10 Foods That Support Healthy Aging

December 1, 2022

Foods That Support Healthy Aging

As we age, the foods we eat can greatly affect our fitness, appearance, quality of life, and disease risks. Our bodies rely on various nutrients to support the natural aging process. Some nutrients may help slow signs of aging, such as by promoting healthy skin. Read on to find out the 10 best foods that support healthy aging.

As we age, the foods we eat can greatly affect our fitness, appearance, quality of life, and disease risk.

Our bodies rely on various nutrients to support the natural aging process. Some nutrients may help slow signs of aging, such as by promoting healthy skin.

It’s important to note that eating specific foods isn’t going to make you look noticeably younger, and that nutrition is only one aspect of aging well.

Still, adding nutrient-dense foods to your diet can help you look and feel your best as you get older. In general, try to eat:

  • healthy sources of protein
  • healthy fats
  • foods that are rich in antioxidants

Here are 10 nutritious foods that support healthy aging.

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1. Extra virgin olive oil

Extra virgin olive oil is one of the healthiest oils on earth. It’s rich in healthy fats and antioxidants that help reduce inflammation and oxidative damage caused by an imbalance of free radicals in the body (1Trusted Source).

A diet rich in olive oil has been linked to a lower risk of chronic diseases, including (2Trusted Source, 3Trusted Source, 4Trusted Source, 5Trusted Source, 6Trusted Source, 7Trusted Source):

  • heart disease
  • type 2 diabetes
  • metabolic syndrome
  • certain types of cancer

In particular, monounsaturated fats (MUFAs) make up about 73% of olive oil. Some studies have shown that a diet rich in MUFAs may help reduce skin aging thanks to the strong anti-inflammatory effects of these healthy fats (1Trusted Source, Trusted Source8Trusted Source).

Extra virgin olive oil is also high in antioxidants, such as tocopherols and beta carotene, as well as phenolic compounds that also have anti-inflammatory properties (9Trusted Source, 10Trusted Source).

In fact, one 2012 study found that people who consumed a diet rich in MUFAs from olive oil had a lower risk of severe skin aging.

The authors suggested that the anti-inflammatory properties of both MUFAs and antioxidants found in olive oil were most likely responsible for this effect (11Trusted Source).

2. Green tea

Green tea is high in antioxidants, which can help fight free radicals in the body.

Free radicals are unstable molecules created as a byproduct of normal cell functioning. They can also form in response to stressors from the external environment, such as ultraviolet (UV) light or tobacco smoke. Free radicals can damage your cells if they’re present at high levels.

That’s where antioxidants come in. These molecules stabilize free radicals so they’re unable to cause damage. You usually get antioxidants through your diet — like from green tea (12Trusted Source).

Green tea is particularly high in antioxidants called polyphenols. Specifically, it’s high in epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), catechins, and gallic acid (13Trusted Source, 14Trusted Source, 15Trusted Source, 16Trusted Source, 17Trusted Source, 18Trusted Source).

These may reduce your risk of:

  • heart disease
  • neurological decline
  • premature aging
  • other chronic diseases

The polyphenols found in green tea may help reduce external skin aging — from environmental stressors such as the sun and pollution — by scavenging free radicals before they damage the skin (19Trusted Source, 20Trusted Source).

In fact, many skin care products contain green tea extract for its antioxidant and antiaging properties. However, more research is needed before green tea products can be recommended to reduce skin aging (19Trusted Source, 20Trusted Source).

That said, consuming a diet high in antioxidants is associated with a reduced risk of chronic disease and healthier skin. And drinking green tea can be a great way to get more antioxidants into your diet (21Trusted Source).

3. Fatty Fish

Fatty fish is a highly nutritious food that can promote healthy skin.

Its long-chain omega-3 fats are beneficial against heart disease, inflammation, and many other issues (22Trusted Source).

Furthermore, research has shown that omega-3 fatty acids are linked to a strong skin barrier and may help decrease inflammation that damages the skin (23Trusted Source).

Salmon, one of the most popular types of fatty fish, has additional aspects that may help support your skin’s health.

First, it contains a carotenoid antioxidant called astaxanthin, which is responsible for the pink color of salmon (24Trusted Source).

In one study, people with sun-damaged skin consumed a combination of astaxanthin and collagen for 12 weeks.

As a result, they experienced significant improvements in skin elasticity and hydration. However, while these results seem positive, it’s unknown whether the effects were due to astaxanthin, collagen, or both (25Trusted Source).

Plus, salmon and other fatty fish are high in protein, which is important to eat so your body can produce collagen and elastin. These two molecules are responsible for skin’s strength, plumpness, and elasticity. Eating protein also promotes wound healing (24Trusted Source, 26Trusted Source, 27Trusted Source).

Finally, fish is high in selenium. This mineral and antioxidant plays a role in DNA synthesis and repair and may help reduce and prevent skin damage from UV light. Having adequate levels in the body may reduce the severity of skin diseases like psoriasis (24Trusted Source, 28Trusted Source).

