Aging is natural. We can’t avoid it, but we definitely can delay it. Of course, there are a lot of beauty routines to turn to when you're fighting against premature aging, but be mindful about what you're eating in the process. Including antioxidant foods in your diet can preserve your youth!
There are foods that age you before time and, avoiding them, is already a smart way of keeping your younger-looking skin. Reducing the consumption of foods that make you fat is also a good thing since being overweight not only that can cause health problems but also affects your looks.
They say that ‘you are what you eat’. But that’s a bit of a cliche because what we all are is more complex than that. A lot of people opt for vegetarian or vegan diets. But it’s not a diet for everybody and it has to be followed with care and awareness. Some people just become vegan without making sure to get all the nutrients they need and to replace the protein and some minerals they were getting from meat products. Being a vegan or vegetarian is not a guarantee for a healthy look. That said, limiting your meat consumption is not a bad idea, as long as you follow guidelines.
Usually, being focused on a balanced diet, with plenty of lean protein and vegetables and avoiding sugar is the best thing you can do for your health and looks. Literally, you can delay the appearance of wrinkles by boosting the collagen and elastin levels. These two improve the skin's elasticity and makes it look plump and glowing. Also, loading up on vitamin C is a good idea, especially in the cold months - it has antioxidants powers and helps with skin regeneration.
Here's a list with some foods that are good to have in mind for maintaining your skin healthy.
What to eat to look younger
1. Extra virgin olive oil
If you usually consume fats, make sure you eat the healthiest ones, like extra virgin olive oil. About 75 percent of the fat in olive oil is monounsaturated fatty acids, which may play a role in boosting youth, skin elasticity and firmness. The antioxidant polyphenols in olive oil could also quench damaging free radicals.
Research has shown that consuming olive oil may help prevent many common diseases associated with aging. Animal and lab studies suggest it has strong anti-inflammatory effects on the skin and may protect it from sun damage. Still, don’t overdo it!
2. Fatty fish
Fatty fish is among the foods you should eat if you want to look younger. It has anti-aging effects and studies suggest that protects against inflammation and damage that occurs during sun exposure.
Salmon is one of the most popular types of fatty fish, but it’s wiser to opt for wild salmon instead of the farmed type. Wild salmon contains a carotenoid antioxidant called astaxanthin, which is responsible for the pink color of salmon and may help your skin look younger.
You can also eat fish like sardines, mackerel, sea bass, carp, butterfish, anchovies, or herring.
3. Green tea
As you probably already know, green tea is high in antioxidants, which can protect against free radicals. Polyphenols in green tea may also help protect collagen, the main protein in our skin. As a result, green tea may reduce and even partially reverse the signs of aging. You can also drink green tea but using tea-based serums and creams may also help your skin look better.
4. Dark chocolate
Blueberries are a good source of antioxidants. But dark chocolate (or cocoa) have even more antioxidants than blueberries, cranberries or acai berries.
Chocolate contains antioxidants called flavanols, which protect the skin from sun damage. One study showed that high-flavanol dark chocolate doubled the amount of time people could stay in the sun before turning red. Also, cocoa with a high level of flavanols gives a better blood flow to the skin and improve thickness, hydration, and smoothness, comparing to low-flavanols cocoa.
The higher the cocoa content in your chocolate, the higher the flavanols content, so choose dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa solids.
Vegetables provide sun protection and may prevent free radical damage to the skin, due to their strong antioxidant effects. Some of the vegetables - carrots, pumpkin, and sweet potatoes - are also high in carotenoids like beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is converted into vitamin A, an essential vitamin for your skin.
Plus, many vegetables are rich in vitamin C, which is important for collagen production and has strong antioxidant effects. So, load up on leafy greens, bell peppers, tomatoes, and broccoli.
Flaxseeds have amazing health benefits. Among others, flaxseeds are a great source of an omega-3 fatty acid called ALA, which protects your skin from sun radiation and may reduce sun-related skin damage.
There are studies that showed that women who consumed flaxseeds or flax oil for 12 weeks showed improved hydration and smoother skin.
Besides being delicious, pomegranates are one of the healthiest fruits. The antioxidant effects of pomegranates are even bigger than that of green tea. Eating pomegranate seeds or juice will protect your skin from sun damage, increase collagen production, and may repair existing skin damage.
They also have other benefits like reducing inflammation or preventing damage from high blood sugar levels.
Avocados taste delicious and are extremely versatile. But that’s not all. They’re rich in heart-healthy fat, fiber, and several vitamins and minerals that are essential for health and skin. Their high content of monounsaturated fat and the antioxidants called lutein and zeaxanthin provides additional skin and DNA protection.
Tomatoes contain lycopene, which is a type of carotenoid. This may protect your skin from the damaging rays of the sun. According to one study, women who ate a mixture of foods high in lycopene and other plant antioxidants had a measurable decrease in wrinkle depth after 15 weeks. This is not to be ignored, right?
How about cooking tomatoes with healthy fats, such as olive oil? It’s one of the best things you can do for your youth.
Spices do more than just adding flavor to your food, they can make you look younger! Research suggests some spices may help your skin look better. Try including often cinnamon, chili, and ginger to your diet.
Cinnamon increases collagen production, which may lead to increased skin firmness and elasticity.
Chili peppers may reduce some of the age-related changes that occur in skin cells.
Gingerol – a compound in ginger – has anti-inflammatory effects that may help prevent the age spots that develop due to sun exposure.