These Foods And Drinks Can Reverse Aging, According To Science

In 2014, a survey found that 87% of Americans fear growing old. The reasons ranged from cognitive decline to wrinkles to less physical activity. Did you know that certain foods can delay all of these?

Researchers have found foods and drinks that alter your chromosomes to slow down the biological aging process. Others make you less likely to form wrinkles and gray hairs. You can even live longer by eating chocolate! If you want fewer wrinkles, a longer life, or a lower risk of mental decline, check out these anti-aging foods.

Green Tea Changes Chromosomes (For The Better!)

green tea
Natasha Breen/REDA&CO/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Natasha Breen/REDA&CO/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Did you know that green tea can change cell chromosomes? Don’t worry–it only benefits you. As people age, a DNA sequence called telomeres shrink. Green tea’s antioxidants can lengthen these telomeres, according to researchers from the University of Hong Kong. It literally delays aging.

If you’re worried about visible aging, green tea helps with that, too. In 2013, an animal study found that green tea strengthens collagen in the skin. This collagen keeps the skin firm and elastic, so replenishing it can prevent wrinkles. If you can’t decide which tea to drink, go green!

How A Molecule In Pomegranates “Counteracts Aging”

An open pomegranate sits on top of a few whole pomegranates.
Dmitry FeoktistovTASS via Getty Images
Dmitry FeoktistovTASS via Getty Images

Pomegranates contain a special molecule that can “counteract aging,” according to the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne. During their animal study, researchers found a molecule that protects cells from aging.

When the molecule reaches the intestines, it transforms into a substance called urolithin A. This protein helps the mitochondria “clean up” and revitalize instead of degrading. In other words, a molecule in pomegranate seeds can reverse cell aging. It could potentially delay the onset of aging diseases, too. Although more research needs to be done, pomegranates are promising.

A Little Tofu Helps You Look Younger

Cubes of flavored tofu are arranged on a plate.
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Natasha Breen/REDA&CO/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

In Chinese folk medicine, people ate tofu to appear youthful. This has some scientific backing. Soy provides isoflavones, which visibly improve the skin. In the International Journal of Cosmetic Science, a study found that women had fewer wrinkles after eating 25 mg of isoflavones per day. That’s the same amount as in 100 grams (half a cup) of tofu.

When skin ages, it loses elasticity and sags. Tofu can repair the elasticity, keeping skin firm and wrinkle-free, according to Experimental Dermatology. Eat more tofu for an easy source of lean, anti-aging protein.

Preserve Your Skin, Hair, And Brain With Grapes

Red grapes peak through leaves in a vineyard during autumn.
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Nicolas Armer/picture alliance via Getty Images

In 2012, scientists from the University of Hong Kong finished a six-year study on Progeria. The disease causes early-onset aging, including grey hairs, wrinkles, and hair loss by age 20. They found a protein in red grapes, called Lamin A, that has some promise.

Rats who had Lamin A lived 30% longer than other test subjects. The protein can delay aging, even in the cells. Although Lamin A mainly appears in red grapes, all varieties of grapes can slow aging. They provide polyphenols that encourage cell, skin, and brain health. That’s why many anti-aging experts eat grapes.

If You Drink Low-Fat Milk, You Could Become 4.5 Years Younger

An elderly woman pulls a carton of low-fat milk off the shelf.
Anton VergunTASS via Getty Images
Anton VergunTASS via Getty Images

Milk isn’t just for children; adults who drink low-fat milk age more slowly than those who don’t. In January 2020, research in Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity looked into 1% and 2% milk. Participants who drank low-fat milk biologically aged 4.5 fewer years.

In chromosomes, telomeres shrink as people age. But the telomeres lasted longer when people drank low-fat milk. However, high-fat milk accelerates aging, and people who abstain from milk also have shorter telomeres, scientists say. If that’s not a solid motivation to drink milk, we don’t know what is.

Carrots Reverse Skin And Cognitive Aging

A group of dirty, freshly-picked carrots lie in a pile.
Kiran Ridley/Getty Images
Kiran Ridley/Getty Images

If you’ve ever wondered why carrots are orange, here’s the answer. It’s because of the pigment beta-carotene, which transforms into vitamin A in the body. According to dermatologist Cynthia Bailey, beta-carotene is also an antioxidant that prevents skin wrinkles.

