Our skin is often one of the first telltale signs that there is something not quite right internally. Packing your diet with vibrant, nutrient-dense foods will help your organs glow both inside and out.
Why reach for that expensive face cream when research shows that eating fruit and vegetables is the healthiest way to improve fine lines and a dull complexion?
When you think of anti-aging foods, you probably think of antioxidant-filled fruits like blueberries, papayas, broccoli, or watercress. You wouldn’t be wrong. These fruits and vegetables are all packed full of fantastic anti-aging goodness. However, some of the more comforting foods that you reach for are loaded with anti-aging properties too.
In addition to nourishing your skin from the inside out, they also give your brain a healthy boost. So, if you are looking for something a bit more substantial in your meal but want to keep those skin and brain cell rejuvenating benefits, then take a look at these five foods.
The humble egg is often a hot topic in the nutritional world. Should we be eating eggs? Should we not be eating eggs? How many eggs are too many eggs? Well, if you look at the nutritional content of an egg, there is no doubt that it has many health-boosting properties.
For starters, a single egg contains six grams of protein and nine essential amino acids, which are both necessary to maintain and repair our skin. They can help to prevent the formation of wrinkles due to being rich in antioxidants and vitamins. Vitamin E protects against the free radicals responsible for cellular damage, and vitamin A helps boost the skin’s elasticity.
Aside from the skin benefits, eggs contain essential nutrients for brain functioning and development, and mood regulation. They are a rich source of several B vitamins and choline. Deficiency of B vitamins has been linked to depression, dementia, and mental decline. Choline is a nutrient that your body uses to create a neurotransmitter that helps regulate your memory and mood.
Overall, eggs are a healthy way to start your day. They are relatively low in calories and saturated fat, rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals, and contain nutrients, such as choline. For most people, it is healthy to eat up to three eggs a day.
The brain-boosting qualities of oily fish are well known, but salmon provides an impressive number of health benefits. It is one of the most nutritious, versatile, and widely available foods.
Its anti-aging properties include omega-3 fats, which have been found to keep skin cancer cells from growing and spreading. Good omega-3 fats also hydrate and increase the cell membrane of the skin. Another skin-boosting nutrient that salmon contains is an antioxidant called astaxanthin, which is thought to help you look younger and prevent skin damage.
There is a wide range of research highlighting the brain benefits of oily and fatty fish. Did you know that about 60% of your brain is made of fat? Half of that fat is the omega-3 kind. Omega-3 fats are essential for learning and memory, and may even help protect against Alzheimer’s Disease.
Eating fatty fish like salmon at least twice a week has been linked to a 13% slower decline in age-related memory issues than if you just ate fatty fish once a week. In another study, people who eat fatty fish regularly were found to have more grey matter in their brains, reducing the risk of memory problems in later life.
All these benefits without even touching on the range of B vitamins that you will find in salmon! As discussed above, B vitamins are beneficial for brain function and cognition. There is no doubt that salmon truly is a superfood.
We have already touched on the anti-aging skin benefits of vitamins A, C, and E, all of which can be found in sweet potatoes. In fact, an antioxidant called beta-carotene, which is converted to vitamin A, is the cause of the orange color in sweet potatoes. It is thought that vitamin A helps restore skin elasticity promoting youthful-looking skin.
Sweet potatoes are also packed with B vitamins to improve concentration and brain health. For an extra brain-boosting bonus, reach for a purple sweet potato containing anthocyanins to reduce inflammation and help prevent free radical damage. They are a perfect fall root vegetable to pack some extra nutrients into your meals.
Beets (or beetroot) are rich in vitamins and minerals with high levels of vitamin C and folate. The high vitamin C level may be why beets are so renowned for their anti-aging properties due to the beneficial effects vitamin C has on skin cells. Vitamin C has also been found helpful in fighting acne and hyperpigmentation.
Beets are a powerful dietary source with anti-inflammatory and cognitive benefits. Folates and nitrates are two of the most beneficial nutrients found in beets. Studies show that folates can decrease the depth and severity of skin wrinkles by 60%. Poor blood flow to the brain is identified as a factor in age-related cognitive decline. The nitrates in beets are thought to improve blood flow leading to better brain function and lower blood pressure. Beet juice is a quick and easy way to make the most of its dense nutritional benefits in your diet.
Beef is certainly not usually at the top of most health food lists. However, the key to a healthy diet is everything in moderation, and lean beef has several benefits. Red meat contains the proteins/amino acids glycine and proline. Research studies show that these amino acids help produce collagen. Another nutrient found in lean beef is zinc, which is also vital for building collagen. If that wasn’t enough, beef also contains an antioxidant called glutathione, which has also been found to have anti-aging benefits.
Rich in B vitamins, lean beef is beneficial for brain health too. B12 is known to benefit your skin, mood, and sleep, with a deficiency of B12 leading to an increased risk of depression and mental health problems. Lean beef is one of the best natural sources of vitamin B12, with a 6oz serving providing almost 100% of the daily recommended amount.
The benefits of a nutrient-rich diet
A varied diet, packed with nutrients, vitamins, and minerals, is proven to be beneficial to your health. Nutrient-dense foods nourish your skin, boost your brain health, and can reduce your risk of chronic diseases. Lean meat, fish, eggs, whole grains, dairy, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds are all high in nutrients that your body can adequately absorb. Choose nutrient-dense foods to gain the health benefits without eating too many calories.