As we age, it becomes increasingly more difficult to combat chronic diseases, maintain a healthy, and keep belly fat at bay. But contrary to what you may believe, your health isn’t actually doomed to plummet downhill with every turned page of the calendar. Sure, you may not be able to cut out bread for a week and lose pounds like you did in your twenties, but you certainly can add specific foods—like the ones below—to your diet in your quest to turn back time. Choosing these youth-promoting foods will equip your body with the cancer-fighting, wrinkle-smoothing, and metabolism-revving vitamins and nutrients it needs to help you look and feel young and vibrant—all without the help of a plastic surgeon. So next time you head out for a grub run, make sure to stock up on our stellar list of superfoods to eat after 40, while practicing restraint when it comes to ordering these 5 Meals and food seasoning You Should Eat always After 40.
Making an omelet? Forget separating the white from the yolk and embrace the whole egg! The healthy fats within the yolks can help you feel fuller longer and curb cravings, explains Kayleen St. John, RD. Not to mention, choline—a belly fat-blasting nutrient—is only present in the orange part of the egg, rather than the whites, that most dieters tend to avoid. Next time you’re whipping up a scramble, crack the whole egg, yolk and all, into the pan.
Adding high volume leafy greens like spinach is always a good idea if achieving a bikini body is your goal. Popeye’s favorite pick is rich in vitamin E as well as the amino acid betaine and the nutrient choline, which work together to turn off fat-storing genes in the liver, both spinach and carrots are vegetables. Just one medium-sized carrot is bursting with 203 percent of your daily recommended vitamin A, which will help keep your skin smooth and vision as sharp as it was in your twenties! “This vegetable is orange thanks to high levels of beta-carotene, which is a precursor to vitamin A… which also happens to be a form of the main active ingredient in Retin-A (the topical ointment that helps fight dark spots, wrinkles, and acne by increasing cell turnover),” explains certified board dermatologist and Founder of Baumann Cosmetic & Research Institute Dr. Leslie Baumann.
Not only clad with the powers of transforming even the blandest burger into a scrumptious bite, onions are also stellar at combating cancer. According to University of Guelph researchers, Ontario-grown red onions pack a solid dose of quercetin and anthocyanin, which can fight off colon and breast cancers. “Onions activate pathways that encourage cancer cells to undergo cell death,” Abdulmonem Murayyan, the study’s lead author, explained. “They promote an unfavorable environment for cancer cells and they disrupt communication between cancer cells, which inhibits growth.” A natural detoxifier, garlic can improve your cholesterol profiles as well as reduce high blood pressure. Plus, a study in the Japanese Journal of Cancer Research found that frequent intake of garlic can protect against esophageal cancer and stomach cancer.
A tasty portable snack, these subtly sweet nuts contain heart-healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats that can help lower LDL cholesterol. Although munching on almonds during any part of your day is a smart choice, getting your daily serving before you hit the gym can actually help you stay even more slim. A study in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that the amino acid L-arginine, which almonds are brimming with, can help you burn more fat and carbs during workouts. Avocados, in all of their sinfully creamy glory, aren’t only pleasing to your taste buds—they can be your body’s best friend, too. This fatty fruit has healthy monounsaturated fats that can help lower LDL cholesterol (the bad fat that clogs arteries) and placate a growling tummy. According to a study published in Nutrition Journal, people who noshed on just half a fresh avocado with lunch reported a 40 percent decreased desire to eat for hours after.
Tired of starkly staring at the bags under your eyes every morning? (Pun intended!) Fortunately enough, this summer fruit can help you look doe-eyed way past the big 4-0! “Though it may sound counterintuitive, the high concentration of water in watermelon can actually reduce the water retention that leads to puffiness around the eyes,” says Baumann. “And because watermelon is low in sugar—well, compared to many other fruits—you don’t have to worry about glycation, the chemical reaction that compromises collagen and leads to lines and wrinkles.”