And it’s not just skin. When Cleveland Clinic reviewed several studies on carrots, they found that they delay age-related macular degeneration. In other words, carrots keep your vision sharp. It also soothes oxidative stress in the brain, which delays age-related cognitive illnesses, such as dementia. Carrots are the ultimate anti-aging vegetable.

Good News: Dark Chocolate Helps You Live Longer

A person separates squares of dark chocolate.
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BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Yes, eating too many sweets can increase your chances of early mortality. But cocoa powder–which is abundant in dark chocolate–does the opposite. For 60 years, Harvard researchers examined peoples’ diets and their impact on aging. They discovered that people who ate dark chocolate lived longer.

Cocoa supplies antioxidants that heal and nourish the body. Dark-chocolate eaters have a 36% lower risk of premature death than other chocolate-eaters. Plus, the antioxidants can get rid of skin wrinkles, according to a 2014 study in the journal Nutrients. For the best benefits, buy chocolate with at least 70% cocoa content.

When Older Adults Eat Yogurt, They Feel Less Frail

A woman takes a spoonful of yogurt out of a container.
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BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Several studies have linked yogurt to healthy, active aging. In 2015, a study in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society analyzed people who ate low-fat yogurt. Participants over the age of 60 felt less frail and weak after eating yogurt every day for a week.

Yogurt contains protein, probiotics, and vitamin D, which are all essential for healthy aging. They also supply the amino acid leucine, which repairs muscles. In 2014, researchers examined over 50 studies on yogurt. They determined that yogurt can ease unpleasant symptoms of aging in older adults. Start eating yogurt now for its anti-aging effects.

Cheat Death With Coffee

Old hands hold coffee.
sabinevanerp/Pixabay
sabinevanerp/Pixabay

If you drink coffee each morning, keep doing so–it could slow aging. A British study examined 500,000 adults over ten years. When participants drank coffee, they were 10% to 15% less likely to die from anything. It seems that coffee can help people cheat death, although researchers are not sure why.

And this wasn’t the only study. In Spain, researchers tracked over 200,000 coffee-drinkers. People who drank at least four cups of coffee per day had a 64% lower risk of “all-cause mortality.” However, you don’t need four full cups to reap the benefits.

Chia Seeds, Skin, And Calcium

Bowls of chia seeds are next to jars of chia seed pudding, created with a variety of juices.
Sandy Huffaker/Corbis via Getty Images
Sandy Huffaker/Corbis via Getty Images

Tossing a few chia seeds into a yogurt or smoothie can have a visible impact on your skin. According to the scientific journal Amino Acids, chia seeds supply anti-inflammatory and antioxidant peptides. These peptides protect skin enzymes from damage that would otherwise cause aging, such as wrinkles and dark spots.

Chia seeds also have invisible benefits. One ounce (two tablespoons) of chia seeds provides more calcium than milk. As people age, their ability to absorb calcium diminishes, which weakens bones and muscles. Eat chia seeds to maintain your strength as you age.

Try This Unique Ingredient In Edamame

A close-up shows salted edamame.
Dünzl/ullstein bild via Getty Images
Dünzl/ullstein bild via Getty Images

As a soy product, edamame makes the list of anti-aging vegetables. But edamame provides an essential fatty acid that other soy products don’t: linoleic acid. According to registered dietitian Joan Salge Blake, linoleic acid is the most abundant fatty acid in the skin. Adding more to your diet can delay aging.

When skin atrophies, it thins. The linoleic acid goes away, and wrinkles form. Edamame can replenish this nutrient. It can even help people live longer. Researchers from Newcastle University found that antioxidants in edamame can improve longevity, reducing the risk of early mortality.

The New Anti-Aging Superfood: Watercress

Baby watercress is in a plastic package.
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PA Images via Getty Images

Watercress is an aquatic flowering plant from the cabbage family. In 2012, it gained recognition as a potent anti-aging food. According to a pilot study, watercress causes smoother skin, less redness, smaller sunspots, and fewer wrinkles. Women only had to eat 80 grams (one cup) of watercress each day.

