Want smoother, more radiant, younger-looking skin? Unfortunately there is no such thing as a fountain of youth. However, there certainly are things that you can do to keep yourself looking youthful for as long as possible. One of these things is eating a variety of foods that rich in anti-aging nutrients and antioxidants.
Certain foods contain compounds that have been shown to have a beneficial effect on your skin. Some of the more important ones are:
Antioxidants help keep free radicals in check. Free radicals are small particles that can potentially cause a lot of damage in your body. Among other things they can harm skin cells and reduce collagen. This makes your skin more wrinkle-prone.
The ability to protect your body from free radical damage makes foods that are rich in antioxidants an essential part of any anti-aging diet.
Omega 3 fatty acids
There is a study that shows omega 3 fatty acids may actually protect the skin from overexposure to sun (sunburn). They may also play an important role in preventing the damaging effects of too much sun, like skin cancer.
Diet tips for radiant skin
Here are some general guidelines if you want to adopt a diet for healthier, younger looking skin…
Go for natural/whole foods
Make sure your diet contains plenty of foods that are naturally jammed with nutrients, like fruits, veggies, nuts, fish, grass fed beef and other types of lean protein.
Go for variation
Try to incorporate a rich variety of foods into your diet. This helps you provide your body with all the vitamins and minerals it needs.
Look beyond diet
Although a healthy, well balance diet is important, it’s only part of the anti-aging equation. Exercise, getting enough sleep and protecting yourself from over-exposure to sun also play an important role in keeping your skin smooth and radiant.
Best anti-wrinkle foods
Although you should always strive to eat a variety of natural, nutrient rich foods, there are certain fruits, vegetables and herbs you definitely want to include in your diet if you want healthier skin.
Anti-aging fruits for skin
Fruits should be part of your diet if you want to maintain a smooth, radiant skin. Although it’s best to eat a wide variety of different fruits, some are better than others when it comes to fighting the symptoms of aging. This is due to their high antioxidant content and the combination of nutrients they contain.
Blueberries are extremely rich in antioxidants. This makes them leader of the pack when it comes to fighting the damage caused by free radicals. Just 1/2 cup of blueberries with about double the amount of antioxidants the average American gets in one day.
Yes, avocados are actually considered a fruit… not a vegetable. Avocados are rich in moisturizing vitamin E. They are also boast a healthy type of monounsaturated fat, which helps keep your skin hydrated. Besides easing dry skin, studies show that vitamin E may also help protect your skin against damaging UV rays and reduce free radicals.
Goji berries contain a wide range of phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals. They are also extremely rich in antioxidants. This makes them a powerful weapon in the war against free radical damage.
Pomgrenates are packed with vitamin C. They also contain more antioxidants than red wine and green tea. Not only will they help keep your skin radiant and wrinkle-free, they may also reduce your risk of skin cancer.
The strong antioxidant compounds found in kiwis help firm the skin and delay the formation of fine lines and wrinkles. They are also rich in Vitamin C and E, which helps protect your skin damage caused by UV rays.
Watermelon, as the name implies, is a great source of hydration. It’s also rich in the the skin protecting antioxidant lycopene.
Oranges are rich in beta-carotene, a type of cartonoid that is linked to the reduction of sunburns and is shown to improve the skin’s ability to defend itself against UV rays.
Vegetables for radiant skin
Like skin health promoting fruits, there are also vegetables that have been shown to be especially beneficial to keeping your skin smooth and supple.
Red bell peppers
The vitamin C content in red bell peppers makes them great for your skin. Just half a cup of chopped red pepper will give you more than 100% of your daily dietary reference intake of vitamin C.
Research conducted in the United Kingdom found that the skin of women who ate more vitamin C had less wrinkling and was less dry than women who ate less vitamin C.
Red bell peppers are also rich in the antioxidant Lycopene.
Onions are rich in rich in quercetin. This is an antioxidant that helps protect against wrinkles. Studies also indicate that quercetin may protect skin from harmful UVB rays.
Like red bell peppers and watermelon, tomatoes are also rich in lycopene.
Studies with lycopene have shown that people who consumed 55 grams of lycopene in tomato paste per day had 33% more protection against sunburn compared to a control group after 12 weeks.
Tip: Lycopene’s potency is actually increased with cooking. This means that tomato sauce and tomato paste have more concentrated amounts of lycopene than fresh tomatoes.
As nutritionist Catherine Ebeling says – “If its green and leafy, it’s good for your skin too!”.
Leafy greens like spinach, kale, baby greens, arugula and swiss chard are packed with antioxidants that prevent wrinkles and keep your skin glowing.
Leafy greens are delicious in salads. They are also a great ingredient for your anti-aging smoothies.
Sweet Potatoes are packed with carotenoids and vitamin C. These boost collagen production, which controls the strength, firmness, and suppleness of the skin.
Anti-aging herbs for skin
There are many herbs that are rich in antioxidants, helping to prevent the damage caused by free radicals.
Some of the best ones are:
Tea for younger skin
Certain teas are also rich in antioxidants. They also contain a host of different vitamins, amino acids, and catechins that work holistically to, stimulate collagen production and maintain healthy skin cells.
Some of the best anti-aging teas are:
- Green tea
- White tea
- Rooibos tea
- Oolong tea
Fatty fish for radiant skin
As mentioned above, omega 3 fatty acids are an essential part of any healthy skin diet. One of the best sources of omega 3 fatty acids is fatty fish. You should aim for at least two 3-ounce servings of fatty fish every week.
Salmon is one of the best ways to get healthy omega-3 fats in your diet. It also contains vitamin D and antioxidants that keep your skin healthy and may help reduce the risk of skin cancer.
Other foods that promote skin health
Eggs contain the antioxidants lutein and zeaxathin. These help protect your skin against UV damage. They also help keep your skin firm, soft and hydrated. They are also rich in protein, which is vital to maintaining the elasticity of your skin.
Dark chocolate is rich in flavonoids that help to keep your skin hydrated, increase oxygen to the skin and boost blood circulation. They also improve the skin’s ability to protect itself from the sun. Make sure you choose chocolate that contains at least 70% cacao.
Besides incorporating the right foods into your diet, you should also avoid the wrong ones. Certain foods you might be eating every day might actually be speeding up the aging proces.
See also: 4 Foods that make you age faster
For an extensive resource on the anti-aging properties of certain foods, I recommend The Top 101 Foods that Fight Aging by nutritionists Mike Geary and Catherine Ebeling. It also contains a whole section on eating your way to a smoother, younger skin.