Foods that support aging are those that are minimally processed and nutrient-dense. Among foods that support aging, some are especially beneficial, such as blueberries, leafy green vegetables, and nuts. Nonplant foods that are helpful include fatty fish and yogurt.
Aging affects the entire body rather than only the skin, as it links to a higher incidence of chronic or long-term conditions. For this reason, some foods that support aging may foster a more youthful appearance, while others can help protect against the internal effects of aging.
Examples of the latter include thinning bones and a decline in cognition, which involves the ability to think and remember.
This article will explain which foods support aging and their specific benefits.
Superfoods support aging because they are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other compounds the body needs for optimal functioning. Many of these are plant foods.
Other plant foods for aging include whole grains, nuts, and seeds. Yet superfoods also include some dairy products such as eggs and fish that are plentiful in omega-3 fatty acids, a fat with health benefits.
Below are 11 of the best foods that support aging.
- being an antioxidant
- being vasoprotective, which helps protect blood vessels
- being anti-inflammatory
Such effects promote healthy blood glucose, sugar, and metabolic functions, which are processes that convert food to energy and extract nutrients from it. They also help reduce the effects of aging on vision and cognition.
The authors determined that the beneficial nutrients include:
- phylloquinone, one of the K vitamins
- folate, one of the B vitamins
- antioxidants of lutein and kaempferol
- α-tocopherol, one of the E vitamins
- natural nitrate, a beneficial compound
Examples of green leafy vegetables include:
- collard greens
Learn more about the health benefits of green leafy vegetables here.
Cardiovascular disease refers to conditions that affect the heart and blood vessels. It is the top cause of death. The main underlying factor is atherosclerosis, which is the accumulation of fatty plaque that narrows the arteries and increases the risk of a heart attack or stroke. Doctors consider the buildup of calcium in the arteries an indication of advanced atherosclerosis.
Examples of cruciferous vegetables include:
- Brussels sprouts
Learn more about the health benefits of cruciferous vegetables here.
Avocadoes are good sources of monounsaturated fatty acids, such as oleic acid. They also contain:
- the antioxidants zeaxanthin and lutein
- vitamin A
- vitamin E
- niacin, a B vitamin
The research also compared these effects to those from the use of no olive oil. It found that the exclusive use of olive oil links to successful aging among people older than 70, including diminishing the risk of age-related illnesses.
Olive oil, especially virgin olive oil,
Long-term consumption of fish is linked to lower rates of cognitive decline. Experts recommend two 4-ounce serving per week of oily fish, such as salmon.
- omega-3 fatty acids
- vitamin A
- vitamin D
- vitamin B12
Green tea may help support the aging of the skin and brain. It is richer in antioxidants than other forms of tea, notes a
Some of the beneficial compounds in green tea include the antioxidant epigallocatechin gallate and the amino acids arginine and theanine.
Also, an older 2012 study on black rice tested its capacity to support aging in human cells in test tubes. The rice appeared to extend the lifespan of the cells, which suggested it may delay the aging process.
The above review built on the results of a
Yogurt is a nutrient-dense food that contains probiotics, which are beneficial strains of bacteria that promote gut health.
In particular, the variety of honey known as Tualang honey may improve memory and protect against neurodegenerative disorders. Tualang honey comes from the rainforests of Malaysia.
Raw, unfiltered honey may support aging, as it contains:
- amino acids
Foods that support aging include fruits and vegetables, such as berries, spinach, and broccoli. Because different colors of fresh produce have different nutrients and beneficial properties, a person should eat a variety.
Foods that support aging also include nuts, yogurt, whole grains — such as black rice — and fatty fish, such as salmon. Green tea and raw honey may be helpful as well.
Such foods can help with some of the visible signs of skin aging, along with systemic signs, such as thinning bones and cognitive function. They can also help reduce the increased risk of chronic disease that comes with aging.