8 Super Anti-Aging Plant-Based Foods

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The best anti-aging foods are those that have potent antioxidant properties to help you avoid disease and deliver vital nutrients that support the health of the largest organ in your body - your skin.

It's no coincidence that the first place you notice signs of ageing is the skin.  This is precisely why an "anti-aging" diet must be closely linked to the foods from nature's table renowned for their powers in maintaining the skin and restoring youthful glow.

Foods with anti-aging properties, will not only help you prevent illness, but also go a long way to keeping you looking young and feeling energetic. 

Here, we discuss eight renowned, super anti-aging foods that should form part of a well-rounded diet.

All of these foods are rich in a variety of colour, nutrients, vitamins and minerals, which can help you to slow down cellular degeneration, avoid chronic disease and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles - ALL important features of slowing the effects of ageing!

1. Blueberries

Blueberries have always been considered a superfood, but one of the main reasons is because they’re actually one of the most potent anti-aging foods on earth.

Blueberries are incredibly delicious, versatile and readily available year round, which makes it easy to incorporate them into your every day diet.  From cereals, to salads and smoothies, or straight out of the punnet, blueberries are a delightful whole food you should include regularly in your diet.

Blueberries are a fantastic source of antioxidants, meaning they help protect your body from free radicals that damage cells and cause oxidative stress.  Free radicals are the primary cause of premature ageing, not to mention diseases like cancer.

The Anthocyanin in blueberries is the pigment that actually gives this amazing fruit its blue colour.  And this is the same nutrient known to be responsible for helping to prevent a range of cancers. 

But benefits of Blueberries don’t stop here!

Blueberries can also halt short-term memory loss, which is a sign of degeneration that speeds up with age.

Other benefits of blueberries include.  They:

  • Strengthen blood vessels
  • Clear the arteries
  • Heal urinary tract infections 
  • Slow mental decline
  • Supporting healthy vision
  • Reduce hunger
  • Promoting healthy weight management. 
Blueberries are one of those foods you'll find in your local supermarket, but the best place to source them is from your local farmer's markets when in season.  Also, don't be afraid to stock up on blueberries when they're in abundance and to wash and freeze them for later use, particularly in raw deserts and smoothies for any time when fresh berries aren't available. 

    2. Papaya

    This sweet, juicy tropical fruit is packed with a variety of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that are known to support skin elasticity and to minimise the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

    Particularly seasonal in warm climates in summer,  this delicious, juicy fruit contains powerful nutrients including:

    • vitamins A, C, K, and E
    • calcium
    • potassium
    • magnesium
    • phosphorus
    • B vitamins

    The variety of antioxidants in Papaya helps to thwart free radical damage, thereby helping to delay the process of ageing.

    Papaya also contains an enzyme called papain, which is one mother nature’s most effective anti-inflammatory nutrients.

    Interestingly, papain and derivatives of this compound are found in many natural skin care exfoliation products, since they're known to help the body shed dead skin cells for restoration and youthful glow.

    3. Fermented Foods

    We've said it before and we'll say it again.

    Fermented foods are your best friend when it comes to a healthy gut, which drives your immunity, digestive wellness, skin health and plays a key role in slowing the process of ageing.

    Your gut contains millions of good and bad bacteria, and depending on the balance of good versus bad, it ultimately determines your resistance to disease.

    The key to cultivating good bacteria in your gut and a healthy microbiome, is fermented foods and limiting your intake of processed and refined foods.

    Fermented foods contain natural probiotics which deliver beneficial bacteria to your gut that greatly influence your ability to slow down the effects of ageing.

    Great examples of fermented foods include:

    • Sauerkraut
    • Olives
    • Pickled Vegetables
    • Kimchi
    • Miso soup
    • Kombucha
    • Tofu
    • Tempeh
    • Kefir
    • Organic Yogurt, Sour Cream, Cottage Cheese and Soft Cheeses
    • Organic Sourdough Bread

    Fermented foods are so important, because when your gut health is in good shape, the rest of your health quickly follows suit. 

    Your skin will look healthier and more youthful, you’ll have more energy, you’ll feel lighter and you'll go along way to avoiding many common ailments that eventually lead to chronic disease.

    Learn more in Digestive System: Top Foods to Support Digestion, Gut Health & Healing. 

    4. Raw Nuts and Seeds

    Raw nuts and seeds are incredibly beneficial to your health and are some of the best anti-aging foods.  Such foods include:

    • Almonds
    • Walnuts
    • Macadamia Nuts
    • Flax Seeds
    • Pumpkin Seeds
    • Sunflower Seeds

    Not only are these jam-packed with vital nutrients, minerals and protein, they are also a great source of good fats that help ward off heart disease and diabetes, which can creep up as you age.

    They're also a wonderful source of vitamin E, which helps to repair skin tissue, retain skin moisture and protect your skin from damaging UV rays. 

    Walnuts are particularly rich in anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, that support healthy skin cell membranes, protect against harmful UV rays and help to maintain glow by preserving your skin's natural oil barrier.

    Raw nuts and seeds are a nutritious and handy anytime snack.  Enjoy them in between meals or use them at meal time as a tasty, satisfying accompaniment to salads, cereals, yogurt and deserts. 

    Raw nuts and seeds are such amazing, wholesome foods, which is why they're staple ingredients in our Pulse Sacred Meal and Cornucopia Epicurean Snack products available here in our store at tolmanselfcare.com. 

