Photo by Salvatore Brancifort
We can't slow down the passing years, but we can control their effect on our bodies and minds. If you know the right foods to reach for, you can maintain a trim body, supple skin and a quick mind throughout your life.
Evidence indicates that nutrients including calcium, antioxidants, fiber and B-vitamins can help keep you in top shape as you age. For runners, feeling young is especially gratifying—the proper diet can help you continue to achieve personal records, even as you move up in age groups.
While swallowing nutrients from a bottle might seem like an easy fix, studies show that you'll get the best benefit by consuming vitamins in your diet, rather than in pill form. Natural, whole foods contain hundreds of beneficial compounds that work together in ways that isolated supplements just can't replicate.
If you want to turn back the clock, stock your plate with the following six foods. These anti-aging superstars will help you look and feel younger, prevent or even reverse disease and ensure that you'll stay at the top of your game for years to come.
Pound for pound, kiwi provides more vitamin C than any other fruit. This vitamin, most often associated with orange juice, should get top billing in your anti-aging arsenal. As an antioxidant, vitamin C fights free radicals that speed up aging. It also helps regenerate vitamin E in your body, magnifying both vitamins' antioxidant effects.
You don't have to go to a surgeon's office to get a dose of collagen, as vitamin C helps your body form this compound, which improves the appearance of your skin and the durability of your bones. Collagen makes your bones more flexible and less likely to fracture.
In a pint-sized package, one kiwi provides a surprising amount of fiber, calcium and potassium as well. Citrus fruits, berries, melons, bell peppers and broccoli are also good sources of vitamin C.
Nuts and Seeds
Want to lower your risk of heart disease and keep your waistline trim as you get older? Studies say you should make like a squirrel and snack on nuts
and seeds. These savory morsels provide satiating, muscle-building protein and healthy monounsaturated fats.
The energizing B-vitamins found in all seeds and nuts also make them a perfect snack to counteract the natural decline in energy that occurs in your mid-thirties.
A few notable varieties include almonds (for bone-strengthening calcium), walnuts (for free-radical-fighting omega-3s), flaxseed (for filling fiber) and pecans and pumpkin seeds (both of which contain zinc, which helps reduce the appearance of wrinkles). Make sure to only consume a small handful at a time to keep calories in check.