The Quest for Younger Looking Skin

We all want smooth skin that glows with radiance and youth, and there is a long line of antiaging beauty products that promise just that. However, did you ever stop to notice that these long lines of cosmetic products are infused with food products? And that they’re usually the most expensive? This makes you wonder if it wouldn’t be better to nourish our skin from the inside out by eating the foods that give it the most benefits instead of just applying it to the skin’s surface?
“Nutrition plays an important part in limiting the aging process and helping to protect against damage from UV rays, the number one cause of lines and wrinkles,” says Adam Friedman, M.D., director of dermatologic research at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City.

The key to aging gracefully is eating healthy
This fact is not just skin deep; sticking to a healthy diet also helps fight off diseases, prevents weight gain and type diabetes, as well as decreases our risk of cancer.

A lot of research has been carried out on how certain nutrients help protect our bodies from harmful environmental factors and prevent oxidative stress that causes premature and accelerated aging of the skin. Proper nutrition is also key in keeping the skin’s cells hydrated and functioning at their optimal levels.

Foods Rich In Vitamin

Vitamin C is one of the bestknown antioxidants to protect the skin from free radicals, which are unstable molecules and atoms that wreak havoc on our cells and cause oxidative stress that accelerates aging. These foods are more than able to provide you with your daily intake, which can range from 65 90 mg per day. One cup of strawberries will provide you with roughly 150% of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C. Eating a large orange will also provide you with a good amount of vitamin C, as well as hydrate your skin and keep it supple since oranges are full of water. Studies show that those who regularly incorporate foods rich in vitamin C into their diets reduce their risk of wrinkles by 36%. Their skin also showed signs of being well hydrated, which means radiant, youngerlooking skin. Vitamin C also protects the skin against UV radiation. To make sure your body is getting the most of your vitamin C intake, combine it with foods that contain vitamin E, which protects the skin from the sun and other inflammatory agents.

Vitamin C is found in a variety of foods, including bell peppers, oranges, lemons, guava, limes, grapefruits, broccoli, berries, sweet potatoes, and many more.

Lean Protein
As we age, collagen and other proteins in our skin break down making the skin slump into itself, which creates fine lines and wrinkles.
Eating protein helps your skin rebuild collagen and elastin, which work together to keep skin taut, supple and smooth in texture. “Protein provides the building blocks of collagen,” says F. William Danby, M.D., adjunct assistant professor of surgery (dermatology) at Dartmouth Medical School.

Eggs are a great source of protein since they are a perfect protein containing all essential amino acids that help protect the skin against wrinkles, lysine,
proline, and glycine. Eggs also contain other healthy nutrients such as vitamin A, E, selenium, and iron all of which play a role in collagen formation.

You can also choose 2to4ounce servings of skinless chicken breasts, fish, pork, or beef two or three times a week. Just remember when you’re cooking beef to flip it often to prevent it from crisping and charring since that will undo all of its the antiaging properties.

Omega3 Fatty Acids
We’ve all heard how fish is packed with omega3 fatty acids, but what exactly does that mean? Omega3s (monosaturated) are the good type of fat, along with omega6 (polyunsaturated) that help plump up skin cells, making them well hydrated, less wrinkly, and more protected against sun damage which reduces the risk of skin cancer. They moisturize the skin from the inside out as well as protect it from harmful UV rays. They’re also very good for your heart health. Eating two 6ounce servings of fatty fish weekly that are rich in omega3, which contain EPA and DHA is essential. There are plenty to choose from, such as mackerel, herring, lake trout, and sardines. However, two of the bestknown fish that are packed with omega3 are tuna and wild salmon. The reason why salmon, especially wild salmon, stands out is that besides its omega3 content, it contains a powerful antioxidant known as astaxanthin. This carotenoid gives it its signature pink color, but besides making it look gorgeous, this antioxidant helps wipe out harmful free radicals and reduces the risk of skin cancer. Walnuts, flaxseeds, avocados, pumpkin seeds, and olive oil are all excellent sources of omega3s.

Like olive oil, nuts in general are a great source of unsaturated fats, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Eating a handful of mixed nuts for an afternoon
snack provides you with a healthy portion of omega3 fatty acids to nourish your skin, as well as antiinflammatory properties to help treat and prevent skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and acne.

Walnuts are known for having the highest levels of omega3s

Almonds are best known for their high vitamin E content

Brazil nuts are full of selenium. They’re also a great source of vitamin E,which makes them the ideal choice for slowing down the agingprocess.

Other types of nuts, like hazelnuts, peanuts, and pistachios are also good for your health when eaten in    moderation

Avocados contain vitamin E, C and Bcomplex that help protect and nourish the skin and keep it supple. They also contain monounsaturated fat, a healthy fat, which helps the body absorb the vitamins and nutrients your skin needs, as well as keep it well hydrated. You can use them as body scrubs, facial masks, and even hair conditioners. No matter how you consume it (yes! Avocado lattes are a thing), this famous super food can help your skin glow. With its high concentration of vitamins, antioxidants, and other nutrients,
avocado can improve your overall health and can keep your skin looking younger, longer and you healthily age.

