The 10 Best Anti-Aging Foods, According to Dieticians

Aging is a natural process and it is something we should not fear, despite what marketing companies have been telling us forever. But as we age, it’s understandable that we want to find healthy ways to look and feel better with each passing year so we can have the energy and confidence to enjoy our daily lives. Things like exercising, drinking plenty of water, and eating a nutritious, balanced diet are ways we can help ourselves look and feel younger as we age.

When it comes to diet, food can affect the way you feel on the inside and look on the outside. For example, research shows that nutrition can play an important role in heart and brain health, and the risk of age-related diseases as you age. Research also shows that your diet not only has the power to repair skin damage, but it can also cause damage to your skin as you age. So what are some of the specific foods that can affect how we age?

Read on to learn 10 foods you can add to your diet to look and feel better as you age. And for more tips on healthy eating, be sure to check out The 10 Best Eating Habits to Fight Inflammation, Dietitians Say.


raspberries blueberries blackberries strawberries

An important key to healthy aging is eating foods rich in antioxidants. This is because your body goes through a process called oxidation, which creates molecules known as “free radicals” that can cause damage to your cells and contribute to a higher risk of chronic diseases. Antioxidants can directly help fight these free radicals that cause damage to the body.

When it comes to antioxidant-rich foods, berries are at the top. “Berries are rich in antioxidants, such as anthocyanins and vitamin C, which combat oxidative stress and inflammation in the body,” he says. Maria Sabat MS, RDN, LD.

Oxidative stress damage caused by free radicals can also affect skin health, so Sabat says eating antioxidant-rich foods like berries “helps protect your skin from premature aging and improve your overall health.”

Lisa Young, PhD, RDN He adds: “Blueberries specifically are full of antioxidants anthocyanin“which helps combat oxidative stress and inflammation, and these compounds may help improve skin elasticity, reduce the appearance of wrinkles, and promote a youthful complexion.”

Another surprising benefit of eating berries as we age is that they “support cognitive function and may reduce the risk of age-related cognitive decline,” Sabat says. For example, a study published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that eating more strawberries and blueberries was linked to a slower rate of cognitive decline in participants over 70 years old.

RELATED: 9 Best Supplements to Slow Signs of Aging After 40

fatty fish

raw salmonraw salmon

There is more than one reason to eat fatty fish as we age. For starters, fatty fish are rich in healthy fats like omega-3 fatty acids. According to Sabat, “omega-3s can help maintain heart and brain health, as well as reduce the risk of age-related diseases.”

In addition to helping your heart and brain feel better as you age, foods rich in omega-3s, like fatty fish, can also help you maintain younger-looking skin.

For example, “salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids like EPA and DHA, and these essential fats support skin health by maintaining cell membranes and reducing inflammation,” says Young. And Sabat adds: “These healthy fats can also promote skin elasticity and hydration, giving you a youthful, radiant complexion.”

Nuts and seeds

mixed nutsmixed nuts

You’ve learned about the antioxidants found in berries and the healthy fats found in certain fish, but snacking on nuts and seeds can give you the best of both worlds by providing you with healthy fats. and antioxidants.

“The antioxidants found in nuts and seeds fight free radicals, preventing skin aging and reducing the risk of chronic diseases associated with aging,” says Sabat.

Specifically, Young notes that “almonds are a good source of vitamin E, an antioxidant that protects the skin from oxidative damage and can help maintain skin elasticity and hydration, potentially reducing signs of aging.” He adds: “Including nuts like almonds in your diet can contribute to a youthful, healthy glow.”

Nuts, especially walnuts, also contain omega-3 fatty acids, and seeds such as flax seeds are some of the richest sources of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids. Consuming these healthy fats can contribute to a slower rate of aging, both internally and externally.

RELATED: 10 Best Foods for Brain Health After 50

Green leafy vegetables

green leafy vegetablesgreen leafy vegetables

Leafy greens like spinach, kale, and chard are “powerhouses of nutrients,” according to Sabat, “offering vitamins A, C, and K, and minerals like iron and calcium.”

For healthier aging, “these nutrients can promote skin health, assist in collagen production, and protect against skin damage caused by ultraviolet radiation,” adds Sabat.

