Eat for beautiful skin, amazing energy, and great health for life.
4 Rules and 5 Recipes get you started
Glowing Skin, silky hair, and taut, toned muscles over age 40? Absolutely! Cheryl Forberg, RD, is redefining what aging looks (and feels) like in her new book, Positively Ageless. Here, she shares how to harness the stay-young power of food, plus offers select recipes based on the latest anti-aging research.
1. Eat Colorful Produce
Every 4 to 5 Hours As you age, Forberg says, your skin's natural antioxidant protection drops; eating a diet rich in colorful fruits and veggies can help protect against wrinkles. There are hundreds of antioxidant nutrients, but the most important include vitamins C (found in tomatoes, citrus fruits, and bell peppers) and E (nuts and avocado), polyphenols (natural cocoa powder and berries), quercetin (onions and broccoli), and carotenoids (leafy greens, sweet potatoes, and other bright orange vegetables). One good option to boost your intake: Sweet Potatoes with Onion Confit.
2. Drink More Fluids
As you get older, your sense of thirst naturally becomes less acute, making you more vulnerable to dehydration. One of the first side effects is a loss of skin elasticity, a major contributor to fine lines. Eight glasses of water a day is a good goal. If you're not a fan of water, sip green tea, fat-free or low-fat milk, and the occasional cup of coffee, and look beyond the glass. Fruits and vegetables are naturally packed with fluid--it's what gives them crispness. Boost their anti-aging potential by serving broth-based soups, such as Italian Vegetable Soup, at lunch or dinner. At breakfast, whip up a fruity smoothie, made with almond or soy milk or low-fat dairy milk and unsweetened fruit juice.
3. Get 30% of Calories from Protein
After age 30, your muscle mass dwindles by approximately 3 to 8% per decade, causing you to lose strength, not to mention calorie-burning power. The antidote is a regular strength-training regimen--and dietary protein. Higher intakes of animal protein in particular help preserve muscle in women over 50, suggest several studies. Protein is also key to warding off fatigue, maintaining a steady blood sugar level, and promoting cellular repair and growth. Forberg recommends getting 30% of your daily calories from healthy protein sources such as lean meats, poultry, seafood, legumes, fat-free or low-fat dairy products, and traditional soy foods. A serving of Forberg's Roast Pork Tenderloin has 24 g.
4. Make Every Grain Count
Stock your pantry with a variety of antioxidant-packed whole grains, she advises. Wild and brown rices, bulgur, farro, millet, quinoa, and oats are all good options. Whether you're serving a simple side dish or preparing a meat loaf or meatballs (like the Lebanese Kebabs), don't automatically reach for white rice or plain bread crumbs. Think whole grain, and you'll be rewarded with better flavor, additional fiber, and more anti-aging nutrients.
Youth Boosters: Antioxidants // Fluid
Italian Vegetable Soup
Soup is a great way to boost your intake of fluid and antioxidants in one fell swoop--especially if it's low in sodium and loaded with vegetables, as this one is.
TIME: 1 hour 15 minutes
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 med onions, finely chopped (about 1 c)
2 med carrots, finely chopped (about 1 c)
1 rib celery, thinly sliced (about 1/2 c)
6 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 Tbsp)
3 med tomatoes (about 1 lb), finely chopped, or 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
2 cartons (32 oz each) fat-free chicken or vegetable broth
1 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano or 1 tsp dried
1 Tbsp chopped fresh basil or 1 tsp dried
1 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried
1/2 sm head cabbage, finely shredded (about 2 c)
1 c bulgur
1 can (16 oz) no-salt-added white beans, such as cannellini or great Northern, rinsed and drained
1 can (16 oz) no-salt-added red or black beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 c chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1. Heat oil in a stockpot over medium-high heat. Add onions, carrots, and celery and cook 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and cook 1 minute or until golden. Do not brown.
2. Add tomatoes, broth, oregano, basil, and thyme and bring to a boil. Add cabbage and bulgur and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook 20 to 30 minutes or until bulgur is tender. Stir in beans and simmer 5 minutes longer. Season with parsley.
Nutritional info per serving 142 cal, 6 g pro, 23 g carb, 6 g fiber, 3.5 g fat, 0.5 g sat fat, 0 mg chol, 362 mg sodium
Oregano, used to flavor this soup, contains up to 20 times more antioxidant power than other herbs, according to recent studies
Youth Boosters: Whole Grains // Antioxidants // Protein
Instead of bread crumbs, Forberg uses bulgur to help bind the meatballs--for an unexpected dose of antioxidants. Serve these with shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, reduced-fat Greek-style yogurt, and pita points for an authentic meal.
TIME: 52 minutes
1/2 c bulgur
11/4 lb lean ground turkey (7% fat)
1 med onion, finely chopped (about 1/2 c)
3 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 Tbsp)
1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh mint
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground mustard seed
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro, mint, or flat-leaf parsley
1. Bring 1 1/2 cups of water to a boil in small saucepan. Add bulgur, remove from heat, and soak 30 minutes.
2. Combine remaining ingredients except cilantro in large mixing bowl while bulgur soaks.
3. Drain bulgur in a sieve to remove excess liquid. Add to turkey mixture and mix well.
4. Preheat oven to 400°F. Form turkey mixture into 36 meatballs, about 1 1/2" across, using 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons of mixture per meatball. Slide 3 meatballs onto each of 12 metal skewers (6" long), leaving about 1/2" between each meatball. Place skewers on nonstick baking sheet, evenly spaced and not touching. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until no longer pink. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro.
