You are what you eat — this is absolutely true when it comes to healthy and glowing skin. Your skin takes a little over a month to replenish itself (shed old cells and replace them with newer ones). This new skin comes from the food you eat. Here’s a quick glance at superfoods that are particularly helpful for fighting the signs of aging.
If you’re concerned that you might not have a ton of time every day to prepare elaborate meals to include these ingredients, then rest easy. We’ve got you covered with some easy ways to incorporate these skin essentials that will keep you looking younger for longer.
Berries are full of antioxidants (vitamin C and A) for healthy skin. In addition, they are also rich in Ellagic acid that fights inflammation and wrinkles. Berries can be incorporated in a multitude of ways, from breakfast oatmeal to mid-afternoon snacks to smoothies. Here’s a quick skin superfood smoothie to get your anti-oxidant fix:
- In a blender, toss in half a banana, 1 cup of blueberries, 1 teaspoon of honey, and half a cup soy milk (or vanilla yogurt).
- Blend, pour, and enjoy!
Yes, tomatoes. Loaded with Lycopene that protects skin from environmental and free-radical damage, tomatoes are a wonderful anti-aging addition to your diet.
Keep it simple with a fresh pasta sauce. Here’s how with fresh cherry tomatoes:
- Saute onions and garlic in a pan.
- Toss in cherry tomatoes, sprinkle in some salt and pepper and continue cooking.
- Pour over your favorite pasta, made al-dente, and enjoy!
Not only does vitamin E protect skin from UV-related damage (oxidative damage that leads to aging) but it also smoothes and improves skin elasticity. Almonds are a great way to include vitamin E in your diet.
Combine almonds with blueberries for an antioxidant-rich, skin-smoothing breakfast with this easy oatmeal recipe:
- Heat 1 cup of oatmeal with 1.5 cups of boiling water.
- Add 1 teaspoon of honey, half a cup of almond shavings, and a handful of blueberries.
- Sprinkle on nutmeg or cinnamon and enjoy!
Protein is the building block of tissue and muscle that maintains structure and firmness beneath your skin. Eggs are high in protein. Having eggs for breakfast does double duty for maintaining a stable energy level and maintaining skin elasticity.
Add some flavor to the basic egg with this fast scrambled egg recipe:
- Saute onions and tomatoes.
- Toss the egg in and scramble.
- Add salt and pepper to taste. For a spicier twist, try chopped Habanero or Scotch bonnet pepper.
Omega-9 in avocado is a powerful monounsaturated fatty acid that helps regenerate damaged skin. This is especially good for calming redness or skin irritation. Not to mention, the vitamin E and C also give an antioxidant boost.
For a quick and healthy snack, try this:
- Try sliced avocado on toast with a sprinkle of salt, OR
- Mash avocado with salt and a dash of chilli flakes for an easy spread.
Aside from having some marvelous health benefits (improving brain health, regulating blood sugar, and even reducing risk of cancer) turmeric is an anti-inflammatory spice that tones skin and evens out skin complexion.
An easy way to increase your turmeric consumption without having to make complex curries is to drink it in warm milk for a night cap:
- Add 1/4 teaspoon of pure turmeric powder to warm milk.
- Add 1/4 teaspoon honey and a dash of nutmeg and you will have a natural sleeping aide that doubles as a skin tonic.
Quercetin is a rich antioxidant found in broccoli that helps improve your skin’s complexion. Say goodbye to tired skin when you keep broccoli in your refrigerator for this easy salad that amps up your fruit and nut mix:
- Add 1 cup (raisins and cranberries) to 1.5 cups of broccoli florets.
- Add chopped red onion (1/4 cup).
- For a light dressing add oil and vinegar, toss and enjoy!
Wild salmon is the best source of Omega-3 fatty acid, which is integral to improving skin elasticity and minimizing the look of wrinkles.
For an easy salmon fix after a long day:
- Make a rub with dried basil, salt, and garlic (use paste or powder) and rub it onto the fillet.
- Melt butter in a skillet and cook the salmon until brown and flaky.
- Garnish with fresh lemon slices and enjoy!
Kale seems to be getting all the attention these days, but its relative spinach has just as much to offer for younger-looking skin. Aside from vitamins A and C, spinach is rich in Luetin, a chemical that increases skin’s moisture level and improves skin’s elasticity.
If having it in salads is too clichéd, then try this spinach sauté topping on toast or your favorite bread:
- Saute onion and garlic in olive oil. Add sliced tomatoes.
- Toss in chopped spinach and cook until the spinach has reduced in size.
- Use as a topping on toast. Amp it up with shaved toasted almonds for an extra punch and serve as an appetizer.
10. Green Tea
Rich in polyphenols and antioxidants, green tea is your go-to for defense against UV-related skin damage, which is one of the major causes of skin aging.
Make yourself a powerful yet delicious antioxidant drink with this simple recipe:
- Steep one bag of green tea in boiling water.
- Add honey, a touch of ginger (ginger paste is the easiest), and a few slices of lemon.
- Let cool and drink over ice for a non-traditional tea sipper.