Top 10 Best Foods For Healthy Skin
There are many chemical based products available in stores that promise to have anti-aging properties; however, what most people don’t know is that food can actually be one of the best investments you can make for your skin. You should be very careful about what you put into your body, because whatever you consume will affect your skin. In other words, those Christmas cookies may be the culprit for your acne and tired looking skin. So instead of spending hundreds of dollars on manmade “miracle” serums, take a look around your local grocery store next time you are shopping. You will be amazed at how common these anti-aging foods are. But what foods are anti-aging foods? Well here is a list of 10 superfoods that are sure to have your skin glowing in no time:
1. Dark Chocolate
Not only does Cocoa hydrate your skin, but it can also make your skin firmer and more supple. Dark Chocolate contains a high concentration of flavonols, which is a very strong antioxidant that may help prevent skin from aging. For maximum flavonol concentration, look for dark chocolate that is at least 70 percent cacao. Don’t go too crazy with the chocolate now, doctors recommend people to consume between one and two ounces a day (or a few squares) and that is all you need everyday to have beautiful skin. Also, dark chocolate contains caffeine, which can prevent water retention and reduce puffiness. If you don’t like the taste of dark chocolate, there are a few other options you might want to consider. 100% Pure Cocoa Kona Coffee Body Cream costs about $15 per bottle and can give you the same benefits as eating chocolate.
Packed full of vitamin E, almonds are an all natural defense against sun damage. Studies have shown that people who consume a minimum of fourteen milligrams of vitamin E a day (approximately twenty almonds) were better protected from UV exposure and suffered less from sunburns, than those who did not consume any or consumed less than fourteen milligrams of vitamin E. Much like Chocolate, Almonds are packed with high amounts of antioxidants. These antioxidants work to keep arteries free from dangerous free radicals. Because almonds are high in monounsaturated fats, they work to reduce the risk of heart disease and high LDL-cholesterol. Many people are afraid that the high calorie and fat content will lead to weight gain; however, this is highly fallacious. Studies show that those who eat almonds twice a week are less likely to gain weight than those who don’t. Lessening surges in blood sugar, almonds are useful in fighting cardiovascular disease and diabetes. As your body becomes healthier, your skin will begin to improve by reflecting your overall health and how well your body is functioning.
One of the best natural wrinkle fighters in the world, flaxseed is packed with omega-3 fatty acids which erase spots and iron out fine lines on the skin. Studies conducted by the British Journal of Nutrition reported that participants in a study they conducted who consumed half a teaspoon of omega-3 fatty acids, experienced less irritation and redness within six weeks. Flaxseed is also known for its ability to hydrate skin by trapping moisture in the cells. Along with being a great addition to your skincare regiment, there is evidence that flaxseed reduces your risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes. Due to increasing studies proving the health benefits of flaxseed, the Flax Council estimates around 300 new flax-based products launched in the United States and Canada, in 2010.
Tomatoes are rich in Lycopene, which is the phytochemical that causes the tomatoes to turn red. Lycopene eliminates skin-aging free radicals created by ultraviolet rays. These are one of the few instances in which cooking your vegetables might actually increase their benefits. Cooking tomatoes increases the lycopene concentration levels; therefore, tomato sauce, tomato paste, and ketchup are very effective aging protection. Watermelon is also packed with lycopene, if tomatoes do not strike your fancy. Along with lycopene, tomatoes also contain vitamins A, C, K, folate, thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, and potassium; they are low in sodium, saturated fat, cholesterol, and calories. Potassium is used in the body to expel sodium through the sodium-potassium pump; Sodium causes water retention, which can cause result in your skin appearing puffy, swollen, and red. Vitamin C is beneficial to your immune system and can help give your skin a glowing appearance. Lastly, Niacin has been proven to improve skin moisture, lighten skin, and treat acne.
5. Sweet Potatoes
Another great wrinkle fighter. Sweet potatoes are loaded with vitamin C. Vitamin C smoothes out wrinkles by stimulating the collagen in skin and increases protection from free radicals. Studies conducted by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that those who consume a minimum of four milligrams (approximately half of a sweet potato) of vitamin C a day for three years, improved the appearance of their wrinkles by eleven percent. Sweet potatoes also have almost double the normal amount of fiber found in regular potatoes. High fiber helps to clear the body of unwanted toxins and works to keep your blood sugar from spiking. B6 is another vitamin found in sweet potatoes, which is crucial to breaking down homocysteine (a substance that causes hardening of the arteries and blood vessels); because to this, sweet potatoes are vital to a healthy heart. By improving cardiovascular health, your body will have a much better circulatory system and will be better equipped to provide your skin with good blood flow. Lastly, this super food is rich in potassium which eliminates water retention and reduces puffiness.
