Dark chocolate is packed with antioxidants that can help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Plus, it can lower blood pressure and improve circulation. Just make sure you stick to darker chocolate with 70% cocoa or higher; milk and white chocolate don’t offer the same benefits.
Regular nut consumption has been shown to cut your risk of major chronic diseases like type two diabetes and heart disease, and lengthen your life in general. Plus, they’re such an easy, yummy source of protein. Walnuts in particular help promote brain function and may even improve your mood on a day to day basis thanks to their generous helping of Omega-3s.
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Oats show up in so many of our helathy food round-ups, since they have all kind of neat properties like the ability to boost breastmilk supply and help you sleep. But it turns out that complex carbs like oatmeal and other whole grains can also help you improve your cholesterol and look younger, thanks to their fiber and antioxidants.
Fish is another awesome source of Omega-3s, an anti-aging agent, and some researchers say it may even help prevent skin cancer. If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, try getting your Omega-3s from nuts or seeds like chia or flax.
Tomatoes come chock full of vitamin C, which may help rebuild collagen and is important for overall health. Plus, tomatoes contain lycopene, which helps protect your skin from UV damage. If fresh tomatoes aren’t your jam, you’ll be happy to know that our bodies absorb lycopene from cooked tomatoes even more efficiently. It’s good news for those of us looking for easy store-bought short-cuts.
I’m personally not mad about avocado taking over the world. It’s great news for those of us who are, shall we say, a few years out of college. The healthy fat in avocado can help keep skin hydrated and supple. Plus, it’s high in glutathione, which helps protect against environmental toxins and may even fight cancer too. Just make sure that you watch this video on how to cut an avocado safely. Seriously. Avocado hand is a thing, and it’s not good.