Nutritional info per serving 183 cal, 20 g pro, 11 g carb, 3 g fiber, 6.5 g fat, 1.5 g sat fat, 54 mg chol, 266 mg sodium
Youth Boosters: Whole Grains // Antioxidants
Wild Rice with Radicchio and Dried Cherries
Although wild rice is technically a species of grass, not a grain, it counts as a high-fiber, antioxidant-loaded alternative to white rice. Its deliciously nutty flavor pairs perfectly with sweet plumped-up dried cherries and slightly bitter radicchio.
TIME: 1 hour 15 minutes + soaking time
1/2 c dried cherries or cranberries
1/2 c dry red wine or sparkling red grape juice
2 c water 2/3 c wild rice
1 head radicchio (12 oz), cored and coarsely chopped
3 scallions, chopped
3/4 c chopped fresh parsley
1/4 c olive oil
3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp slivered almonds, lightly toasted
1. Cover cherries with wine in small bowl. Chill and let soak overnight.
2. Bring salted water to a boil in medium saucepan. Add rice. Return to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook 50 to 60 minutes. Drain any water that is not absorbed.
3. Drain cherries, discarding wine. In large bowl, toss together radicchio, scallions, parsley, rice, and cherries. Whisk together next five ingredients. Pour over radicchio mixture and toss gently. Sprinkle with almonds.
Nutritional info per serving 133 cal, 2 g pro, 16 g carb, 3 g fiber, 6.5 g fat, 1 g sat fat, 0 mg chol, 166 mg sodium
Each kebab serving fulfills more than 10% of your daily fiber requirement
Youth Boosters: Antioxidants // Protein
Roast Pork Tenderloin with Citrus, Green Tea, and Spices
Green tea makes an excellent marinade for pork, chicken, and seafood; the flavor is slightly sweet and somewhat smoky. Brew a strong cup--two bags instead of one--but remove the bags after 5 minutes to prevent the tea from getting too bitter.
TIME: 45 minutes + marinating time
1/2 c brewed green tea
1/2 c red wine or sparkling red grape juice
1/4 c orange juice
Freshly squeezed juice of 3 limes (about 1/4 c)
1/4 c chopped fresh cilantro
1 Tbsp freshly grated orange zest
1 Tbsp freshly grated lime zest 3 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 Tbsp)
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 lean pork tenderloins (2 lb)
1. Combine all ingredients except pork in large plastic ziplock bag. Add pork, seal, and turn to coat. Chill at least 2 hours
2. Preheat oven to 400°F.
3. Remove pork from bag, reserving excess marinade, and boil excess marinade 1 minute. Place pork on rack set in roasting pan. Roast about 25 minutes, basting with marinade, until a thermometer registers 160°F.
Nutritional info per serving 164 cal, 24 g pro, 3 g carb, 0.5 g fiber, 4 g fat, 1.5 g sat fat, 74 mg chol, 106 mg sodium
The combination of green tea, citrus juices, and a variety of spices maximizes the antioxidant content of this ultralean pork tenderloin
Youth Boosters: Antioxidants
Sweet Potatoes with Onion Confit
Sweet potatoes are especially rich in beta-carotene, an anti-aging carotenoid that your body converts into vitamin A. This recipe uses agave nectar to bring out the sweetness of the potato; look for it in health food stores. In a pinch, substitute honey.
TIME: 1 hour 5 minutes
1/2 c pomegranate juice
2 Tbsp agave nectar
2 sweet potatoes (about 2 lb), peeled and cut into 1" cubes
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 med yellow onions, chopped
1/4 c white wine or low-sodium chicken broth
1 c 1% milk
1/2 tsp salt
1. Bring pomegranate juice and agave nectar to a boil in small saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer 5 minutes or until reduced by almost half. Cool completely.
2. Preheat oven to 350°F.
3. Cook potatoes in enough boiling salted water to cover until tender, about 15 minutes.
4. Heat oil in 8" sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Transfer to food processor. Add wine to pan and cook 2 minutes, scraping up any browned bits. Add liquid to food processor and puree onions until smooth. Add a little water, if necessary.
5. Drain potatoes and return to saucepan. Add milk and heat until hot, but do not boil. Using a fork or masher, smash potatoes. Stir in onion puree, 1 tablespoon of the pomegranate syrup, and salt.
6. Transfer mixture to 1 1/2-quart baking dish and bake 20 minutes.
Nutritional info per serving 147 cal, 3 g pro, 28 g carb, 4 g fiber, 2 g fat, 0.5 g sat fat, 2 mg chol, 223 mg sodium
Adapted from Cheryl Forberg's Positively Ageless. Copyright 2008 by Cheryl Forberg, RD. Permission granted by Rodale Inc., Emmaus, PA 18098. Available wherever books are sold or at prevention.com/shop.