Beyond skin health, vitamin K has also been linked to reducing the risk of age-related diseases, and vitamin C has been found to help slow age-related cognitive decline.

RELATED: 7 Vegetables That Reduce Inflammation and Slow Aging


halved pitted avocadoshalved pitted avocados

We mentioned earlier that vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant, is linked to better skin health and can be found in nuts like almonds, but this vitamin can also be found in the bowl of guacamole.

Avocados are rich in vitamin E and, because of this, can help “protect the skin from UV damage and maintain its youthful appearance,” says Sabat.

Not only are they rich in vitamin E, but avocados are rich in healthy fats, which can “hydrate and nourish the skin,” Sabat adds.

Plus, Sabat says, avocados can help maintain a healthy heart as we age “by reducing bad cholesterol levels.”

Sweet potatoes

Roasted Sweet PotatoesRoasted Sweet Potatoes

Fruits and vegetables contain plant compounds that give them their bright color. For example, sweet potatoes contain a compound called beta-carotene, which is responsible for their vibrant orange hue. In addition to giving color to this vegetable, this compound, among other plant compounds, can also provide many health benefits.

According to Sabat, “Beta-carotene is a precursor to vitamin A and has been linked to promoting skin health and reducing the appearance of wrinkles. Beyond that, research has also found that beta-carotene may help in the prevention of various chronic diseases.

Although found in smaller amounts, sweet potatoes also contain vitamins C and E, which we now know can help fight free radicals and promote health.



Speaking of those deliciously powerful plant compounds, tomatoes are rich in a certain compound called lycopene, which gives them their beautiful red color. Lycopene has antioxidant properties and is “known for protecting skin from sun damage and reducing signs of aging,” says Sabat, which means tomatoes may play a role in helping you look and feel younger as you age.

However, the benefits of lycopene go beyond skin health. A report published in International Journal of Molecular Sciences says that a diet rich in lycopene can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and improve the health of blood vessels, and because of this, Mary says that “consuming tomatoes can support heart health and contribute to a young life and vibrant.”

RELATED: 14 ​​Best Foods for Your Skin, According to Dietitians

Dark chocolate

dark chocolate pieces in a bowldark chocolate pieces in a bowl

Probably the most interesting food on our list, dark chocolate is rich in natural compounds called flavonoids, which can help with aging in many ways.

“Flavonoids can improve blood flow and protect the skin from UV damage,” says Sabat, and research also shows that dietary flavonoids can help with blood pressure, artery health, and vascular problems, such as cardiovascular diseases and vascular dementia.

As you can see, dark chocolate can help promote healthy aging and youth “both inside and out,” says Sabat. Just be sure to eat in moderation, as many varieties contain a lot of added sugar, which can lead to more inflammation and increase the risk of certain diseases if consumed in large quantities regularly.


Bowl of Greek yogurt with berries.Bowl of Greek yogurt with berries.

Research continues to show that a healthy gut contributes to healthy aging and healthier skin. Fortunately, there are many delicious foods you can add to your diet that can help you have a more diverse and flourishing gut microbiome.

One of these foods is yogurt, which according to Sabat “is a food rich in probiotics that promotes intestinal health and helps in the absorption of nutrients.”

Not only that, but yogurt “provides essential protein to maintain healthy muscles and skin, while also helping to strengthen bones through its calcium and vitamin D content,” Sabat says. However, just make sure you buy yogurt fortified with vitamin D to get that specific vitamin.

RELATED: The 15 Healthiest Yogurts on Grocery Store Shelves

Green Tea

Green TeaGreen Tea

Although it is a beverage and not a food, we had to include green tea on our list because of its powerful anti-aging capabilities.

“Green tea contains polyphenols, particularly epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), with powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties,” says Sabat. “These compounds help improve skin elasticity and protect against the harmful effects of UV radiation, reducing signs of skin aging.”

Not only can green tea help achieve a more youthful appearance, but research shows that its main polyphenol, EGCG, is linked to slower aging and even a longer life expectancy.

To look and feel younger this year, try adding a cup of green tea to your daily routine. Just remember that it still contains caffeine, so those with caffeine sensitivity should consume a cup in the morning.

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