Anti-aging foods and why they work

Dec 4, 2012 at 5:00 p.m. ET

Most people loved the way they looked when they were in their late teens or early 20s. You know — the days before kids, a slower metabolism and an interest in anti-aging products.

Woman eating baby tomato

All of us have wished on at least one occasion that we could look younger and stop the aging process. Unfortunately, this isn’t something researchers have discovered yet. So for now, we use anti-wrinkle creams, try to get our eight hours of shut-eye, do yoga to relax and de-stress, and finally, we eat foods rich in vitamins C and E. Simply eating the right foods can significantly slow down the aging process and make you look and feel younger.

kaleFruits and veggies

Fruits and vegetables are packed with antioxidants, such as vitamin C, that can keep our skin looking younger. Vitamin C, along with zinc and beta carotene, prevents unstable molecules from attacking healthy cells. Though we can’t feel this happening, we can see it via the signs of aging. Dark, leafy greens are the best, including spinach, kale and mustard greens. Colorful fruits and veggies such as blueberries, carrots and tomatoes are not only linked to more youthful skin, but also help prevent blindness as we age. Aim for six to nine servings of fruit and veggies per day.


Protein keeps our metabolisms running. As we hit our 40s, muscle mass starts declining at a rate of one percent per year, causing us to gain weight more easily. Staying firm helps keep our skin from sagging and our metabolism from slowing. Protein found in nuts, such as almonds, reduces the risk of both high blood pressure and high cholesterol significantly. Other great sources of protein include lean chicken and turkey, beans, fish and eggs. Aim for eight to 11 ounces of protein daily.

whole wheat breadWhole grains

Fiber-rich foods, such as oats, whole wheat bread and brown rice, help us stay slim and keep the metabolism running. This is partly due to the lasting feeling of fullness that comes with eating fiber, but also due to the fact that whole grains are chockfull of vitamins and minerals. Three servings of whole grains per day are recommended.

See how to choose the healthiest whole grains >>

coffeCoffee and wine

Ah, two of our favorite beverages are actually good for our skin. Experts say drinking one cup of caffeinated coffee per day lowers the risk of developing skin cancer. Who knew our morning run to Starbucks was actually doing us good? And even better — the more coffee we drink, the lower our risk! Red wine is also known to help slow down aging with its powerful anti-aging compound known as resveratrol. It’s an antioxidant that protects our arteries and helps with inflammation. Capping off our day with a five-ounce glass of red does us good. Cheers to that!

More on anti-aging

Anti-aging foods to add to your diet
The anti-aging workout
Celebrity anti-aging secrets revealed