How can it do this? In The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers wrote that watercress repairs DNA. Its antioxidants can slow DNA aging and even delay the onset of cancer. This vegetable has more vitamin C than oranges and more vitamin A than broccoli or apples. Give it a try!

Avocados Keep Your Skin Firm

A single avocado sits in a pile of dead leaves.
John Fredricks/NurPhoto via Getty Images
John Fredricks/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Avocado contains anti-inflammatories that can combat both disease and visible skin aging. Anti-inflammatories soothe irritation in the skin and body. According to a study in the Archives of Dermatology Research, avocados can even protect people from sun damage.

Avocados are well-known for containing healthy monounsaturated fats. In 2010, a British study concluded that monounsaturated fats could improve skin elasticity. The tighter your skin appears, the younger you’ll look. The chief scientific officer at LaFlore Probiotic Skincare, Maya Ivanjesku, says that avocados can also moisturize, soothe, and heal the skin. What more can you want?

Spicy Food-Lovers Live Longer

A woman harvests chili peppers and tosses them into a basket.
Long Yi/VCG via Getty Images
Long Yi/VCG via Getty Images

Good news for spicy food lovers: a diet full of chili peppers can extend a person’s life. In November 2020, the American Heart Association conducted a study on peppers and cardiovascular disease. Chili-eaters had a 26% lower chance of heart disease, 23% lower risk of cancer, and 25% reduced risk of death overall.

Before this study was released, previous research had already linked chili to longevity. Although scientists still don’t know why this happens, they have some theories. Harvard researchers found that chili peppers lower inflammation and protect against disease. All we know is that people should try more spicy foods.

Stay Sharp By Eating Walnuts

A few walnuts sit on a log.
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Oleh Snitovskyi/ Ukrinform/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

If you’re worried about cognitive decline, eat more walnuts. In January 2020, a study conducted in both California and Spain linked walnuts to better mental health in the elderly. Walnut’s omega-3 fatty acids and polyphenols relieve oxidative stress in the brain, which can slow the onset of diseases such as dementia.

Even younger adults can benefit from walnuts. In the Journal of Aging Research, a 2002 study found that walnut-eaters age healthier. Women in their 50s and 60s were more likely to look and feel more youthful if they ate walnuts. Go nuts!

Eat Strawberries To Lower The Risk Of Cognitive Decline

A man picks up a container of strawberries.
MOHAMMED ABED/AFP via Getty Images
MOHAMMED ABED/AFP via Getty Images

In 2019, scientists at Rush University finished a six-year study on strawberries. When elderly participants ate strawberries frequently, they were less likely to develop Alzheimer’s and dementia. Pelargonidin, an ingredient in strawberries, reverses aging in the brain.

Like all berries, strawberries are packed with antioxidants that can heal brain cells. During a 2017 animal study, strawberries reduced inflammation and stress in the brain. If left alone, the inflammation could damage your memory and decision-making. If you’re concerned about future cognitive decline, eat more strawberries. It’s never too late for a diet to make a difference.

Why Do Blueberries Reverse Aging? Because They’re Blue!

A woman places the blueberries she picked into a basket.
Sina Schuldt/picture alliance via Getty Images
Sina Schuldt/picture alliance via Getty Images

How do blueberries reverse mental aging? Through the same chemicals that make them blue. Anthocyanins, the phytochemicals that give blueberries their color, have anti-aging properties. In 2011, scientists discovered that anthocyanins could protect memory in older adults.

Blueberries are high in antioxidants, which assuage inflammation and oxidative stress in the brain. According to the scientific journal Plant Foods and Human Nutrition, these antioxidants can combat chronic diseases, age-related fragility, and cognitive decline. Adults who eat blueberries are less likely to lose their memory or decision-making skills with age.

Eggs Prevent Muscular And Vision Degeneration

A man holds an egg laid by a backyard chicken.
Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images
Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

As people age, muscle tissue becomes rigid and loses tone. Eating eggs can repair some of this muscle. Eggs supply nutrients that aid muscle growth, including lutein and zeaxanthin. During a 2020 study, researchers from Bournemouth University noticed that eating eggs helped older adults build and maintain muscle.

