“Anti-Aging” Foods That Also Support Weight Loss
We will inevitably age and get older, but we still come across the phrase “anti-aging” quite often to describe certain health behaviors, skincare products, and even food.
Of course, using "anti-aging" to describe food isn't quite as straightforward as it might seem. While no single food can halt the inevitable aging process, there are nutritious foods that can contribute to overall health and wellness. Here's how certain foods might earn their "anti-aging" badge:
Fighting free radicals: Antioxidants
These superheroes help scavenge harmful free radicals, molecules that damage cells and contribute to aging. Berries, leafy greens, and pure dark chocolate (80% or higher) are rich in antioxidants like vitamin C, beta-carotene, and flavonoids.
Supporting cellular repair: Omega-3 fatty acids and collagen
Omega-3 fatty acids are “good fats” that can help reduce inflammation and support cell health. They can be found in fatty fish, flaxseeds, and walnuts.
Collagen, on the other hand, is a critical protein for skin and joint health. Some studies suggest that consuming collagen peptides may boost collagen production in the body. You’ll also find collagen in bone broth and certain meats.
By building and protecting cells: Protein and fiber
We know protein is essential for building and repairing cells, in addition to helping keep us satiated. Healthy protein sources like lean meats, legumes, and tofu can help maintain tissues and organs as we age.
Similarly, high-fiber foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help promote healthy digestion and gut microbiome, which can play a role in overall health and immune function.
By boosting brainpower: B vitamins and polyphenols
B vitamins support cognitive function and nerve health. Good sources include leafy greens, beans, and whole grains.
Polyphenols are plant-based chemicals naturally found in tea, coffee, and pure dark chocolate (80% or higher). These compounds may protect brain cells and improve memory.
Stay young at heart with these healthy foods
Ultimately, claiming food is "anti-aging" is just a fancy way of saying it's nutritious and healthy. Many “anti-aging” foods can also help support your healthy weight loss goals— a win-win! Here are some top picks for nutrient-dense powerhouses to add to your shopping list:
Leafy greens: Packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber, these low-calorie wonders keep you full and boost your metabolism. Spinach, kale, arugula, and collard greens are perfect choices.
Cruciferous vegetables: Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts are low in calories and rich in antioxidants and fiber, aiding digestion and weight management.
Berries: These little fruits are bursting with antioxidants and fiber, helping you feel full while supporting healthy blood sugar levels. Blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries are excellent options.
Lean protein: Chicken, fish, beans, and tofu provide essential amino acids that build and repair muscles, increasing metabolism and promoting feeling full without excess calories.
Healthy fats: Avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive oil are rich in good fats that satisfy you, stabilize blood sugar, and boost brain health. Opt for moderation and choose heart-healthy varieties.
Water: Hydration is still your hero! Drink around 8 glasses of water (the ultimate zero-calorie beverage) to help keep you full and aid digestion.
SKIP—Processed foods, sugary drinks, and unhealthy fats: These calorie-dense options offer little nutritional value and can impact your weight loss goals.
Remember, no single food is an anti-aging magic wand. Lifestyle factors also matter—exercise, sleep, stress management, and avoiding smoking contribute to healthy aging. But by focusing on a balanced diet with a variety of nutrient-rich whole foods, you can adopt healthy lifestyle habits and enjoy the journey towards a healthier, happier you!