11 Best Anti-Aging Foods (Plus 6 Extra Anti-Aging Tips)

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11 Best Anti-Aging Foods (Plus 6 Extra Anti-Aging Tips) Graphic © healthpowerboost.com. Broccoli Pic: Pixabay (PD)

When most people think of “anti aging” they think immediately of skin care – however if you are really serious about looking younger and feeling healthier, it makes sense to start by addressing any degenerative conditions that may be being caused within – in particular with diet.

So here (in no specific order) is our top 11 list of the super-healthy foods that are reported by science to have the best anti-aging and health-prolonging qualities:

1. Pomegranate

Pomegranate has been the subject of much praise from scientific studies, which have even found it to have strong cardiovascular benefits in actual human trials. A small daily glass (150ml) of pomegranate juice for 3 years was associated with reversed arterial plaque and improved blood pressure in patients with carotid artery stenosis. [1]

Pomegranates contain Urolithin A, a molecule found by researchers to prevent accumulation of dysfunctional mitochondria, increase lifespan and increase muscular function in animal test subjects. [2]

Pomegranates and their juice are also rich in vitamins B6, C and K; as well as minerals potassium and phosphorus.

2. Broccoli

This popular green vegetable has hidden benefits which have elevated it to superfood status. A compound found in broccoli – sulforaphane – has been linked to decreased likelihood of developing prostate cancer. [3] It is also offered as a supplement for the support of type 2 diabetes due to the discovery of its improvement of glucose control in diabetic patients. [4]

3. Red Wine Or Red Grape Juice

Red grapes (and red wine) are rich in resveratrol, which is one of the best-established anti cancer foods. Reseveratrol has been found to help the anti-cancer process by killing damaged cells before they turn cancerous. [5]

Resveratrol has also been found to be anti-inflammatory, with beneficial effects in asthma, COPD, and even in ear infections. [6]

Alcohol of course has some negative health consequences. Due to the alcohol content of red wine, it’s typically advised not to drink more than one glass per day and you can of course go for red grape juice for a non-alcoholic option. Resveratrol is predominant in the skin of grapes, especially red – with white grapes only having 10% of the amount. Note that resveratrol is also found in numerous other foods, especially red, purple and blue berries, peanuts and cacao.

4. Nuts

Nuts have long been considered to be one of “Nature’s survival foods” due to their modest amounts of carbohydrates, generous proteins and presence of good fats. They also contain Omega-3s, which are often too low (should be in balance with Omega-6s). Omega-3s may help lower cholesterol, reduce inflammation, alleviate depression and even combat dementia. [7]

5. Blueberries (And Other Berries)

Regarded by many as a “superfruit”, blueberries are highly regarded in nutritional circles. According to a study published by the American Chemical Society, blueberries can improve cognition and can even go as far as combating the progress of Alzheimer’s disease. [8] There are also cardiovascular benefits, with blueberries found to lower blood pressure and reduce arterial hardening with one cup of the fruit consumed per day. [9] Berries (especially organic ones) of all types are antioxidant rich, including the much-praised anthocyanins – which means that they combat free radicals, inflammation and by extension serious inflammation-related diseases – heart disease, cancer, diabetes, arthritis and osteoporosis.

6. Salmon And Other Omega-3 Rich Fish

Omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in wild-caught salmon, tuna and also some plant sources such as walnuts and flax seeds, have been associated with brain health – especially with beneficial effects on mood and attitude. They are also considered anti-inflammatory may help prevent stroke and heart disease when consumed in beneficial quantities.

Wild Salmon is another prime source of healthy Omega-3 fatty acids. It is now typically advised to buy wild salmon, as farmed salmon has been the subject of controversy, as it has been found to be fed contaminated fishmeal that can be toxic to the body.

7. Live Yogurt

Yogurt is a great snack that you can easily be eaten in combination with other beneficial foods such as blueberries, seeds and nuts. Just sprinkle them on top! When consumed regularly, the calcium in yogurt can help keep your bones strong, while its probiotic bacteria are well established to be able to help keep your digestion in tip top shape.

8. Tomatoes (and other Lycopene-rich Foods)

A staple component of the healthy Mediterranean diet (which has been associated with both longevity and better health in old age), tomatoes have been established as a heart-healthy food, with potential to reduce bad cholesterol, reduce risk of blood clots and help with the process of blood pressure regulation. [10]

Tomatoes contain an interesting a cancer-fighting component in the form of lycopene which has been linked by studies to reduced growth of prostate cancer. [11]

The Mediterranean diet has now firmly been established with anti-aging – and very large-scale scientific research has noted its effect on telomeres. Telomeres are the “protein endcaps” to chromosomes and are regarded as a reliable “biological clock” for humans. As we age, a small portion of the endcap is lost, making the condition of these proteins well-correlated with aging.