    5. Avocados

    Avocados are one of mother nature's most perfect foods.

    Rich in vitamins K, C, E, A and B, Avocados are loaded with anti-inflammatory fatty acids that promote smooth, supple skin.

    The healthy fats also help the body absorb nutrients such as beta-carotene, which is one of the few nutrients that prevents cognitive decline.

    Avocados also contain specific sugars and antioxidants, which are known to build collagen in the skin, helping to smooth out wrinkles, heal scars and reduce age spots.

    Shop for avocados from your local famers markets a day or two from ripe.  Allow them to ripen on your kitchen bench or window sill before you refrigerate them.  Only place your avocados in the fridge once they're ripe enough to eat until you're ready to eat them.

    Avocados are such a delicious and versatile food.  You can enjoy them on their own as a delightful snack by slicing in half, removing the seed and adding a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, a splash of extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of celtic or himalayan sea salt.

    You can also chop them into salads, add them to a green smoothie, or mash them into a home made dip or guacamole before adding a squeeze of fresh lime, a handful of chopped coriander, tomatoes, shallots and a good pinch of sea salt.

    Whatever you do, if you want to support anti ageing, be sure to eat at least 2-3 ripe avocados every week.

    6. Leafy Greens

    Leafy greens are an amazing source of calcium, as well as other key nutrients, that support bone health as you age.

    Not only do foods rich in calcium help you to avoid diseases like arthritis and osteoporosis, they also help to support strong healthy teeth, hair, nails and skin. 

    Leafy greens you should eat regularly include a selection of the following sourced fresh from your local market:

    • Lettuce 
    • Spinach
    • Kale
    • Rocket (Arugula)
    • Collard 
    • Silver Beet and Chard
    • Watercress

    Try to eat a bowl of raw greens most days in a salad as an accompaniment or prior to your main meal.  Include a mix of lettuce, rocket, spinach and watercress, whatever is fresh that you can get your hands on.  Add additional toppings such as Spanish onions, cherry tomatoes, cucumber chunks, avocado and feta cheese, or simply drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice and enjoy on its own.

    In the cooler months, you can replace the leafy green salad with steamed greens such as broccoli, zucchinis and asparagus.  Drizzle with olive oil or fresh, grass fed butter and sea salt, or add them to your favourite stews, sautés and bakes.

    7. Sweet Potatoes 

    Sweet potatoes are rich in an orange coloured antioxidant known as beta-carotene, which converts to vitamin A in the body. 

    Vitamin A can help restore skin elasticity and promote skin cellular recycling, which ultimately supports supple, soft skin.

    This versatile tuber (root vegetable) is also an incredible source of vitamins C and E, known to protect the skin from free radicals and to promote a healthy complexion.

    Predominately a vegetable that thrives in the cooler months, be sure to regularly include sweet potatoes into your winter recipes. 

    Serving suggestions include, steaming and mashing them together with a little olive oil or butter, fresh herbs, sea salt and pepper.

    Or, cut them into wedges and drizzle them with olive oil, coconut oil and bake as a delicious meal accompaniment or snack.

     8. Broccoli 

    Broccoli is from the cruciferous family of vegetables, not only known for its powerful cancer preventative qualities, but also as an anti-inflammatory and anti-aging food.

    The key nutrients in broccoli include:

    • Anti-oxidants
    • Vitamins C and K
    • Folate
    • Fiber
    • Lutein and
    • Calcium

    When it comes to anti-ageing, vitamin C helps the body to produce collagen, which is a protein that gives the skin its elasticity and strength. 

    Other Important Anti-Ageing Tips  

    Water, Salt & Movement

    Even though these elements are not strictly "food", they are important considerations when it comes to slowing down the effects of ageing.  Your body needs adequate daily hydration (at least 2 litres of clean water per day) to replenish, flush toxins and to ensure vital function. It needs salt for electrolytes and to strengthen bones, since salt ionises into calcium in the body.  And it relies on regular movement to ensure cardiovascular health and ongoing flexibility, mobility and strength in your muscles and joints.

    When it comes to anti-ageing, drinking enough water each day cannot be emphasised enough.  Your body and brain are dependent on water to support vital organs and a body deprived of water and hydration, is the number one cause of dry skin, irritation, fine lines and wrinkles. 

    Learn more in our blog Nature’s Gift: 10 Ways Water Can Help to Heal.  

    Don't forget the 7 Principles of Health

    When your health gets complicated, or when the signs of ageing start to creep up on you, it's important to get back to tune back into the ageless wisdom that is the 7 principles of health - Air, Water, Sunshine, Walking, Whole foods, Non-Toxic Relationships and Passion.

    By embracing these principles and having them in your consciousness, you will go a long way to getting your health on track and being able to show up as the best version of yourself as you age.  Even if you can't master all of these principles at once, by prioritising as many of them as you can as part of your daily self care routine, it can really help to slow the process of ageing.

    The Main Take Away

    Ageing is a process that is unavoidable, but you can slow down the effects of ageing by including the right foods in your diet and by following healthy lifestyle habits.

    Much of the body and mind degeneration that people experience in their golden years, is directly related to a lifetime of poor diet and lifestyle choices that speeds up as time goes on and can eventually lead to chronic disease if positive changes aren't made.

    For this reason, if you're concerned about the impact of ageing, consider embracing some of the top anti-ageing foods shared with you here and taking a few positive steps to get back on track with your health that can help slow down the process of ageing.

    Tolman Self Care.

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