Eating Habits To Reverse Aging
Nutrition • February 15, 2023 • 13min read
If you aim for a healthier longer lifespan, you are probably looking for the right foods and habits to reverse aging. Nutrition is one of the primary aspects of longevity. Why?
Plant-based, natural foods, a balanced diet, and eating patterns that withhold premature aging are integral components of longevity. The food we eat serves as fuel for not only body functions but also for brain performance and cellular activity. Moreover, lifestyle habits along with nutrition help you prolong your healthy lifespan.
Further in this article, you will learn about 15 foods that prevent aging. Also, you will discover what lifestyle changes and habits may slow down or reverse the aging process.
1. Intermittent Fasting As A Reverse Aging Habit
Aging can be reversed or slowed down with diet. Over the last decades, intermittent fasting (IF) has been gaining popularity as an anti-aging diet plan. Intermittent fasting is practiced as often as every day to once a month.
Intermittent fasting emerges as a dietary and caloric restriction for a certain period. The most common period of intermittent fasting is 6-12 hours of going without food followed by usual calory restricted feeding for the next 12 and 48 hours. However, most people practicing IF concentrate primarily not on what but on when they eat.
With age, people encounter metabolic disorders, weight gain, DNA damage, heart issues, insulin resistance, and neurodegeneration. Intermittent fasting showed promising results in these aging disorders both in mammals and humans.
Scientists believe that the eating period in intermittent fasting is equally important as the fasting period. During these two periods, cells are affected positively and activated towards rejuvenation and prevention of aging-related diseases.
- During IF your body starts using the stored fat and energy thus contributing to weight loss. Practiced along with daily exercise, IF may help to lose weight faster.
- Intermittent fasting activates metabolism, hence your body re-learns how to break down nutrients and burn calories.
- IF contributes to DNA repair by breaking down free radicals causing oxidative stress.
- During the fasting period brain activity increases, memory and sleep quality improve. This way, IF hinders neurodegenerative disorders while aging.
Yet, intermittent fasting may not be a suitable reverse aging diet plan for everyone. Dietitians advise not to practice IF to the people falling into these groups
- Pregnant and breastfeeding women
- People younger than 18-year-olds
- People with confirmed health disorders such as diabetes
- People with a previous history of eating disorders
Hence, intermittent fasting is a natural method for reverse aging and is one of the effective reverse aging habits practiced by thousands of people with documented health benefits for slow aging.
2. Stay Hydrated To Reverse Skin Aging
We all need oxygen to stay alive, and we obtain it not only from the air but from water as well. Water is vital for the body to maintain proper functioning.
You may have noticed that even a day of dehydration causes puffy and dry skin, low energy levels, and sleepiness. Plus, prolonged dehydration may cause bone wreckage and inflammation, and make you look older your age.
All of the above-mentioned outcomes can be addressed by developing an anti-aging habit of staying hydrated. If you are wondering what the optimal daily water intake is, here is the answer- you should listen to your body. Too much water may cause diarrhea, nausea, and make it harder for your kidney to remove excess water.
Thus, drinking 1-2 liters of water daily (depending on your body mass index) may help you feel and look younger by preventing wrinkles, skin dryness, and puffy eyes.
3. Quit Smoking
According to CDC (Center for Disease Control & Prevention), smoking affects nearly every organ in the body. Smoking is related to cardiovascular diseases, cancers, respiratory diseases, and stroke.
The health risks of smoking affect not only the smoker but also the people breathing the smoke of a cigarette. Released cigarette smoke contains harmful free radicals, the accumulation of which causes inflammation serving as a generator of lung cancer, heart issues, and blood vessel narrowing.
Studies confirm that smoking not only makes people look older but also accelerates the aging process, increasing biological age. Smoking accompanied by drinking alcoholic beverages doubles the effects of premature aging.
Quitting smoking may significantly lower the chances of the above-mentioned adverse outcomes. Moreover, it may also reverse skin aging.
4. Be Active
Not a secret, that an active lifestyle is the guarantee of a healthy body, mind, and quality aging. A sedentary lifestyle is harmful to your bones’ health, it degrades your muscles, increases blood pressure, and most importantly shortens telomeres length.
Telomeres are caps at the end of chromosomes that are reservoirs for our genetic information. Aging and telomeres length are interconnected, meaning that our unhealthy biological aging negatively affects telomeres length, and shortened telomeres accelerate the aging process.
Hence, another natural anti-aging lifestyle consists of regular exercise and physical activity contributing to heart health, weight loss, energy regeneration, and of course slow aging.
5. Keep Your Brain Occupied
Brain activity reflects organismal overall health. When the brain is idle and does not learn new information, it may face untimely neurodegeneration. Famous American neuroscientist Dr. Andrew Huberman recommends proven practices for a sharper mind as you age.
