You watch what you eat. You make sure to exercise. And you take supplements to stay healthy. Because you understand that aging gracefully doesn’t just mean sitting back and letting yourself go.
But if you’re like a lot of folks you may be overlooking a very important part of your anti-aging plan, and that’s fighting off skin aging. Don’t put up with sagging, dry and wrinkled skin. Put your best face forward and look years younger by eating more of these five anti-aging, skin smoothing foods.
1. Sunflower seeds:
Crunchy sunflower seeds aren’t just a tasty snack. They’re also a terrific way to nourish your skin and turn back the hands of time.
Brimming with skin-friendly omega-6 fatty acids, sunflower seeds can help quench thirsty dry skin.1 And the little seed’s manganese content supports younger looking skin on several different levels.2 Manganese plays an important role in the production of skin strengthening collagen, leaving you with firmer smoother skin. And the mineral is also a natural antioxidant helping to protect your skin against oxygen-linked and ultraviolet (UV) light damage.
With healthy amounts of vitamin E and beta carotene, sunflower seeds fight aging by helping to keep your skin looking smooth and youthful. Researchers says beta carotene could help create a protective barrier against damaging UV rays and vitamin E protects your skin against free radical damage, scarring and wrinkling.3,4
Packed full of more inflammation fighting antioxidants than red wine or green tea pomegranates can help soothe and protect your skin.5 In lab experiments pomegranate extracts were shown to defend human skin cells against damaging UVA and UVB light.6,7
Hint: This delicious winter fruit doesn’t just soothe skin it also puts up a fight against Alzheimer’s, cancer and heart disease.
When most folks want to increase the amount of anti-aging vitamin C in their diet they turn to citrus fruits. But believe it or not, juicy red strawberries pack in far more C per serving than either grapefruit or oranges.
Vitamin C fights the free radicals that damage skin cells and helps form the collagen that smooths away the fine lines and wrinkles that form as we age. According to research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition folks who eat more vitamin-C rich food have less wrinkles and age-related dry skin.8
Experts also say the antioxidants in topical vitamin C can limit some of the damage that’s caused by UV light.
Cooked tomatoes are rich in lycopene a phytochemical that boosts collagen strength giving your skin a more youthful and smooth appearance. But lycopene’s benefits don’t stop with collagen boosting. A natural free-radical fighter, researchers say bright red lycopene can help fight off the damaging and skin aging effects of UV rays.
A study published in the British Journal of Dermatology showed that eating about five tablespoons of tomato paste a day slashed reddening of skin exposed to UV light by 33 percent, compared to folks who didn’t eat the tomato product.10 The lycopene-rich paste also reduced the mitochondrial DNA damage that’s typically seen with sunburn.
If you want to raise the amount of lycopene you’re getting make sure to cook your tomatoes. Cooking them breaks down the cell wells releasing more of the valuable nutrient.
Hint: Tomato paste isn’t just for spaghetti it tastes terrific in omelets, goes great on top of burgers and adds a delicious pop of flavor to just about any soup.
As we’ve explained before avocados are an excellent source of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs). MUFAs rehydrate dry flaky skin for a softer more supple appearance while fighting also against aging UV damage at the same time. Plus our favorite funny little green fruit is packed with wrinkle-erasing vitamin C and plenty of free radical fighting antioxidants.
Hint: Avocados also make an excellent hydrating facial mask.
You may not be able to literally stop the clock, but you sure can make your skin look like you did. Leave your skin looking smoother and younger than it has in years by adding these five anti-aging foods to your menu starting today.
1. “Essential Fatty Acids and Skin Health,” Oregon State University, Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Information Center, lpi.oregonstate.edu, Accessed 1/13/2017
2. “Maganese,” Oregon State University, Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Information Center, lpi.oregonstate.edu, Accessed 1/13/2017
3. “Protection from sunburn with beta-Carotene–a meta-analysis,” Photochem Photobiol. 2008 Mar-Apr;84(2):284-8
4. “Discovering the link between nutrition and skin aging,” Dermatoendocrinol. 2012 Jul 1; 4(3): 298–307
5. “Potent health effects of pomegranate,” Adv Biomed Res. 2014; 3: 100
6. “Protective effects of standardized pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) polyphenolic extract in ultraviolet-irradiated human skin fibroblasts,” J Agric Food Chem. 2008 Sep 24;56(18):8434-41
7. “Photochemopreventive effect of pomegranate fruit extract on UVA-mediated activation of cellular pathways in normal human epidermal keratinocytes,” Photochem Photobiol. 2006 Mar-Apr;82(2):398-405
8. “Dietary nutrient intakes and skin-aging appearance among middle-aged American women,” Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 Oct;86(4):1225-31
9. “Vitamin C and Skin Health,” Oregon State University, Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Information Center, lpi.oregonstate.edu, Accessed 1/13/2017
10. “Tomato paste rich in lycopene protects against cutaneous photodamage in humans in vivo: a randomized controlled trial,” Br J Dermatol. 2011 Jan;164(1):154-62
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