Skin health and life expectancy begins and ends with your DIET. These anti-aging foods are great for improving your skin and living a longer life.
Aging happens from the inside out, so your skin is a dead giveaway. Skin often reflects what’s going on internally with your cells and DNA.
That’s because it’s the largest organ on the body!
Damage from free radicals leads not only to wrinkles, loss of plumpness and age spots but also diseases associated with the elderly, like dementia, degenerative eye disease, diabetes, and atherosclerosis, according to this study.
Most anti-aging foods contain antioxidants, compounds that fight free radicals.
This review provides a comprehensive list of the nutrients to look for in anti-aging foods. Some of them include:
- Vitamin C – Potent antioxidant. Stabilizes the structure of collagen, resulting in firmer skin.
- Vitamin E – Works well in combination with vitamin C to protect against fat oxidation and collagen destruction, both of which lead to signs of aging skin.
- Polyphenols – Protect the skin from UV-induced damage, including skin cancer. These include flavonoids and the botanical antioxidants resveratrol, curcumin and green tea polyphenols
- Carotenoids – Vitamin A variations including beta-carotene, astaxanthin, retinol, and lycopene. Protect against UV damage, including sunburn. A long-term study performed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that eating high levels of vitamin A reduced the risk of dying by almost 40%.
- Vitamin D – Has been shown to prevent skin cancer and have anti-aging effects.
Here are some of the best anti-aging foods filled with antioxidants:
One pomegranate contains 28 mg of vitamin C. That’s almost half of your daily vitamin C needs.
The ellagic acid and punicalagin in the seeds are also great for your skin. Ellagic acid helps combat damage caused by free radicals, and punicalagin may help your body create collagen.
Eating a raw pomegranate doesn’t have to be daunting. Roll the fruit around on a hard surface to loosen the seeds.
Cut it in half, then apply pressure to the outside of the fruit, using your fingers or a fork to remove the seeds. Drop the seeds into a bowl of water, and the white membranes of the fruit will float to the surface, leaving behind the juicy, nutrient-packed seeds.
Often labeled a superfood, blueberries contain a lot of antioxidants in their small packages. The antioxidants can protect your skin from the free radicals that can harm your DNA and cause skin damage from the inside out.
You can prevent damage to the structure of your cells by eating a cup a day. This will help prevent wrinkles, sun spots, and sagging skin.
The thin skin also makes it easy for these little babies to absorb chemicals and pesticides, so go for organic when possible. Pro tip: It’s usually cheaper to buy them frozen!
Green, leafy vegetables, like kale and spinach, contain phytonutrients that work as antioxidants. The beta-carotene in spinach also protects against photo-aging that’s caused by lifelong sun exposure, according to this study.
Spinach and kale are also high in Vitamin C, so make sure to get a good amount in during the winter months when colds and the flu are going around. You can eat them raw, put them in smoothies, or cook them up with dinner!
4. Fatty Fish
Fish that are high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as wild salmon, help the skin cells maintain the barrier they need to hold onto moisture.
Omega-3 fatty acids have been used to treat skin conditions like acne and psoriasis. They can also help lower the risk of diseases that are associated with aging, such as diabetes and arthritis.
Try to stick to wild Alaskan salmon if possible, because it contains more nutrients and health properties than farm-raised.
I also read an article by the Seattle Times recently on how farm-raised salmon is being shipped to China to be de-boned and processed because it’s cheaper than doing it in the U.S.
So not only did it put thousands of Americans out of jobs, but the salmon is actually thawed to a temperature that allows it to be processed and is then re-frozen and shipped back to the U.S. This entire process takes about two months. Fresh fish, huh? No, thank you.
If you can’t get enough salmon into your diet (wild Alaskan salmon is expensive, I totally get it), try a good fish oil supplement to make sure that you get in your Omega-3s.
Turmeric contains curcumin, which has been found to protect against photo-aging and inflammation. It also has anti-cancer characteristics.
If you’re not a fan of curries, which often contain turmeric, you can drink turmeric tea. Just brew some herbal tea and add turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, and coconut milk (if desired).
6. Green Tea
The catechins in green tea can help prevent the dark spots that come from sun exposure. The polyphenols in green tea work their antioxidant magic on your whole system.
An added bonus is that green tea can help you lose weight, which can become more challenging to do as you age.
If you really want a MAJOR boost for your skin, try giving matcha green tea a try!
It contains 10x the amount of antioxidants as one cup of green tea! I personally have it every morning with a little bit of coconut milk and cinnamon! Just make sure that it comes from Japan where it is grown, not China! I use this brand, which is both tasty and affordable!
Surprisingly, ½ cup of parsley contains almost all of your daily requirements of vitamin C. Parsley is refreshing when added to a salad or smoothie.
