Throughout your life you’ve probably been told to put on sunscreen and avoid tanning beds. This is considered by most to be the best way to avoid wrinkles and skin damage, but it is not the only factor to consider when it comes to skin health. As it turns out, diet plays a huge role in maintaining the skin’s youthful appearance and, since summertime is quickly approaching, here is the scoop on how to nourish your skin.
There are a variety of nutrients in food that help repair your skin and protect it against early signs of aging. The majority of these are antioxidants, which help to destroy free radicals (naturally occurring atoms in our bodies that can cause cellular damage to the skin and other tissues) and stop inflammation. Among these antioxidants are vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta carotene. These are found in a variety of fruits and vegetables; just one more reason to eat plenty!
Vitamin C is found abundantly in citrus fruits, such as grapefruit and oranges, as well as in berries, broccoli, peppers, Brussels sprouts, avocado, and tomatoes. Vitamin E is a component of many foods including those “good fats” in sunflower seeds, almonds, and peanut butter. Beta carotene is the color component of vitamin A that is found in broccoli, carrots, kale, asparagus, sweet potato, peaches, and nectarines, just to name a few.
Recent research about omega-3 fatty acids, which have been championed for their anti-inflammatory properties, have also shown promise in maintaining skin integrity including how it looks and feels. Foods high in this nutrient include salmon, tuna, walnuts, canola oil, and flax and chia seeds. In addition to eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, avoiding smoking, and getting enough sleep are important parts of natural skin care.
All this being said, the skincare industry makes thousands of dollars creating expensive anti-aging products that may or may not work. Instead of wasting time or money, try a natural skin care remedy – with food! Avocados are a good source of healthy fat and antioxidant vitamins, which can provide a great base for a face-mask that you can make at home. Mash avocados together with ingredients yogurt, lemon and oatmeal, to exfoliate and sooth skin for that healthy (and delicious) glow!
Photo credit: Samatha Gitlin, FBM