4 Super-Hydrating Foods You Should Start Eating Every Day After 40, According To Aging Experts
Staying hydrated and filling your diet with a range of healthy, diverse foods is a better plan for aging than stocking up on all the best serums and moisturizers in the world. Whether your primary concern is health and longevity, great skin, or a combination of the two, there are specific foods that experts say are extremely important, especially as we age, and can better protect our bodies from stress of everyday life. Chris Mirabile is the founder and CEO of NovosLabsa consumer biotechnology company specializing in human longevity and leveraging the latest scientific advances to slow aging with support from scientists at Harvard, MIT and the Salk Institute, as well as a writer at SlowMyAge.com. Here, Mirabile explains why you should consider incorporating these four super-hydrating, good-for-you foods, especially if you’re over 40 and concerned about the physical and mental effects of aging.
Bone broth is not only loaded with vitamins and minerals, but Mirabile notes that it also contains two ingredients essential for skin health and longevity: collagen and hyaluronic acid.
“Although collagen is broken down into its constituent amino acids during digestion, it is reassembled by the body and used for strong skin, hair, nails, blood vessels and more,” says Mirabile. “Hyaluronic acid (HA) is only modestly effective when applied topically. Ingesting hyaluronic acid can hydrate the skin from the inside out and improve joint health. little known fact about HA is that it also contains acetyl-glucosamine, a substance that extends the lifespan of several organisms.
“By now, everyone knows about the health and skin benefits of omega-3 oils from fatty fish like salmon,” says Mirabile. “Most people don’t know that salmon is also packed with another key nutrient for skin health: astaxanthin. A carotenoid (vitamin E family) that makes salmon pink, astaxanthin has very powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can potentially reduce damage from the sun’s UV rays, the number one cause of wrinkles in the skin after aging. Plus, astaxanthin is being studied for its benefits on long-term cognitive health and athletic performance!
Go ahead and have a sweet treat. But if you want to enjoy a dessert that’s also a boost for your long-term health and skin, dark chocolate is the perfect choice. “Dark chocolate contains polyphenols, flavanols, and catechins — plant-based compounds that have favorable effects on human health,” says Mirabile. “In fact, one study showed that dark chocolate contains more of these health-promoting substances than any other fruit tested, including blueberries. Dark chocolate may possibly lower LDL cholesterol while improving skin texture, reducing skin redness from sun exposure, and increasing skin hydration.
Be sure to stick to 80% or more dark chocolate, Mirabile notes – going below means more sugar and less healthy stuff (cocoa).
According to Mirabile, having a diverse range of berries can have both short-term and long-term benefits for your health and skin. “For example, strawberries contain a compound known as fisetin, which is being studied extensively for its potential to destroy senescent cells, one of the 10 biological causes of aging,” says Mirabile. “Or, take blueberries, which contain pterostilbene, a hot longevity ingredient that can positively impact your epigenome – which genes are turned on and off – which needs all the help it can get as you age and is a major area of interest for longevity scientists. like Dr. David Sinclair of Harvard University.
What’s more, according to Mirabile, berries may also help protect against free radical damage caused by the sun, pollution, or simply aging.
“Free radicals can damage DNA, stem cells and other healthy cells,” says Mirabile. “By simultaneously attacking senescent cells, your epigenome and free radical damage is a fantastic way to improve the health of your body and your skin, all at the same time.”
In short: it’s not just about what you put on your skin or how much time you spend in the gym. Adding great foods to your diet can also help you stay on top of your game, no matter what your age.