Olive Oil
Known for containing high levels of monounsaturated fats, olive oil can lower the risk of heart disease and cancer. It also has polyphenols and potent antioxidants that help keep you wrinklefree. Olive oil is mainly composed of fatty acids, which is what gives the oil its healing effects for the skin. It has  been widely used since ancient Greek and Roman times to improve the conditions of the skin. It has been found to be useful in the treatment of hair and skin problems of all kinds in both men and women. It can be used in hair masks and as a skin moisturizer. Using it makes the skin stronger, soothes dehydrated, itchy skin, prevents dry patches, flaking, and peeling.

Whole Grains
Whole grains contain the mineral selenium, which plays a major role in protection against the damage caused by UV radiation. Eating 3 to 4 servings daily of the following will provide you with your fair share of selenium, while at the same time, managing your weight:

  Brown rice contains high levels of fiber, potassium, proteins, magnesium, thiamine, and calcium.

  Barley is an excellent source of fiber, selenium, copper, phosphorus, magnesium, niacin. Moreover, it works at decreasing cholesterol levels in the blood and reducing the risk of heart disease,

  Steel Cut or Rolled Oats are a good example of complex carbohydrates that are low on the glycemic index, which means they’re good for keeping blood sugar levels in check. Oats also have a natural plant chemical that helps soothes irritated skin and wards off skin cell damage. They are also a good source of zinc. Always choose steel cut or rolled whole grain oats, and not instant oatmeal products to get the most nutritional value.

  Buckwheat is an excellent source of a bioflavonoid that helps the body utilizes vitamin C called rutin. Rutin provides the skin with elasticity and firmness and helps keep collagen levels in check.

Wheat germ has nutrients that help keep the skin smooth and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. It’s a great source of vitamin E that is essential for maintaining healthylooking skin. It contains vitamin B6, coenzyme Q10 and protein. Make sure your store it in a sealed container away from the sun because it goes rancid fast due to its unsaturated fat content.

Vibrant Colorful Produce
Carotenoids are what make up the colors you see in fruits and vegetables, herbs and spices, and even salmon. They are also antioxidants that wipe out free radicals and help fight against inflammations and diseases. They also help with the production of collagen, hydrating your skin from the inside out and help protect against the damage caused by harmful UV rays.

Sweet Potatoes
These delicious vegetables can help delay the signs of aging because they contain the carotenoid, betacarotene. They are also a great source of vitamin C. The best part about eating sweet potatoes is that studies show that they help produce HA (hyaluronic acid) which helps keep the skin supple and smooth and is mainly produced by the body. Unfortunately, the body’s ability to produce this acid decreases with age but adding sweet potatoes to your diet can help keep the levels of HA at a steady level.

The skin of grapes contains polyphenols called resveratrol, which act like antioxidants and help fight inflammation. Resveratrol reduces the damage from UV rays. Some studies also show that it may slow down the aging process.

If you’re looking for something to add to your diet that has major benefits bundled together, look no further. Blueberries, as well as raspberries,
contain antioxidants, probiotics, anthocyanins, vitamins, polyphenols, and flavonoids. They truly are the whole package.
Moreover, they help the skin regenerate new cells, which, slows the aging process. They also fight off free radicals while helping replenish the skin cells natural plumpness and elasticity.

One of the best sources of betacarotene, carrots are great at protecting the skin against free radicals and damage from sun exposure. They also contain a great deal of nutrients and vitamins, including vitamin C.

Best known for containing lycopene, which helps wipe out the harmful effects of UV rays, tomatoes are a great addition to your diet. Found also in watermelon, pink grapefruit, carrots, guava and red pepper, lycopene also boosts the vascular system, giving your cheeks a nice rosy color.
Lycopene is better absorbed by the body when it’s in the form of processed tomato products, such as tomato paste, pasta sauce, and ketchup, and when tomatoes are cooked. When eaten with foods containing betacarotene, it’s absorbed even more by the body, which is lucky for us because tomatoes also contain betacarotene. Tomatoes also help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, mainly because they contain vitamin C as well which helps produce collagen and plump up skin cells.

Besides keeping the doctor away, apples also are great at keeping wrinkles away. They contain vitamin C, the powerful antioxidant quercetin, flavonoids and are also a great source of fiber.

Celery contains betacarotene, and vitamins E and C. All these work at reducing the presence of wrinkles by hydrating the skin from the inside out and keep it supple and firm.


Onions also containing quercetin, onions are a great health booster and a wonderful addition to any diet. Onions contain sulfur, which help keep the skin supple, smooth, and protected from harmful external factors.

