Foods that help turn back clock

Published On: Oct 11 2011 04:02:09 PM EDT
Updated On: Jul 11 2011 09:14:29 AM EDT

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From PureMatters.com

Can you really eat to look younger? You bet! The foods in your kitchen are just as important as any creams in your bathroom for keeping wrinkles away. Add a couple of servings a week of these anti-aging foods.

Sunflower seeds.

These salty wonders have the highest natural vitamin E content of any food around. "Vitamin E is one of the most important nutrients for looking younger," says Barry Swanson, PhD, a professor of food science at Washington State University. "No antioxidant is more effective at fighting the aging effects of free radicals."

Spinach and beans.

Researchers in Australia, Indonesia, and Sweden studied the diets of 400 elderly men and women, and found that those who ate the most beans and leafy green vegetables had the fewest wrinkles. The reason? Spinach and beans are full of compounds that help prevent and repair wear and tear on your skin cells as you get older.

Sweet potatoes.

Overexposure to the sun is one of the primary reasons we age prematurely. But sweet potatoes may help fight sun damage. European researchers recently found that pigments from beta-carotene-rich foods -- such as sweet potatoes and carrots -- can build up in your skin, helping prevent damage from ultraviolet rays.

Tomatoes.

Volunteers who consumed five tablespoons of high-in-lycopene tomato paste daily for three months had more collagen in their skin, which prevents sagging. Another reason to toss an extra tomato into your salad: German scientists report that higher levels of this antioxidant in the skin correlate to fewer fine lines and furrows.

Grape juice.

Besides providing protection from heart attack and stroke, grape juice can also help prevent sagging skin. "Grapes are filled with antioxidant polyphenols that help keep your skin flexible and elastic," says Swanson.

Cheese.

A less-than-stellar smile can age your appearance as much as wrinkles and gray hair. "Cheese is one of the best foods you can eat for your teeth," says Matthew Messina, DDS, an American Dental Association spokesman. "It's a good source of calcium, to keep your teeth strong. Plus, eating cheese can lower the levels of bacteria in your mouth and keep your teeth clean and cavity-free," he says. Dr. Messina recommends eating at least two servings of block cheese every week.

Birthdays may be inevitable, but looking older than you feel doesn't have to be.

For more healthy living news and features, visit PureMatters.com -- and don't forget to stop by the Pure Matters Shop for all your vitamin and supplement needs.

Source: Pure Matters http://www.purematters.com/prevention/anti-aging/foods-that-help-turn-back-the-clock

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