If you’re looking for a way to keep your skin looking young and fresh without resorting to toxic chemicals, you’ll be pleased to learn that your diet can make a surprisingly big difference in the appearance of your skin. Many of the things we eat naturally contain vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that can help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and give you that youthful glow. You can toss those fancy bottles of skin cream with unpronounceable ingredients and head straight to the market if you really want to see a difference in your skin. Here is a look at 10 of the best foods for younger-looking skin.
You’re probably already aware that eating salmon is very beneficial to your health, but did you know that it also has tremendous benefits for your skin? The omega-3 fatty acids in salmon help reduce dryness, leaving your skin looking soft, supple and youthfully smooth. You can think of eating salmon as being akin to moisturizing your skin from the inside out. Omega-3 can also help guard your skin against damage from the sun, which is a huge factor in skin aging. In fact, some recent studies suggest that it can even keep skin cancer from growing. Try to eat at least two three-ounce servings of wild salmon per week to keep your skin looking young and healthy; avoid the farm-raised varieties.(1,2,3,4)
Avocados sometimes get a bad rap for their fat content, but they are actually full of the good type of fat – monounsaturated fat – that helps keep your skin hydrated and boosts the absorption of important vitamins. In addition, it contains a high amount of skin-friendly vitamin E, which is known for its ability to moisturize, protect against UV rays and eliminate free radicals. This creamy fruit also contains a high amount of glutathione, an antioxidant all-star that helps your system flush out toxins and can help ease wrinkles and acne. Best of all, you can fit this delicious fruit into your diet in a number of ways, whether you eat it sliced, add it to a sandwich or salad, or use it as a base for homemade guacamole.(1,2,4)
Organic strawberries stand out as a top choice for healthy skin because of their high vitamin C content. This powerful antioxidant boosts collagen production, which helps keep your skin feeling firm and looking smooth. In fact, women who have lower intakes of vitamin C are actually more likely to have lines and wrinkles. Although other foods also contain Vitamin C, one cup of strawberries actually contains as much as 130 percent of the daily value of vitamin C. Eat a handful of organic strawberries every day or add them to some plain organic yogurt so your skin can reap the benefits.(5)
Proper cell regeneration plays an important role in keeping your skin looking great. On the other hand, mutated cells can lead to a host of undesirable effects, from pesky issues like uneven pigmentation in the skin to more serious problems such as cancer. The antioxidants and EGCG found in green tea can help your cells maintain a healthy life cycle and grow correctly. To make sure you are getting the purest product possible for maximum benefits, skip the packaged tea bags and brew loose leaf green tea yourself. Your skin will thank you!(2)
Organic red peppers provide more than just a satisfying crunch – half a cup of chopped red pepper also gives your body more than 100 percent of the daily recommended intake of vitamin C. One of this vitamin’s many great qualities is its ability to fight wrinkles. In fact, a recent UK study involving more than 4,000 women found that those with a higher intake of vitamin C were less prone to dry skin and wrinkles! If you don’t enjoy the taste of this colorful fruit on its own, try dipping it in some homemade hummus.(1)
Extra virgin olive oil
The essential fatty acids (EFAs) found in extra-virgin olive oil can do your skin a lot of favors. One of the biggest benefits, according to a study in Lancet Oncology, is its ability to help the skin resist damage from harmful UV rays. EFAs also help cell membranes retain moisture. If you want supple skin, you should consume about a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil each day, because the human body isn’t able to synthesize EFAs on its own. It’s great on salads or grilled vegetables, or you can drizzle some over sliced avocado for a very skin-friendly and filling snack.(3,5)
Organic blueberries get a lot of attention for their “superfood” status, and their special powers even extend to your body’s biggest organ: your skin. Eating just half a cup of blueberries will give you nearly double the amount of antioxidants that the average American consumes in a day. Why do you want more antioxidants? The answer is simple: They help fight the free radicals that harm your skin cells and reduce the amount of collagen in your skin, which makes you much more prone to wrinkles. These polyphenol-rich berries can even help promote cell regeneration for new skin. They are delicious on their own, or you can mix them with other berries to make an antioxidant-rich smoothie.(1,2)
If you only eat sweet potatoes on Thanksgiving, your skin is missing out! Packed with beta-carotene, sweet potatoes help your body produce vitamin A, which protects your skin and increases cell turnover. It is so beneficial for your skin that many commercial skincare products contain retinoids, which are forms of vitamin A. Thankfully, you can skip the toxic chemical-laden products entirely and just bake or roast some sweet potatoes for a hearty side dish that will double as food for your skin.(1)
You can get antioxidants from green tea and even red wine, but one fruit contains even more antioxidants than these with the added bonus of a hearty dose of vitamin C: pomegranates. As if the possibility of reducing your risk of skin cancer weren’t enough reason to seek out this tart, red fruit, the prospect of diminishing the appearance of wrinkles and brightening your skin will certainly send you to your local co-op or farmers’ market in search of organic pomegranate. Don’t skip the seeds – they are full of nutrients your skin will love!(1)
If you want to fight skin inflammation, look no further than grapes. The resveratrol found in the skin of these plump little fruits can counteract inflammation, and it might even help fight the effects of UV damage. It is also believed to slow the aging process. Organic grapes make for a nice, portable snack that can improve your complexion. Other sources of this useful polyphenol include cocoa powder and peanuts.
As you can see, there is no need to resort to commercial skincare products that are full of toxic chemicals and other potentially harmful ingredients that might help your skin’s appearance but could do more harm than good to the rest of your body. By choosing the right foods, you can give your skin all the nutrients it needs to shed years off of your appearance and give it that youthful glow you desire!