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Thursday, November 17, 2016

You Are What You Eat: Eating Your Way to a Younger You

We all want to find a way to look and even feel younger. It may sound overly simple, but the food we eat plays a direct role in how we look, feel and even how we age. Here are three tips to get you on your way to eating to a younger you.

Eat Lycopene-Rich Foods

There has been a lot of talk about the benefit of antioxidants recently, and for good reason, too. Lycopene is a rich antioxidant that has been documented as playing a role in the prevention of heart disease and cancer. Foods that contain lycopene are often red, as lycopene is a carotenoid that gives many vegetables and fruits their red colors. Foods that contain lycopene include tomatoes, watermelons, guavas, papayas, grapefruits, sweet peppers, cooked asparagus, red cabbage, carrots and mangoes. Many of these natural foods contain very few calories, making them a smart food choice if you’re also concerned about your diet and hoping to achieve weight loss, in addition to boosting your health.

Track What You Eat Digitally

Food journals can not only keep track of what you eat, but keep your accountable for what you eat as part of your diet, too. When eating to look and feel younger, you’ll want to keep track of your diet and enter in all of those lycopene-rich foods. Today there are ample resources, services and apps that can be accessed digitally via your smartphone. These apps can take all of the hard work out, like calculating and counting calories, for example. Many apps compatible with smartphones, including the Calorie Counter and Diet Tracker by SparkPeople, use a database of information that includes a long list of foods, built-in barcode scanners and nutritional information, which makes tracking what you eat simple. Smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S7 also have a built-in health app that can track nutrition and sleep, which is critical. Lack of sleep, less than five hours per night, has been linked to weight gain, according to data reported by the Mayo Clinic. So if you want to look and feel younger, it's important to consider your sleep in addition to your diet.

Increase Your Vitamin C Intake

Since we were young, we’ve been told to eat foods rich in vitamin C or take our vitamin C tablets regularly. It’s one of the most common and familiar vitamins as it offers a handful of healthy benefits. Like lycopene, vitamin C is an antioxidant. Vitamin C is known to fight-off harmful free-radicals that can cause damage to the outside and inside of our bodies, causing us to not only age but also get sick. Experts from Arthritis Today encourage men to take 75 milligrams and women 90 milligrams of vitamin C each day, which is also the USDA recommendation. In addition to a diet that is rich in oranges, kiwi, strawberries, spinach and other foods that contain vitamin C, vitamin C can be used topically to prevent wrinkles and skin damage. A study from the Oregon State University found that vitamin C may help with and potentially treat UV skin damage, asserting that vitamin C is a “vital molecule for skin.” Television personality Dr. Oz also claims that topical vitamin C can reduce age spots found on the hands, face and neck.

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