The foods you eat make a huge difference in how your body responds as you get older. Sure, consuming the right things can fend off ills like cancer and heart disease, but that’s just the beginning.
What you eat shapes all aspects of aging, including your strength and stamina, how quickly you finish that Sudoku puzzle, and the number of lines you see when you look in the mirror. Here are 25 anti-aging superfoods that will help slow the aging process.
#1 – Fruits and Veggies
While the headlines rant on about healthy fats and net carbs, the real news in nutrition is the way food affects your genes. It turns out that specific chemicals in foods – such as sulforaphane, a phytochemical in broccoli – work with your genes to ratchet up your body’s natural defense systems, helping to inactivate toxins and free radicals before they can do the damage that leads to cancer, cardiovascular disease, and even premature aging.
If, say, you have a genetic predisposition to heart disease, you may want to eat more broccoli and oats. Someone with other genetic red flags might alter her diet in other ways. Says Ordovas, “Exactly when this will happen is difficult to predict. But it will happen.”
The specifics – which foods influence which genes – are still being mapped out. But while you’re waiting to hear about the panacea for your gene pool, you might as well feast on foods that appear to pack the most potent disease-fighting, anti-aging punch. “If you can protect yourself from needing a cholesterol drug by eating vegetables and fruits,” says Daniel A. Nadeau, MD, of Exeter Hospital in New Hampshire, “why not do it?”