Americans spend millions of dollars on the latest skin care products that promise to erase wrinkles and give us plump skin and a youthful glow.
While skin care and sun protection are important, it’s also worth a closer look at what’s going inside our bodies. The health of your skin is a reflection of your internal health. In fact, experts are continuing to discover how our diets affect the aging process. Certain foods can be your best friend in your quest to keep your skin looking youthful.
The following anti-aging foods will also help boost your health:
The importance of vitamin C cannot be overstated when it comes to our health — and it turns out, it’s also an anti-aging weapon.
That’s because the body requires vitamin C to produce collagen, and collagen is the protein that keeps skin looking plump and supple.
Just a half cup of bright red acerola cherries gives your body a whopping 911 percent of the daily value of vitamin C. In fact, its vitamin C content is so high that you shouldn’t drink its juice if you’re also taking vitamin C supplements.
But the benefits don’t stop there. Some research suggests that acerola juice could help fight damage to the skin caused by the sun’s UVB rays.
Acerola cherries can be difficult to find in stores. The juice makes a good substitute, but be sure that you don’t drink more than the recommended amount, and look for brands with the lowest amount of added sugar.
Try red bell peppers, strawberries, or guava to meet your daily vitamin C requirement and get some antioxidant power to improve your skin’s appearance.
Avocado is actually a fruit, and it’s one of the most versatile foods available. This nutritious food is naturally rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fat (MUFA). This type of fat has received plenty of attention as a way to reduce the risk of heart disease.
MUFAs also boost your skin’s defense against aging. That’s because they are a powerful anti-inflammatory, and help fight the inflammation that contributes to wrinkles and skin sagging.
It’s easy to add avocado to any meal. Spread avocado on a sandwich, toss some on a salad, add it to a fruit smoothie, or use it to top off your scrambled eggs.
Get some extra MUFAs in your day with extra-virgin olive oil and nut butters.
Kale is a popular leafy green at the moment, and there are plenty of reasons to jump on this bandwagon. While all leafy greens pack a good nutritional punch, kale in particular has some nutrients that could help boost your body’s anti-aging ability.
Kale contains lycopene and lutein, which help prevent wrinkles and loss of elasticity in the skin, and also help the skin get the oxygen it needs. It also contains plenty of beta-carotene, which the body converts to retinol. Retinol is an important nutrient for skin and eye health, and can help skin retain a youthful glow.
Mix it up with other nutritious leafy greens like spinach and watercress to get a variety of anti-aging nutrients.
While all nuts offer a nutritional boost, almonds and walnuts are your best bet for anti-aging. Both offer high amounts of vitamin E, which is an important antioxidant that can fight free radical damage in the skin and help initiate the skin’s repair process when it’s exposed to UV rays.
Almonds and walnuts also contain MUFAs and anti-inflammatory omega-3s, offering a double-dose of skin-boosting healthy fats.
Macadamia nuts offer the highest MUFA content of all nuts. Pistachios and brazil nuts are other great sources of vitamin E.
Salmon is one of the best sources of EPA and DHA, which are long-chain omega-3 fatty acids. These are different from the short-chain omega-3s found in nuts and other plant foods.
While the numerous health benefits of EPA and DHA have been well established, recent studies show that they can even help ward off aging. Some evidence suggests that EPA can increase collagen and elastin production in the skin and reduce damage caused by UV rays.
EPA and DHA are found only in fish, shellfish, and algae. Fatty fish has the highest amounts. A reputable fish oil supplement is another way to get these important fats.
Many skin care products contain green tea because it’s chock-full of antioxidants that work well when you apply them topically. But don’t just rub it on your skin — you should be drinking it too!
When you drink green tea, the antioxidants help promote DNA repair in the skin. Its most well-known antioxidant, EGCG, can fight damage from UV rays that damage the skin. Green tea also contains plenty of catechins, which can help calm skin, and it may even help with acne.
Green tea also contains anti-aging nutrients like vitamin E, which keeps skin supple and moisturized.
It’s not easy to find another food that packs quite the same antioxidant power as green tea. White and black teas are also a good source of antioxidants, but offer different benefits. Try matcha green tea with unsweetened almond milk if you don’t like it plain. Matcha also makes a great addition to smoothies.
You’ve probably noticed that there are no processed or junk foods on this list. While you may be aware that processed foods don’t really help you look and feel younger, that’s not the whole story.
Junk foods can actually accelerate the aging process, making a person look older than their years. In fact, these type of foods can set off an inflammatory response, which is one of the major triggers for wrinkles, sagging, and skin damage.
It’s just one more reason to focus on nutritious whole foods and cut back on packaged, sugary, or salty snacks.
Do you want to look younger and feel great? At Garcia Weight Loss and Wellness Centers, we offer customized weight-loss plans designed for your needs and lifestyle. Contact us today for your no-cost consultation!