What we eat can seriously impact the way we look. With having to eat several times every day, why not take advantage of this by eating the foods that make you look your best?
Get the most nutritional bang for your buck by maximizing the nutrient-density of your food. When looking for foods that are best for your skin, it’s important to look for foods that are high in antioxidants, which combat free radicals; free radicals damage cells and promote aging.
Great antioxidants for skin protection and anti-aging are Vitamins A and E. Also include Vitamin C, which promotes the growth of collagen, a protein that plumps up the appearance of the skin. Omega 3 Fatty Acids are also important for great skin. Omega 3’s are anti-inflammatory, and responsible for the health of cell membranes. These are good fats and influence the cells ability to hold water, leading to moister and softer skin.
- Blueberries – high in antioxidants and Vitamin C. The phytonutrients in these bad boys decrease free radical levels that are linked to aging. They are packed with vitamins C, E, riboflavin, niacin and folate. They are also anti-inflammatory. The antioxidants and phytochemicals found in blueberries help to neutralize free radicals.
- Walnuts – the only nut containing significant amounts of omega 3 fatty acids – great way to get omega 3’s if you don’t eat fish. Omega 3’s help lock moisture and nutrients in the skin. They have been shown to plump up the look of the skin, as well as reduce inflammation. They are also high in Vitamin E, which is a powerful antioxidant that makes the skin smooth and glowing. Walnuts are very high in B-vitamins, especially B7 (biotin), known to strengthen hair.
- Coconut Oil – high in healthy fats and vitamins E and K, and high in minerals. Can also be used topically! My new favorite is using equal parts coconut oil and baking soda as a facial wash – try it – your skin will glow!
- Green Tea – the catechins like EGCG (antioxidants) boost blood flow and oxygen to the skin. The polyphenols in green tea help neutralize harmful free radicals, which can cause significant damage to the skin and accelerate the aging process. Green tea has anti-aging and antioxidant benefits that can help delay signs of skin aging, such as sagging skin, sun damage, age spots, fine lines and wrinkles.
- Dark Greens – full of vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. Many, such as collard greens, spinach and swiss chard contain beta-carotene, which converts to vitamin A in the body. The vitamin E found in leafy greens works with vitamin C to keep skin healthy as you age. They are rich in minerals (iron, calcium, potassium and magnesium) and vitamins (K, C, E and some B vitamins) and they provide a variety of phytonutrients including beta-carotene and lutein.
- Avocado – rich in vitamins A, C, E and K and have tons of healthy fats which makes them wonderful for healthy hair and skin.
There is a common thread amongst these foods – they are high in antioxidants, are anti-inflammatory and some have healthy fats. They pack a lot of nutrition!
On the other side of things, the foods you want to avoid are refined carbs, sugars and chemical/fake foods. They break down collagen and elastin, which are the protein fibers that keep skin firm and elastic.
Holistic Nutritionist/Colon Hydrotherapist
Owner/Founder Vitalife Digestive Wellness Clinic