There are so many anti-aging products out there it’s easy to overlook one of the most effective sources for that healthy glow – the fruits (and veggies and grains) of the earth! Below, you’ll find our top 10 look-vibrant-and-prosper foods, ranked according to flavor-potential and general awesomeness. Did we mention they’re also good for your eyes? Bonus!
Spinach is about as close as you’re going to get to a one-stop-shop food to keep you looking healthy. It’s a very good source of calcium, iron, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamins A, B6, C, E, and K, and the list goes on. The benefits of these nutrients are most apparent in the clear, radiant skin they promote. Try it fresh in your morning smoothie; the subtle flavor will blend right in.
2) Red Bell Pepper
Red bell peppers are crammed with vitamin C, which triggers the production of white blood cells that fight off germs and bacteria. Studies show that people with a high intake of vitamin C have fewer wrinkles because the nutrient promotes collagen production. Enjoy this naturally sweet veggie raw to reap the most health benefits.
Tomatoes contain lycopene—a carotenoid and antioxidant—that fights free radicals, shields skin from sun damage, and protects against some cancers, including lung cancer. The healthier you are, the younger you look. Eat tomatoes with olive oil for the best lycopene absorption.
Basil’s medicinal properties come from the antioxidant eugenol, which studies show can cause cervical cancer cells to self-destruct. Vitamin A is also present in basil and supports healthy cell growth—an essential part of looking youthful. Chop a few leaves and toss into your favorite salad or sprinkle on soup.
5) Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are packed with age-fighting properties, from antioxidants to anti-inflammatory agents. They are rich in vitamins A, C and E, which encourage clear skin and silky hair. Their beta-carotene helps repair cells damaged by UV rays, and they also reduce your risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Use sweet potatoes in place of russet potatoes whenever possible.
Eggplants get their anti-aging power from nasunin, a phytonutrient in the skin that functions as an antioxidant to battle free radicals that lead to cancer and signs of aging. Some say nasunin slows the development of Alzheimer’s disease by inhibiting free radicals from destroying neurons. Brush sliced eggplant with a little olive oil, add a pinch of salt, and roast in the oven for a quick and easy side dish to any meal.
7) Brussels Sprouts
The sulfur compounds found in Brussels sprouts help our genes block enzymes that promote tumor growth. These sulfur compounds play a key role in treating rheumatoid arthritis by reducing inflammation and activating cartilage-protecting proteins. They’re also packed with fiber, which can help lower cholesterol. Don’t overcook them if you hope to retain all the healthy nutrients.
Grapes contain resveratrol, which keeps your skin looking radiant. Several studies have shown that resveratrol can help protect you from UV-radiation damage, which may lead to skin cancer. Conveniently, these benefits can also be unlocked from a glass of red wine. Moderate consumption at meal time is best.
Barley is a whole grain that can help you shed belly fat. One study showed that people with diets rich in whole grains and limited refined grains carried 10 percent less abdominal fat than those who didn’t. Barley also helps keep blood sugar levels in check, which reduces your risk of type 2 diabetes—a disease that can take a toll on your eyes and overall health.
Oats will help you power through those tough gym sessions. Eating a serving of rolled oats 45 minutes before exercising significantly enhances performance compared to other carbs, like white rice. Oats also help your body purge bad cholesterol, which can lead to vision damage.
The healthier you are, the more radiant you’ll look and feel overall . . . eyes included!The contents in this article are for general information purposes only. Please consult your eye care doctor or physician for actual advice.