A healthy and balanced diet is one way to keep wrinkles, thinning hair, and vision loss at bay. Plus, fruits and veggies packed with anti-aging nutrients such as anthocyanins and flavonoids can be added to virtually any meal. Here are six anti-aging superfoods you should aim to enjoy more often!
Whole grains keep the brain healthy.
Eating two daily servings of whole grains (like 100 percent whole-grain bread or oatmeal) in place of less healthy carbs can improve the ability to think and make decisions by 35 percent, plus cut the risk of brain fog and memory lapses in half, say scientists at Manchester Memorial Hospital in Connecticut. They credit whole grains’ B vitamins, which slow brain aging and keep brain neurons energized.
Blueberries protect vision.
To put the brakes on eye aging and cut the risk of cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration in half, enjoy one cup of blueberries daily. That’s the word from British scientists, who found that blueberry compounds (anthocyanins) strengthen and repair the tiny capillaries that shuttle protective nutrients to eye tissues. And you don’t have to wait until the summer’s berry season to get the incredible benefits — the frozen berries available in grocery stores deliver the same perks!
Chocolate safeguards against heart troubles.
Savoring 2 ounces of dark chocolate daily can trim three points off blood pressure, increase blood flow to the heart by 48 percent, plus cut “bad” LDL cholesterol by 14 percent, reducing the risk of heart troubles by 40 percent, say University of Pittsburgh doctors. The credit goes to flavonoids, compounds in chocolate that relax arteries, reduce blood-vessel inf lammation and improve cholesterol control in the liver.
Seafood reverses hair loss.
The rich stores of selenium, copper, and omega-3s in seafood keep hair-producing follicles healthy and energized. In fact, a study in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology found that consuming three servings a week bolstered hair strength and thickness by 38 percent in two months!
Broccoli energizes immune cells.
Enjoy one cup of broccoli (raw or cooked) daily, and you’ll triple your ability to fend off spring viruses, say UCLA researchers. They found that broccoli’s active ingredient, sulforaphane, energizes a sluggish immune system, increasing its production of virus-killing T cells — often within one week of the first bite!
Sweet potatoes stop skin sagging.
To make sure you look as young as you feel, try working 1⁄2 cup of sweet potatoes into your daily diet. Yale scientists say the tasty spuds are packed with nutrients (carotenoids) that slow the aging of skin cells and supportive elastin and collagen to stop wrinkles, fine lines and sagging, plus give skin a healthier glow in just two weeks.
This article originally appeared in our print magazine, First For Women.