While the fountain of youth isn’t actually a thing, what we eat can help slow down the aging process — or at least keep us feeling healthier and thinking sharper as we get older. Give these five foods a try.
Eat Eggs to Help Your Eyes
Cook up an omelet for breakfast, and you could help your eyes. The yolks contain nutrients that may help decrease your risk of age-related macular degeneration, as well as cataracts. “Unfortunately, eyesight is one of the first things to go as we age,” says Emily Kyle, M.S., RDN, owner of Emily Kyle Nutrition. “Thankfully, a diet rich in farm-fresh eggs can help combat the loss of vision through two powerful nutrients: lutein and zeaxanthin.” Additionally, the amino acids found in eggs help rebuild and repair tissues that may deteriorate as you get older.
Start Your Day with Raspberries to Help Mind Health
This fruit gets its red color from antioxidants, which may help slow down the aging process. “Short-term experimental studies have shown that berries improve cognition — perhaps because they’re high in flavonoids, especially the kind called anthocyanidins, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory functions,” explains Maggie Moon, M.S., RDN, author of The MIND Diet. In a Nurses’ Health Study, people eating a large amount of flavonoids, including anthocyanidins, saw a decrease in the cognitive aging process by an average of up to two and a half years. Add raspberries to a Greek yogurt parfait, along with slivered almonds and cinnamon.
Sip Green Tea for Healthy Skin
“Tea has been touted for its anti-aging capabilities for centuries,” says Kyle. “Rich in antioxidants, it has the ability to help the skin repair itself from the common threats of everyday life, like sun damage, pollution, and poor nutrition or hydration status.” Green tea has an especially high antioxidant makeup, so go ahead and brew a cup.
Nosh on Nuts for a Longer Life
Regularly eating a mix of nuts (such as almonds, pistachios and peanuts) may help you live longer. People who regularly eat them have a lower risk of death from heart disease, cancer and respiratory disease, found a study in The New England Journal of Medicine. Keep your own DIY mix stocked for healthy snacking.
Cook Up Cauliflower to Boost Brain Health
With cauliflower rice and pizza in vogue, it’s a good thing the cruciferous veggie may help boost mind health. “In studies, subjects who ate the most cruciferous vegetables performed better at cognitive tests,” says Moon. “Their brains were almost two years cognitively younger.” Not a cauliflower fan? Try broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale or arugula — all cruciferous veggies shown to help your mind.
Amy Gorin, M.S., RDN, is a registered dietitian nutritionist and owner of Amy Gorin Nutrition in Jersey City. She’s a regular contributor to many publications, including ReadersDigest.com, Shape.com, FitnessMagazine.com, Dr. Oz the Good Life and Runner’s World — as well as WeightWatchers.com, where she was a longtime editor. She also pens a recipe-focused blog, Amy’s Eat List.