4. Dark chocolate or cocoa

Dark chocolate is a rich source of polyphenols, which act as antioxidants in the body.

In particular, it contains flavanols, which are linked to numerous health benefits, such as a lower risk of (29Trusted Source, 30Trusted Source, 31Trusted Source):

  • heart disease
  • type 2 diabetes
  • cognitive decline

Additionally, it’s thought that a diet rich in flavanols and other antioxidants can help protect the skin from sun damage and help slow skin aging.

In one high quality 24-week study, participants that consumed a flavanol-rich cocoa beverage experienced significant improvements in skin elasticity and facial wrinkles compared with those in the control group (32Trusted Source).

While these results are promising, other studies have not observed that dark chocolate offers benefits for skin appearance or aging (33Trusted Source, 34Trusted Source).

Remember, the higher the cocoa content, the higher the flavanol content. Therefore, if you want to add dark chocolate to your diet, choose a variety with at least 70% cocoa solids and little added sugar.

5. Vegetables

Most vegetables are extremely nutrient-dense and low in calories.

They contain antioxidants, which help reduce the risk of heart disease, cataracts, and certain cancers (35Trusted Source, 36Trusted Source, 37Trusted Source, 38Trusted Source).

Many vegetables are also high in carotenoids, like beta carotene and lycopene. Some research suggests that a diet high in carotenoids may protect the skin against the sun’s UV rays, which are the main cause of premature skin aging (39Trusted Source, 40Trusted Source).

Some of the best sources of beta carotene are:

  • carrots
  • pumpkin
  • sweet potatoes

Many vegetables are also rich in vitamin C, which is a potent antioxidant. Vitamin C also plays a crucial role in collagen production. Collagen is a key building block of the skin, but its production begins to decline after the age of 25 (21Trusted Source, 41Trusted Source).

Vegetables with the highest vitamin C content include leafy greens, bell peppers, tomatoes, and broccoli.

It’s important to eat vegetables of different colors, as each color represents different antioxidants that can benefit your skin and overall health (42Trusted Source).

Aim to have at least two vegetables at each meal and always protect your skin using sunscreen.

6. Flax seeds

Flax seeds offer impressive health benefits.

They contain lignans, which are a type of polyphenol that has antioxidant effects and may lower your risk of developing a chronic disease, such as heart disease and breast cancer (43Trusted Source).

They are also a great source of an omega-3 fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Consuming a diet rich in omega-3 fats helps support a healthy skin membrane by helping your skin stay hydrated and plump (44Trusted Source, 45Trusted Source).

In high quality studies from 2009 and 2011, women who consumed flax seeds or flax oil for 12 weeks showed increased hydration and smoother skin. However, newer research is needed (46Trusted Source, 47Trusted Source).

Also, check out below, 5 of our favorite anti-aging skincare products, available for purchase:

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Alastin SilkSHIELD® All Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 with TriHex Technology®

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7. Pomegranates

Like most fruits, pomegranates are full of healthy nutrients.

They’re high in fiber, potassium, and vitamin K, which help support a healthy heart. They’re likewise rich in antioxidants, such as flavonols, tannins, phenolic acids, and lignans (48Trusted Source, 49Trusted Source).

Some human and animal studies suggest that the antioxidants found in pomegranates may also help support healthy skin aging by decreasing UV skin damage and brown spots caused by sun exposure (50Trusted Source, 51Trusted Source).

These antioxidants also help protect the skin’s existing collagen and promote the skin to make new collagen (21Trusted Source, 50Trusted Source).

Though more research is needed, pomegranate seeds and their juice can provide a quick, nutritious source of antioxidants in the diet.

8. Avocados

Avocados are rich in heart-healthy fats, fiber, and several vitamins and minerals that are essential for health (52Trusted Source, 53Trusted Source).

Their high content of monounsaturated fat may help promote healthy skin by supporting a healthy skin membrane, while their high antioxidant content may fight free radicals that damage and age the skin (21Trusted Source).

For example, one study showed that a diet rich in plant-based fats was linked to better skin health in older adults (54Trusted Source).

Considering the delicious taste and versatility of avocados, adding them to your diet is an easy way to get in extra nutrition for healthy skin.

9. Tomatoes

Tomatoes provide many impressive health benefits, several of which can be attributed to their high lycopene content.

Lycopene is a type of carotenoid that gives tomatoes their red color. It also acts as an antioxidant to help reduce the risk of chronic disease (55Trusted Source, 56)Trusted Source.

Studies in human skin samples show that lycopene may also provide a small amount of protection from the damaging rays of the sun. However, this protection is significantly lower than using sunscreen (40Trusted Source, 57Trusted Source).

In one study, women who drank an antioxidant-rich beverage containing lycopene, soy isoflavones, fish oil, and vitamins C and E every day had a measurable decrease in wrinkle depth after 15 weeks (58Trusted Source).

