Foods against aging
Eat well to have a long and healthy life: this is a mantra with which we are all familiar, but what are the best foods to help us achieve that goal? In this gallery, we offer an overview of some of the healthiest and most nutritious foods.
Official figures indicate that currently the top three countries in the world with the highest life expectancy are the Principality of Monaco (with 89.4 years of life expectancy), Japan and Singapore, followed by Macau, San Marino and Iceland (Chad with 50.6 years of life expectancy, Afghanistan and Somalia would be at the opposite end of the queue). These are places where people experience a high quality of life, and an important element in this equation is a healthy diet.
We often find a lot of positive information about "superfoods" in the media: foods with such a high nutritional value that they are seen as superheroes for our diets.
Nutritionists reject the term "superfood" as a fashionable word that can influence people to put too high an expectation on a limited variety of foods when, actually, a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle require more effort than eating five times a day.
However, there are certain foods that are more nutritious than others, and many, as research has shown, have a protective effect against a variety of diseases. Here, we offer an overview of some of the best foods you can consider including in your diet in the search for a happy and healthy life.
What are the best foods for a long and healthy life? We listed some of them for you below. Enjoy!
Many skin care products contain oats. This cereal consumed at breakfast or as a snack along with a yogurt or milk helps us in weight loss, burn fat, alleviate stress and reduce nerves. Oats are a fantastic ally for our skin because it gives us radiant skin thanks to the fact that this natural vegetable chemical helps prevent damage to skin cells and soothes irritation.
Dermatologists also recommend oats because they have low glycemic content, so they do not increase their blood sugar like refined breads, rice and pasta. High glycemic index foods cause acne and wrinkles.
Oranges hydrate the skin and its cells. Thus, a large orange is an excellent source of vitamin C, which helps to make collagen and which, in turn, helps to keep the skin flexible. In general, vegetables and fruits are ideal for anti-aging properties and, fortunately, we have a very rich range to choose from. Tomatoes, parsley or grapefruit (grapefruit + orange mix) are also recommended.
Avocados are packed with a very healthy type of fat, monounsaturated fat, which helps to keep the skin hydrated. That same fat can also help us absorb some vitamins and nutrients that our skin needs. Replacing mayonnaise with avocado can be a very good choice: it will give us great flavor and texture and we won’t need large quantities of it to feel satisfied. In case you don’t like avocado, you can replace it with walnuts or macadamia nut oil.
The poster of the Mediterranean diet is also the guardian of the secret of eternal youth because its antioxidant effects present in vitamins E and K not only is it healthy and helps with digestion, but it regenerates the skin thanks to its Omega 3 fatty acids. In addition, a team of researchers from the Department of Cell Biology, Physiology and Immunology of the University of Córdoba (Spain) found that olive oil protects against oxidative stress and cardiovascular risk.
Lean meat, such as sirloin, chicken or rabbit, is an ideal food for high-quality proteins that in turn help build collagen. However, when we cook beef, for example, it is much better to cook it over a very low heat and turn it over frequently. If we do the opposite and cook it on high heat until the meat is too crispy, we will only be able to create chemicals that will undo all the anti-aging properties of the meat. Eggs or tofu are also a good choice.
Brussel sprouts are a great source of vitamin A and C that are great for our skin, as well as folic acid. Vitamin C from brussel sprouts promotes collagen, vitamin A and folate can help prevent sun damage on the skin. Kale or curly kale, cabbage, broccoli or cauliflower are also recommended.
Salmon is one of the best foods for healthy omega-3 fats. Some studies have suggested that omega-3 acids, especially fish, can prevent skin cancer cells from growing and spreading. This oily fish helps keep cholesterol at normal levels and prevents joint disease. In addition, the hair is strengthened thanks to this great source of omega 3. Regarding our skin, wrinkles will decrease thanks to these fats that will allow to keep the skin hydrated. Flax and chia seeds, nuts, mackerel or sardines are also recommended.
Resveratrol, which comes from the skin of grapes, counteracts inflammation, as many investigations have found. The grapes delay the aging process and fight against the effects of UV light and sun damage. Boiled peanuts (widely consumed in South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia or Mississippi) and cocoa powder are also recommended.
This tropical fruit is rich in vitamin A, an antioxidant that repairs our skin cells. It also removes excess fat and black spots from the face. As it contains vitamin C, the mango helps to produce collagen protein, slowing down the skin’s aging process.
This herbaceous plant of orange color native to southwestern India contains phytochemicals that act as anti-inflammatory and possess anti-aging properties. Putting a pinch of turmeric on our plates will not only bring a special flavor to our meals but will delay premature aging and help us in times of stress. Turmeric has been used as a spice for more than 4,000 years in gastronomy and there must be a reason.
Eggs have proteins like iron involved in hair maintenance by getting enough oxygen to the hair follicles, the part of skin where the hair grows. In addition, they slow down aging because they are rich in vitamins E and B. Only egg white contains several minerals, including selenium, potassium and sodium, as well as essential vitamins for healthy hair -amongst other things- including choline and vitamin B.
Sushi lovers will love this oriental food being part of this gallery. With more and more followers in Europe, sushi gives us a lot of nutrients, especially selenium -contained in algae- that has rejuvenating properties. The soy sauce, dressing of this delicacy, also provides unsaturated fats that act as antioxidants. Not to mention salmon or sushi fish, which prevent the damage caused by free radicals and which has a direct effect on our skin.
Edamame, or fresh soy, has been a staple of Asian cuisine for generations, but it has also gained popularity on the Western front in recent times. Edamame and tofu are rich in isoflavones, which can have anti-cancer properties. Isoflavones are known to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anticancer and antimicrobial properties.
Therefore, they can help regulate the body’s inflammatory response, decrease cell aging, fight microbes, and reportedly protect against certain types of cancer. Edamame is rich in two types of isoflavones, particularly genistein and daidzein. A study of these isoflavones found that genistein could be used to improve the treatment of breast cancer.
Tofu, a white cheese-like product made from soy curd, has been associated with a lot of health benefits for the same reasons as edamame. Tofu can be fried, baked, or boiled (for example, in soups). As a soy product, it is rich in isoflavones, whose health benefits are described above; it is also a good source of protein and contains all the essential amino acids that our body needs to synthesize proteins. In addition, it is also rich in minerals, which our bodies need to keep our teeth and bones strong and healthy, and to obtain energy. Tofu is a source of calcium, iron, manganese, selenium, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc and copper.
This common culinary ingredient, is famous for its high content of beta-carotene, a pigment and carotenoid, which gives it its color. Our organism can convert beta-carotene into vitamin A, which, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), "is involved in immunological function, vision, reproduction and cellular communication". Our bodies cannot produce vitamin A on their own, so it must be derived from our diet. This pigment is also an antioxidant that can protect our body’s cells from aging damage caused by free radicals.
In addition, research has shown that carotenoid-rich foods (and, of course, carrots are a good example) can protect against age-related macular degeneration, damage to vision caused by old age.
While raw carrots may be better for your health, because they retain their nutrients, there are also ways to cook carrots to keep virtually all of their nutrients, such as boiling them whole. Cutting them increases the area where more nutrients can filter into the water while we cook them. By keeping them whole and then cutting them, we get the nutrients and flavor to stick together.