Who doesn’t want younger looking skin? It is easier than you think! The foods we eat are as vital for keeping skin youthful as the skin care we use. Check out this super-food grocery list below complied by Karyn Repinski over at Prevention magazine.
Remember there are naturally occurring vitamins, minerals and micro nutrients in certain foods that help nourish and protect skin from ageing UV damage but they also boost brainpower, lower cholesterol, and improving sleep! And as we say at naturalskincare it is all about “skin and within”.
1. Romaine lettuce. Benefits: Just six leaves daily provide more than 100% of vitamin A, which revitalises skin by increasing cell turnover. It’s also packed with the mineral potassium which is terrific for dry skin – this mineral keeps cells hydrated and our skin moisturised internally!!
Health Bonus: That same serving of romaine contains 45% of the DV of vitamin K, which a recent study shows activates a protein that supports vascular health—making a future with bulging leg veins less likely. Stuff them into your smoothies!
2. Tomatoes. Benefits: These contain lycopene which helps protect skin from UV rays. Volunteers who consumed 5 tablespoons of tomato paste (high-in-lycopene ) daily for 3 months had nearly 25% more protection against sunburn. Skin also had more collagen, which prevents sagging. Indeed, German scientists report that higher skin levels of this antioxidant correlate to fewer fine lines and furrows.
Health Bonus: Research suggests that lycopene may also lower your chances of heart disease: In one study, women with the highest levels of it had a 34% reduced risk.
3. Whole grain. Benefits: Forget about cutting carbs. Did you know whole grain bread, pasta, and cereal are surprisingly high in antioxidants (wheat cereal contains a comparable amount to most fruits and vegetables). Consuming additional antioxidants is key to youth-proofing your complexion, says Lisa Drayer, RD. “The levels of the body’s natural antioxidants decrease with age, so adding them to your diet becomes even more important.”
Health Bonus: A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that dieters who ate five servings of whole grains daily for 12 weeks lost twice as much stomach fat as those who ate refined carbs. The researchers credit the higher fiber in whole grains for the significant reduction in belly fat.
4: Strawberries. Benefits: One cup has up to 130% of the DV of vitamin C, a potent antioxidant that boosts production of collagen fibres that help keep skin smooth and firm. More Vitamin C may mean fewer fine lines too: Women with lower intakes were likelier to have dry, wrinkled skin. Early research also shows that ellagic acid, an antioxidant abundant in strawberries, protects the elastic fibres that keep skin from sagging. Just be sure to opt for organic.
Health Bonus: Strawberries may lower your risk of cancer by inhibiting the development of malignant cancer cells. In one study, people eating the most strawberries were 3 times less likely to develop the disease.
Did you know too that topical Vitamin C is more effective for your skin than oral supplementation? For a great but gentle formula try John Masters Vitamin C Serum for an extra glow. (Read more on Vitamin C skin benefits here).
5. Dark chocolate. Benefits: Women positively glowed after drinking just 1/2 a cup thanks to a significant increase in circulation that lasted 2 hours. A study showed that those who drank a daily 1/2 cup of cocoa (naturally high in flavonoids) for 12 weeks had significantly softer, smoother, and better hydrated skin. For quality cocoI love Milsean’s Dark Eating and Drinking Chocolate Drops or Green and Blacks Organic Hot Chocolate Drink.
Health Bonus: An 8-ounce cup of cocoa improved blood flow to the brain for 2 hours in British research. Besides better functioning on complex tasks, participants showed more brain activity in MRI scans–an indication of enhanced brain function that may reduce the risk of dementia.
6. Olive oil: A Lancet Oncology study proved that this healthy fat contains essential fatty acids that help skin resist UV damage. Essential Fatty Acids (EFA) are also part of the cell membranes that help hold in moisture. The body can’t synthesise EFAs, so consume about 1 tablespoon of olive oil daily to keep skin supple.
Health Bonus: Recent research suggests that hydroxytyrosol, a component in olive oil, lowers cholesterol and helps prevent obesity and diabetes by revving the energy centres in your cells. Using it at meals also warded off the next round of hunger pains in one study, so you’re less likely to snack.
7. Almonds: one of my favourites! For moisture surge eat a handful of almonds daily to boost levels of vitamin E, one of the most important antioxidants for skin health.
Health Bonus: Though nuts are high in calories, a new study of over 50,000 women showed that people who consumed nuts at least twice a week were less likely to gain weight than those who did not.
8. Walnuts. Benefits: These nuts are storehouses of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) , an omega-3 fat that’s a key component of the lubricating layer that keeps skin moist and supple. A 1/2-ounce serving of walnuts provides 100% of the recommended daily intake of ALA. They are also a source of copper a mineral that boosts collagen production.
Health Bonus: Eating walnuts at dinner may deliver better shut-eye. Researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Center discovered that walnuts contain melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep.
9. Eggs: Benefits: Eating just one egg a day significantly increases blood levels of lutein and zeaxanthin (but not cholesterol), which may stave off macular degeneration by protecting the retina from light damage, finds a study in the Journal of Nutrition.
For an additional health-kick for your skin try Antipodes Worship Superfruit Antioxidant Serum. This is a gorgeous raw, pure, and potent serum for the ultimate skin booster akin to a health juice packed with youth boosting antioxidants. Hello glowing skin…