In a perfect world, we would be able to eat whatever we want, stay up late watching Netflix, and maintain glowing, youthful skin for the rest of our days.
Unfortunately, here in the real world, we have to face the harsh reality that our hair, skin, and nails demand a healthy lifestyle and lots of TLC if we want to preserve their vibrancy for years to come.
The good news is that with a consistent holistic routine, it is absolutely possible to slow the natural aging process and the loss of collagen that inevitably comes with it. This loss of collagen (your body’s main building block) is what ultimately leads to fine lines, wrinkles, thinning hair, brittle nails, and other signs of aging.
Fueling your body with lots of natural goodness, water, self-care, and plenty of rest sets a healthy foundation that allows your body to work for you, instead of against you.
Putting a bit of effort into fine-tuning your lifestyle can quite literally make you look years younger (and even add years to your life!).
When you combine a nutritious, balanced diet with a practical, high-quality skincare routine, you’ll be amazed by how much younger you look and feel.
Best of all, it’s actually quite simple to get started and doesn’t need to be time-consuming, stressful, or expensive.
Here are a few of the top anti-aging foods that you should start incorporating into your meals right away to preserve youthful, glowing skin and shiny hair.
1. DARK LEAFY GREENS
Dark, leafy greens such as kale, spinach, swiss chard, and arugula are some of the top anti-aging power foods. These nutrient-dense foods are low in calories and fat but packed with everything your skin needs to glow from the inside out. The darker the greens, the better! Since most people fall short on their daily greens, a highly concentrated green powder like this Primal Greens superfood powder can really make a huge difference in boosting your antioxidant and vitamin levels.
Blueberries are one berry not to be missed on an anti-aging diet. These berries are packed with vitamin C, a crucial vitamin for improving circulation, and plenty of antioxidants to help slow the aging process. An excellent source of potassium, blueberries can decrease puffiness and fluid retention.
Full of vitamin E and essential healthy fats, avocados nourish, and hydrate your skin from the inside. They give your skin cells a natural boost and helps them to regenerate more quickly, resulting in a more youthful appearance. Even better, avocados are known to promote shinier, stronger hair!
4. DARK CHOCOLATE
Dark chocolate is one indulgence that can actually help preserve a glowing, healthy appearance! The nutrients and antioxidants in pure dark chocolate (with at least 70% cacao) can help protect your skin from the sun, improve circulation, reduce skin inflammation, and can release “feel-good” brain chemicals that can deliver a youthful, happy glow!
Rich in antioxidants, cinnamon can help heal your skin and give it a more radiant appearance. Since slowing down the aging process should also mean more vitality and energy, incorporating this natural stimulant can boost both your immune system and increase energy levels.
6. TART CHERRY JUICE
Tart cherries, apart from being refreshing and delicious, are one of the highest natural sources of the antioxidant known as polyphenols. These polyphenols are famously known to improve skin’s elasticity and help prevent sagging.
7. MUSTARD SEEDS
If you haven’t tried mustard seeds before, it may be time to add them to your anti-aging routine! Mustard seeds are an exceptional source of the nutrient selenium, which is known for its powerful anti-inflammatory effects. Also rich in calcium, vitamin E, manganese, omega-3 fatty acids, and iron, mustard seeds are an anti-aging powerhouse.
8. SWEET POTATOES
Sweet potatoes are extremely high in beta-carotene, which fights skin-damaging free radicals that cause wrinkles and signs of aging. Also rich in vitamin C & E, sweet potatoes contain skin-healthy vitamins and minerals essential for keeping skin supple, wrinkle-free, and radiant.
9. RED WINE
Red wine enthusiasts will be thrilled to hear that when used in moderation, this beverage is packed full of natural antioxidants that may help benefit your skin and prevent heart disease. Even better, red grapes can help prevent the negative effects of aging due to the ‘resveratrol’ compound found within the skin.
10. HEMP OIL
Hemp oil contains a diverse mix of essential omega-3 fatty acids, in addition to high levels of vitamin E. These skin-saving amino acids and vitamins can help reduce the effects of aging and combat the wear and tear of skin cells.
11. RED CABBAGE
Red cabbage is another great anti-aging diet addition due to its high antioxidant content and concentration of the powerful antioxidant known as anthocyanin polyphenols. This is where red cabbage gets its deep color from, making it much higher in phytonutrients than traditional green cabbage.
Why Choosing a Holistic Approach Matters
When it comes to fighting signs of aging, food choices aren’t the only consideration that’s important.
Eat a bigger breakfast and a smaller dinner
Eating regular meals that contain healthy foods for breakfast and lunch each day is crucial. Try to eat less in the evenings and finish off with a light, healthy dinner.
