It is often said that “An apple a day keeps the Doctor away” but it is also true that a stroll through your produce aisle may keep you out of the Dermatologists office. Studies show that what we eat can have an impact on how we look – both in the short term, and long term. Just as foods that contain high sugar content can cause a negative (inflammatory) response on our skin – the opposite is true with foods that can have a positive effect on our skin.
Here are a few common skin concerns as we age, and the foods that can help:
Sagging lines and wrinkles - choose foods high in vitamin C. Our bodies use vitamin C to make collagen and elastin. Collagen gives our skin support and firmness whereas elastin give our skin elasticity. Oranges, grapefruits, red peppers, sweet potatoes and strawberries are high in vitamin C. Just one cup of strawberries has 130% of our daily vitamin C requirement. A side benefit of strawberries is that they contain elagic acid which naturally helps to prevent the destruction of collagen.
Uneven skin tone - choose foods with Lutein, Zeaxanthin and Lycopene. Eggs contain Lutein and Zeaxanthin - two antioxidants that have been shown to help protect against UV damage which can lead to brown spots. Watermelon, papaya, guava, pink grapefruit and sun dried tomatoes contain the compound Lycopene which has been shown to protect skin from damage caused by sunlight.
Dry or Flaky Skin - choose foods higher in vitamin A. A benefit of vitamin A is that it revitalizes skin by increasing cell turnover. Skin cell turnover is vital for younger, healthier looking skin. Cantaloupes and mangos are high in vitamin A and mangos have the added benefit of aiding in skin hydration.
In a rush - grab an avocado! This tasty fruit can do it all. One avocado gives a healthy dose of vitamin A, D and E along with good fats and photo-nutrients.
Getting ready to toss aside that leafy green garnish on your plate? Not so fast! It might surprise you to know that just six leaves of romaine lettuce provide more than 100% of your daily requirement of vitamin A, and will help with healthy cell renewal.
A few small changes in your snacking habits can have a positive effect in keeping your skin healthy, protected and glowing for years to come!