While it may sound like something out of a science fiction movie, researchers have found that a certain compound could help reverse the effects of time by improving our metabolism, increasing our energy, and improving our insulin sensitivity. And it gets better: This compound is found in some fruits and vegetables. These are 5 anti-aging foods you should be eating more of.

Studies at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have shown that ingesting nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN), which our bodies already produce naturally, has a positive, anti-aging effect .

Because the studies they conducted were so successful, the researchers plan to continue trials.

The animal study, which was published in Cell Metabolism , revealed that older subjects who drank water supplemented with NMN saw improvements in metabolism and energy stores. Interestingly, the improved water did not affect the younger mice.

That’s because our supply of NMN decreases as we age, so older mice really needed the supplement.

NMN is found in fruits and vegetables such as avocados, broccoli, cabbage, edamame, and cucumbers. So does this mean that if we get drunk on vegetables, we will live forever? Not quite. The supplement the mice drank was much higher in NMN than the vegetables.

While we can’t eat enough veggies to replicate the exact effects of the study, heading down the produce aisle might have some anti-aging benefits.

“Eating these vegetables could have a cumulative effect on the neuro-body connection,” says study author Shin-ichiro Imai, MD, PhD, a professor at the University of Washington School of Medicine .

5 types of anti-aging foods you should be eating more of

And don’t expect instant anti-aging – the effects will likely occur over an extended period of time. Stick with your recommended daily intake of fruits and vegetables, which is about ¼ to ½ of your plate at any one meal.

Here, experts share the types of foods that can help delay time.

Foods containing NMN

In the study mentioned above, the mice that drank the supplemented water actually ate more than the control group and gained less weight. While we already know that we shouldn’t expect results as dramatic as those in the study, it can’t be a bad thing to stock up on tomatoes, avocados, edamame, broccoli, and cucumbers.

Foods that contain vitamin B

NMN is a derivative of niacin, also known as vitamin B3. “All B vitamins are important for energy, which includes giving us energy and boosting cellular metabolism energy,” says Kristi King, MPH, RDN, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics . Niacin-rich foods include peanuts, mushrooms, and fresh green tea.

Foods that contain carotenoids

The phytonutrients found in orange and yellow fruits and vegetables like oranges, squash, carrots, and orange peppers can help improve skin vitality and stop collagen breakdown. Other antioxidant-rich fruits can also keep your skin looking youthful. Raspberries and pomegranates contain ellagic acid, an antioxidant that has been found to reduce collagen breakdown.

Foods containing Omega-3

In the aging process, an increase in inflammation is usually seen, but eating foods rich in omega-3s can help prevent that. The good fats found in almonds, seeds, fatty fish and olive oil help reduce inflammation, they are excellent anti-aging foods.

Mediterranean diet

Research shows that people who follow the Mediterranean diet have lower rates of cognitive decline and a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease as they age. Basic Mediterranean products are considered anti-aging foods , such as:

  • olive oil
  • fruit
  • vegetables
  • walnuts
  • Beans
  • moderate amounts of wine

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses.He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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