20 Foods to Eat to Stay Young

There may not be an elixir for infinite life yet, but these eats are as close as you can get.

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Proper nutrition isn’t just important for toning up or shedding those unwanted pounds. What you eat and drink can actually help ward off disease, promote mental sharpness and clarity, slash cancer risks, and keep your skin looking flawless. The key is making sure you’re filling up on foods that are rich in antioxidants, probiotics, electrolytes, and amino acids.

Not sure where to start? Check out this list of 50 foods and drinks that will help you live longer. Whether they help boost longevity or stave off chronic disease, these are the foods you want to load up on to live into your 90s.

Blueberries

These dark-hued berries do more than just add punch and color to a bowl of oatmeal; they might fight cancer, according to recent research. Blueberries may help combat ovarian cancer based on a study by Oncology Letters, which found that the bite-size fruit inhibited the presence of a biomarker for the disease.

One great way to maximize your blueberry intake is by making a smoothie. If you need some recipe inspiration try one of our 56 Smoothies for Weight Loss.

Green Tea

Green tea

Curious what all the buzz on green tea is for? The beverage is loaded with antioxidants and compounds that will do all sorts of good for your body, including reducing your risk of gastric cancer. A recent study in the journal Public Health Nutrition found that sipping green tea has a preventative effect on reducing the likelihood of developing the disease. It can also help you slim down, which will, in turn, help you live longer, thanks to the compounds found in green tea called catechins. These guys trigger the release of fat from fat cells (particularly in the belly) and then speeding up the liver’s capacity for turning that fat into energy.

Coffee

If you’ve been trying to cut back on coffee for better health, you may want to rethink your decision. Last summer, a study by Annals of Internal Medicine on the effects of regular coffee consumption indicated that those who drank java had a lower rate of death throughout the three year period of observation. Coffee is loaded with antioxidants so go ahead and treat yourself the next time you’re craving a cup.

Strawberries

It’s not just blueberries that are a must for healthy eating. Their red-hued counterparts have been shown to slow the progression of aging, thanks to their abundance of polyphenols. Research from Food Chemistry found that an increased intake of strawberries was beneficial in maintaining mitochondrial function, which is key to staying sharp and youthful.

Purple Sweet Potatoes

Purple sweet potatoes

Purple sweet potatoes may be tricky to track down at your local grocery store, but the search is well worth it. The spuds are rich in anthocyanin, a compound that has been shown to reduce the risk of lifestyle-related illnesses, including cancer. A recent study by The Journal of Cancer Protection found that diets rich in purple sweet potatoes lead to a decline in the frequency of cancer diagnoses in mice.

Walnuts

These nuts have a reputation for being brain food, but that’s not the only benefit they tout. Research by Nutrients shows walnuts help lower LDL (or bad) cholesterol while keeping levels of healthier HDL cholesterol constant. Whether you grab a handful before heading out the door or chop up a couple to add some crunch to your salad, walnuts are a great way to boost heart health.

Almonds

Raw almonds

There’s more to glowing skin than facials and exfoliators. A diet rich in Vitamin E and healthy fats will help you glow from the inside out, which is where almonds come into play. The popular nut is loaded with biotin, copper, Vitamin E, and monounsaturated fats, all of which will keep your complexion supple, clear, and wrinkle-free. They’re also the star ingredient in many items on our list of The 25 Best Protein Snacks at The Supermarket.

Pistachios

Pistachios aren’t just fun to eat; they’re also your eye’s best defense against age-related vision damage, too. The colorful nuts have plentiful amounts of Vitamin E, lutein, and zeaxanthin, all of which are great for keeping your peepers happy. Additionally, the healthy fat in pistachios will help you absorb other vision-promoting nutrients you consume throughout the day such as carotenoids.

Olive Oil

Olive oil

One of the fundamental building blocks of the Mediterranean diet, olive oil certainly lives up to its nutritional hype. A recent study by The Journal of Cardiovascular Medicine indicates that regularly consuming olive oil positively influenced cardiac ailments including coronary artery disease, peripheral artery disease, and chronic heart failure. Whether you’re dipping bread in it or using it to dress a salad, be sure to incorporate some EVOO into your diet ASAP.

