Home 10 Best Foods To Look & Feel Younger

10 Best Foods To Look & Feel Younger

RDs suggest adding these foods to your daily routine to have your most youthful year yet.

Aging is a natural process and is something we shouldn’t fear, despite what marketing companies have been telling us forever. But as we age, it’s understandable that we’d want to find healthy ways to look and feel our best with every passing year so we can have the energy and confidence to enjoy our daily lives. Things like exercising, drinking plenty of water, and eating a nutritious, balanced diet are all ways we can help ourselves look and feel younger as we get older.

When it comes to diet, food can impact the way you feel on the inside and look on the outside. For instance, research proves that nutrition can play an important role in heart and brain health, and your risk of age-related disease as you get older. Research also shows that your diet not only has the power to repair skin damage, but it can cause damage to the skin as you age as well. So what are some of the specific foods that can impact the way you age?

Read on to learn about 10 foods you can add to your diet to help you look and feel your best as you age. And for more healthy eating tips, make sure to check out The 10 Best Eating Habits to Fight Inflammation, Say Dietitians.


raspberries blueberries blackberries strawberries

An important key to healthy aging is eating foods that are rich in antioxidants. This is because your body goes through a process called oxidation, which creates molecules known as “free radicals” that can cause damage to your cells and contribute to a greater risk of chronic disease. Antioxidants can directly help fight these damage-causing free radicals in your body.

When it comes to antioxidant-rich food, berries are toward the top. “Berries are rich in antioxidants, such as anthocyanins and vitamin C, which combat oxidative stress and inflammation in the body,” says Mary Sabat MS, RDN, LD.

Oxidative stress damage caused by free radicals can also impact your skin health, so Sabat says that eating antioxidant-rich foods like berries “helps protect your skin from premature aging and improve its overall health.”

Lisa Young, PhD, RDN adds “Blueberries specifically are packed with the antioxidant anthocyanin, which helps to combat oxidative stress and inflammation, and these compounds may contribute to improved skin elasticity, reducing the appearance of wrinkles and promoting a youthful complexion.”

Another amazing benefit of eating berries as you age is that they “support cognitive function and may reduce the risk of age-related cognitive decline,” says Sabat. For instance, one study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that eating more strawberries and blueberries was linked to a slower rate of cognitive decline in participants over 70 years old.

RELATED: 9 Best Supplements to Slow Signs of Aging After 40

Fatty Fish

raw salmon

There’s more than one reason to eat fatty fish as you get older. For starters, fatty fish is rich in healthy fats like omega-3 fatty acids. According to Sabat, “Omega-3s can help maintain heart and brain health, as well as reduce the risk of age-related diseases.”

In addition to helping your heart and brain feel better as you age, omega-3-rich foods like fatty fish can also help you maintain more youthful skin.

For instance, “Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as EPA and DHA, and these essential fats support skin health by maintaining cell membranes and reducing inflammation,” says Young. And Sabat adds “These healthy fats can also promote skin elasticity and hydration, giving you a youthful and glowing complexion.”

Nuts and Seeds

mixed nuts

You’ve learned about antioxidants found in berries and healthy fats found in certain fish, but snacking on nuts and seeds can give you the best of both worlds by providing healthy fats and antioxidants.

“The antioxidants found in nuts and seeds combat free radicals, preventing skin aging and reducing the risk of chronic diseases associated with aging,” says Sabat.

Specifically, Young notes that “Almonds are a good source of vitamin E, an antioxidant that protects the skin from oxidative damage, and can help maintain skin elasticity and hydration, potentially reducing the signs of aging.” She adds, “Including nuts like almonds in your diet may support a healthy, youthful glow.”

Nuts—especially walnuts—also contain omega-3 fatty acids, and seeds like flaxseeds are some of the richest sources of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids. Consuming these healthy fats can contribute to a slower rate of aging—both internally and externally.

RELATED: 10 Best Foods for Brain Health After 50

Leafy Greens

leafy greens

Leafy greens like spinachkale, and Swiss chard are “nutrient powerhouses,” according to Sabat, “offering vitamins A, C, and K, and minerals like iron and calcium.”