By observing samples taken from over 121,700 participants, scientists were able to establishe that people who followed the Mediterranean diet had longer telomeres than those who did not. Even greater confirmation was provided by the fact that those who adhered to the diet more closely showed higher scores than those whose diet was less strictly in line with the diet’s principles. [12]

Lycopene-rich foods: Tomato puree, tomato paste and tomato pasta sauce are particularly high in lycopene, however watch out for the added sugar that may be found in some brands.

Lycopene is also found in numerous other foods. In addition to tomato and tomato-based foods, some of the foods highest in lycopene include red carrots, guava, watermelon, grapefruit, papaya, red bell peppers, red cabbage and asparagus.

9. Tea

Teas (made from the actual tea plant Camellia sinensis as opposed to other herbal teas) – including black, green, oolong and white teas, have been been established to have various health benefits, including cardiovascular and antioxidant benefits. Health purists should note that loose leaf tea is considered superior to tea bags, owing to chemical residues in the paper of the tea bags, which can end up being consumed.

10. Olive Oil

Another wide used ingredient in the Mediterranean diet and well established anti-aging food, olive oil helps boost our levels of good cholesterol which in turn prevents heart disease. Its cholesterol-lowering effect is so remarkable that even the American Heart Association recommends its use. [13] Olive oil has been a staple component of the diet and health regimen of supercentenarians.

11. Cacao (Chocolate)

Staying healthy doesn’t necessarily need to be boring. The only person confirmed to have lived beyond 120, Jeanne Louise Calment, is known to have eaten a bar of chocolate daily during her later years. Calment was a supercentenarian who finally lived to the astonishing age of 122 years, 164 days.

This unique lady, who lived by herself until the age of 109, was of course often asked the secret of her long life and comparitively youthful appearance. Her diet was high in olive oil (which she also applied to her skin), she drank port wine (reseveratrol content!)… and was known to consumed large amounts of chocolate, reportedly getting through 1kg of chocolate per week! She appeared not to have suffered dementia and retained her mental faculties until the end of ther life – though (astonishingly, and we don’t want to encourage you) – she smoked cigarettes from the age of 21 to 117!

I can’t help wondering a) how long she would have lived without the cigarettes and b) whether the rich anti-cancer and anti-aging components of her diet neutralized the negative effects of smoking. One also gets the impression that she knew how to enjoy herself and live without stress, which may have been beneficial too!


Other beneficial foods worth adding to your list – avocados, cabbage and swiss chard.

And now the 6 extra tips…:

1: Calorie Restriction

This one is very well established and, all things considered, is probably one of the greatest weapons available for anti-aging. Numerous studies have demonstrated the longevity-enhancing effects of significantly reduced caloric intake. These effects are not small! A famous long-term study of rhesus monkeys showed very marked visible differences in aging and a massively reduced mortality rate. [13] Looking at the photos in this scientific study, the differences between the monkey with a “normal calorific intake” and the calorie-restricted monkey are stark. While one was clearly at the end of his life and looked absolutely “done”, the calorie-restricted monkey looked absolutely healthy. At the point where 50% of the normal diet monkeys had died, 80% of the calorie-restricted monkeys were still alive.

So, just how much restriction should be undertaken? We cannot of course give such medical advice and you would need to do further research and medical consultation in order to determine what is safe for you. In the study mentioned above however, the restriction was 10% in the first month, 20% in the second and 30% from the third onwards for the rest of the study. [13] Of additional interest here is intermittent fasting, which has been found to have additional benefits.

2: Exercise

Higher levels of regular exercise has been linked to siginificantly reduced cellular aging. Scientists at Brigham Young University reported in 2017 that those who have higher level of physical activity have an advantage of an astonishing nine years over those who have a sedentary lifestyle, with those who are moderately physically active having a seven-year advantage over the sedentary group. [14]

This study was based on survey data from over 5,000 adults. The research team found telomere length was shortest in the sedentary group. Further study has supported this link between physical activity and the length of telomeres: In 2015, a study demonstrated that varied exercise including walking and weight training was beneficial in preventing telomere shortening. [15]

3: Keep Mentally Active

The brain has been established to have a “use it or lose it” factor. If you don’t maintain mental activity, you may lose cognitive health even if you do not actually have neurodegenerative disease. Various mentally stimulating activities including chess, conversation, playing a musical instrument and puzzles such as crosswords and sudoku have all been found beneficial in keeping the mind exercised and therefore sharp.

