Every commercial, magazine ad and even those little pop-up’s on your phone are constantly telling us: “use this product to look younger, use this one to defy age, use this to smooth skin…..”
While many of these products are based on natural ingredients many actually cause the problems they advertise covering up. Please note my language there…”cover up”, because that’s exactly what they do.
There is no miracle product that will actually do what it claims. Sure they can prove short term results but if you’re looking for lasting effects the answer lies in what you eat. Not in what you put on your face! Well okay, yes what you put on your face has an effect as well 😉
The sun is perhaps the most problematic element to early aging. We crave a natural tan but lying in the sun all day can cause long term damage. There is some debate that sunblock can actually lead to skin cancer faster than sun exposure… I think this topic deserves its own post as there are many elements to this idea. Sooo let’s leave my opinion for another day…
In the meantime: What to do? Amp up your diet! Certain foods actually provide a natural UV resistance factor. All you have to do is eat, enjoy and head outdoors.
Tomatoes: Tomatoes have a high amount of lycopene which makes the skin more resistant to UV light.
Green Tea: The polyphenols in green have the same effect as the lycopene in tomatoes.
Kale: UV light causes free radicals (the main cause of skin cancer and premature aging). Lutein and zeaxanthin are nutrients that destroy and absorb these radicals. Luckily these nutrients are in high supply in kale. Is there anything this dark green leaf isn’t good for?
Age Defying Foods
We all age! It’s a fact. One that cannot be ignored. BUT have you ever noticed that some people don’t show their age as much as others? We often say “it’s good genetics”. But is it? Or is it something that is a staple of their diet? Often we take note that certain families seem to age better. Family recipes handed down for generations? Referring back to the topic of sun exposure why is it that ethnicities that have the greatest sun exposure are also the ones with the healthiest looking skin and the lowest rates of skin cancer? Aha! Diet! Yep they don’t lather on the sunscreen instead they eat foods rich in antioxidants, ones that hydrate and smooth.
Kiwi: This little green gem offers us a load of vitamin C, a key nutrient to the production of collagen.
Pumpkin: New skin growth is impossible without beta-carotene, a precursor to vitamin A production. The orange flesh of pumpkins and other quash is the perfect place to find loads of beta-carotene. Just remember to exfoliate a couple times a month to keep that new skin visible!
Yellow Bell Peppers: Anti-oxidants keep those little lines at bay; particularly crows feet. A diet high in yellow and green peppers help the body fight of damaging free radicals.
Did someone say hydrate? One of the most important factors of youthful looking skin is of course moisture. Why else would so many companies be dedicated to selling the perfect moisturizer? In reality our skin needs internal moisture even more so than external. Not that a good moisturizer isn’t important just that in some cases it can take a backseat. We underestimate the importance of basic hydration. Water and lipids. Yes we all know that water is important but the skin is made up of lipids. We want to keep that fatty layer plump. NO not with collagen injections! Naturally with the foods we eat 😉
Olive Oil: Antioxidants and monounsaturated fatty acids found in olive oil are key ingredients to youthful looking skin.
Watermelon: A natural purifier, watermelon hydrates and detoxifies in one sweet bite. Not only will this juicy fruit hydrate but it also packs a vitamin loaded punch.
Dark Chocolate: Just one more reason to love chocolate! The cocoa flavanols increase circulation to the skin this results in increased moisture for smoother skin.
There are many other foods that we can enjoy which will help keep us looking young. I chose these ones to highlight because they are easily added to most diets. Do some research, add to this list! And if you find something awesome please leave a comment 🙂