Along with exercising regularly, making sure you have a good healthy balanced diet that includes a variety of nutritious foods is the best way to keep your body looking and feeling younger and fitter than ever. Taking care of it will not only prolong your life but can also make you look younger than your true age.
This list of 10 foods are some of the best things you can be eating regularly based on their nutritious benefits to your mind and body. If you don’t already, give them a try and add your favourites to your regular diet.
Watercress is a tasty green often sprinkled on soup, salads and sandwiches. It is versatile and bright, but more importantly, it’s packed full of Vitamin K, with 1 cup providing you 106% of the RDI. Why is this good? Vitamin K has been shown to be protective against multiple age-related diseases, including osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease. Also, watercress also boasts anticarcinogenic properties through its protective effect against DNA damage.
A whole grain ‘superfood’, buckwheat promises myriad health benefits to consumers. Not only does it decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease and improve blood cholesterol, but due to its high protein content, buckwheat is positively associated with weight management as well. As an added bonus, buckwheat has been found to aid in skin health through maintaining collagen production.
Why are figs celebrated as an anti-aging fruit? There are a few reasons. According to the BBC, Figs are a naturally high source of calcium so great for bone health, high in fibre so good for weight management and contain probiotics that keep your gut happy and healthy. In addition, figs have been used in various forms to treat a variety of diseases, including warts, arthritis and hair loss.
They may not be the most glamorous snack, but sardines are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which do wonders in helping to reduce inflammation in your body--great news for your heart health! In fact, the Mayo Clinic recommends two servings (8oz) per week of omega 3’s from fish; not only do these compounds reduce clotting and protect against strokes, but they also decrease triglycerides in your blood.
Coriander, including both its seeds and its leaves, Cilantro in North America, is associated with numerous health benefits. The leaves contain particularly powerful antioxidants that have various health benefits when consumed or applied topically, including the promotion of skin health against disease and signs of aging. News Medical also outlines the anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial benefits of coriander, and notes that researchers are even looking into its ability to curb anxiety.
6. Fermented Foods
Fermentation has long been used in various cultures for its medicinal, flavour, and preservative qualities. Did you know that fermented foods, including olives, miso, kimchi, sauerkraut, and kefir, each exerts their own degree of health benefits? This is because the fermentation process amplifies existing nutrients, while also working hard to generate novel bacteria that strengthens gut health, amongst other things. One interesting finding is the relationship between this bacterium and brain health, with scientists uncovering a correlation between improved mental wellness and the consumption of fermented foods.
Another snack for healthy skin, walnuts contain a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids as well as zinc. While Omega-3’s have been shown to support skin health through hydration and anti-inflammation, zinc is often used topically in sunscreen for its protective abilities. That said, benefits to skin structure are also seen through zinc consumption. Cosmetics aside, walnuts contain a potent combination of vitamins, minerals, and plant compounds, including several antioxidants, that promote heart health and regular wake-sleep cycles.
Oats, in all of its various forms, has made a comeback of late. Did you know about the healthy aging benefits of this household staple? Not only do oats promote satiety and heart health, but they’re even making news for their potential prebiotic behaviour. When applied topically, researchers also found benefits to skin health, including significant improvements in skin dryness, scaling, roughness, and itch intensity.
9. Green Tea
Something of a powerhouse drink, green tea is associated with numerous health benefits that protect and strengthen your body, inside and out. To name a few, green tea has been linked to cardiovascular health, in particular, stroke prevention, as well as decreased dental caries and overall oral health. Although more research is needed, there are also claims that compounds in green tea protect against sun damage from UVA/UVB rays, whether applied topically or ingested.
10. Manuka Honey
Honey has been used since 2100 BC for medicinal purposes, with manuka honey having particularly potent antimicrobial properties. This honey can be used to treat wounds and burns, and like other anti-aging foods, it contains antioxidants that decrease inflammation in the body systems and protect us against a slew of age-related diseases, including arthritis and stroke. There are even claims that manuka honey can be used to clear up your skin and give you a better night’s sleep.