For healthier aging, “These nutrients can promote skin health, aid in collagen production, and protect against skin damage caused by UV radiation,” Sabat adds.

Beyond just skin health, vitamin K has also been linked to reducing the risk of age-related diseases, and vitamin C has been found to help slow age-related cognitive decline.

RELATED: 7 Vegetables That Reduce Inflammation and Slow Aging


halved avocados with pit

We mentioned earlier that vitamin E—a powerful antioxidant—is linked to better skin health and can be found in nuts like almonds, but this vitamin can also be found in your bowl of guacamole.

Avocados are rich in vitamin E, and because of this they can help “protect the skin from UV damage and maintain its youthful appearance,” says Sabat.

Not only are they rich in vitamin E, but avocados are rich in healthy fats, which can “hydrate and nourish the skin,” Sabat adds.

Additionally, says Sabat, avocados can help support a healthy heart as you age “by reducing bad cholesterol levels.”

Sweet Potatoes

roasted sweet potatoes

Fruits and vegetables contain plant compounds that give them their bright coloring. For example, sweet potatoes contain a compound called beta-carotene, which is responsible for its vibrant orange hue. Aside from bringing color to this vegetable, this compound—among other plant compounds—can provide a ton of health benefits, too.

According to Sabat, “Beta-carotene is a precursor to vitamin A and has been linked to promoting skin health and reducing the appearance of wrinkles. Beyond that, research has also found that beta-carotene may be able to help in the prevention of various chronic diseases.

Although it’s found in smaller amounts, sweet potatoes also contain vitamins C and E, which we know now can help fight free radicals and support health.



Speaking of those delightfully powerful plant compounds, tomatoes are rich in a certain compound called lycopene, which gives them their beautiful red color. Lycopene has antioxidant properties and is “known to protect the skin from sun damage and reduce the signs of aging,” says Sabat, which means tomatoes may play a role in helping you look and feel younger as you age.

Lycopene’s benefits extend beyond just skin health, though. A report published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences says that a diet rich in lycopene may be able to help reduce cardiovascular disease risk and improve the health of your blood vessels, and because of this, Mary says “Consuming tomatoes can support heart health, contributing to a youthful and vibrant life.”

RELATED: 14 Best Foods For Your Skin, According to Dietitians

Dark Chocolate

dark chocolate pieces in bowl

Probably the most exciting food on our list, dark chocolate is rich in naturally occurring compounds called flavonoids, which can help with aging in numerous ways.

“Flavonoids can enhance blood flow and protect the skin from UV damage,” says Sabat, and research also shows that dietary flavonoids may help with blood pressure, artery health, and vascular-related issues such as cardiovascular disease and vascular dementia.

As you can see, dark chocolate can help promote healthy aging and youthfulness “both inside and out,” says Sabat. Just make sure to eat in moderation, as many varieties come with a lot of added sugar, which can lead to more inflammation and increase your risk for certain diseases if consumed in large quantities regularly.


bowl of Greek yogurt with berries

Research continues to show that a healthy gut contributes to healthy aging and healthier skin. Thankfully, there are plenty of delicious foods to add to your diet that can help you have a more diverse, flourishing gut microbiome.

One of these foods is yogurt, which Sabat says “is a probiotic-rich food that supports gut health and aids in nutrient absorption.”

Not only that, but yogurt “provides essential protein for maintaining muscle and skin health, while also contributing to strong bones through its calcium and vitamin D content,” says Sabat. However, just make sure you’re buying yogurt that is fortified with vitamin D to get that specific vitamin.

RELATED: The 15 Healthiest Yogurts on Grocery Store Shelves

Green Tea

green tea

Although it’s a drink and not a food, we had to include green tea on our list because of its powerful anti-aging abilities.

“Green tea contains polyphenols—notably epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG)—with powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties,” says Sabat. “These compounds help improve skin elasticity and protect against the harmful effects of UV radiation, reducing the signs of skin aging.”

Not only can green tea help with a more youthful appearance, but research shows that its main polyphenol—EGCG—is connected to slower aging and even extending your lifespan.

To look and feel younger this year, try adding a cup of green tea to your daily routine. Just remember, it still contains caffeine, so those with caffeine sensitivities should stick to a morning cup.