Stop* worrying about aging. It’s not something that you can hold back anyway. It’s your body’s performance and your appearance you should be worried about. Wouldn’t it be nice if you can think of age as just a number? Well, getting older really wouldn’t matter at all if you can give yourself more years to perform optimally, and it all starts by watching what you eat!
Load up on foods rich in these anti-aging vitamins and you will most certainly defy fine lines and back pains even as you get older.
Other than benefitting your immune system, Vitamin C is packed with antioxidants that help the body fight free radicals which damage otherwise healthy cells, including your skin cells. Vitamin C also plays a supporting role in the body’s effective absorption and utilization of Vitamins A and E, two other micronutrients important for promoting skin health. When the power of these three vitamins combine, you also obtain natural protection from the sun’s harmful UV rays.
What’s more, Vitamin C speeds up the body’s capability to produce* collagen, fibers that are vital in skin cell repair. In the process, Vitamin C also speeds up resurfacing of younger looking skin.
Foods rich in Vitamin C include bell peppers, broccoli, currants and berries, kiwi, oranges, and hot chili peppers.
Vitamin E provides* skin with both protection and recovery from damage. A fat-soluble vitamin, Vitamin E strengthens skin and makes it more capable of capturing and locking in moisture. It also improves* your skin’s elasticity. When skin is moist, it is less* prone to skin damages resulting to wrinkles, fine lines, dryness, and blotching.
The recommended dietary allowance of Vitamin E for a healthy adult is 15mg. Anything more than that can do you more harm than good. If you’re eating well, there’s really no need for Vitamin E supplementation. Broccoli, almond, hazel nuts, kiwi, avocados, and spinach are excellent sources of Vitamin E.
Vitamin A is vital to skin health. The first thing you must understand about Vitamin A is that it consists of a large group of micronutrients which can be broadly divided into retinoids and carotenoids.
Retinoids are a group of Vitamin A nutrients that you can derive directly from animal sources, and are especially important as you age because it helps the body maintain production of red blood cells and improves* immune resistance as well.
Carotenoid forms of Vitamin A can be derived from plant sources. If you don’t want to lose* your eyesight too early when you’re older, you’d want to load up on spinach and kale which are rich sources of carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin, the only carotenoids found inside the retina.
If you eat a well-balanced diet, you only need to take plant sources of Vitamin A since healthy individuals can naturally convert Vitamin A from plant food into retinoid sources. You must know that retinoids help keep off those creases and lines from forming on your skin.
Other great sources of Vitamin A are sweet potatoes, carrots, romaine lettuce, and mustard greens.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Fats are not generally bad for your health. Even the World Health Organization recommends a small portion of fat to be included in your diet but you’d want to be smart when selecting which fat to include on your plate.
Widely known as “the good fat”, Omega-3 fatty acids are important in keeping skin young-looking but, more importantly, in keeping your heart healthy. Despite the critical function Omega-3 performs for the body to stay healthy, especially in keeping your cholesterol levels at bay, your body cannot produce* these healthy fats. Aim for at least two servings per week of Omega-3-rich foods like salmon, tuna, sardines, and trout.
Increasing* intake of antioxidants as you age could be vital in helping your body cope with aging. Antioxidants protect* cells from damage caused by free radicals which destroy the structure of healthy cells eventually causing cell damage and death. Free radicals may be obtained from food we eat, as a by-product of various body processes, and are regularly present¬ in the environment.
Maintaining high levels of antioxidants help the body fight cancer, heart diseases, and even skin aging. Green tea, coffee, apples, berries, and red wine are excellent sources of polyphenols.
With age, metabolism slows down. Incorporating foods rich in selenium aids* your body in maintaining a healthy metabolism. This is particularly important in breaking down complex compounds and make them available to fuel body processes, while also ensuring* that wastes are excreted so that they do not become toxic to the body. Selenium also improves* your skin’s elasticity and protects* it from sun damage.
Foods rich in selenium include garlic, eggs, and crabs.
Water does not exactly belong to this list of essential anti-aging vitamins. However, because it is a vital, perhaps it is the most important, nutrient your body needs to fight aging, it is included in this list anyway. It can’t be reiterated too many times that two-thirds of the body is made up of water. It fuels all body processes. In fact, when you have insufficient amounts of water in your body, essential nutrients fail to be distributed properly throughout your body. The result is that your body does not only end up dehydrated but also poorly nourished.
Other than taking in sufficient amounts of water straight from the tap, food sources which contain high amounts of this mineral are watermelon, pineapples, and cherry tomatoes.
It is generally difficult to track how much of these vitamins and minerals you’re taking in on a regular basis. What you do need to learn is to take a balanced meal with as wide a variety of foods as possible. Maintain a colourful plate every time you eat. These simple rules of thumb will give you the assurance that you’re getting the nutrients your body needs to function well and fight aging.