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If you’re anything like us, you’re fascinated with the anti-aging industry—every new product and procedure is worth discussion and consideration, even if it’s just to bemoan the fact that not much of it actually works (unless you want to look like a real-life Madame Tussaud’s wax figure or something equally as nightmare-inducing). Our better sense tells us it’s silly to invest in procedures that approximate youth—and then eat pizza and drink beer—when we could naturally maintain our actual youth with a few delicious additions to our daily diet. We tapped women’s health expert Nicole Granato and culinary nutritionist Nicolas Torrent—who’s worked with everyone from Demi Moore to Gisele—to give us the skinny on what will help turn back time in subtle but meaningful ways. Here, nine foods they recommend we consume regularly.
"Noni juice is commonly referred to as nature’s greatest superfood," says Nicole Granato. "For thousands of years noni has been known as the goddess of all fruits. Benefits include prevention of cancer, support of healthy liver function and support of cardiovascular health. Noni is an antioxidant that's also anti-fungal, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory, which has been known to help in treating arthritis and nervous system disorders. It also helps relax muscles and relieve memory issues." How to take: 1 shot daily, straight or diluted in a glass of water.
"Reishi is often referred to as the mushroom of immortality," Nicole says. "It's known to boost the immune system by increasing the amount of macrophages and T cells, which have major effects for immune disorders and cancer, as the T cells are able to fight cancer cells more effectively. It also helps prevent cardiovascular disease, heart disease, and stroke as well as anxiety, depression and skin disorders." How to take: 1 teaspoon daily to start, either in a smoothie, tea or made into a tonic. We love this Mushroomunity powder from Lifehouse Tonics or Reishi Mushroom Elixir Mix from Four Sigmatic.
"Pineapple contains bromelain, an enzyme mixture that's excellent for digestion and reducing inflammation," says Nicolas Torrent. "Pineapples have a wealth of nutrients, vitamins and minerals, including potassium, copper, manganese, calcium, magnesium, vitamin C, beta-carotene, thiamine, B6, and folate, as well as soluble and insoluble fiber."
"Aloe vera offers great lubrication and hydration for the gastrointestinal tract and skin," says Nicolas. "Other benefits include detoxification, boosted immune health, lower cholesterol and blood sugar. It also aids with the intake of vitamins and minerals while hydrating the skin." Adds Nicole: "Aloe vera juice has many healing and antibacterial properties, which is why it's used topically on sunburns and cuts. What many people don't know, however, are all the amazing benefits it gives us internally! In assisting the body's natural elimination system, aloe vera can help with constipation, regulate blood sugar, improve circulation, regulate blood pressure, retard the growth of cancerous tumors and reduce inflammation of the organs." How to take: 1 shot whole-leaf juice daily, on an empty stomach.
"Coconut water is packed with antioxidants, amino acids, enzymes, B-complex vitamins, vitamin C and minerals like iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and zinc," says Nicolas.
"Protein is a must for any eating plan," says Nicole. "I personally prefer plant-based protein. While others may not want to give up meat, if you are planning to get pregnant, I suggest eating as plant-based as possible leading up to conception and throughout the term. Great plant-based proteins are legumes, grains, tempeh, asparagus, spinach, quinoa, almonds, Brazil nuts, and broccoli."
"Oats are complex carbohydrates that are low-glycemic, meaning they won't increase blood pressure," says Nicole. "As a result, they reduce the likelihood of wrinkles and dehydrated skin."
"Berries are filled with antioxidants that fight oxidative stress caused by free radicals that can lead to illness," says Nicolas. "I love blueberries, strawberries, and goji berries, all of which are great for skin and hair health."
"These are super-healthy fats that help maintain hydration in the skin," says Nicole. "Avocados can also help you absorb important nutrients and vitamins into the skin, which helps fight wrinkles and fine lines."