11 foods that can help you look younger

Aging is a natural part of life that can not be avoided.

However, the foods you eat can help you age better, both inside and out.

Here are 11 foods that can help you look younger.

1. Extra virgin olive oil

Extra virgin olive oil is one of the healthiest fats on earth.

Research has shown that it can help prevent many common diseases associated with aging.

It reduces blood pressure, reduces the risk of heart disease, helps to prevent the metabolic syndrome and can be effective in fighting cancer (1, 2, 3, 4).

Olive oil can also help your skin look younger. Studies in animals and laboratories suggest that it has strong anti-inflammatory effects on the skin and can protect it from sun damage (5).

In addition, almost 73% of olive oil consists of monounsaturated fat, which is associated with greater elasticity and firmness of the skin (6).

Two studies examined food records and questionnaires completed by middle-aged adults and older adults. They found that people with the highest intakes of monounsaturated fat in olive oil were less likely to suffer severe sun damage (7, 8).

Bottom line: Olive oil has strong anti-inflammatory properties that can protect the elasticity of the skin and decrease the risk of sun damage.

2. green tea

Green tea is rich in antioxidants, which can protect against free radicals.

Free radicals are unstable molecules that are formed during metabolism and in response to stress. Antioxidants change their structure so they can not cause harm.

Green tea is particularly high in antioxidants called polyphenols, which can fight diabetes, insulin resistance, inflammation and heart disease (9, 10, 11).

Polyphenols can also help protect collagen, the main protein in the skin. This can reduce or even partially reverse some signs of aging (6, 12, 13, 14).

In one study, women with sun-damaged skin who were treated with green tea cream and supplements for 8 weeks had modest improvements in skin elasticity (15).

Bottom line: Green tea has strong antioxidant properties that protect the skin's collagen from sun damage and can reduce the signs of aging.

3. Fatty fish

Fatty fish is truly an anti-aging food.

Their long chain omega-3 fats are beneficial against heart disease, inflammation and ulcerative colitis, among many other diseases (16, 17, 18).

Studies suggest that they can also protect against inflammation and damage that occurs during sun exposure (19, 20).

Salmon, one of the most popular types of fatty fish, has an additional component that can make your skin look younger.

It contains a carotenoid antioxidant called astaxanthin, which is responsible for the pink color of salmon.

In one study, people with sun-damaged skin who received a combination of astaxanthin and collagen for 12 weeks experienced significant improvements in skin elasticity and hydration (21).

Bottom line: Fatty fish can provide protection against skin damage that occurs in response to inflammation and sun exposure. Astaxanthin in salmon can also improve the elasticity and hydration of the skin.

4. Dark Chocolate / Cocoa

The antioxidant profile of dark chocolate is second to none. It is even more potent than acai berries, blueberries and cranberries (22).

Research suggests that it can reduce blood pressure, increase insulin sensitivity and improve arterial function and elasticity (23, 24).

Chocolate contains antioxidants called flavanols, which protect the skin from sun damage. However, the amount of flavanols varies significantly between different types of chocolate (25).

One study showed that dark chocolate with a high flavanol content doubled the amount of time people could stay in the sun before turning red. This did not happen in people who ate chocolate with less flavanols (26).

In other studies that compared high flavanol and low flavanol cocoa to skin function, people in the high flavanol groups experienced better blood flow to the skin and improvements in thickness, hydration and softness (27, 28).

Remember, the higher the cocoa content, the higher the flavanol content. So be sure to choose dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa solids.

Bottom line: Dark chocolate with a high flavanol content can protect against sun damage. It can also improve skin hydration, thickness and softness.

5. Vegetables

Vegetables are extremely rich in nutrients and very low in calories.

They contain antioxidants that help reduce the risk of heart disease, cataracts and cancer (29, 30, 31).

Many vegetables also have a high content of carotenoids such as beta-carotene. These can protect against solar radiation and free radicals, which can lead to aging of the skin (32, 33).

Some of the best sources of beta-carotene are carrots, pumpkin and sweet potatoes.

Many vegetables are also rich in vitamin C, which is important for the production of collagen and has strong antioxidant effects.

In one study, when people received 180 mg of vitamin C per day for 4 weeks, the antioxidant activity of the skin increased by 37% (34).

Vegetables with the highest vitamin C content include green leafy vegetables, peppers, tomatoes and broccoli.

In another study, the researchers measured the elasticity and other qualities of the skin in more than 700 Japanese women. They found that those who ate more green and yellow vegetables had fewer wrinkles (6).