Drink plenty of water
Another essential part of a holistic health routine is drinking plenty of water. Hydrating with freshwater is often considered the number one cardinal rule when it comes to preventing wrinkles.
Reduce caffeine and alcohol consumption
Also, be sure to reduce the amount of caffeine and alcohol that you consume daily. A great way to start the day is by having a glass of water with a slice of lemon to kickstart and detox your system. You’ll feel instantly energized and ready to tackle the day ahead!
An active lifestyle is linked to a longer lifespan, and a fit body means healthier and tighter skin. Taking up an exercise routine that nourishes your body and mind, such as yoga, can improve your overall flexibility and posture.
Being overly sedentary can cause your spine to become inflexible and lead to frustrating mobility issues. Taking up gentle yoga and incorporating some of the key postures into your fitness regime can help you feel years younger.
Focus on getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night
Adequate sleep is a crucial recovery period for your body and without it, your cells won’t be able to rejuvenate and heal. Aim for at least 7-8 hours per night hours in order to feel more positive, handle emotions more effectively, be more productive, and maintain a healthy weight more easily.
Protect your skin from the sun
Spending too much time in the sun without protecting your skin is by far one of the worst things you can do to damage your complexion. Avoid prolonged sunbathing without a high-quality sunscreen and take every precaution to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. If you care for your skin, it will care for you well into old age.
Steer clear of smoking
The more you smoke, the more wrinkles you are likely to have. Amongst countless other negative health effects, nicotine causes a narrowing of the blood vessels that impairs the flow of blood to your skin. This limits the number of nutrients available to fuel the skin and decreases vital oxygen flow.
Practice gratitude and keep a healthy mindset
There’s no denying that people who are genuinely happy have a radiant glow about them. Effectively dealing with stress and anxiety, as well as keeping an overall positive attitude on life, can make you look and feel years younger. A positive approach to life, coupled with relaxation techniques and meditation, will give you a serene radiance that is instantly noticeable by others.
Choose the right skincare products
The right skincare products can help when it comes to caring for your skin by providing extra hydration and ingredients that help keep skin elasticity intact.
However, before rushing out to spend a fortune on anti-aging cosmetics, consider these four important tips before deciding which products are worth the money:
A. TAKE THE MIRROR TEST
Take a good look at yourself in the mirror and ascertain the areas that you would really like to improve. Is it those pesky frown lines? Age spots? Wrinkles? What are your biggest concerns?
Try to look outside of the aesthetic side of these skin concerns for a moment, and try instead to take a holistic approach to the ‘you’ today. Are you eating a balanced, nutritious diet? Do you feel energetic and vibrant? What about your zest for life? Or do you feel stressed, tired, and anxious?
Taking these factors into consideration will help you to decide where you wish to start. There may be some lifestyle changes you can make first before spending big on cosmetics. Don’t forget that you are perfect exactly as you are and that fine lines, wrinkles, and skin aging are a perfectly normal part of life.
B. BUDGET, BUDGET, BUDGET
A self-care routine that allows you to feel good about yourself is a worthy investment of your resources. Setting aside a budget for your healthy lifestyle ahead of time can be hugely helpful and can prevent you from running into any frustration or obstacles.
Be realistic and try not to just throw away money for the sake of it. Many times, really effective skincare products are not the most expensive options, but just taking some digging to find.
In addition, most skin care brands offer free samples or sample sizes to try out first before parting with a large amount of cash. This way, you can find the most effective solutions that really work best with your skin.
C. TRY DIY AND MAKE YOUR OWN
If funds for high-quality skincare products are very limited, why not make your own natural skincare products? It’s very simple and totally possible to make some fantastic skincare products at home with some natural ingredients from your kitchen.
One important thing to keep in mind is that the shelf life of these DIY cosmetics will be much shorter (with no cosmetic preservatives) and therefore should be used fairly quickly.
D. DO YOUR HOMEWORK
Product research is important and is always worth the time invested. There are many claims and confusing marketing ploys in skincare that may not always be backed up by research and facts.
High-quality skincare options can still sometimes contain questionable chemicals and are not always what they appear to be on the packaging. Most skincare products also depend on your individual skin type needs, making it more important to dig a little deeper before investing.
When it comes to good health, a holistic approach is the way to go! Your health and well-being are largely in your hands and a healthy lifestyle really can make all the difference long-term.
We hope you enjoyed these anti-aging tips and would love to hear from you in the comments below. Who knew it could be possible to diagnose health issues by examining the quality of your skin? Well, it might not be an exact science, but it could help you discover some very interesting things. Also, check this article out to learn all about dehydrated vs. dry skin!