Along with learning and keeping your brain busy, certain foods, vitamins, and supplements can also be good restoratives for slow or even reverse aging. These include
- Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids
- Folate (vitamin B9)
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin B6
15 Best Anti-Aging Foods
Balanced nutrition is one of the key components in slow or even reverse aging. In addition to the above-discussed longevity habits, in this section, you will learn about the 15 foods that make you look younger.
Curcumin is a compound derived from the ginger family. It is most famous for its healing and preventative properties. Curcumin is a strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound against reactive oxygen species causing oxidative stress.
Studies also documented that curcumin can be used to suppress the onset of cancers. Besides cancers, curcumin was shown to prevent aging diseases such as diabetes and atherosclerosis. Other anti-aging effects of curcumin include
- Better mood
- Enhanced cognitive function
- Stronger immune system
- Delayed cellular senescence
- Increased lifespan
You can drink curcumin every morning or before bedtime with a cup of milk, or tea or simply add it to your favorite meal.
Ginseng is a root of the ginseng plant. It is a valuable and bioactive herb known for its anti-aging effects. One of the recently discovered benefits of ginseng consumption is the enhancement of physical resistance among both men and women.
Ginseng is known to strengthen the immune system, it is a good means against anxiety, stress, and fatigue. Moreover, ginseng consumption can improve memory and brain health.
In addition, ginseng was shown to increase the longevity gene foxo3a and slow down skin aging. Hence, ginseng can make your tea a drink that can prolong your lifespan and slow down skin aging.
Polyphenols are compounds acting as anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory agents. These compounds are abundantly found in fruits, vegetables, plants, and grains. One of the well-studied polyphenols is resveratrol.
Resveratrol started gaining popularity when its anti-aging properties were discovered, and it was used in a form of supplements. However, it can also be found in such fruits as blueberries, grapes, raspberries, and strawberries.
Blueberries contain more polyphenols than any other vegetable or fruit. And they are also abundant in resveratrol which ameliorates aging diseases such as cardiovascular complications, asthma, diabetes, chronic inflammation, and cancer.
Resveratrol being a potent polyphenol participates in DNA repair and UV protection. More to this, earlier studies show that blueberries or blueberry extract may have life-prolonging effects.
An apple a day keeps not only the doctor but also aging away. Apples are low-glycemic fruits, meaning they contain low sugar and are suitable for people with prediabetes or diabetes. Due to this property, apples also hinder the oxidation of low-density lipoprotein (bad cholesterol) the accumulation of which causes plaque formation in the blood leading to atherosclerosis.
Moreover, apples are rich in polyphenols which protect the human body against oxidative stress and its consequences such as cancer, chronic inflammation, and heart disease.
According to studies, apples can be referred to as anti-aging fruit for women. 14 years of follow-up research showed that 84,000 women eating an apple a day had increased resistance against aging diseases such as cardiovascular diseases and lung cancer.
More to this, concentrated apple juice was shown to have neuroprotective effects in aged mammals.
To reverse or slow down aging, consider drinking tea every day. The anti-aging properties of tea are attributed to polyphenols and catechins contained in tea. These two components in green or black tea can reduce DNA damage and increase lifespan.
More anti-aging effects of tea include
- Weight reduction
- Better sleep and relaxation
- Stronger immune system
- Pain relief
- UV protection (tea polyphenol extract)
- Skin aging prevention
Not a tea person? Drinking coffee has similar effects as tea. The caffeine contained in coffee beans is not only an effective anti-aging skin product but is also an anti-inflammatory agent when consumed as a beverage.
Coffee, drunk no more than 3-4 cups a day, can slow down neurodegeneration, strengthen heart health, decrease the risk of diabetes, make you feel and long younger, increase energy levels, and slow down aging.
Rice, especially brown or black rice, is rich in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory and anti-cancerogenic effects. This content in rice was shown to ease the symptoms in Alzheimer’s patients.
Black and brown rice is abundant in anthocyanins which are water-soluble pigments giving fruits and vegetables red, purple, and blue colors. Anthocyanins contain anti-cancer, anti-diabetes, anti-inflammatory, and anti-obesity properties.
Anthocyanins gained from 30mg rice showed to prolong lifespan by 14% in mammals along with upregulation of longevity genes SOD1, SOD, CAT, and Rpn11. Furthermore, the anthocyanins extract from black rice is also effective in maintaining skin youthfulness. Hence, this compound obtained from the rice in your anti-aging diet can help you slow down aging.
8. Pumpkin And Carrots
Pumpkin, carrots, and papaya are considered anti-aging foods as they contain Β-carotene. Scientists report that cellular aging is associated with low β-carotene levels in the body. β-carotene is a red pigment from the carotenoid family possessing strong antioxidative benefits. Plus, this compound is believed to maintain skin elasticity.
