Anti-Aging Diet


Benefits : When you replace the white rice, white-flour breads and cakes, and other refined grains in your diet with whole grains, you immediately reap a benefit. “Refined grains can raise insulin levels, which in turn causes inflammation that damages the skin,” says Dr. Friedman. Also, whole grains are a good source of selenium — a mineral that helps protect against injury from UV rays. Beyond the beauty-related payoffs, a 2009 Australian and Dutch study found that higher concentrations of selenium in the blood were associated with about a 60% lower incidence of non-melanoma skin cancers.

What to put on your plate : Grains rich in selenium include brown rice, oatmeal, barley, and whole wheat. Limiting yourself to the recommended three to five servings a day will net you a helpful serving of the mineral without packing on the calories that can add up quickly with high-carb foods.


Benefits : The yellow, orange, and red pigments found in fruits and vegetables (as well as some herbs and spices) are carotenoids, antioxidants that destroy free radicals (and are most likely the reason people with high concentrations of carotenoids in their skin are less furrowed than those with low levels). You’re probably familiar with one carotenoid, beta-carotene. In addition to staunching free radicals, beta-carotene may help fight aging by increasing production of collagen and GAGs (glycosaminoglycans), which help your skin hold on to water. Lycopene is another carotenoid attracting attention. In a study published last year, researchers found that women who incorporated about two ounces of lycopene-rich tomato paste into their diets every day for 12 weeks sustained less skin damage when exposed to UV light than a control group that ate none.

What to put on your plate : Load up on cooked tomato sauces and tomato paste, your best sources of lycopene. Orange-tinted vegetables and fruits — carrots, cantaloupe, apricots, orange squash, and sweet potatoes — are all good sources of beta-carotene. So are such dark-green vegetables as spinach, kale, chard, and collard greens. (These also supply lutein, another important carotenoid.) For a soupçon more, add a few pinches of parsley, sage, rosemary, or coriander to your food. To increase your absorption of carotenoids, toss vegetables with avocado: One study found that eating salads combined with five ounces of avocado (one small to medium) increases the absorption of another carotenoid, alpha-carotene (7.2 times), as well as beta-carotene (15.3 times), and lutein (5.1 times).

Comments are closed.