“Anti-aging” foods is a loaded idea. As much as we can eat leafy greens and snack on seeds, nothing is actually halting, reversing, or even slowing down time. And in reality, getting older is awesome! It means not having to relive middle school dances or worse, the inside of high school bathrooms. It means we get to pick our own bedtimes (which may be earlier than the ones our parents set), learn from our mistakes, and form opinions based on real life experiences.
But we’d be lying if we didn’t admit, it’d be nice to feel 24 forever… and maybe slow down those crow’s feet that are nestling in quite comfortably. Luckily, one of the major ways to exude youthful radiance throughout our lives is by incorporating more nutritious, plant-based foods in our everyday diets.
So if you (like us) want to make an effort to feel good from the inside-out as time keeps ticking, here are 12 effective “anti-aging” foods to add to your diet. Because even though papayas and sweet potatoes won’t turn back the clock, they can give our skin a nice extra glow!
12 effective “anti-aging” foods to add to your diet
1. Olive Oil
Olive oil is one of those dreamy ingredients that seems to have everything. It’s high in vitamins A, D, E, and K + good-for-you antioxidants. Studies also show the Mediterranean Diet, which involves a liberal use of olive oil, is linked to a lowered risk of breast cancer and reduced inflammation.
And fortunately, olive oil is super easy “anti-aging” food to add into your diet. Drizzle it on your favorite salad, add it to pesto pasta, and use it to make our Ultimate Veggie Burger from The Wholesome Culture Cookbook. The options are endless!
This orange fruit is rich in tropical flavor, antioxidants, and vitamins. And it may even improve skin elasticity, according to 2012 research. So, stir it into a yummy salad (like this Vegan Papaya Salad recipe from Minimalist Baker) or add a few papaya pieces to your morning smoothie. Your skin will thank you!
3. Chia seeds
Chia seeds add heart-healthy and skin-hydrating omega-3s to your diet. And The Harvard School of Public Health even states that chia seeds are the “richest plant source of omega-3 fatty acids,” as they contain all nine essential amino acids that can’t be made by the body.
They’re also packed with fiber, iron, and antioxidants. And we love them because they give smoothies a satisfying crunch. Try our Blueberry Bubble Gum Smoothie made with chia seeds, almond milk, and banana. Yum.
Nuts are packed with Vitamin E, which not only helps skin retain moisture but also keeps skin safe from UV rays. Specifically, walnuts are filled with omega-3 fatty acids, aka mega inflammation fighters.
6. Leafy Greens
Whether you’re a lover of spinach, kale, collard greens, watercress, or romaine lettuce, you really can’t go wrong when it comes to adding leafy greens in your diet! Leafy greens are loaded with beta carotene, which is known for giving skin a bright glow. And they’re packed with nutrients beneficial for your mind and body.
Still not convinced? Find out the 5 reasons why kale is basically the best vegetable.
The list of reasons we love avocados is loooong. Besides being completely delicious and making our mornings happier, avocados are packed with healthy fats and natural oils, both of which are super nourishing for our skin. And avocados full of fiber, potassium, and vitamins.
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Smoothie season is here!! That's a thing, right? This Green Avocado Smoothie is made with avocado, banana, kale, almond milk, and protein powder (optional) and is SO creamy and delicious. Head over to the site for the easy recipe (@jar.of.lemons), search "smoothie"! . . . . #foods4thought #healthyeats #healthybreakfast #finallyspring #feedfeed @thefeedfeed #tiu #tiucommunity #bbg #bbgcommunity #healthyliving #breakfastsmoothie #buzzfeedfood #buzzfeast #instayum #wholefoodsfaves #avocadosmoothie #food52 #foodblogfeed @foodblogfeed #hautecuisines #beautifulcuisines #todayfood #tastingtable #foodandwine #huffposttaste #thenewhealthy #TheEveryGirl #JarOfLemons #greensmoothie #healthysmoothie
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Mix them in your smoothies — like this delish avocado smoothie recipe from Jar of Lemons.
9. Sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamin C and vitamin E, a dynamic duo for glowing skin. They’re also rich in anti-aging copper, which aids in collagen production.
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sweet potato black bean quesadillas 🧡✌🏼 Happy Cinco de Mayo! ✨ These vegan quesadillas are filled with a “cheesy” sweet potato spread + spicy black beans, diced onion, and corn. Are you a salsa, guacamole, or sour cream type of person? 💭 I love these quesadillas with all three! GET THE RECIPE: Click the link in my IG story or visit purelykaylie.com (link in bio) to find it there 🧡 – #quesadillas #vegan #cincodemayo #plantbased #sweetpotato #blackbeans #tortillas #wslf #veganfood #recipevideo #veganrecipes #whatveganseat #plantbaseddiet #healthymeals #healthyrecipes #sweetpotatoquesadilla #spuds #yams #vegandinner #vegansofig #bestofvegan #feedfeedvegan #thrivemags #veganfoodie
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Whip up these yummy quesadillas with sweet potatoes from Purely Kaylie or pop them in the oven for sweet potato fries. (Just go light on the salt so you don’t counteract the sweet potato’s benefits.)
10. Brussels sprouts
Like chia seeds, Brussels sprouts are good sources of omega-3s. But make sure to roast, steam, or stir fry them. Cooked brussels contain triple the omega-3s compared to raw Brussels.
We’re obsessed with this drool-worthy Vegan Brussels Sprouts recipe from Abra’s Kitchen. In addition to Brussels, the recipe includes olive oil and avocado — so you’ll check off three “anti aging” ingredients in one dish!
Tomatoes are not only great sources of Vitamin A, B, and potassium, but they’re also excellent sources of vitamin C. As you probably know, vitamin C is a major immune-system booster and it also helps stimulate collagen production, which our bodies produce less of as we age.
Blueberries are hard to beat. They’ve got antioxidants, fiber, and vitamins. And they contain significant amounts of zinc and iron, both super skin-friendly elements. Research also suggests that eating blueberries can help delay and mitigate cognitive decline.
So make blueberry pancakes for breakfast… or lunch… or dinner! If you ask us, pancakes are a good idea any time of the day 🙂
Speaking of breakfast, check out more of our favorite breakie recipes:
- 11 Immune-boosting breakfasts to get your day started right
- 10 Easy vegan breakfast bowls that’ll keep you warm
- 3 High protein vegan breakfast ideas