The skin care market is a multi-billion dollar industry in the US. I constantly notice signs and commercials advertising new products promising younger, smoother skin, but what many consumers don't realize is that the foods we eat impact our skin as much, if not more, than the cleansers and creams we apply topically. For healthier, younger, glow-y skin, try adding these eight foods to your diet:
1. Salmon, sardines, and anchovies
These fish contain high amounts of dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE). DMAE protects skin by strengthening cell membranes and guarding against the deterioration that causes premature aging. It also increases levels of acetylcholine, a neutrotransmitter that makes your muscles contract and tighten under the skin, keeping your face looking toned and firm. DMAE can also decreases production of arachidonic acid, which leads to wrinkle formation and sagging of the skin.
2. Broccoli, spinach, and Brussels sprouts
Green leafy vegetables like these are rich in alpha lipoic acid (ALA). Because of its high concentration of antioxidants that fight the free radicals that cause aging, ALA is one of the most powerful anti-aging agents available. It also acts as an anti-inflammatory, decreasing under-eye circles, puffiness, redness and blotches, all while minimizing the appearance of wrinkles.
Vitamin C, when consumed in fresh produce, helps reverse skin damage caused by the sun and pollutants. It stimulates collagen production, causing new skin growth, wrinkle reduction and an overall smoother texture. Since a single red grapefruit contains more than 100% of the recommended daily value for vitamin C, it's the perfect way to get your skin fix.
The US Department of Agriculture identifies the blueberry as containing the most antioxidants per serving of any fruit. Not only will those antioxidants keep your skin looking young and smooth, but blueberries also protect against memory loss, cardiovascular disease and cancer. So while they're a potent skin elixir, they'll certainly help the rest of your body stay young and healthy as well.
Didn't realize your favorite aphrodisiac shellfish could actually be helping your skin? Oysters contain high amounts of zinc, a mineral your body needs to make the proteins that repair damaged tissues and form new ones. Getting enough zinc in the diet benefits not only your skin, but also your nails, hair, and eyes.
These tasty little nuts are full of omega-3 fatty acids, something your body desperately needs but unfortunately can't produce on its own. When it come to your skin, omega-3s work to protect your cell membranes. When the membranes are strong, harmful agents are kept out, nutrients are allowed to enter in and waste products are eliminated from the cell. In addition, strong cell membranes retain more water, leading to moister, smoother skin.
A powerful source of the antioxidant lycopene, tomatoes prevent premature aging and help to protect skin from the damaging effects of the sun. In a study published in the Journal of Nutrition, participants with a diet rich in tomatoes suffered minimal sun damage after being exposed to UV rays, as compared to those who didn't include tomatoes in the diet. The body can process lycopene best after tomatoes are cooked or processed, so concentrate on including tomato sauces and soups in your diet.
Eggs contain two key nutrients that are vital to skin health: choline and lutein. The first builds up the fatty portions of cell membranes that are responsible for healthy, smooth skin. Choline also regulates the levels of the B vitamins in our bodies which are needed to produce the proteins that keep skin firm and smooth, collagen and elastin. Lutein, the second key nutrient in eggs, is an antioxidant that protects the elasticity of the skin and prevents skin damage.
Looking for even more recommendations on foods that are great for your skin? Check these out: