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Top 5 anti-aging vitamins and minerals

Marina V. Foya

Certain vitamins and minerals have anti-aging properties that help fight the underlying aging processes that not only improve your general health but also your appearance.

Here is a list of 5 essential anti-aging vitamins and minerals:

1. Vitamin C

The free radical theory of aging states that people age because cells accumulate free radical damage over time. Environmental stressors such as pollution, sun exposure, radiation, and smoking contribute to that damage and are responsible for premature aging.

Your body needs a lot of antioxidants to defend itself against the assault of free radicals on your healthy cells. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that is able to prevent and protect body against free-radical damage, which in turn provides protection from skin wrinkling. It also helps regenerate other antioxidants in the body, including Vitamin E.
In addition to its anti-aging properties, Vitamin C provides protection against immune system deficiencies, cardiovascular disease, depression, physical and mental stress and fatigue. It is imperative for sunburn prevention, it slows down the worsening of osteoarthritis, prevents “hardening of the arteries,” and improves physical performance and strength in the elderly.

Vitamin C is found in citrus fruits, orange and tomato juices, broccoli, red and green peppers, kiwi. Vitamin C is also available in a variety of dietary supplements and topical app lications.

2. Vitamin E

Vitamin E is a key vitamin for your health. It protects skin from free-radical and UV damage inside and out and helps skin retain moisture. It repairs dry, cracked skin when used as a cream or lotion. Vitamin E also improves the functioning of your immune system.

Vitamin E is found in sunflower seeds, almonds, peanuts, hazelnuts, peanut butter, vegetable oils (such as soybean, canola, and corn), fortified cereals, spinach, whole grains. For additional protection, individuals may consider taking Vitamin E supplements and use topical applications.

3. Niacin (also known as Vitamin B3)

Niacin helps fight the effects of aging both inside and out. It increases the skin's ability to retain moisture, which prevents wrinkles. Niacin also acts like an exfoliant, helping skin in sloughing off dead cells when newer cells move toward the surface. Also, several studies have shown that it can boost levels of good cholesterol and lower levels of bad cholesterol, which helps reduce atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, lowering the risk of having a heart attack. There is some evidence that Niacin might help lower the risk of Alzheimer's disease, cataracts, osteoarthritis, and type 1 diabetes.

Niacin occurs naturally in foods including greens, meat, poultry, fish, and eggs. Many products are also fortified with Niacin during manufacture. Niacin is also available in a variety of dietary supplements.

4. Vitamin A

Vitamin A is required for body's proper development and functioning of eyes, skin, immune system, and many other parts of the body. Vitamin A helps you age gracefully in several ways. It is an antioxidant that helps neutralize the damaging effects of oxidation caused by free radicals, which prevents and slows down age-related degeneration and diseases. It improves various skin conditions, treats eye disorders, and helps prevent breast cancer. When applied to the skin, Vitamin A improves wound healing, reduces wrinkles, and protects the skin against UV radiation.

Vitamin A is found red peppers, carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach, butternut squash, eggs, whole milk. For additional protection, individuals may consider taking Vitamin A supplements and use topical applications.

5. Selenium

Selenium is a mineral that preserves tissue elasticity and slows down the aging and hardening of tissues associated with oxidation. Even though people only need a very small amount, selenium plays a key role in the metabolism.

Selenium is found in whole grains, nuts, beef and poultry, fresh and saltwater fish, like tuna, cod, red snapper, and herring.

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