For hundreds of years, humans have been taken with the idea of finding a Fountain of Youth that can slow the aging process and help you look, and feel, younger forever. There’s even a tourist site in Florida dedicated to the legend of Ponce de Leon’s discovery of that said fountain. Although the Fountain of Youth is little more than a myth, there are ways to slow the aging process with your diet.

Healthy aging can best be accomplished by incorporating foods high in antioxidants into your diet. Antioxidants are compounds found in food that can help combat damage to cells by removing free radicals (waste products) from the body at a cellular level. Antioxidants are found in a variety of foods, which can easily be added to a daily menu in order to promote healthy aging.

Healthy Aging and Antioxidants Go Hand-in-Hand

There have been many scientific studies performed to determine the nature of the relationship between a diet of foods high in antioxidants and the aging process. One study published in the journal Dermato Endocrinology found that “fruit and vegetable consumption may represent the most healthy and safe method in order to maintain a balanced diet and youthful appearing skin.” And a more recent study out of the University of Colorado, Boulder discovered that “older adults who take an antioxidant that specifically targets mitochondria see age-related changes in blood vessels reverse by the equivalent of 15 to 20 years within six weeks.”

Eating foods high in antioxidants helps the whole body look and feel more youthful—from your skin to your blood vessels, to your eyes, to your liver—and promotes overall healthy aging. Although there are plenty of beauty products and health supplements on the market that promises the benefits of antioxidants, the best and most effective method of absorbing them is by eating antioxidant-rich foods.

Foods That Are the Best Natural Antioxidants

While it’s possible to take supplements that contain free radical-fighting antioxidants, the best natural antioxidants appear in foods you’ll find at the grocery store, but may often overlook. Here’s what you should add to your shopping list if you want to start eating foods high in antioxidants:

  1. Olive Oil. In addition to being packed with polyphenols, which are a powerful antioxidant, diets high in olive oil (like the Mediterranean Diet) has also been connected to low rates of heart disease and cancer.

  2. Red Bell Peppers. Loaded up with a variety of antioxidants, including carotenoids, red bell peppers also have Vitamin C, which has been linked to collagen production and youthful skin.

  3. Blueberries. Perhaps one of the best natural antioxidants available to us as humans, blueberries have compounds that combat oxidative damage and reduce inflammation throughout the body.

  4. Grapes. Whether green, red or blue, grapes are a powerful antioxidant-packed fruit that promotes healthy aging. Phytochemicals found in grapes have also been linked to lower risks of heart disease and cancer.

  5. Dark, Leafy Greens. Green vegetables, like spinach, kale, and broccoli, are powerful foods high in antioxidants. Like grapes, green veggies also have phytochemical antioxidants that help dilate blood vessels and fight off cancer cells.

Support Healthy Aging In Other Ways

In addition to diet, making other types of lifestyle changes can also help to promote healthy aging as well. From developing a regular fitness routine to making an investment in a medical alert system to help minimize injuries from falls, it’s possible to create your own Fountain of Youth to keep you feeling—and looking—younger.

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