How do you get radiant, glowing, supple skin? Although our skin is external, it can be a reflection of one’s hygiene practices and internal health. Aside from applying beauty creams on your face as a moisturizer or an SPF, you can also incorporate these super foods into your diet:
· Munch on berries in your oatmeal, or load up a power shake with a cupful. Blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries are rich in antioxidants, which protect the skin from premature aging. They are also rich in vitamin C, which is needed for collagen production. Collagen is considered to be the skin’s structural foundation, and a lack of it can cause a dull skin surface, sagging skin, lines, and wrinkles. This is why berries are usually used as main ingredients in beauty supplements.
· Snack on citrus fruits, like oranges, kiwi and grapefruit. Many beauty supplements and creams boast ingredients that are rich in Vitamin C. This is because vitamin C plays a critical role in collagen synthesis and regeneration from damage.
· Load up on lycopene. Tomatoes are the best source of the antioxidants that protect your cells from damage. When your skin is exposed to sunlight and UV, free radicals form and can cause abnormalities. Antioxidants like lycopene can neutralize these effects. Create your own tomato sauce for your pasta, or just add some slices of tomato to your sandwiches or burgers.
· Incorporate food that’s rich in omega-3 fatty acid into your diet. We’ve all heard that this healthy fatty acid is good for heart health. Apart from this benefit, its anti-inflammatory and hydration effects are also great for your skin, particularly in protecting its collagen. That’s another reason why you need to add salmon and olive oil to your grocery list.
· You can also enjoy dark chocolate. Here’s one big reason to celebrate: chocolate contains flavanols and polyphenols, antioxidants that protect the skin from free radical damage. In a study published in the Journal of Nutrition, flavanol was shown to improve circulation, hydration, and photo-protection.
· Drink green tea regularly for smooth, younger-looking skin. Brew a perfect cup by steeping the teabag in hot water for less than 3 minutes. Green tea contains polyphenols that help protect your skin cells from free radicals.
· Add kale to your diet, be it in a salad, as snack chips, or added to your daily shake. This top superfood is revered for its high content of fiber, as well as vitamins E, B1, B2, C, and A. All of these help protect your skin from sun damage and premature aging. Kale also contains lutein and zeaxanthin, which help regulate water retention.
Heinrich U, Neukam K, Tronnier H, Sies H, Stahl W. Long-term ingestion of high flavanol cocoa provides photoprotection against UV-induced erythema and improves skin condition in women. J Nutr. 2006;136(6):1565-9.