10 Superfoods for Youthful Skin
It was the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates who pronounced, “Let food be thy medicine” – and, in the 21st century, we can ask food to be medicinal and also anti-aging. Hippocrates was the first person to believe that diseases were caused by diet and lifestyle factors and he was certainly onto something. By choosing to eat foods rich in antioxidants and phytochemicals, we can help prevent the onset of degenerative diseases and look and feel more youthful.
Of course, not all food is created equal in the fight against father time. Some experts say the secret to staying young can be found in certain fruits and vegetables, tea, spices and various other foods rich in antioxidants and other potentially age-deterring compounds.
Since skin is our largest organ, it tends to be where we see aging first. Why does skin appear to age so rapidly? As we grow older, skin cells regenerate more slowly and gravity takes effect, making it difficult for the epidermis to repair itself. We also produce fewer hormones with age, which thins skin, leaving it more vulnerable to damage. What’s more, oil-producing glands become less active, resulting in dry, fragile tissue. These effects are exacerbated by environmental conditions such as ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which harms skin proteins and accelerates the visible signs of aging, including blemishes, discoloration, sagging, and fine lines.
While these realities can be upsetting, “The best part of the art of living is to know how to grow old gracefully,” said American philosopher Eric Hoffer—and by this, he did not mean fighting aging skin with chemical creams, Botox injections, and other unnatural, invasive treatments. A healthier approach to growing old is to exercise and eat right.
And eating right is even more important to aging gracefully than previously presumed. New research shows that a diet rich in certain nutrients may prevent and reverse skin aging more effectively than expensive treatments. A study of more than 4,000 women found a strong correlation between aging skin and poor dietary habits, such as getting too few vitamins, mineral and antioxidants. Women with above-average intakes of vitamin C and linoleic acid—an omega-6 fatty acid found in plant-based oils—who ate fewer fats and carbohydrates were more likely to have healthier, youthful skin.
How we eat definitely affects our skin and how we age. A diet full of healthy, whole foods provides important nutrients and antioxidants to slow the effects of aging and enable cell repair. Stock up on the following foods to help your skin stay smooth, supple, and young—no matter what your age.
Carrots and other bright-orange foods, such as sweet potatoes, are excellent sources of Vitamin A. Best known for its crucial role in aiding vision, Vitamin A is also vital for maintaining the body’s outer epithelial tissue. Vitamin A is necessary for skin maintenance and repair.
2. Tea & Coffee
Research shows the antioxidants in tea and coffee are providing biomarkers in our blood, which indicate they help to protect us from the damaging effects of oxidation.
Are excellent sources of Vitamin E and lutein, both of which promote healthy skin. Vitamin E can help reduce the sun’s harmful effects, particularly in conjunction with other antioxidants. Other research suggests that the nutrient helps combat collagen breakdown. Lutein, a carotenoid found in leafy greens, increases skin hydration, improves skin elasticity, and protects against deterioration of beneficial lipids that keep skin plump and firm.
4. Brazil Nuts & Sunflower Seeds
These contain selenium – which helps activate glutathione, helping to regenerate other antioxidants in the body such as Vitamin C and E.
These have one of the highest Vitamin C concentrations of any fruit, with 76 mg in a single kiwi. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that quenches free radicals, which cause skin damage. Vitamin C is also crucial to the production of collagen, a protein that helps maintain skin firmness and prevent sagging.
Fish such as salmon, tuna and mackerel are a potent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to prevent heart disease and cancer.
7. Coconut Water
This is one of the most hydrating fluids, as it is an isotonic solution, almost identical to blood plasma. Your cells will remain plump and hydrated, giving you glowing skin
8. Red Wine
Red wine is high in a compound called resveratrol which has been shown to reduce telomere shortening, a major cause of the ageing process.
Turmeric has been proven to be as effective as anti-inflammatory drugs. India, where turmeric is eaten daily, has the lowest rates of stomach cancer in the world.
Full of Vitamin K, which protects against osteoporosis by bolstering bone-mineral density, spinach is a renowned muscle builder.
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