10 Grapefruit

The breakfast staple will do wonders for your body at any time of the day. Grapefruits are rich in spermidine, which has major blood pressure lowering power according to this study by Autophagy. Lower blood pressure is linked to decreased risks of cardiovascular disease and premature death, so keeping your vitals in the healthy range is a must.

11 Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar

While the jury is still out on the correlation between apple cider vinegar and weight loss, there is plenty of research that backs its positive effects on blood sugar. According to this study by The American Diabetes Association, apple cider vinegar improves insulin sensitivities for subjects with Type 2 diabetes. If you’re struggling to keep your blood sugar levels in check, considering downing this vinegar regularly.

12

Matcha

Matcha powder

Matcha lattes aren’t just trendy on Instagram, they’re popular with nutritionists and health specialists for a variety of benefits. Most recently, there’s reason to believe that sipping the concentrated green tea powder will result in improved cognitive function. According to this study by Food Research International, participants who drank matcha experienced in an increase in attention and psychomotor speed. The next time you need to focus, consider grabbing one of these green-hued drinks.

13 Maca

Maca powder

This Peruvian plant is an up and coming superfood that you should consider adopting now, especially if you want resilient skin. According to research by High Altitude Medicine and Biology, maca promotes skin healing and regeneration because of its abundance of trace minerals including B6, niacin, and riboflavin. You can toss a powdered version of the plant into a smoothie to up your skincare game effortlessly.

14 Chia Seeds

Chia seeds

Chia seeds are nutritional powerhouses because they are chock full of healthy fats, Omega 3s, and fiber. They may also be able to suppress the growth of breast cancer tumors, according to research from The University of Toronto’s Department of Nutritional Sciences. The seeds are loaded with α-linolenic acid, a fatty acid that has been shown to reduce cancerous cell growth and slow the progression of tumors.

15 Salmon

Salmon toast

In addition to having plenty of muscle-building protein, salmon is rich in Omega 3s, which nourish skin and keep it looking supple and healthy. Additionally, salmon has ample amounts of selenium, a mineral that helps protect skin from UV exposure, one of the biggest causes of wrinkles and premature skin aging. Talk about a multitasking meal!

16 Cranberries

Cranberries

Eat enough cranberries and your risk for needing dentures later in life should decline, according to a recent study by Archives Oral Biology. The research indicated that consuming cranberry extract reduced the amount of wear on the calcified tissue of the teeth, meaning they were stronger and less likely to chip or crack.

17 Tart Cherry Juice

Tart cherry juice

Did you know it gets harder to catch quality ZZZs as you age? Insomnia can have a host of adverse health effects, so it’s important you treat it as soon as possible. One way to do this is through ingesting tart cherry juice, which may reduce insomnia according to a study by Louisiana State University. The drink increased tryptophan availability and reduced inflammation, two factors that can play a major role in the quality and duration of one’s sleep.

18 Avocado

Avocado

Those struggling with osteoarthritis may want to consider adding avocado to their diet, according to a recent study by The British Journal of Sports Medicine. Research shows that individuals suffering from the disease reported short-term improvements in pain reduction and mobility. While further work is needed to support this correlation, avocado may offer at least temporary relief for osteoarthritis patients.

19 Carrots

Carrots

These orange veggies are rich in carotenoids, a compound that may slow the appearance of aging. According to this study by Nutrients, increases in carotenoid-rich food consumption is linked to increased collagen production. Collagen is a must for healthy, nourished skin, so be sure to chomp on some carrots to keep your complexion glowing.

20 Oranges

Orange slices

Carrots are not the only piece of orange produce you should consume if you want to keep youth on your side. Oranges are super rich in Vitamin C, which helps skin look bright and refreshed. Additionally, the citrus fruit is filled with the same carotenoid compounds carrots have, which are instrumental in collagen production.

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