By Kate Robitello
$114 billion, that’s how much money will be spent in 2015 on anti-aging products, remedies, and procedures. Undoubtedly, we live in a world where a youthful appearance is considered the epitome of health and beauty. Some signs of aging, such as laugh lines and crow’s feet, are not only unavoidable (at least for most if left to nature), but are signs of character, experience, and wisdom. However, premature aging due to a harsh lifestyle and poor diet is quite avoidable and, in some cases, reversible.
Food is, in fact, the most potent anti-aging tool you can use, and since you need to eat it anyway. The investment is also minute compared to the amount the average woman spends annually on anti-aging products. Here are the top three food groups that you should consume generously for the sake of aging gracefully.
Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, cherries, acai—all berries are wonderful for your skin and the prevention of aging. The darker the berries the better, as the darkest berries tend to contain the most anti-oxidants. Anthocyanins are the chemical compounds that give berries their dark pigmentation. According to a study published by Tufts University, anthocyanins not only prevent aging, but assist in improvement of overall mood. Regular berry consumption can also reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, cancer, arthritics, Alzheimer’s, and chronic inflammation.
Chia seeds, native to South America, were consumed by the Aztecs and Mayans as a strengthening food (“chia” means “strength” in Mayan). Chia seeds are an excellent source of fiber, magnesium, manganese, calcium, and phosphorus. Just a single ounce of chia seeds provide one third of the fiber we need for the day!
Flax seeds have a near optimal Omega ratio. Flax is anti-inflammatory and has greater antioxidant content than many of the foods that are known for their antioxidant properties. In fact, of the 100 most commonly consumed foods that are rich in antioxidants, flax seeds rank at number nine! As for your Omega 3s—just two tablespoons of ground flax seed will provide you with plenty of Omega 3s for the day.
Pumpkin seeds provide a potent source of magnesium and zinc. One serving of pumpkin seeds provides almost 50 percent of the recommended daily amount of magnesium. Magnesium has been touted as the “most essential mineral,” as the list of bodily functions aided by magnesium is quite long—from energy creation to the pumping of the heart and even healthy bone and tooth formation. However, it is uncommon to find a person who is actually getting enough magnesium in his or her diet. Another beautifying mineral that is often under-appreciated is zinc. Zinc is absolutely essential for proper skin health, as well regulation of blood glucose, eye health, and immune support.
Dark leafy greens
Greens like dandelion, spinach, kale, collards, and Swiss chard are anti-aging powerhouses! Rich in Vitamins A and C, antioxidants, fiber, Omega 3s, and a variety of minerals, there’s a reason why “green juice” is the new and improved multi-vitamin. Consuming salads, sautéed greens, green smoothies and green juices is one of the most optimal ways to achieve youthful glowing skin, without pricey treatments that involve lasers, needles, and harsh chemicals. Looking for a better investment? Go for a juicer!
The darker the berry, the better the anti-aging qualities, and your mood!