By: Beth Aldrich
One of the best-kept, age-defying secrets for moms is to nourish your body, including your skin, with plenty of nutrients from the food you eat. There is plenty of research indicating that consuming certain healthy foods can help prevent wrinkling, sun damage and can keep your skin well hydrated, so let’s take that advice and feed our skin with some super foods.
Here are some useful “facial” finds:
ORANGE AND RED FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
Fruits and vegetables that are high in orange and red pigments are high in antioxidants that can help prevent wrinkles. Sweet potatoes, tomatoes and cantaloupe, for examples, can help keep your skin firm and bright. Add more of these vibrant fruits and vegetables to your daily diet. Instead of making mashed potatoes or baked potatoes with white potatoes, use sweet potatoes topped with brown sugar and a dab of butter. When you eat a sandwich or a salad for lunch, add a few slices of fresh, bright red tomato and instead of eating chips or pretzels, snack on juicy cantaloupe chunks.
Eating citrus fruits on a daily basis will help keep your skin hydrated, which in the long run prevents wrinkles. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can keep the collagen in your face from sagging. However, because vitamin C is water-soluble, the levels of vitamin C that can be stored in your body is low, which means you need to stock up everyday. Oranges are the best source of Vitamin C, but grapefruits, lemons and limes are also good choices to keep your vitamin C levels up. Collagen begins breaking down in your 30’s – start stocking up now.
Mix grapefruit into a salad for a summery fresh addition. Squeeze fresh lemons or oranges and make lemonade or orange juice. Squeeze limes or lemons over fish and chicken for some tangy pizzaz.
The antioxidant known as EGCG is a highly potent substance that can prevent acne, sun damage and inflammation of your skin. EGCG has also been known to combat skin cancer and tumors. Real teas, green, black or white are the best ways to consume EGCG. Four to six cups of tea per day is the amount needed to have a beneficial effect on skin. Gradually replace your daily coffee with tea – in addition to helping your skin, the antioxidants in tea will be healthful for your whole body.
Vitamin A, one of the most important skin helpers prevents your skin from becoming dry and scaly. Vitamin A is essential in the cell renewal process and promotes growth of new skin. Spinach, broccoli and escarole are just a few tasty examples of dark leafy green vegetables that pack tons of Vitamin A. Fresh, frozen, raw or steamed leafy greens are all beneficial for skin health.
Omega 3 fatty acids found in fish such as salmon, tuna, trout, sardines and shellfish have anti-inflammatory properties and can fight sun-related skin damage. Omega-3’s also help protect against sunburn. While eating fish can make your skin glorious, keep your seafood intake at moderate levels so you don’t end up consuming too much mercury. Eating fish once or twice a week is sufficient, especially if you chock your diet full of other healthy skin foods.
So dig in and start cooking…for your skin!