Raise your hand if you want to know how to slow aging! One of our viewers submitted this question on Facebook, and we're pretty sure most of us can relate:
Q: I just turned 50 years old and I've suddenly started to feel my age! I'm seeing wrinkles, having a harder time losing weight and I'm waking up feeling stiff. Is there anything I can do to slow down the aging process and turn back the clock?
— Lisa, viewer, via Facebook
Well, according to Dr. Mehmet Oz, adding certain foods to your diet can actually help slow the effects of aging, as well as reduce some of the visible signs of aging in your skin.
"It is part of the aging process, but fascinatingly, two-thirds of how you age is based on your lifestyle, with food being the major driver of that," Dr. Oz says.
Here, he shares three tips for "simple ideas that could benefit you right now. And they'll not only help you live longer, but you'll live better as well," he adds.
1. Eat More Foods That Contain Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids have "lots of benefits," according to the doc. They help stabilize your mood and can even reduce visible signs of aging, because "it reduces the inflammation in the body and it will keep your skin glowing," he claims.
Omega-3 fatty acids come from different sources, and Dr. Oz says that one of the best sources is fish—"oily fish, the omega-3s make them able to move around in the cold water, so salmon is a great example"—which you can buy and store frozen for a cost-effective way of implementing more omega-3 fatty acids in your diet. Other great sources of omega-3 fatty acids are nuts and seeds, especially walnuts. "They're shaped like your brain [and] it helps your brain function better to have extra walnuts," the doc points out. Pistachios and cashews are other good choices, he says.
2. Eat Pomegranate Seeds + Drink Pomegranate Juice
"Pomegranates are fantastic: rich in vitamin C, antioxidants [and] vitamin K, they tend to lower cholesterol and blood pressure," Dr. Oz says. "Blood pressure is the number one ager of all, so if you really want to do well for your heart, your brain and every other part of your body—as well as your skin, because it protects it from [damage caused by] UV light—get extra pomegranates in your diet."
The doc also points out that it is better for you to eat pomegranate seeds "in the raw form" than to drink the pomegranate juice that comes in a bottle. "Pomegranates, although they can be messy, have a lot of fiber in them. Those seeds are actually hugely beneficial. They slow down to the right level the absorption of nutrients so they come into your body in the right phase. Similarly, it slows down sugar ingestion, so I always prefer the raw form," he says. "The juice version is fine, it's just not as good as the real thing."
3. Add Greens To Every Meal
Dr. Oz recommends adding greens to every meal, which can range from cruciferous vegetables like broccoli to different types of lettuce. "It's the best way to load your body with antioxidants," he says.
"As we go through life, we are exposed to toxins everywhere we go—from air pollution, UV rays, chemicals, and the list goes on. The result is the formation of free radicals, those bad-guy molecules that travel through your body damaging cells, contributing to inflammation, and speeding up the aging process."
"These plants and produce have grown to protect themselves from the sun so they don't get free radicals in them. So you're just taking different kinds of nutrients out of the environment by taking advantage of how nature tries to give it to us," Dr. Oz adds.