There are plenty of beautiful celebrities who claim the power of plant based diets keeps them young, healthy and glowing. But is it all Hollywood hype, or do plants actually have anti-aging powers? The answer is, they do! Here’s how!

On The Outside

As skin ages, it loses collagen, creating a sagging, wrinkled appearance. Foods in a plant-based diet are rich in antioxidants, vitamin C and lysine. These are all big collagen boosters, promoting a plump, youthful suppleness to skin, as well as maintaining elasticity to prevent wrinkles.

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A plant based diet can also rich in beta carotene, which is responsible for the gorgeous hues in carrots, apricots, tomatoes, kale, spinach and other veggies. A high beta carotene diet can also add a gorgeous sun-kissed glow to your skin, without the damaging effects of the sun.

Cutting dairy out of your diet can eliminate acne, according to research by the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston. Adopting a dairy free, low glycemic diet (high in fresh fruits and vegetables, low in processed foods) can reduce acne and heal acne related scarring.

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On The Inside

The high vitamin A content of veggies like dark leafy greens, carrots, and sweet potatoes can keep vision crystal clear and sharp, especially  night vision, which decreases as we age. A diet packed with antioxidants and fatty omega 3 acids, like in flax seeds, can prevent age-related macular degeneration, according to a study in the medical journal, BMC Ophthalmology.  The anti-oxidant caretenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin, in those leafy greens can also keep cataracts at bay by fending off damaging free radicals in the central retina. 

A plant based diet can also fend off cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, reduce cholesterol levels, and even the risk for cancer!

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The old athletic adage that say you need animal protein to build and repair muscle may not be true after all. At least not according to vegan body builders like Mike Tyson, Brendan Brazier,and Carl Lewis, as well as the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. Age-related muscle loss is a common occurrence and muscle mass generally decreases by 1-2% each year after the age of 50. Additionally, caloric intake needs decrease as we age. Combine that with a sedentary lifestyle, and muscles can atrophy quickly, leading to other age-related problems with height and posture. However, plant based diet that is lower in calories but higher in nutrition and filled with plant based protein and exercise, all can help maintain youthful muscle structure.

On The Go

A plant based diet can keep you moving, when age tries to slow you down. Fruits, veggies, nuts and whole grains are easy on the digestive system, which means the nutrients you eat use less energy to process. They’re also  better assimilated without slowing down your system.  This means more energy reserves for use elsewhere, like running a marathon.

Eat foods like broccoli, cauliflower, walnuts and garbanzo beans, which not only look like brains, but they are packed full of brain-powering nutrients to keep your mind active, healthy and your memory sharp, even as you age.

Look, feel and age like a celebrity superstar with the fountain of youth: a plant based diet!

Image source: Shan Sheehan/ Flickr