However, the study cannot directly tie lycopene to these skin benefits, as the beverage contained several other ingredients (58Trusted Source).

Pairing tomatoes with healthy fats, such as olive oil or avocado, significantly boosts the body’s absorption of lycopene (56Trusted Source).

10. Collagen peptides

Collagen is the body’s most abundant protein. In particular, it’s found in high amounts in the skin and joints.

As we age, our body begins to break down collagen and produces it less effectively. This can lead to gradual signs of skin aging, such as wrinkles and sagging skin (59Trusted Source).

While this process is inevitable and a natural part of aging, consuming foods that support collagen synthesis can help keep your skin healthy for longer. These include protein-rich foods and vitamin C (59Trusted Source).

Avoiding activities that accelerate collagen breakdown can also help. These activities include sun tanning and cigarette smoking (59Trusted Source).

Furthermore, human studies have shown that consuming hydrolyzed collagen peptides — a smaller form of collagen that your body absorbs much more efficiently — may improve skin elasticity, moisture, and firmness while reducing wrinkles (60Trusted Source, 61Trusted Source, 62Trusted Source, 63Trusted Source, 64Trusted Source).

That said, many studies don’t take other lifestyle factors into account, such as protein intake, overall diet, and smoking. Plus, the body uses protein from collagen wherever it’s needed, which doesn’t guarantee it will be used by the skin (65Trusted Source).

Ultimately, it appears that consuming a diet rich in protein is key to healthy skin. Focus on eating a diet rich in protein and then take a collagen supplement if you’d like to boost your intake further (21Trusted Source).

Healthy protein-rich foods to eat regularly include:

  • chicken
  • tofu
  • fish
  • eggs

The bottom line

The foods you eat can play a role in the health of your skin, including in how your skin changes as you get older.

In particular, foods that are high in protein, healthy fats, and antioxidants are linked to the most skin benefits.

Along with eating a nutritious diet full of whole, plant-based foods, consider protecting your skin with other habits, such as wearing sunscreen, avoiding smoking, staying physically active, and using appropriate skin care products.

Do you want a more semi-permanent antiaging solution? If you’re in the South Florida area, we are renowned for our services and offer Botox, Sculptra, and more. Book an appointment today at 954-765-3005 or shop some of our products here – ShinoBaySkincare.com. Don’t forget to join our Facebook community here.

Reference: [https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/foods-that-support-healthy-aging]

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Get ready to shine bright with Shino Bay's N Lighten Me Cream! ✨ Say hello to your new BFF in skincare – a happy mix of kojic, lactic, and salicylic acids bringing the ultimate glow-up! Vitamin C is here to be your melanin-fighting superhero, while Green Tea Extract throws in some antioxidants and a big dose of love! 🍵💕 

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✨Product Spotlight✨ Get ready to shine bright with Shino Bay's N Lighten Me Cream! ✨ Say hello to your new BFF in skincare – a happy mix of kojic, lactic, and salicylic acids bringing the ultimate glow-up! Vitamin C is here to be your melanin-fighting superhero, while Green Tea Extract throws in some antioxidants and a big dose of love! 🍵💕 Let's exfoliate, hydrate, and radiate together! 💫🌟 Buy it Now! 🔗 Link in Bio! - #shinobayskin #PerfectSkin #Aesthetics #Dermatology #ShinoBayDerm #cosmetics #cosmeticdermatology #beautifulskin #aesthetic #skincare #dermatologiccare #skincaretips #skincarehelp #skincareroutine #skincareproducts #beauty #healthyskin #makeupstore #skincareshop #selfcare #selflove #pamper #iloveskincare #skincare101 #takecareofyourskin #skinconfidence #youthfulskin #skincaredaily #selfcaregoals #dailyskincare Tags: @shinobayderm, @shinobayskin
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✨Product Spotlight✨ Unveil your radiant glow with Sente' Cysteamine HAS Pigment & Tone Corrector! Say goodbye to dark spots and hello to even-toned, luminous skin. This hyperpigmentation cream is not just skincare – it's pure magic! 🪄✨ Hydroquinone-free, hypoallergenic, and cruelty-free because your beauty should be as kind as it is stunning. 🐰✨ Join the 71% who witnessed a reduction in dark spots and the 94% glowing with improved hyperpigmentation after 16 weeks! Buy it Now! 🔗 Link in Bio! --- #cosmetics #cosmeticdermatology #beautifulskin #aesthetic #skincare #dermatologiccare #dermatology #skincaretips #skincarehelp #skincareroutine #skincareproducts #beauty #healthyskin #makeupstore #skincareshop #selfcare #selflove #pamper #iloveskincare #skincare101 #takecareofyourskin #skinconfidence #youthfulskin #skincaredaily #selfcaregoals #dailyskincare #SenteMagic --- @senteskincare, @shinobayderm, @shinobayskin
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