Along with being known to defend the body against cancer, spinach is used to maintain and repair DNA. Breakdown in DNA is often associated with the degradation of skin elasticity and the appearance of wrinkles. Leafy green vegetables, like spinach, are rich in antioxidants and nutrients such as lutein. Lutein is used by the body to improve eye health and appearance. Spinach is also a good source of vitamins B, C, and E, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids. The fiber helps to curb appetite, aid digestion, lower blood sugar, and flush out unwanted toxins. Neoxanthin and violaxanthin (two epoxyxanthophylis in spinach) work as anti-inflammatories, which reduce puffiness. The antioxidants (vitamins C, B, E, etc.) help to keep skin glowing and combat osteoporosis, atherosclerosis, and high blood pressure. The large amounts of vitamin A present in spinach help to promote skin care and allows the skin to retain moisture, fight acne, and even out wrinkles.
Oysters are a good source of zinc, which is essential to health nails, eyes, hair, and skin. Zinc promotes energy production, DNA repair, and cardio-respiratory function, which helps supply blood to the skin. DNA repair is influential in skin repair, due to the prevention of cellular degeneration. Oysters are also excellent sources of the protein, tyrosine. This amino-acid is a building block for all proteins and can help regulate mood and stress levels in the brain. Stress has been blamed for premature aging and wrinkles for decades and, if prevented, can help restore skin to a healthy appearance. Eating oysters on a regular basis can help maintain collagen levels in the skin, which prevents wrinkles and maintains skin elasticity. Lastly, Oysters are good for overall health; they contain low levels of cholesterol, fat, calories (approximately 87 calories per 3oz serving) and, if unprocessed, low levels of sodium.
Blueberries are packed with age-defying antioxidants. The antioxidants guard against health issues, such as cancers, heart disease, asthma, cataracts, arthritis, and neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s. Blueberries have also been known to prevent against certain types of bacteria that cling to the gut, bladder, and urethra. One of the key ingredients of blueberries is pterostilbene, which works to defend the heart by lowering cholesterol. Additionally, blueberries contain anthocyanins (the component that gives them the blue color); anthocyanins reduces the risk of heart disease and cancer. Several studies have proven that blueberries can slow down mental aging that leads to dementia. Lastly, blueberries contain polyphenols, which combat free radicals that cause wrinkles and help the body to produce collagen. Along with all of these great health benefits, blueberries help to fight fat and contain a mere 83 calories per cup of delicious fruit.
We all know yogurt is rich in calcium and good for our bones; however, not many people know yogurt is good for the skin. If used as a facial two or three times a week, yogurt can leave your skin feeling soft and smooth. In order to get the most out of your yogurt facial, first wash your face. Then apply a generous amount of yogurt to your face and neck; the yogurt will work as a sealant, locking in the moisture left over from washing your face. Let the yogurt sit for approximately ten minutes and then rinse. The lactic acid, in the yogurt, smoothes and exfoliates the skin. For best results, use thick yogurt with active cultures. Also, yogurt can be used as an acne fighter; it contains anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties that can get be used to get rid of blotches and unwanted zits. All it takes is thirty minutes on the acne-prone area, to reap its pimple fighting properties. These masks will not only help with dry skin and pimples, but studies have shown that yogurt masks can help to ward off wrinkles, dissolve dead skin, and tighten pores. If you add a tablespoon of olive oil to four tablespoons of yogurt and apply the mixture to your face for thirty minutes, three times a week, you will likely see results in as little as one week.
Kiwis contain a large amounts of water-soluble vitamin C, kiwis are great for helping your skin to produce collagen. Collagen is a protein that keeps skin firm and elastic. Kiwis can also help you get soft skin, because this tropical fruit has more vitamin C than other fruit (even more than oranges!), kiwi heals cuts, rough skin, and dry patches. Vitamin E is another important component of kiwis; the University of Maryland Medical Center has done studies that show vitamin E decreases the size of wrinkles and facial lines. Vitamin E has been shown to reduce UV damage. Kiwis are a great source of antioxidants that helps to prevent and reverse the effects of aging. These can include changes in skin elasticity, firmness, and thickness. Lycopene is another substance in kiwis that fights free radicals. Not only can the delicious fruit do all of these amazing things for our skin, but the kiwi seeds themselves contain omenga-3 fatty acids which can slow the aging of our skin.
Your skin will benefit immensely when you eat and use natural foods, because these foods have vitamins, fiber, proteins, and other healthy nutrients. Natural foods can be found in grocery stores and local farmer markets, and are better than foods containing processed chemicals, not only better for our skin, but for our health in general. Its healthy to think about what you eat and what you need to eat. Stop eating junk foods that are processed, high in calories, sugar, and unhealthy fats. Switch your junk food for organic, fresh foods. Junk food can do just as much harm to your complexion as natural super foods can do good. Soda, Alcohol, foods high in carbohydrate, fried foods, etc., contain additives, sugar, and cause your blood sugar to spike. These factors can result in acne, eczema, dehydration, skin conditions, and obesity, which can cause poor vein function, blood flow, and other problems that can lead you to an unhealthy body and skin.
So, if you are looking for a radiant complexion, follow the rules your mom undoubtedly drilled into your head when you where a child; eat your fruits and veggies, and don’t eat junk food.