8 Anti-Aging Foods02.20.12
For centuries people have been looking for the fountain of youth – that one elixir. We want to feel young, look young and slow down our aging brains. Today, things are no different and we look to lifestyle as well as what we put in our bodies to stave off the inevitable. Of course we know excessive sun exposure, ingestion of alcohol, cigarette smoking and pollution are catalysts to aging both inside and out. Cotton Candy enlisted the help of Lisa Brown and Jennifer Medina, founders of Brown and Medina Nutrition in New York City. They spell out some nutritional in-roads to minimize the aging process.
No. 1 Guava Fruit.
OK, so you may have never eaten a guava. Research suggests the antioxidents vitamin C, E, A and Selenium in the form of beta carotene, which is highly pigmented (red, orange, yellow), fat-soluble compounds present in many fruits, grains, oils, and vegetables. Beta carotene may nourish and protect skin to extend its youthful appearance. Guava fruit has impressive quantities of vitamin C and carotenoids.
No. 2 Watermelon.
Contrary to what most people think, watermelon is no lightweight in the nutrient department. Two cups contain 45 percent of a day’s worth of vitamin C and 245% of a day’s carotenoids, two major antioxidents which protect our cells inside and out from damage.
No. 3 Brazil Nuts.
Selenium – the major mineral found in these delicious nuts – is an antioxidant that safeguards against the sun’s rays providing anti-aging protection.
No. 4 Omega-3s.
This superstar nutrient has been shown to protect the skin from sun damage and help keep our brains stay younger. It’s been shown that people who eat fish at least once per week have a slower mental decline as compared to those who don’t. Enjoy wild salmon, herring, mackerel (not king) and sardines, chia seeds, ground flax and walnuts.
No. 5 Shellfish.
Oysters, lobster, mussles and crab are high in Zinc, another powerful antioxidant. Your skin contains six percent of the zinc in your body keeping your skin firm and healthy by helping to maintain collagen.
No. 6 Coffee or Tea.
While there is no definitive research on the ingestion of tea and anti-aging benefits, the effects of using topical preparations with green and white tea extracts has shown to help protect skin cells against damage from ultra violet rays. Research suggests that three cups of coffee per day may decrease mental decline with aging and lower risk for Alzheimer’s.
No. 7 Brightly-Colored Leafy Greens.
These veggies get high scores because they’re rich in lutein and beta-carotene but also supply vitamin K and some of just about everything else. These nutrients not only play a role in aging of skin but also help prevent age-related macular degeneration.
No. 8 Water.
Cells that are plumper and fuller (not fat) make you look younger by making your skin look firmer. This ubiquitous fluid keeps the body functioning at its best. The average requirement for women is nine cups per day while for men it is 13.
Written by: Lisa Brown and Jennifer Medina
Lisa Brown and Jennifer Medina are the founders of Brown and Medina Nutrition in New York City. They are certified weight management nutritionists, eating disorder specialists, certified diabetes educators and pediatric nutrition specialists who work with individuals and families to develop a plan that is unique to specific needs.