The food people eat can benefit or harm them as they age.
Food is essential to life.
Without it, we would starve and our bodies would shut down.
Although any meal or snack provides calories for your body to burn as fuel, not all options are equally beneficial.
According to a recent Healthline article titled “10 Foods That Support Healthy Aging,” choosing nutrient-dense foods can support your aging body.
What are things you can happily include in your diet?
Extra virgin olive oil.
If you are looking for a healthy oil, you have found it.
Olive oil is filled with antioxidants to decrease oxidative damage caused by free radicals and inflammation.
These healthy fats have been linked to a lower risk of many chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, certain types of cancer, and metabolic syndrome.
Also known for its high antioxidant content, green tea fights free radicals.
These free radical molecules are unstable and are a byproduct of normal cell function as well as stress responses to external factors like tobacco smoke or UV light.
If present in large quantities, they can damage your cells.
Antioxidants stabilize these molecules to minimize damage.
Fish with long-chain omega-3 fats promote healthy skin and fight inflammation, heart disease, and other health issues.
Salmon and other fish high in these fats are also rich in protein.
The protein found in this food is beneficial for supporting wound healing and producing elastin and collagen.
Fish high in selenium can prevent damage caused by UV light, benefit DNA synthesis and repair, and decrease the severity of skin ailments like psoriasis.
Dark chocolate or cocoa.
Cocoa and dark chocolate contain flavanols and are high in polyphenols.
Polyphenols serve as antioxidants within the body.
Flavonols have been linked to lower risk of cognitive decline, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.
Dark chocolate should have little added sugar and include at least 70 percent cocoa.
Unsurprisingly, vegetables made the list of food to include in your diet.
These are naturally low calories and highly dense in nutrients.
With antioxidants properties, they can lower the risk of cataracts, certain cancers, and heart disease.
Some vegetables contain high levels of carotenoids to help protect the skin from premature aging.
Beta carotene is abundantly found in sweet potatoes, pumpkin, and carrots.
Vitamin C is high in bell peppers, leafy greens, broccoli, and tomatoes.
Lignans are a type of polyphenols found in flax seeds.
This polyphenol has antioxidant effects to possibly reduce your risk of chronic illnesses like breast cancer or heart disease.
Omega-3 fatty acids are not limited to fish.
Flax seed contains the alpha-linolenic acid.
This acid helps your skin maintain hydration by supporting a healthy skin membrane.
This fruit benefits a healthy heart through its high concentration of potassium, vitamin K, and fiber.
They also contain flavonols, phenolic acids, lignans, and tannins.
Each of these is a rich antioxidant.
Avocados are full of healthy fats, several vitamins and minerals, and fiber.
Skin benefits from the monounsaturated fats and high antioxidants content.
The lycopene found in high concentrations the venerable tomato is a carotenoid responsible for its red coloring.
It also serves as a beneficial antioxidant.
By pairing the tomato with healthy fats, absorption of lycopene into the body is improved.
Although this is technically a protein and not a food, it is found in several sources and serves an important role in the body.
As the most abundant protein in the body, it is found in skin and joints in high amounts.
By consuming protein-rich foods and foods high in vitamin C, you can support collagen synthesis and keep your skin healthier for a longer length of time.
Protein-dense foods include tofu, chicken, fish, and eggs.
By including food with plenty of nutrients into your diet, you can support healthy aging.
Reference: Healthline (Oct. 22, 2021) “10 Foods That Support Healthy Aging”