Ponce de Leon was not the first person who went in search of the Fountain of Youth. From Helen of Troy to Cleopatra right up to the present day people have sought ways to turn back, or at least stay the hands of the clock. Alas, time waits for no one. The good news, however, is that by staying properly hydrated and eating the right foods you can achieve a radiant glow to your skin that will help offset the ravages of time and environment.
The old adage "you are what you eat" is absolutely true and the quality of the food you eat is reflected in your skin. How you look and feel tomorrow and next week depends on what you eat today. We've done the research and collected 8 anti-aging foods that will help you build and maintain healthy cells and strong, vibrant tissues and provide you the antioxidants you need to keep free radicals in check. So here they are, in no particular order.
1. Avocado - The avocado has been a favorite among those committed to healthy eating for centuries. The fact that it also tastes incredible is just icing on the cake. Avocado contains monounsaturated fat which, according to the renowned Harvard School of Public Health, is capable of improving cholesterol levels, stabilizing your heart rhythm and providing other desirable benefits. Monounsaturated fats are an important part of any diet aimed at creating a glowing complexion.
2. Omega-3s - Omega-3 fatty acids help repair damaged cells and produce a more vibrant, youthful appearance. Sardines, salmon, tuna, cod and various seeds such as flax seeds, walnuts and chia seeds all contain omega-3s. If you suffer from psoriasis or other skin conditions, it's important to get enough omega-3 fatty acids and even if you don’t these important compounds work tirelessly to repair damage caused by air pollution, UV rays, cold weather and more.
3. Foods Rich in Vitamins - Vitamins A, C and E are all rich in antioxidants that will help your skin fight off invasive, airborne free radicals. Foods that are rich in vitamin A include carrots, butternut squash, kale, romaine lettuce, tomatoes, sweet potato, spinach, mangos, cantaloupe and more. To get your vitamin C make sure you eat plenty of goji berries, strawberries, cranberries, grapes, oranges, papaya, kiwi, blueberries and vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, wheatgrass and more. When it comes to vitamin E you’ll want to pick up plenty of our old friend avocado along with Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, olives, turnip greens, asparagus and wheat grass. When it comes to protecting your skin antioxidants are crucial, so make sure you include plenty of the above in your regular diet.
4. Wheatgrass - We mentioned wheat grass above, but we're going to spill a bit more digital ink on this particular food because it plays an important role in producing healthy, vibrant skin. Wheatgrass is a natural detoxifier and is full of antioxidants. It's a potent food with few parallels. In fact, if you eat too much, too quickly, you may even develop a bit of a headache or start to feel a bit nauseous. So easy does it at first. No more than an ounce a day until your body adjusts. The detoxifying properties of wheatgrass are not confined to its consumption. You can also enjoy the benefits of this foodstuff by applying it directly as a wash or adding it to your bath water. Wheatgrass juice is high in chlorophyll (an excellent source of antioxidants) contains many important elements such as calcium, iron, magnesium and potassium and is rich in Vitamins A, C and E. If you’re serious about a lustrous visage wheatgrass should be on the menu.
5. Tomatoes - Tomatoes, commonly mistaken for vegetables, are one of the most beneficial fruits in the common Western diet. They’re rich in Vitamin A and also provide copious amounts of lycopene which helps protect you from damage by the sun. Tomatoes are another excellent source of the antioxidants necessary to fight airborne free radicals so they’re an essential tool in the quest for radiant skin. Tests have shown that a diet rich in tomatoes can actually help build a natural defense against UV rays, promote the production of collagen and prevent premature aging of the skin.
6. Cacao - Cacao is the original Olmec word that “cocoa” is derived from. Today the word has been resurrected in order to create a distinction between the familiar, often highly processed cocoa products we’re all familiar with and a type of cocoa that remains in a largely unprocessed state. That said, the truly important point is that if you want to have a beautifully radiant complexion the antioxidants in this basic type of chocolate will help you get it. Cacao also is believed to improve circulation, which is vital in maintaining healthy skin and contains high levels of flavonols which are known to combat skin damage.
7. Walnuts - With walnuts, we turn our attention back to the omega-3 fatty acids so important in maintaining vibrant skin. Walnuts are also a good source of alpha-linoleic acid which helps promote moisture retention and contributes to a soft, supple feeling. Walnuts may also help you sleep better and everyone knows how important getting enough sleep is to the maintenance of healthy skin.
8. Coconut - We wrap up this overview of anti-aging foods with coconut. Coconuts are an all-purpose foodstuff that can be eaten, added to lotions, drank as a beverage or used as an oil for cooking, baking or as a supplement. Coconut oil contains medium-chain triglycerides that are transformed by the liver into ketone bodies your own body can then use as fuel in place of carbs. When used topically coconut oil penetrates deep into the skin and helps generate a smooth, supple look.
Your skin is a living thing and like all living things, it relies on a proper diet in order to look and feel its best. Make sure you include plenty of the above profiled anti-aging foods in your diet and you’ll be sure to like what you see when you look in the mirror.