Inside Scoop: Get the list of the best anti-aging vitamins and minerals as well as the exact foods to eat for a healthy body and mind.
This post was submitted by Simone Schmaldienst, Certified Nutritionist and founder of the blog Nutrition is the New Smart.
Grow old and feel young – that’s not a contradiction! It is a goal everybody can reach.
Aging is not a process we can stop; it’s rather a process we should embrace. We hold the power to influence a lot of the external and internal factors, as well as the choices we make every day that have an impact on our health and on the way we age. We decide what we eat, how much we eat, how much and how often we move our bodies and a lot more.
We all age differently, and genetics do play a role but so does our lifestyle. There’s a lot we can do nutritionally to support our bodies as we age, and today I’m sharing the best anti-aging vitamins and minerals, and how you can ensure you get enough of them naturally every day through food. Are you ready?
BEST ANTI-AGING VITAMINS AND MINERALS
Vitamin A is a family of compounds that include retinol, beta-carotene (preliminary stage of Vitamin A) and other carotenoids. Vitamin A is only found in foods from animal sources. Carotenoids are only available in plant sources.
Vitamin A is beneficial to your eyesight and it may help prevent your next cold as it strengthens your immune system.
Here is a tip for busy people, try carrot juice with a dash of flaxseed oil. This vitamin is fat soluble and adding a little bit of fat is crucial for optimal absorption.
- better eyesight
- supports iron absorption
- involved in fat metabolism
- beautiful skin
- beef liver
B-Vitamins are part of the carbohydrate-, fat- and protein metabolism. They are especially beneficial for you if you like to enhance your performance in your next gym session. This is because B-Vitamins act as coenzymes in energy metabolism. Coenzymes cannot catalyze a reaction by themselves instead they support enzymes to do so.
B-Vitamins also have a huge impact on neurological health. In nature, B-Vitamins are never isolated. They are always present in the form of vitamin complexes.
- nerve- and muscle building
- energy metabolism
- blood formation
- whole grain, wheat germs
This might come as a surprise but technically Vitamin D is not a vitamin, it is actually a steroid hormone that is produced out of cholesterol when your skin is exposed to the sun.
Cholesterol from out the liver is transported to the skin where with the help of sunlight Vitamin D is produced. Then Vitamin D is transported from the skin into the fat tissues where it is stored. Vitamin D will only unfold its full potential with the presence of Vitamin A, C, and zinc.
So, now you might get an impression why the saying “Eat colourful!” makes sense. It is important to get as many nutrients as possible because for one to be useful it might be dependent on the presence of another nutrient.
- strong bones
- regulates secretion of thyroid hormones
- muscle strength
- supports the immune system
Vitamin E is a collective for substances antioxidative effects. In our bodies, it works as a fat-soluble antioxidant. In processed foods, Vitamin E is often destroyed, for example, when grinding whole grain to get white flour. So, when possible always go for unprocessed, fresh food.
If you are constantly stressed you are in need of some extra Vitamin E. Because it protects your cells from aggressive oxidative attacks.
- binds free radicals, cell protection
- blood thinning effect
- supports the immune system
- protects against heart attack
- wheat germ
Vitamin C is well known as a great antioxidant and a perfect source for your immune system. It is also beneficial in fat metabolism and will have a positive effect when you want to lose some weight.
If you are under the impression that Vitamin C is only or mostly available in citrus fruits you are wrong. Actually, a lot of green leafy vegetables are richer in Vitamin C than lemons are.
- strengthens the immune system
- lowering cholesterol
- improves iron absorption
- citrus fruits
Potassium is the opponent of sodium. Reversely, this means too much sodium suppresses potassium absorption. While sodium binds water in your body, potassium has a dehydrating effect.
It seems to help with water retention in two ways. Potassium decreases sodium levels and second, it increases urine production.
This mineral keeps your body young and healthy from the inside. “When you get enough potassium, it helps your body excrete sodium. That eases tension in the blood vessel walls, which can help lower blood pressure.” – Angie Murad, R.D.
- reduces water retention
- together with sodium, it progresses nerve impulses
- promotes a regular heartbeat
- maintain acid-base balance
Calcium is a macro mineral, and of all the minerals in your body, there is more calcium than any other. It makes up around 2% of your body weight. If you weigh 75 kg, then 1,5 kg of that weight is calcium. Impressive, right?!
If your body is not getting enough calcium it will take it from your bones. Over the years your bones will get weak and fragile. Vitamin D improves calcium absorption.
- bone strength
- natural stress killer
- is required for blood clotting to control bleeding from injuries
- dairy products
Folic acid helps your body to build and maintain new cells. As you can imagine that is a good characteristic when it comes to anti-aging. Cells are renewed on a regular basis and keep your body and your appearance young. It is found to be helpful in maintaining your skin’s natural beauty. It reduces levels of oxidative stress in the skin.
- glowing skin
- reduces wrinkles
- affects protein synthesis
- green vegetables
- wheat germ
Magnesium is another vital macro-mineral. As a cofactor, it is involved in over 300 enzymatic reactions in your body. Besides potassium, it is the second most important mineral for intracellular functions.
A magnesium deficiency can develop fast when your diet consists mostly of fatty and protein-rich foods. They are naturally low in magnesium. Stress, intensive workouts or excessive alcohol consumption will lower your magnesium level. A high magnesium level does contribute to keep your body young and fit.
- building block for bones
- supports calcium resorption
- strengthens your heart muscle
- helps release muscle tension
- brewer’s yeast
- whole grains
- soybeans, green vegetables
- cashew nuts
By far the most known benefit of iron is its role in blood building. If your iron levels are optimal you have a vibrant skin tone and strong nails and hair.
You might be surprised to hear that iron absorption from food is very low. Only 10-20% of iron from food will be available for your body. You can boost the absorption rate when you add a squeeze of lemon juice to your meal. Vitamin C has a positive effect on iron absorption. Clever combined food choices help to get the most nutritional value out of it.
- important component of hemoglobin, the substance in red blood cells that carries oxygen
- increases your energy
- improves muscle function
- green vegetables
- red meat
- whole grains
At a cellular level zinc helps with DNA synthesis and cell replication. In terms of anti-aging that’s a perfect quality. Zinc also plays a role in muscle repair and lowers damage from free radicals.
For all gym rats, it’s important to know that you lose a good amount of zinc while sweating.
While many foods are naturally high in zinc, certain foods – such as ready to eat breakfast cereals, snack bars and baking flours – are fortified with zinc.
- hair-, nail-growth
- wound healing
- part of the neurotransmitter metabolism
- involved in sugar metabolism
- milk, cheese
These are the best anti-aging vitamins and minerals along with some every day foods you can find them in. Do you consume some of these foods daily, or are you taking any in supplement form? Let me know below.
I’m a certified nutritionist and founder of the blog Nutrition is the New Smart. The intention behind this blog is to provide science proofed nutrition facts for a healthy life. The food we eat can either harm or help our health. Let’t only eat food that helps and understand the effects it has on our bodies.