Nowadays it seems like everyone is searching for the fountain of youth. People spend endless amounts of money on pricey creams, home remedies and even surgical procedures in hopes to maintain their youthful glow. But you have to remember, aging is a natural process that everyone experiences as they get older. It is hard to believe, but the skin is actually the largest organ in your body, and like all organs its function and appearance deteriorates as you age.
However, unlike your other organs, your skin is exposed to the outside world and its main function is to act as a physical barrier between “you” and “the world”.
Though you cannot fight the aging process, you can slow it down and have flawless looking skin at any age without emptying your wallet on facial treatments and creams that I assure you will not work (if there was a magic potion that makes us all stay young, trust me we would all know about it). The answer is in the foods you eat. Your food choices are reflected not only in your health and weight, but in your complexion as well.RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
Incorporate these 8 “beauty foods” into your diet to maintain a flawless complexion year round!
The ultimate foods good for skin are:
Cabbage is rich in vitamin A, vitamin E and antioxidants like vitamin C, anthocyanins and sulphur. Antioxidants play a major role in skin health by eliminating free radicals which are responsible for destroying your cells and speeding up the aging process, causing wrinkles, skin discoloration, spots and other skin conditions. The abundance of vitamins A, E and C in cabbage also help to lower your cortisol levels, a hormone released by the adrenal gland. High cortisol levels lead to a more rapid break down of the skin, causing wrinkles to appear faster. Eat cabbage to help get rid of crow’s feet!
Incorporate cabbage as a side dish into your dinner menu as a health slaw with vinaigrette or toss into your favorite veggie stir fry for some extra crunch.
2. Leafy Greens
Dark leafy greens are the most concentrated source of nutrients in very few calories as they are rich in a variety of vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. Lutein is a phytochemical found in foods such as cooked spinach, kale and collard greens that have evidence for decreasing wrinkle production. Another green vegetable of particular importance pertaining to skin health is watercress.
This “beauty” green helps to eliminate patchy and uneven skin tone, a tell-tale sign of poor circulation or inadequate amounts of oxygen, blood and nutrients getting to the skin. Watercress contains high amounts of iron, which helps your red blood cells oxygenate your cells. The iodine and calcium it contains also prevents your complexion from becoming dull.
Use a variety of dark leafy greens as the base for your salads at lunch every day.
3. Citrus Fruits
One of the most popular and concentrated sources of vitamin C are citrus fruits, such as oranges, grapefruits and lemons. The vitamin C in these fruits can help fight cellulite by repairing skin collagen. Citrus fruits are also a rich source of antioxidants like flavanones, anthocyanins, and polyphenols which, like the leafy greens, helps fight off free radicals and keep your skin cells alive and healthy!
Start your morning off with a half grapefruit or quartered orange for a boost of vitamin C.
These tiny seeds have become a hot item in the world of food and nutrition. Flaxseeds are abundant in vitamins, minerals, fiber and lignans, but the component in flaxseed that places it on this list is the large amount of omega 3 fatty acids they contain.
Omega 3’s are healthy fats that have anti-inflammatory properties that reduce skin redness, irritation, and tissue inflammation. Omega 3 fatty acids also help to hydrate the skin, keeping your skin smooth, soft and bright. You can even use flaxseed oil as a moisturizer for your skin! Other foods that are concentrated in omega 3 fatty acids are walnuts, salmon and chia seeds.
Sprinkle flaxseeds into your yogurt, cottage cheese or add to your morning smoothie.
5. Sunflower Seeds
One of the most common skin complaints as you get older are age spots. Sunflower seeds are one of the richest sources of vitamin E, which can help eliminate preexisting age spots as well as prevent new ones from forming.
Toss some sunflower seeds into your salad or use sunflower seed butter on your morning toast.
6. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes get a lot of attention for being a rich source of vitamin C, which enhances collagen production. Aging of the skin occurs as it loses elasticity, so the more collagen you have in your skin, the less creases will form! Beta carotene is a component in sweet potatoes that gives them their orange color.
Sweet potatoes are versatile. Enjoy a sweet potato baked, roasted or as baked sweet potato fries with your dinner.
Sun exposure is a major cause for early skin aging, and the phytochemical called lycopene found in tomatoes helps to eliminate skin-aging free radicals caused by ultraviolet rays. To gain the most of this sun-shielding nutrient, cook tomatoes rather than eat them raw as the heat enhances the absorptive power of lycopene in your body.
Add fresh tomato sauce to your whole wheat pasta for a boost of lycopene.
8. Canned Tuna
This one might seem unexpected, but this popular sandwich ingredient contains a special nutrient called selenium. Selenium helps preserve elastin, a protein that keeps your skin smooth and tight. It is also an antioxidant that fights against free radicals caused by sun damage.
Aside from the traditional tuna sandwich, try tuna croquettes, tuna casserole or toss tuna into a large green leafy salad.
Though these are eight foods that will support skin health, there are hundreds of different foods that contain similar nutrients that you can incorporate into your diet to give you a flawless glow. Though not mentioned as one of the eight, I want to be sure to give a shout out to water!
Drinking adequate amounts of water throughout the day is one of the best ways to hydrate your body and your skin. The beverages you drink are just as impactful on your complexion as foods are. If you need a little pizazz to your water, give it a flavorful boost by squeezing in lemons, oranges and strawberries to give your skin an extra kick of vitamin C.
Also check out this 21 days to WOW diet and exercise plan that will get you looking and feeling amazing!