Studies suggest that β-carotene can ward off skin irritation and redness from UV radiation while protecting from photoaging. In addition to external effects, the supplementation of β-carotene among older adults was shown to enhance telomeres activity averting symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.
This tropical fruit is popular for its rich nutritional content. A cup of mango will provide you with
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin K
- Vitamin A
- Essential fats
Mangos are low in calories and help your body stay nourished for a longer period without adding extra weight. Plus, this fruit has low sugar content, over 22 grams a cup, which makes mangos safe anti-aging fruits for people with metabolic disorders or diabetes.
Mangos contain also lutein and zeaxanthins which are types of carotenoids giving fruits and vegetables their yellow color. These two compounds are well known for their vital role in eye health. In fact, they have concentrated in the macula of the eye, a part that helps you see colors, and details.
Lutein and zeaxanthins in the macula play the role of antioxidants protecting the eye from reactive oxygen species. However, the reduction of these antioxidants with age can impair vision. So, you can get these compounds from your daily diet containing mangos for reverse aging and eye health.
10. Citrus Fruits
Citrus fruits are popular for being a source of vitamin C and supporting the immune system. However, citrus fruits are also anti-aging fruits that increase the collagen levels in the skin making it more smooth and lowering the chances of hyperpigmentation.
Along with external signs of aging, we encounter a functional reduction in our organs internally including DNA damage, neurodegeneration, and chronic inflammation. Yet, here come flavonoids which have protective effects against the aforementioned health issues.
Flavonoids are natural antioxidant compounds found in vegetables, fruits, roots, and tea leaves. Especially, citrus fruits such as oranges, kiwi, lemon, pomelo, grapefruits, mandarine, and others, are abundant in flavonoids. The consumption of these anti-aging fruits can help to ward off age-induced cardiovascular disorders, neurodegeneration, DNA instability, and oxidative stress.
11. Leafy Greens
Leafy greens are a source of calcium, potassium, iron, magnesium, and fiber. They also provide the body with folate and vitamin Bs which support blood, heart, and bone health and development.
Leafy greens get their green color due to the compound called chlorophyll which helps plants absorb solar energy and grow. Yet, in the human body, they boost blood health, avert free radicals, protect skin from aging, and help to control healthy weight. Leafy greens are low in calories, hence they can be freely involved in your anti-obesity diet.
The leafy greens that contain most of the chlorophyll are kale, spinach, romaine lettuce, and arugula.
Besides keeping you cool and hydrated during hot days, watermelon is packed with numerous nutrients supporting healthy aging. Watermelon is low in calories and sugar but is abundant in potassium, fiber, magnesium, protein, healthy fats, and Vitamins C and A.
Among the above-mentioned nutrients, watermelon is rich in lycopene and citrulline. While citrulline consumption is associated with improved exercise capacity, lycopene gained from watermelon can prevent cancer development, scavenge free radicals, and lower the risk of heart disease.
13. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are also a source of vitamins C, A, and collagen that protect the skin from early wrinkles appearance and maintain skin smoothness. In addition, sweet potatoes contain less starch than regular potatoes. Excess consumption of starch from regular potatoes may be a cause of diabetes, weight gain, and heart disease.
Sweet potatoes contain anthocyanins, β-carotene, and chlorogenic acid which have anti-obesity, anti-diabetes, and anti-inflammatory properties. Other anti-aging benefits of sweet potatoes include balanced blood sugar levels, a lower risk of oxidative stress, and reduced chances of breast, and stomach cancers.
14. Bell Peppers
Bell peppers, not depending on their color, are considered anti-aging vegetables due to their antioxidant characteristics. They contain vitamins C, E, and β-carotene. What’s more, bell peppers contain more vitamin C than citrus fruits, meaning these vegetables can boost the immune system more effectively.
Besides these, bell peppers are rich in polyphenol quercetin the health benefits of which are related to better performance, reduced inflammation, and blood pressure. Also, quercetin is believed to protect cells from premature aging.
The vitamin C, E, and A content in asparagus assist in collagen production and healthy skin maintenance. The vitamin K present in asparagus supports blood health preventing clotting.
Asparagus is also a source of vitamins B9 (folate) and B12 that avert cognitive decline. Glutathione is another compound found in asparagus. It is shown to possess numerous reverse aging effects including insulin sensitivity, improved mobility, tissue formation, reduced oxidative stress, and cellular health protection.
According to recent studies, asparagus is a potent anti-aging vegetable for men by lowering the chances of prostate cancer. If you desire to slow down the aging process, add asparagus to your anti-aging diet plan.
The first and simplest step towards reverse aging is altering your diet. Though, not only the best anti-aging foods but also healthy habits should take a central role in your life.
The core aspects of anti-aging lifestyle and diet plans for men and women do not vary drastically, yet there are some foods and activities that may convey different gender-dependent health advantages.