Eating eggs can also improve your vision. In February 2020, a study in Clinical Nutrition found that egg consumption can slow the onset of age-related macular degeneration. This common disease harms eyesight over time. But with eggs, people can stem the onset of muscle and vision decline.

Why Spinach Is A Must-Have Anti-Aging Food

An old woman puts her hands on the table.
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Tim Leedy/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images

Leafy greens such as spinach are a must for any anti-aging diet. Spinach offers antioxidants and proteins such as lutein that you can only receive through diet. One study noticed that spinach’s antioxidants aid eyesight. According to the researchers, spinach-eaters have a 43% lower chance of developing age-related macular degeneration.

In the journal Neurology, another study linked leafy greens to aging mental health. Older adults had a lower risk of cognitive decline after eating spinach regularly. Oddly enough, you’ll get more nutrients from blended spinach, say scientists from Linköping University. Toss it into a smoothie for anti-aging benefits.

One Of The Best Fatty Fish: Sardines

A can of sardines is opened.
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BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Sardines are a type of “fatty fish” that supply omega-3 fatty acids. These essential acids are crucial for aging, especially in the brain. In 2016, a JAMA study concluded that fatty fish (including sardines) could reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. They get rid of neuritic plaques in the brain, which are early signs of dementia.

Sardines also combat inflammation in the body. Dermatologist Tsippora Shainhouse told The Healthy that they could assuage redness in the skin. After a few servings, you might see or feel a difference.

Two Glasses Of Orange Juice Can Improve Your Memory

A woman holds a glass of orange juice with a straw.
Pascal Deloche/Godong/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Pascal Deloche/Godong/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

When it comes to age-related mental decline, orange juice is the best solution. Believe it or not, orange juice can improve brain function in the elderly. Researchers from Reading University found that drinking two glasses of orange juice daily improves memory in older men and women.

The juice provides flavonoids, antioxidants that clean pathways in the brain and refresh cells. Not only can orange juice slow mental decline, but it can also reverse skin damage. According to a study in Food Chemistry, orange juice has an “anti-aging” effect on the skin. That’s good news for juice lovers!

Isn’t This Nutty? How Almonds Smooth Wrinkles

Almonds appear in a bulk pile.
Michael Jacobs/Art In All Of Us
Michael Jacobs/Art In All Of Us

For an effective wrinkle-fighting diet, eat more almonds. During a 2019 study, postmenopausal women ate a handful of almonds every day. Almond-eaters had fewer facial wrinkles after 16 weeks, according to the dermatologists who ran the study.

Why do almonds work? According to registered dietitian Keri Gans, almonds are high in vitamin E. This vitamin is an antioxidant that guards the skin against UV rays, pollution, and free radicals. Over time, pollution and sun rays irritate the skin to produce spots and sagging. For smoother, brighter skin, eat more almonds.

Why You Should Buy High-Fiber Cereals

A woman picks up a box of all-bran cereal.
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If you’re a fan of cereal, buy one with high fiber. Scientists have linked fiber to “successful aging.” In 2016, the Gerontological Society of America analyzed thousands of older adults on high-fiber diets. Participants had a lower risk of age-related disease and disability, including depression, cognitive decline, and respiratory ailments.

If you’re worried that high-fiber cereals taste bad, don’t fret. Consumer Reports says that these cereals taste far better than they did a few years ago. Aim to get between 25 and 30 grams of fiber per day; cereals will help.

All The Anti-Aging Benefits Of Papaya

A papaya is sliced open on top of a pile of whole papayas.
Eric Lafforgue/Art in All of Us/Corbis via Getty Images
Eric Lafforgue/Art in All of Us/Corbis via Getty Images

Papaya can protect the skin from wrinkle-causing irritants. According to a study in the South African Journal of Botany, papaya leaves have skin-protecting effects. The fruit guards against sun and pollution damage that ages the skin. In 2016, a different study noted that fermented papaya has anti-aging effects on the skin.

