Skin that is wrinkled and sun damaged can make you look and feel older than you are. Instead of trying to give your skin a youthful, supple appearance with expensive beauty creams, take a look at your diet.
Use the food you eat to recapture your skin’s beautiful glow. Find out what foods you should be eating for gorgeous - and healthy - skin.
We have all heard the myth that eating fattening or greasy foods is bad for your skin and can cause acne, but you might not have heard that what you eat can improve your skin! The vital nutrients in the following foods are just what your skin needs to be healthy and vibrant:
1. Green Tea. From cancer prevention to memory protection, green tea packs a powerful punch! But drinking hot green tea is also great for your skin. Green tea contains catechins, an anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory antioxidant. These catechins are released when green tea is hot and begin to deteriorate as it cools.
A study reported in The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry concluded that drinking at least two cups of green tea each day could prevent skin cancer and possibly reverse previous sun-related skin damage. The anti-cancer properties within green tea are also able to neutralize changes to the appearance of skin that has been over-exposed to the sun.
2. Spinach. This leafy green not only protects your body from developing skin cancer, it also reduces the appearance of wrinkles and increases the firmness of your skin. A study published in the International Journal of Cancer reported that participants who ate the greatest amount of spinach had half of the number of skin tumors over an 11-year period as those who ate the smallest amount.
Scientists believe that the folate within spinach can support DNA health and help it to repair itself. This ability to self-repair lowers the ability of cancer cells to grow. The water retained in spinach leaves is what gives you smoother, firmer, more hydrated skin.
3. Almonds. You might not know it, but almonds are actually seeds! Seeds that are packed with a powerful sun blocker, vitamin E. A recent study found that participants who took in 14 milligrams of vitamin E each day (which is about the same amount found in one serving of almonds) experienced fewer sunburns when exposed to UV light than those who did not take any vitamin E. Vitamin E can protect your body from free radicals that damage skin.
4. Safflower Oil. Scientists have determined that consuming safflower oil could help those who have been diagnosed with eczema and similar skin conditions. The omega-6 fatty acids within safflower oil improve the skin’s ability to absorb water by making cell walls supple. To reap the benefits of safflower oil, try to consume an amount that is equal to between 5 and 10 percent of your daily calorie goals.
5. Tomatoes. The lycopene in tomatoes neutralizes free radicals that make your skin look older. Your body can absorb the greatest amount of lycopene from tomatoes that have been cooked. One half-cup serving of cooked tomatoes contains enough lycopene to give you the protection you need.
6. Carrots. This root vegetable is full of vitamin A to get rid of acne and reduce the production of skin-cancer cells. Vitamin A stops your body from producing too many cells in the outer layer of your skin. This lowers the amount of pore-clogging sebum and dead cells to keep your skin free from breakouts. All you need is a half-cup of baby carrots each day to see the benefits.
7. Flaxseeds. Full of powerful omega-3 fatty acids, these tiny seeds have the ability to get rid of age spots and fine lines. A study published in The British Journal of Nutrition found that those who ate a ½ tsp of omega-3 fatty acids over a six-week period had improved skin hydration and remarkably lower skin redness and irritation. Researchers believe that the omega-3 fatty acids draw water into your skin to give it a firmer, more youthful appearance.
8. Sweet Potatoes. Your body needs vitamin C, found in sweet potatoes, to produce collagen. The higher amount of collagen your body produces, the younger and smoother your skin looks.
A study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported that participants who ate 4 milligrams of vitamin C every day over three years were able to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles on their skin by 11 percent. Eating half of a small sweet potato each day can give you these powerful results too!
9. Dark Chocolate. A study reported in The Journal of Nutrition found that women who drank hot cocoa that had been fortified with flavonols had an increased resistance to sun damage and improved skin texture. Dark chocolate is packed with flavonols! All you need is a few ounces each day.
10. Strawberries. Research has shown that strawberries are full of the antioxidant ellagic acid. Ellagic acid promotes elasticity within the skin to keep it from sagging. Strawberries are also packed with vitamin C to keep your skin hydrated and wrinkle-free.
SOURCES: http://www.womenshealthmag.com/beauty/perfect-skin-diet?page=2;http://www.prevention.com/beauty/beauty/perfect-diet-pretty-skin?s=3; Image courtesy of Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net