Eat your way to young, healthy, glowing skin!
By Danielle Miller, GalTime
There are many skin treatments advertised today, especially during winter, when skin tends to be especially high-maintenance. Some products claim to soften skin and give you a youthful glow, some claim to erase wrinkles. But what if you could help improve the way you look simply by watching what you eat and drink? According to health and nutrition experts, it is possible to look younger by eating specific foods and avoiding others.
Peggy Kotsopoulos, nutritionist and author of Must Have Been Something I Ate, recommends eating certain foods on a regular basis to attain a more youthful complexion:
Red grapes, Black currants, and Goji berries (or wolfberries)
“These fruits contain Polyphenols, antioxidants with amazing health benefits,” advises Kotsopoulos “Goji berries are one of the most beautifying fruits around. Start adding this superfood to your diet and watch the transformation begin! Goji berries are among the highest antioxidant-containing foods and are thought to improve skin complexion and contain anti-aging properties. Their claim to fame is their high concentration of carotenoids, in particular beta carotene, which converts into antioxidant vitamin A and helps treat acne.”
Kakadu plum, Camu camu, Guava, Black Currants, Red pepper, Parsley, Kiwi, and Broccoli
These foods are among the richest in Vitamin C. “Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant. Not only does it help to protect against oxidative stress and free-radical damage as a result of physical stress, but vitamin C can also helps curb the large spikes in cortisol as a response to mental stress,” says Kotsopoulos.
Turnip greens, Swiss chard, Spinach, Mustard greens and Asparagus
“These foods are rich in copper,” explains Kotsopoulos. “Copper is one of the most abundant minerals in our body and is essential in the production of the enzyme found in the skin that repairs all damage caused by free-radicals and produces skin-building cells. It also aids in the production of collagen and is what gives color to hair, skin and eyes.”
Leeks, Cucumber skin, Green beans and Strawberries
“These foods are rich in Silica,” advises Kotsopoulos. “Silica is a trace mineral essential for healthy skin. It strengthens connective tissues, tendons, cartilage, muscles, hair and nails. Silica improves your skin’s elasticity and helps repair wounds.”
There are also certain foods that experts say actually age your skin when part of your regular diet. These include:
Sugars and trans fats
“These are found in processed refined foods, white flour and fast foods. Excess sugar attaches itself to collagen in a process called "glycation," making the skin stiff and inflexible. Losing this elastic resilience of young skin will give the skin deep wrinkles and make it look old. Trans fats clog and stiffen the arteries and smaller blood vessels producing the same results,” says Ann A. Rosenstein, author of Diet Myths Busted; Food Facts Not Nutrition Fiction.
Fried foods and BBQ charred foods
“Modern diets are largely heat-processed (deep fried, roasting, BBQ charred) and as a result contain high levels of advanced glycation end products. (These products) contribute to collagen breakdown in skin, leading to more wrinkles and a ‘crusted looking skin,’” advises registered dietitian Dina Khader.
Foods and beverages that dehydrate you
Coffee (caffeinated products)
“When you are tired, you often look it – and the most common cause of fatigue is dehydration,” explains Kotsopoulos. “A good rule of thumb is to drink half your body weight in ounces. So if you weight 130 lbs, you need 65 ounces of water a day – just over eight cups.”
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