Papaya also fights against cognitive decline. In 2013, researchers tested Alzheimer’s patients who ate papaya extract. The participants had far fewer oxidative stressors in the brain after only 40 days. Younger adults can also eat papaya to prevent future cognitive decline.

All The Anti-Aging Vitamins In Sweet Potatoes

A close-up shows several sweet potatoes.
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FlowerPhotos/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Sweet potatoes are a nutritional powerhouse filled with vitamins C, A, and E. These nutrients can prevent peoples’ skin and hair from visibly aging. Because sweet potatoes have vitamin E, they can prevent people from losing their hair, according to a 2010 study in Tropical Life Sciences Research.

In 2013, an Indian study determined that vitamin C can protect the skin from sun damage. The same goes for vitamin A, which repairs the skin’s collagen to look less saggy, says Clinical Cancer Research. One cup of sweet potatoes offers 65% of your daily recommended vitamin C and 769% of vitamin A.

Grapefruit’s Unique, Anti-Aging Ingredient

Grapefruits are displayed at a French grocery store.
GEORGES GOBET/AFP via Getty Images
GEORGES GOBET/AFP via Getty Images

Grapefruit can slow cell aging because of its unique ingredient. Spermidine is crucial for cell growth and maturity. During a 2009 Austrian study, cells with spermidine lived three to four times longer than those without it.

Grapefruit’s anti-aging ability has excellent benefits for your skin. Throughout a cell’s life, it becomes damaged by UV rays and pollution. Grapefruit can protect skin cells from damage and even keep skin smooth, according to research from the European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics. Even grapefruit juice can help!

To Live Longer, Switch From White To Whole-Wheat Bread

Homemade whole grain bread is arranged on a white towel.
Natasha Breen/REDA&CO/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Natasha Breen/REDA&CO/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Eating toast or a sandwich can help you age gracefully, as long as you use whole-grain bread. In 2019, a study in Nutrients compared a diet of whole wheat bread to refined grains. When participants ate whole grains, they felt healthier with age and had a lower risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes.

Studies also assert that whole wheat can help people live longer. In 2015, research in JAMA determined that whole-grain can reduce peoples’ chances of heart disease. After the study, participants also had a 5% lower risk of premature death. That’s a lot of benefits for simply swapping out your bread.

If You Want A Long Life, Hydrate!

A person holds a glass mug that water pours into.
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Jens Kalaene/picture alliance via Getty Images

In 2019, a study in SAGE Open Nursing revealed that 65% of the elderly are dehydrated. This could lead to a long host of health issues, says researcher and nursing professor Janet Mentes. When people are dehydrated, they had a greater risk of pneumonia, infections, and respiratory diseases.

To live longer, drink plenty of water throughout your entire life. If you need motivation, hydrate to get rid of wrinkles. In 2015, a dermatology study found that hydrated people have better-looking, smoother, brighter skin. Remember: you need water!

Beans–Any Beans–Can Elongate Your Life

A yellow scoop digs into dried white beans.
GEORGES GOBET/AFP via Getty Images
GEORGES GOBET/AFP via Getty Images

What is the best food to help the elderly live longer? According to a study by the World Health Organization, beans. Elderly participants who ate legumes daily had an 8% lower risk of death. If you frequently eat beans, you’ll live longer, especially as you age.

Legumes are rich in antioxidants, which repair oxidative damage in the body. The less damage you have from inflammation or free radicals, the healthier your body will be. According to a Southeast Asian study, eating 20 grams (1/3 cup) of beans per day can reduce your risk of premature death.

Broccoli Relieves So Many Signs Of Aging

A glass container holds baked broccoli.
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Anjelika Gretskaia/REDA&CO/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

In 2016, researchers from the Washington University School of Medicine discovered a compound that can reverse cell aging. The compound, nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN), is found in broccoli. During the animal study, NMN relieved some of the biological signs of aging.

Test rats had better eyesight, liver function, skeletal muscle, immune strength, and physical activity levels when they consumed more NMN. Can you believe that you can get all of that from broccoli? Of course, broccoli is not a cure for aging symptoms, but it assuages some of them.