Parsley is also high in iron, vitamin K, and also known for its protection against rheumatoid arthritis.
8. Egg Yolks
A rich source of vitamin D, vitamin A and antioxidants, egg yolks are nourishing for your body.
Eggs have even been found to effectively and impressively heal wounded or burned skin without leaving scars.
They also contain a ton of healthy fats that the body needs! Egg yolks were once demonized for containing the bad kinds of fats, and fitness professionals and gurus obsessed with protein from egg whites further solidified this negative stigma. The information was based on old, poorly conducted studies which have since been debunked! So start eating those yolks!
This summery treat is rich in vitamin C. It also contains potassium and lycopene, which help the body balance its moisture content and allow the cells to be optimally nourished.
The antioxidant, lycopene, also has powerful effects on preventing certain types of cancer.
Watermelon is also full of water, hence its name, so eating a serving will help keep you hydrated and contribute to your overall water intake for the day!
10. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil can be used topically or internally for its anti-aging benefits. It’s also anti-microbial, anti-fungal and anti-viral.
If you use it instead of a moisturizer that’s loaded with chemicals, you can nourish your skin, protect it from yeast and bacterial overgrowth and avoid added toxins.
Coconut oil encourages collagen production and promotes the growth of blood vessels near cuts and wounds.
The consumption of coconut oil results in the formation of ketones in the brain. This can protect against Alzheimer’s disease.
11. Olive Oil
Olive oil contains omega-3 fatty acids and polyphenols.
According to the Global Healing Center, olive oil can be used topically to moisturize, and its antioxidants protect the skin. It can help exfoliate dead skin cells and doesn’t clog pores.
Life Extension explains that olive oil can reduce your risk of many diseases and help you live longer.
12. Fermented Foods
Fermented foods contain probiotics, friendly bacteria that can colonize your colon. Not only do probiotics help balance out the bad bacteria in your intestines, but they can also help cleanse your body of toxins and improve your immunity.
According to Body Ecology, probiotics help prevent wrinkles. They also allow your body to optimize the absorption of nutrients from your diet, which provides your skin with the compounds it needs to glow from within.
Some yogurts contain live cultures. You can also get probiotics from raw, cultured sauerkraut, kefir, kombucha and miso.
A good probiotic supplement will also go a long way towards healing your gut health and keeping it healthy!
No matter what supplement you use, you want to take AT LEAST 50 billion units of probiotics daily from a minimum of 10 different sources for best results.
While you don’t need to purchase only refrigerated probiotics, make sure the packaging is well sealed. It’s also essential that the packaging is dark (or opaque, not transparent) to protect from light damage.
We have our own brand of Probiotics here at Avocadu called Gut-14.
Our specially formulated probiotic supplement contains:
- Over 100 Million CFU’s Per Serving
- 14 Different Gut Healing Strains
- Delayed Release for Deeper Support
- Made in the USA
Probiotics are one of the best solutions for healing your gut, helping you lose weight faster, and providing you with a healthy source of gut flora every day!
You can read more about it and why it’s so important for not only gut health but overall health on our probiotics page.
13. Raw Cacao
Raw cacao contains resveratrol, a very powerful antioxidant, and anandamide. Anandamide makes you feel blissful, which is one of the reasons why so many people love chocolate.
When people say that dark chocolate is good for you, they’re talking about the cacao IN dark chocolate is good for you.
If you buy the chocolate, make sure that it’s at least 75-80% cacao. The higher, the better.
If you want to take it a healthier step further, buy 100% cacao powder! You can add it to smoothies, yogurt, and milk to make hot chocolate.
14. Sweet Potatoes
Classified as a tuber, sweet potatoes bridge the gap between being a healthy starch and a vegetable.
They are a staple in the Japanese diet. In the Okinawan Centenarian Study, researcher Bradley Wilcoxx M.D. attributed the long life of the participants in part to sweet potatoes.
Sweet potatoes are rich in carotenoids. They contain 400% of your daily vitamin A requirements. They are also high in vitamins C and D.
You were waiting for this one, weren’t you? The resveratrol in red wine has anti-aging benefits.
Many studies have also linked moderate alcohol consumption with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, age-related memory problems, and diabetes.
Now don’t let this justify your daily wine habit… Don’t be fooled by people telling you that red wine is “healthy.” Alcohol is very dehydrating to the body and the skin.
If we’re being honest, you can get the same antioxidants from FAR better sources (green tea), and skip the alcohol altogether.
But what fun would that be, right!?
We personally love red wine, but we do try limit it to once or twice a week as a treat to wind down from the work week and relax!
Leave me a comment below if you enjoyed this article on anti-aging foods for healthier skin and longer life or have any questions!