The Best Anti-Aging Diets and Foods To Try Now

Key Points

  • Eating certain foods or sticking to a healthy diet combat the aging process.

  • Research shows that foods rich in vitamin C (think fruits and veggies) are linked to younger-looking skin for women.

  • Sticking to an anti-aging diet is not about just looking better — you also feel better.

Certain habits keep you looking younger for longer, but it isn't always so obvious which habits help you best achieve that. Utilizing a healthy diet is one way to maintain a youthful look, but certain types of diets are better for anti-aging benefits than others.

It's a fact: What you eat affects how your body looks. By eating the right foods (and avoiding certain ones), you can enhance your skin's glow, stave off wrinkles, reduce under-eye bags, and just generally have a healthier, younger appearance. With those goals in mind, here are the best healthy diets for anti-aging — and everything you need to know about how food, health, and beauty intersect.

How Do You Get Anti-Aging Benefits Naturally?

Whether you want fewer wrinkles, tighter and brighter skin, or a clearer complexion, there are ways to achieve anti-aging benefits naturally. Yes, certain serums, creams, and ointments help you look younger (as well as various cosmetic procedures), but there are other activities you can easily incorporate into your daily schedule to look and feel younger.

Get Proper Rest

The easiest thing you can do? Get more sleep! Rest is crucial to maintaining a youthful visage, research shows. A good night's sleep is essential to stay healthier throughout the human lifespan. The benefits of slumber are numerous and well-documented.

You feel and look better when you prioritize getting in your eight hours of sleep a night. The extra snooze time reduces undereye bags and keeps your skin looking fresh.

Prioritize Exercise

Adding exercise into your weekly routine is yet another way to naturally achieve anti-aging benefits. According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, exercise "improve[s] circulation and boost[s] your immune system," resulting in healthier and younger-looking skin.

Consider adding jogging into your daily schedule, hitting the gym a few times per week, or joining a yoga class. Whatever you like to do that gets you moving will help keep your skin glowing!

Going for a jog

Cut Out Smoking and Alcohol

Bad news for smokers: It's been proven over and over again that smoking is incredibly damaging to your skin. Ditch the cigarettes entirely if you're focused on looking younger.

Similarly, experts say too much alcohol has adverse effects on appearance. It's best to keep your drinking in moderation or cut it out entirely.

Drink More Water

As you age, your skin naturally loses its elasticity, leading to sagging skin and deeper wrinkles. It's an inevitable part of getting older, but drinking plenty of water is a natural way to promote elasticity and keep your skin feeling fuller. Staying hydrated also helps you avoid drier skin — and when your skin is dry, it diminishes its glow.

Aim to have about half a gallon — roughly six to eight cups — of water daily to stay properly hydrated.

Limit the Time You Spend on Your Phone or Laptop

You love your phone and need your laptop. That's completely understandable. However, research indicates that too much time with your tech causes skin issues.

The blue light that emits from your laptops and phones is one problem. Dermatologist Michelle Henry recently explained to The New York Times, "Blue light damages the retina and reduces your excretion of melatonin, so it interrupts your sleep cycle."

Less sleep leads to worse skin, but blue light also impacts collagen production, according to Henry. There's also reason to believe that looking up and down at your phone can lead to wrinkles, too.

Consider setting time limits on your devices to reduce your blue light exposure. Get special glasses or screen protectors to help you.

Stay Out of the Sun

Much like cigarettes, various studies have repeatedly shown that the sun causes major damage to your skin. To avoid wrinkles, avoid spending an extended period in the sun. Introduce self-tanner to your beauty regimen if you want a warmer glow, but don't attempt to get it from lying out by the pool eight hours a day.

If you can't stick to the shade, make sure to apply copious amounts of sunscreen! It's one of the best natural ways to avoid aging. Add a pair of sunglasses to your outfit, too. Your skin and eyes will thank you.

Girl shading her face

Keep a Healthy Diet

Diet plays a key role in your skin's appearance and maintaining a healthy glow. Certain foods (think fruits and veggies) have anti-aging properties that others (think carbs and sugar) do not.

It's all about balance when it comes to what you're eating to fight off aging.

Which Diet Is Best for Anti-Aging?

What kinds of foods should you seek out for anti-aging benefits? In general, consider which foods make you feel healthier. The best anti-aging diets incorporate plenty of vitamins and fresh ingredients.

The Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean diet is a great option for anti-aging benefits because it encourages followers to go for whole foods rather than processed ones. You're avoiding meals that promote inflammation (which in turn accelerates an aging look).

The Mediterranean diet works exactly like it sounds: You consume the kinds of foods people in Mediterranean areas eat, where people historically live longer on average. (Add it to this diet's list of possible exciting benefits!)

Followers of the diet eat whole grains, veggies, fruits, beans, nuts, herbs, and spices daily, incorporating seafood multiple times a week. They usually avoid red meats and sugary snacks and eat dairy-based foods in moderation.

The DASH Diet

The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet is another way of eating that has anti-aging benefits. Much like the Mediterranean Diet, it keeps you looking — and feeling younger –- because you're avoiding food that causes inflammation and subsequent cell damage.

People following this plan usually aim for 2,000 calories a day. Instead of focusing on strict calorie counting, they monitor the foods they eat. Veggies, fruits, and whole grains are a major part of the DASH diet. Fish, poultry, low-dairy products, beans, nuts, and veggie oils are also allowed in moderation.

People on the DASH Diet try to avoid food high in saturated fat. Think heavier meats or full-fat dairy products. They also stay away from items like soda, candy, and other sweet foods packed with sugar. It doesn't mean you can never have a piece of chocolate or enjoy a slab of steak again, but it does mean these should be special occasion foods rather than daily parts of your diet. Moderation, as with any diet, is key.

