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Anti-aging foods are readily available year round, inexpensive, and easy to slip into your everyday diet.
They're simple to consume, but the effects they have on skin health is potent, and many even offer protection against oxidative damage and UV rays.
We'll list the most important foods and nutrients that offer the best anti-aging benefits and how you can easily obtain them through diet and supplements.
Interested in adding more skin loving anti-aging foods to your diet?
Like: Red, Purple, Pink, Yellow, Orange, and Green...
Incorporating these skin loving foods into your diet is easy.
For example, just adding a few tablespoons of tomato paste weekly can make a big difference.
Tomato paste is loaded with lycopene - an antioxidant - which naturally protects your skin from sun damage.1
The National center for Biotechnology Information found that consuming a small amount of tomato paste can protect against photodamage.
All you need is just a few tablespoons of tomato paste daily. Dr. Oz recommends 4 tablespoons daily for general health, or you can take a lycopene supplement.
The Life Extension Foundation recommends between 10-30mgs of lycopene daily for optimal health.2
Tips to enjoy:
And when you're cooking up that pasta and tomato sauce, consider throwing in a few slices of Red peppers to support collagen production.
Yes, red peppers are loaded with vitamin C.
Pink - Well, sort of pinkish foods like salmon, shrimp, lobster, egg yolks….contain Astaxanthin ("asta-zan-thin").
This carotenoid also protects against sun damage and damaging UV rays.
Research indicates that astaxanthin also helps with fine lines, skin spots and support elasticity and firmness.3
This nutrient is a little harder to obtain, as most don't eat shrimp, salmon or lobster on a daily basis. This is where supplements come in handy.
Supplements can also help if you don’t like these foods or are allergic to them. The Life Extension Foundation recommends 4-8 mg per day.
Orange – Carrots, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, squash...are inexpensive and really easy to work into your diet and are in season all year round. They naturally contain beta-carotene which is converted to vitamin A in the body.
A study published in the Photochemistry and Photobiology found that beta-carotene along with sunscreen offers significant protection against sun damage.
More recent studies found that beta carotene offers a wide range of health benefits, from improved cognitive function to anti-cancer effects.4
Gold - Herbal teas are often overlooked for their powerful anti-aging benefits inside and outside the body. They contain a compound called Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG).
EGCG has antioxidant, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory effects for the skin. Small studies show that compounds found in green tea may help improve skin elasticity when taken orally or used topically.5
So in addition to drinking green tea daily, consider using cold tea bag compress to refresh and de-puff tired eyes.
The topical application may help improve skin wrinkles around the eyes.
Tip: Next time you make a cup of tea (use 2 bags) and place the used tea bags in the refrigerator. Next time you need a revitalize tired eyes, apply the cold tea bags over the eyes for 20 minutes.
With a beautiful scent and color - herbal teas not only have a magical calming effect on your mind and body, but they also possess powerful health benefits.
Plus, they are inexpensive and easy to find in any supermarket or drugstore!
While green tea is the most popular herbal tea - there are several other varieties (like black tea) that are just as effective for healthy skin aging and more.
Not sure which tea to go for? We break down the best top three teas for a youthful appearance and age-related disease prevention benefits. Click here to learn more.
Green – Green foods like spinach, mustard greens, kale, avocados and olives contain high amounts of vitamin E which is a great antioxidant and can help fight free radicals.
Simply put - free radicals can destroy that most important skin power house, collagen, which can lead to wrinkles and skin aging.
And don't be afraid of the good fats in the avocados and olives – they can help keep your complexion smooth and moist.
Tip: While avocados are not always in season and can be expensive, spinach, mustard greens, and kale are inexpensive and always available. I throw them into soups, stews, shakes, salads, stir fries and even in pesto and hummus dips.
We covered some of the best food for healthy skin that are easy to slip into your every day diet.
But, what about the foods that aren't so great for your skin? Some foods cause inflammation, which is not good for your skin or your health.
So here is a list of common foods we all eat that you might want to consider limiting.
We'll give some suggestions on how to swap them out for a healthier version that benefits your skin and your health.
Want to protect your skin from aging too fast? Limit foods like simple carbohydrates!
Not only are these foods detrimental to the skin, but can also wreak havoc on your health – because of the effect it has on insulin and glucose levels.
Just remember, insulin spikes can accelerate aging throughout the body and damage the all important collagen - your skin's best friend.
Diet/food substitute for better skin
Ok, you don't have to give up simple carbs up completely - just try to make small substitutions here and there. It will make a difference for skin and all over health. Here is an example:
Breakfast: Instead of sugary cereals and milk everyday, try a protein smoothie. Mix yogurt, protein powder and some frozen fruit or peanut butter.
This takes less than 5 minutes to make and tastes great!
TIP: Peanut butter has an amazing appetite curbing ability too.
Lunch: Instead of a white bread sandwich and chips/pretzels, try a protein rich soup and salad. Or add last night's left over chicken (and veggies on top of a big salad.
You can also add a can of tuna too.
Snack: Carrot sticks with peanut butter, cheese sticks or hummus is a great choice.
Dinner: Try to replace a portion of your simple carb with a favorite veggie or extra salad.
Well, I guess you get the message. It's all about making small replacements here and there...wherever you can to reduce the amount of simple processed carbs.
For best results, try to limit foods that cause skin inflammation.
Don't try to make radical changes to your diet, that won't work. Just slowly try to sneak these healthier choices into each meal.
With a little effort, you can work these important anti-aging foods into your daily diet, while avoiding the worst foods for your skin.
Proper nutrient dense foods can also help repair premature aging skin due to abuse like alcohol.
While anti-aging foods are important, don't forget to use creams, serums, and masks that are rich in vitamins too. Topical skin vitamins can have an impact on skin health too.
2. Lycopene, Life Extension, Dec. 2004
3. Astaxanthin Slows Skin Aging, Life Extension, May 2018
5. Double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial of green tea extracts in the clinical and histologic appearance of photoaging skin - PubMed (nih.gov)
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