Sunday, July 21, 2019

What are some anti-aging foods?

Who doesn’t want to stop father time?  So many advertisements for products that promise one can slow down the clock.  Are there foods you can eat that may slow the aging process?  Eat This, Not That had an interesting article on anti-aging foods and how some foods can help you look and actually feel younger.  Who doesn’t want that?  What are some foods that can help your hair, skin, nails and even your joints?

 1. What fats promote healthy skin?
a.      Olive oil – yes, we are always being told to cut the fat in our diets.  But some fats are healthy fats and olive oil is one of the healthy fats.  What does olive oil have to do with fighting wrinkles?  Think omega-3 fats and olive oil is rich in omega-3’s.  These healthy fats help fight the so called “free radicals” that harm your skin.  Additionally, olive oil has some healthy antioxidants that may also reduce harmful skin damage that can lead to wrinkles.

b.       Wild salmon – like olive oil, salmon has lots of healthy omega-3 fats.  Some studies have shown that eating foods rich in omega-3 may help protect your skin from the sun’s UV damaging rays.  WebMD notes, “among the must-have foods for healthy skin:  omega-3 fatty acids – the “good fats”. 
c.       Other foods rich in omega-3 fats – tuna fish, walnuts, canola oil and flax seed.  I like to sprinkle some chopped walnuts on my breakfast cereal every morning.  Always a treat when you stay at a hotel with the free breakfast and the breakfast bar has hot oatmeal and chopped walnuts to sprinkle on your oatmeal.  Enjoy that tuna fish salad sandwich for lunch.  Buy bread like Dave’s Killer Bread that has some flax seeds in it. 
d.       How do omega-3 fats help your skin?  Besides helping to prevent sun damage, these healthy fats help your cell membranes and lead to “moister, softer, more subtle, and more wrinkle-free skin”.  

2. Vitamin A and healthy skin – many vitamins are good for your skin and vitamin A is one of them.  One-way vitamin A helps your skin cells is that is promotes cell turnover.  Out with the old skin cells and in with the new skin cells.  Aging slows this cell renewal process but vitamin A can promote cell turnover.  Add some vitamin A rich foods to your day.  The darker the green the more vitamin A.  Thus, spinach would have more vitamin A than iceberg lettuce.  Orange colored foods are also rich in vitamin A.  Foods may have beta-carotene such as carrots but this is a precursor of vitamin A so also good for healthy skin. 
a.       Cantaloupe – so good in summer and the orange color is an indication the food is rich in vitamin A.
b.       Sweet potatoes – not so common in summer.  If you are eating at a restaurant and they have sweet potatoes on the menu, choose them for healthier skin.  We enjoy some sweet potato fries.  Yes, a little more fat but oh so tasty. 
c.       Carrots – dark orange and loaded with vitamin A.  I try to eat a few baby carrots for lunch every day.  So easy to pack some carrots in your lunch bag.  

      3. Lycopene – you may see commercials that say lycopene promotes eye health, but it also promotes healthy skin.  Tomatoes are rich in lycopene.  Enjoy some fresh tomatoes on your salad, on your hamburger or in a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich.   But you don’t have to enjoy fresh tomatoes to get lycopene.  Pizza sauce, red spaghetti sauce, tomato sauce, – all have lycopene.  How does lycopene help your skin?  One study found that eating foods rich in lycopene could help prevent sun damage such as sunburn and the aging of your skin from the damaging rays of the sun.  Interesting that heat doesn’t destroy lycopene and may even help your body absorb it. So, the heated spaghetti sauce is as good as fresh tomatoes at least as far as lycopene is concerned.  Some other ways to get some lycopene in your day – tomato juice, tomato soup, salsa.  Salsa is not-only low in calories but very healthy and good for your skin.  Watermelon has lycopene so enjoy some at the cabin, at the beach or at your summer picnic. Pink grapefruit doesn’t have as much lycopene as tomatoes but still a pretty good source.  I often drink grapefruit juice for breakfast.  

4.   Water – some people don’t think of water as a “food” but it is a very important nutrient and hydration is key for healthy skin.  According to WebMD, “when it comes to skin health, experts say hydration is still key”.  So, enjoy some water with lemon, some low-calorie lemonade or low-cal ice tea.  100% juice or herbal teas also count towards proper hydration.  Aim for a quart (4 cups) or more of fluids and stay hydrated for healthy skin. 

This week add some water and other liquids like 100% juice to your day.  Pack a handful of nuts such as walnuts in your lunch or take with you for a healthy snack when running errands.  Go to the Farmer’s Market and get some fresh tomatoes and watermelon.  Eating at a restaurant?  Choose the sweet potato or enjoy the salsa.  At home, cook with olive oil or use an olive oil vinaigrette on your salad.  Pack some baby carrots in your lunch or have a slice of cantaloupe for breakfast or as a snack.  So many ways to eat for healthier skin and slow down father time.

Home Made Salsa:  Ingredients:
1         Can (28 oz.) whole tomatoes with juice
½ cup fresh cilantro chopped
¼ cup chopped onion
1 clove minced garlic
1 jalapeno chopped
½ teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon salt
½ lime juiced

Directions:  Add all above ingredients to a food processor.  Adjust juice – less for thicker salsa.  Pulse 4-6 times until desired consistency.  Refrigerate one hour before serving. If you wish, you can use some fresh, diced tomatoes.


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