Leafy Green Vegetables
Spinach great source of betacarotene, vitamins E, and C, as well as several other nutrients that help keep wrinkles at bay. It also has high levels of glutathione, which is a powerful antioxidant that helps, fight off inflammation and harmful free radicals that accelerate aging, including that which affects the skin and its appearance. Broccoli contains betacarotene, vitamin C and the coenzyme Q10 all healthy boosters to slow down the aging process and provide you with essential health benefits. If you gave your mother a hard time eating your Brussel sprouts, now is the time to call and apologize. These cute vegetables contain wrinklefighting agents such as vitamins C and A, as well as folate. Vitamin C helps with the production of collagen, while the last two helps protect your skin against sun damage.

Soy Foods
Soy foods are typically rich in isoflavones, which are potent wrinklefighting agents because they help prevent the deterioration of collagen. Soybeans are an excellent source of protein, very similar to eggs. Tofu also helps safeguard collagen levels in the skin.

Ask any beautician and they’ll tell you honey is one of the best things you can put on your face for a clean and glowing complexion.
It also does wonders for your skin from the inside out. Honey is antiviral, antibacterial, and a powerful antioxidant; it helps fight inflammation, wipes out free radicals, and plumps up skin cells to keep your skin supple and soft.

Foods packed with probiotics can help treat and prevent inflammations and irritations from the inside, which can clear skin problems such as eczema, redness of the skin, psoriasis, and acne. You can also use it as a facemask the lactic acid found in yogurt will tighten pores and help eliminate dead skin cells. It can also reduce wrinkles, fine lines, blemishes as well as act as a great moisturizer for the skin.

Best Drinks for Healthy Skin

One of the best ways to have soft, smooth, youthful skin is by regularly drinking water. Water hydrates helping to keep the skin well moisturized, something that is lost as a normal part of the aging process. Water also helps lower blood pressure levels and protects joints and organs. It also helps minimize the risk of dementia because it keeps brain cells functioning properly and increases your concentration span and ability to focus.

Green Tea
When you drink green tea, especially if you seep loose tea leaves for about 5 minutes, then you’re on your way to preventing wrinkles via the catechins found in green tea. Catechins are compounds that help cells grow and function properly. They also contain antioxidant properties, which help clear away free radicals that harm the skin due to sun exposure. Green tea also contains polyphenols that help reduce the risk of nonmelanoma skin cancer as well as help replenish skin cells to keep them hydrated and healthy.

Even though caffeine is known to be a diuretic that can make you excrete precious fluids and drain your body of its moisture leaving your skin looking dull and haggard, in moderation (2 to 3 cups daily) it has many benefits including that it has been proven to reduce your risk of skin cancer by nearly 10%. Drinking decaf doesn’t offer the same protection.

As teenagers, we were warned of what chocolate can do to our skin. However, the surprising news is that nothing has been proven to tie quality dark cacao to skin problems. The truth is cocoa may be very good for your skin and that is probably because of a certain type of flavonoid called epicatechin which increases the flow of nutrients, oxygen supply, and blood to the surface of the skin all important elements for healthy, supple skin. Epicatechin can also be found in tea and red wine.

Key Tips to Look and Feel Younger

To look and feel younger, here are a few general tips:

     • Choose foods that are naturally chockfull of nutrients and antioxidants which help protect our cells and  their DNA from harmful factors that can hamper the production of our skin’s main supporting fabric,

     • Vary your diet so you and your body get a vast variety of essential nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

     • Remember that a healthy lifestyle goes hand in hand with a healthy diet and everything you do affects the health and appearance of your skin:
    o Sleep well

    o exercise regularly

    o Reduce stress

    o be cautious when you’re spending time in the sun and always wear sunscreen

    o Drink alcohol in moderation

    o Don’t smoke cigarettes

Final Thoughts

Many factors and variables go into the aging process, but you have many options in determining how well you will age. If eating a healthy diet can improve how well you skin will age, why not do it? Especially if it’ll also benefit you in all other aspects, such as your weight, cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes, osteoporosis and many other lifestyle diseases that afflict the aging and which are preventable. By choosing healthy nutrient dense foods, you’ll start noticing a difference in how your face glows and how soft it feels every time you look in the mirror. Eating ample amounts of essential nutrients can delay the aging process, reduce risks for skin cancer, improve the condition of your skin, help reduce dark spots and eliminate fine lines. The best part? With a few tweaks here and there, you’ve got yourself a delicious array of colorful, tasty dishes and drinks to last a lifetime.

If you decide to check out a natural ski care course, such as Healthily Aging’s Natural Beauty & Skincare, or just attempt this practice on your own, the information in this article will give you an idea of what to expect and where you may want to begin. Learning natural skincare is an ongoing process with benefits that can be felt immediately. Taking it slow will help you start to reap the rewards of creating a natural beauty routine that will keep your skin healthy and glowing for the rest of your life.

If you are interested in pursuing more knowledge about natural skin care remedies, check out Healthily Aging’s Natural Beauty & Skincare course.