The Best Foods for Anti-Aging

You don't necessarily have to follow a strict diet to get anti-aging benefits. If a diet plan seems too intense, try to incorporate more foods with anti-aging benefits into your daily meals. Plenty of foods help you look your best by repairing your collagen and reducing overall inflammation because they're packed with antioxidants, vitamin C, and other anti-aging properties. Thus, your skin looks as fresh and vibrant as possible.

Here are some of the best anti-aging foods (and no, they aren't all fruits and veggies):


Blueberries have such a deep blue color because they have anthocyanin: an antioxidant with anti-aging properties. No wonder they're so good for maintaining youthful looks!

Handful of blueberries

Dark Chocolate

Yes, sweets should be avoided if you want to avoid wrinkles and inflammation. Dark chocolate is different, though. Cocoa is a major component of dark chocolate, and studies show it has antioxidants and anti-inflammatory qualities that help people avoid wrinkles.


Popeye was on to something: Spinach is very good for you because it contains a lot of vitamin A, which can help slow aging.


One of the best things you can do for your skin is to keep it moisturized — which is where avocados come in. Packed with natural oils, it helps you reach that objective. Plus, avocados are rich in carotenoids, which reduce skin aging.


Animal meats aren't helpful when it comes to fighting off aging, but fish — especially salmon — is an exception. Salmon has plenty of omega-3, which "blocks UV-induced enzymes that break down collagen," according to GoodRxHealth.

Olive Oils

Put down the butter and reach for the olive oil to enhance your meals. Olive oil is high in antioxidants. It may even be good to dab on your skin to prevent wrinkles.


Carrots have plenty of vitamin C, which helps boost collagen production. You get tighter skin and fewer wrinkles!


Like carrots, broccoli contains vitamin C, as well as vitamin K. All the antioxidants in broccoli, keep your skin glowing.

Sweet Potatoes

Add a heap of sweet potatoes to your dinner plate — your skin and hair thank you for it. These root veggies have anti-aging properties, including vitamin A to help increase collagen and anthocyanins to fight inflammation.

Sweet potatoes


Nuts are the perfect snack for anti-aging benefits: They're filling and low-calorie. In particular, walnuts have many antioxidants and contain vitamins B and C.


Most teas are brimming with antioxidants, making these drinks essential to any anti-aging diet. Drinking tea every day can reduce wrinkles thanks to its nutritional qualities.

Which Aging Foods Should You Avoid?

Similarly, there are foods you can limit — or cut out altogether — if you don't want to stick to a certain diet for anti-aging benefits. Generally speaking, these foods don't just affect your skin, hair, and overall appearance. They also impact your physical health and can affect your lifespan. It's better for your health in practically every way.


A soda pop might be a refreshing treat, but it's not one you should indulge in often. The sugar in soda is bad for your teeth, and the caffeine levels in soda can prevent you from getting a good night's sleep. Lack of sleep = worse skin. Stick to water when you can.


Alcohol is another liquid you should limit. Most people have seen firsthand how a hangover can lead to a puffier face and redder skin — and the more often you drink, the longer those skin issues last. Alcohol dehydrates you, too, directly impacting your skin's appearance.

Alcoholic beverages


Bacon is a fattier meat, which causes inflammation and limits your collagen production. It's also very salty, which dehydrates you — another way to negatively impact your skin's glow and health. Avoid similar fatty meats like sausage, ham, hot dogs, and steak. Opt for lean poultry instead.

White Bread

When you're making toast or a sandwich, skip the white bread and go for the wheat or whole grain option. White bread leads to inflammation because it has a high glycemic index, which is linked to faster aging.

French Fries

French fries are addictive but can seriously impact your aging process. They're high in sodium, which dehydrates you and results in wrinkles. They're also fried in oil, which causes direct cell damage. Sweet potato fries are a tasty but healthier option to consider instead. Limit your fried food intake if you're maintaining an anti-aging diet.


Butter is high in trans fats, which lead to inflammation and other health issues like higher cholesterol or memory issues. Inflammation also leads to skin damage and wrinkles. Butter is a commonly used ingredient in cooking, but keep an eye on how much you're using. You can also swap out butter for healthier substitutes like olive, avocado, or coconut oils.


Candy, muffins, cake, ice cream — all these sweet treats can cause skin damage.

Dr. Andrew Nish told UnityPointHealth that the problem with foods high in sugar is that sugar interacts with collagen and elastin in a way that hurts the skin. As a result, you lose skin elasticity, which in turn causes wrinkles.

Nish also noted that's not the only negative effect sugar has on the skin: It leads to acne, dark spots, and sagging. These issues all affect your complexion's vibrancy.

Table of sweets

Can You Reverse Aging Through Diet?

There's no way to altogether fight aging. Aging is a natural process, and looking older is not inherently bad. That being said, there are many things you can do to slow that process down — and reverse the damage you may have accidentally inflicted.

It is possible to preserve your youthfulness through your diet, research indicates. A 2021 study showed that people reduce biological age by as much as three years in just eight weeks through diet and lifestyle changes!

These changes include prioritizing daily exercise, taking vitamin supplements, getting more sleep, and eating a healthier, antioxidant-rich diet. Not only does this make you "feel" younger, but it also makes you look younger by improving the shine and health of your hair and the glow and elasticity of your skin. It's a win-win situation.

While you can't permanently erase a wrinkle through the food you're consuming, you can certainly reduce its appearance — and help prevent other wrinkles from forming.

Glow From the Inside Out

The bottom line is that a healthy diet is a great (and easy!) way to maintain a younger look. There is no silver bullet when it comes to eliminating the appearance of aging, but following a specific diet or incorporating certain foods will have anti-aging benefits.

From anti-aging beauty tips to skincare product reviews, let Age Defying lead the way on gracefully aging. 

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