Bottom line: Vegetables provide sun protection and can prevent free radical damage to the skin. This is due in large part to its strong antioxidant effects.

6. Flax seed

Flax seeds have surprising health benefits.

They contain lignans, which can lower cholesterol, lower blood sugar and insulin levels, while decreasing the risk of breast and prostate cancer (35, 36, 37, 38).

They are also a great source of an omega-3 fatty acid called ALA, which protects your skin from solar radiation and can reduce skin damage related to the sun (39, 40).

In controlled studies, women who consumed flax seeds or flaxseed oil for 12 weeks showed improved hydration and smoother skin (41, 42).

Bottom line: Flax seeds can protect the skin from sun damage and improve softness, among other measures of skin quality.

7. grenades

Pomegranates are one of the healthiest fruits.

Its antioxidant activity seems to be even greater than that of green tea (43).

Pomegranates reduce inflammation, help prevent damage to high blood sugar levels, and may improve outcomes in patients with colon cancer (44, 45, 46).

They also help protect the skin from sun damage (47, 48).

In addition, the researchers suggest that different parts of the pomegranate can work together to repair damaged skin and increase collagen production (49).

Bottom line: Pomegranates are rich in antioxidants that provide sun protection and can help repair skin damage.

8. Avocados

Avocados are rich in heart-healthy fats, fiber and several vitamins and minerals that are essential for health (50).

They also taste delicious and are extremely versatile.

In addition, avocados contain unique compounds called polyhydric fatty alcohols. These can fight inflammation, protect your skin from the sun and help repair damaged DNA (51).

Its high content of monounsaturated fat and the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin provide additional protection for skin and DNA (6, 52).

Bottom line: Avocados prevent skin damage related to the sun and can also help protect the DNA in the cells of your skin.

9. Tomatoes

Tomatoes provide many impressive health benefits, several of which can be attributed to their high lycopene content.

Lycopene is a type of carotenoid that reduces your risk of heart disease, stroke, and prostate cancer (53, 54, 55).

Studies show that it can also protect your skin from the harmful rays of the sun (56, 57, 58).

In one study, women who ate a mixture of foods rich in lycopene and other plant antioxidants had a measurable decrease in the depth of wrinkles after 15 weeks (59).

Cooking tomatoes with healthy fats, such as olive oil, significantly increases the absorption of lycopene in the body (60).

Bottom line: Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, which protects the skin from sun damage and can help reduce wrinkles.

10. Spices

Spices do more than just add flavor to your food. They also contain various plant compounds that can have beneficial effects on your health (61).

Interestingly, research suggests that some spices may even help your skin look younger.

It has been shown that cinnamon increases the production of collagen, which can increase the firmness and elasticity of the skin (62).

It can also reduce skin damage that occurs as a result of the advanced glycation end products (AGEs), which are formed when blood sugar levels are high (63).

In addition, research suggests that capsaicin, found in chilies, can reduce some of the age-related changes that occur in skin cells (64).

In addition, ginger contains gingerol. This compound has anti-inflammatory effects that can help prevent age spots that develop due to sun exposure (65).

Bottom line: Certain spices contain plant compounds that stimulate the production of collagen, protect cells from high blood sugar levels and help prevent sun damage.

11. Bone broth

Bone broth has recently become very popular among health-conscious people.

It is made by cooking bones of meat, chicken or fish for a prolonged period of time. This releases minerals and other beneficial components.

One of these components is collagen, which has been credited with beneficial effects on the health of muscles and bones (66, 67, 68).

Although there is no published research on bone broth itself, there is evidence to suggest that the collagen in it can help reduce the signs of aging.

When cooked, the collagen is broken down into gelatin, which is rich in amino acids glycine, proline and hydroxyproline. Your body can absorb these amino acids and use them to form new collagen in your skin (69).

Controlled studies have shown that collagen consumption can improve the elasticity, moisture and firmness of the skin, while reducing wrinkles (70, 71, 72).

In one study, the depth of wrinkles was significantly reduced in postmenopausal women who took a collagen supplement along with other nutrients that support the skin like vitamins C and E for 12 weeks (72).

Bottom line: The high collagen content of the bone broth can improve the elasticity of the skin and reduce wrinkles and other signs of aging.

Bring the message home

Unfortunately, there is no way to roll back the clock.

However, the foods on this list can improve the function of your skin and help you look younger.

They will also help you stay healthier and younger as you get older.

Reference: https: //www.healthline.com/nutrition/11-foods-to-look-younger

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