You’ve heard it said before: “You are what you eat.” In fact, everything you consume eventually becomes a part of your physical body. This is especially true when it comes to your skin. “The healthier the foods are that you consume,” says Samantha Heller, MS, RD, a clinical nutritionist at NYU Medical Center, “the better your skin will look.”
You need look no further than your diet to help you achieve the goal of achieving youthful skin. Although there is no single magic food that can single handedly remove wrinkles from your skin, nutrient-rich fruits, vegetables, seafood, grains and nuts provide anti-aging benefits to this largest organ of the human body. Following are 6 of the best foods that can help promote skin youthfulness:
1. Red bell peppers
These vibrantly colored vegetables provide your skin with an anti-aging advantage. A half-cup of sliced or chopped red peppers will deliver more than 100% of your dietary requirement of vitamin C, which is a wrinkle-fighting nutrient. UK researchers studied vitamin C intake in 4, 025 female subjects and found that those who consumed more vitamin C had significantly reduced skin wrinkles and less dryness. Other plant-based sources of vitamin C include: pomegranates, citrus fruits, and camu-camu berries, which contain 30 to 60 times more vitamin C than a fresh orange, the highest amount of vitamin C of any botanical source.
These antioxidant-rich berries can offset free radical activity, which can harm skin cells and reduce collagen, making skin lose elasticity and become wrinkle-prone. Consuming half a cup of blueberries literally doubles the amount of antioxidants that average Americans get in one day. Blueberries are the leader of the pack, if you want to slow down the free radical aging process.
Avocados are chock full of healthy monounsaturated fats, which assist in hydrating the skin. Healthy fat can also support the absorption of nutrients and vitamins that the skin needs. Avocados are high in skin-moisturizing vitamin E and glutathione, which is an outstanding anti-aging and detoxifying substance. Glutathione flushes toxins from your system, and thereby helps eliminate lines and wrinkles. It has even been shown to slow the development of certain cancers. Other foods rich in healthy fat: extra virgin olive oil, walnuts, macadamia nut oil.
Nuts are yet another remarkable source of healthy omega fatty acids, which nourish and youthify the skin. Walnuts, in particular, contain the most omega-3s. Some nuts, such as almonds, are also abundant in vitamin E, and possess anti-inflammatory properties that can help alleviate skin conditions like acne, psoriasis, and eczema. A handful of mixed nuts delivers a plethora of skin-smoothing benefits.
Salmon is rich in healthy (and anti-aging) ingredients, including omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s contain alpha-linolenic acid, which reduces skin dryness and keeps skin smooth, soft, and supple. Some studies suggest that omega-3s, especially from salmon, may reduce inflammation, help eliminate skin problems (like psoriasis), and keep cancer-causing cells from developing and spreading. Other anti-aging foods that are rich in omega-3s: eggs, fortified milk, flax and chia seeds.
The skin of grapes contain resveratrol, which combats inflammation, delays skin aging, and fights skin damage caused by UV light and the sun. This may be why this super nutrient is being intensively researched as a possible anti-aging agent. Research findings recently published in a Canadian journal titled Applied Physiology Nutrition and Metabolism have shown that cells from old humans respond favorably to resveratrol when subjected to experimental stress conditions which mimic the changes that take place during aging in humans. Other studies show that it can increase life span in small organisms like worms and flies.