Slowing down the aging process works from the inside out. While there are numerous ways to cosmetically enhance our looks, the truth of the matter is that if we don't nurture our insides, this will eventually be reflected on the outside. Factors like smoking, excessive alcohol intake, drug use, poor diet, lack of exercise, stress, overexposure to the sun, consumption of sugary sodas and high fructose corn syrup foods — these all accelerate the aging process. Fortunately, there are beverages that can help slow the hands of time, giving you a youthful appearance and healthier skin, hair and nails. Of course, you can’t take just one drink and expect to look younger, but if you regularly incorporate these healthy drinks into your diet—and cut out corn syrup-filled foods and drinks—you will become healthier from the inside out, and this will be echoed in your appearance.
FRESH-SQUEEZED GRAPEFRUIT JUICE
Citrus fruits pack tremendous amounts of vitamin C, which allow for excellent maintenance and production of collagen, the substance that allows skin to be flexible and strong. As we age, collagen production decreases, leading the way to wrinkles and dry skin, both of which are unfortunate signs of aging. Grapefruit also contains spermidine, which helps cellular growth.
ALMOND MILK SMOOTHIE WITH BANANAS AND AVOCADOS
Almond milk contains vitamins A, D and E, all of which are fat-soluble so they promote healthy skin. The calcium and protein in almond milk are beneficial for strong nails and hair. Avocados are loaded with monounsaturated fats that promote vitamin absorption, leading to young, supple and radiant skin. Bananas are rich in vitamins A, B and E, all of which are excellent for your skin as well. Throw in some hemp, flax or chia seeds for an extra boost, blend it all together and enjoy the hearty goodness, all the while knowing it is doing your body good.
WHOLE JUICE MADE WITH BEETS, APPLES, SPINACH, CARROTS AND BERRIES
All of these fruits and vegetables have deep, rich colors—a sign that they contain innumerable vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that can reverse the aging process. Plant protein also helps detoxify impurities from the body, which can cause dull, coarse hair and skin. The abundance of vitamin C and calcium in this potpourri of fruits and vegetables can contribute to soft and youthful-looking skin while brightening and strengthening hair, teeth and nails.
Our bodies are composed of more than 70 percent water, and it is essential for the hydration of every organ—of which your skin is the largest and most visible. Without water, skin becomes dry, while hair and nails become brittle. Dry skin is prone to wrinkling and lack of water leads to a build-up of toxins which can disrupt every process in the body.
Drink wine in moderation, of course, as excessive consumption can paradoxically promote the aging process and ruin the liver. Red wine is the preferred choice as it contains resveratrol which has been shown to promote the "longevity" gene while retarding inflammation and diseases associated with getting old. Raise your glass to that!
There are so many varieties of this healthy alternative to coffee. The catechins and antioxidants in teas have been shown to block neuronal (nerve) death, and the immune system is also boosted by tea, thereby reducing inflammation, which in turn imparts a healthy-looking appearance.
Phytochemicals in soy and its products (tofu, tempeh, edamame) help maintain smooth skin by maintaining elastin and collagen, which help prevent wrinkles. It is hypothesized that the isoflavones on soy may protect against skin damage from UV light exposure.
GREEK YOGURT FRUIT SMOOTHIE
Greek yogurt actually contains less lactose and fewer carbs, and more protein, probiotics and nutrients as compared with regular yogurt. So when you want a great anti-aging smoothie, grab some Greek yogurt and add bananas, berries and flax powder, and blend away. Berries are loaded with antioxidants, especially vitamin C, which are responsible for collagen integrity. This can help skin, cartilage, bones and joints withstand any degenerative effects over time. Bananas contain pectin, which promotes the detoxification of toxins and heavy metals—essential to slowing down the aging process.
Need a good excuse to indulge in some chocolate? The cocoa bean has a plethora of antioxidants, flavonoids and polyphenols, which promote anti-aging. They are naturally occurring plant pigments that combat free radicals that are damaging to the body. Dark chocolate is better than milk.
Besides the abundance of minerals, electrolytes and vitamins, coconuts have plant hormones called cytokinins that promote cellular growth while impeding cellular aging. This translates into anti-aging mechanisms that help the skin stay young.
ALOE VERA JUICE
This versatile plant helps maintain youthfulness. It contains plenty of amino acids and nutrients that help replace skin cells and maintain collagen. Antioxidants promote skin regeneration while helping to maintain elasticity. A topical application keeps skin moist and supple as well.