We’ve all looked in the mirror and asked, “Do I look my age?” We want to prevent aging, reverse aging or just age gracefully. Before spending money on expensive lotions and creams, try fixing and preventing problems from the inside out. Food choices impact our skin more than we think. Our skin is a reflection of our health, so what should we eat to keep our skin looking younger and healthier? Here are a few skin-friendly, nutrient-rich foods to help keep you looking your best. They can be easily incorporated into your diet for a healthier, younger looking you.
Blueberries are a high-antioxidant food and antioxidants are superheroes to battle aging skin! Foods rich in antioxidants help slow aging at the cellular level by scavenging free radicals in your body (unstable molecules that damage cells.) Free radicals damage cells and tissues, which results in wrinkles and premature sagging.
Carrots are packed with carotenoids, which our body converts to vitamin A. Studies have shown Vitamin A carotenoids protect skin, tissue and cells from environmental toxins and diseases that cause oxidative damage. Vitamin A carotenoids best support skin health – so don’t forget the carrots!
3. Red Bell Peppers
Red Bell Peppers are packed with vitamin C – 3x’s more vitamin C than an orange! Vitamin C contributes to the formation of collagen and prevents free radical damage. Collagen is a protein that binds cells and tissues together keeping our skin firm, smooth, elastic and generally looking vibrant. An October 2007 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found individuals who consumed foods rich in vitamin C had fewer wrinkles and less age related dry skin than those who consumed only small amounts of vitamin C. Great news!
4. Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are packed with vitamin E, zinc and magnesium. Vitamin E protects our skin from ultraviolet-induced free radical damage – skin damage from the sun! Zinc, also found in nuts and seeds, has been shown in studies to reduce oil production and may help prevent acne. And lastly, deficient levels of magnesium may produce histamines, and histamines produce dry, itchy skin, red blotches and inflammation (eczema.) Good things really do come in small packages!
Salmon boasts omega-3 fatty acids. High levels of omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to decrease inflammation and may reduce the presence of acne and other skin conditions. Research has shown an increase in dietary essential fatty acids can prevent both chronological and sun-damaged induced signs of aging, rejuvenating the look of our skin!
6. Whole Grains
Whole grains contain much of the skin-boosting mineral, selenium. Selenium protects against UV-induced cell damage, inflammation and pigmentation. Selenium also has anti-inflammatory properties – calming inflamed and irritated skin. Selenium neutralizes free radicals before they can lead to wrinkles!
7. Green Tea
Studies have shown skin-protective qualities with green tea. An April 2011 study in the Journal of Nutrition displayed protective benefits – for green tea polyphenols – against UV light-induced skin damage, as well as an ability to improve skin hydration, elasticity and density. Maybe the fountain of youth contained green tea?
All of the skin-boosting nutrients will only provide these benefits with the proper hydration. Drinking water ensures all of these important nutrients are delivered to your cells. Also, dehydrated skin appears more dry and wrinkled. Therefore, drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
Remember, beauty comes from the inside.