An interesting 2015 study utilized a technique called “Memory Banking”. Participants were invited to share their memories, as well as their future plans and dreams. Over the course of 12 years, participants were found to have significantly improved cognitive factors and mood. [16] Activities such as storytelling and focusing on recall of different times of life in detail would seem to be beneficial practices that can be undertaken by anyone as they grow older.

4: Co-enzyme Q10 Supplementation

CoQ10 is regarded as one of the foremost supplements for brain health. Various dietary supplements claim to improve memory and learning skills but none appear to work as powerfully as CoQ10. According to a 2013 study, Shetty, Forster, and Sumien revealed that the high intake of the coenzyme was able to improve spatial learning and reduce oxidative damage (a hallmark of neurodegeneration) in the brain of adults and the elderly. The effects of CoQ10 are thought to be enhanced when used in combination with vitamin E supplementation. [17]

5: Gingko Biloba Supplementation

Another popular herbal supplement for improving brain health is Gingko Biloba. For hundreds of years, Gingko Biloba, nicknamed the “memory tree”, was believed to prevent decline of brain function and memory. Today, studies have been proving this idea correct. A study published in 2011 revealed the intake of Gingko Biloba Extract was able to significantly improve the working memory of the study participants. [18]

6: Skin care

Now finally we got to skin care, congrats if you made it this far! Taking care of your skin is of course going to help you to look younger and more vibrant. While there are numerous things you can do, here are a couple of quick lifestyle tips: a) cigarette smoke, while of course established to be very harmful in other ways, actually causes the skin to look more aged after time. b) Don’t overdo the sun exposure. While it’s fashionable in the West to go for a tanned appearance, prolonged sun exposure over time leads to aging of the skin. Consider a hat, parasol and spending more time in the shade!


[1] Pomegranate juice consumption for 3 years by patients with carotid artery stenosis reduces common carotid intima-media thickness, blood pressure and LDL oxidation. Clinical Nutrition (2004). https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15158307/

[2] Urolithin A induces mitophagy and prolongs lifespan in C. elegans and increases muscle function in rodents (2016). https://www.nature.com/nm/journal/v22/n8/full/nm.4132.html

[3] Dietary anti-cancer compound may work by influence on cellular genetics. http://oregonstate.edu/ua/ncs/archives/2017/mar/dietary-anti-cancer-compound-may-work-influence-cellular-genetics

[4] Sulforaphane reduces hepatic glucose production and improves glucose control in patients with type 2 diabetes (2017). http://stm.sciencemag.org/content/9/394/eaah4477

[5] How Red Wine Prevents Cancer. http://www.coloradocancerblogs.org/study-red-wine-prevents-cancer/

[6] Resveratrol suppresses NTHi-induced inflammation via up-regulation of the negative regulator MyD88 short (2016). https://www.nature.com/articles/srep34445

[7] The Facts on Omega-3 Fatty Acids. http://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/omega-3-fatty-acids-fact-sheet#1

[8] Blueberries, the well-known ‘super fruit,’ could help fight Alzheimer’s. https://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/pressroom/newsreleases/2016/march/blueberries.html

[9] Blueberries: Small fruit delivers big reward. http://news.fsu.edu/news/science-technology/2015/01/08/blueberries-small-fruit-delivers-big-reward/

[10] Tomatoes and cardiovascular health (2003). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12587984

[11] In new study, Illinois scientists trace activity of cancer-fighting tomato component. http://news.aces.illinois.edu/news/new-study-illinois-scientists-trace-activity-cancer-fighting-tomato-component

[13] Mediterranean Diet Improves High-Density Lipoprotein Function in High-Cardiovascular-Risk Individuals (2017). http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/135/7/633

[12] Mediterranean diet and telomere length in Nurses’ Health Study: population based cohort study. (2014). http://www.bmj.com/content/349/bmj.g6674

[13] Caloric restriction delays disease onset and mortality in rhesus monkeys (2009) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2812811/

[14] Tucker LA et al. Preventive Medicine. Physical activity and telomere length in U.S. men and women: An NHANES investigation http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0091743517301470

[15] Loprinzi PD et al. November 2015. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. Movement-Based Behaviors and Leukocyte Telomere Length among US Adults https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25970659

[16] Zanjani, F., et. al. (2015). Memory Banking: A Life Story Intervention for Aging Preparation and Mental Health Promotion. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4330240/

[17] Shetty, R., Forster, M. & Sumien, N. (2013). Coenzyme Q(10) supplementation reverses age-related impairments in spatial learning and lowers protein oxidation. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23138632

[18] Silberstein, R., et. al. (2011). Examining Brain-Cognition Effects of Ginkgo Biloba Extract: Brain Activation in the Left Temporal and Left Prefrontal Cortex in an Object Working Memory Task. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3166615/

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