Eat your way to glowing, younger-looking skin

Kiran Singh

You can slather, scrub, and massage anti-ageing creams and serums into your skin all you want, but one thing will remain true: what you put inside your body is just as important as what you put on top of it. The powerful antioxidants present in the following foods help neutralise free radicals and reduce sun damage while giving your skin a super-sized dose of the vitamins and antioxidants that fight wrinkles and give you a youthful, natural glow.

younger-looking skin

Ready for your shopping list?

Green Tea

If you’re concerned about sun damage (past, present, or future), try sipping on more green tea. Both animal and human studies have credibly demonstrated that topical green tea formulations reduce sun damage and protect against skin cancer. Free radicals alter cell genetic code, resulting in mutated proteins. When a mutation happens, cancer may develop. By neutralizing free radicals and reducing inflammation rather than by blocking UV rays, drinking it (or applying it topically) alongside sunscreen gives sun damage and skin cancer the ultimate one-two punch.

Almond Milk

The two vitamins that make almond milk a skin-friendly superfood are vitamin E and vitamin B12 (also known as riboflavin). Vitamin E keeps free radicals (caused by everything from pollution to sun damage to stress) from depleting your natural supply of collagen and elastin, both imperative in maintaining a firm, supple skin.

As you get older, your body is unable to replenish your supply, which, is the primary cause of fine lines and wrinkles. While vitamin E goes to work on those free radicals, vitamin B12 is busy hydrating and nourishing, encouraging oxygen flow to the skin, hair, and nails, and producing niacin, which aids in circulation. One thing to keep in mind: free radical damage is irreversible so the sooner you start pouring some almond milk into your cereal, the better.

Water

Your body is made up of between 60-70% water at any given time, so no wonder getting plenty of H2O is vital for a glowing complexion. Less than stellar water consumption is the primary cause of dry skin, and you’re likely reaching for heavy creams and lotions to replenish that moisture. However, creams and lotions don’t strike at the root of the problem, meaning you’re spending unnecessary time and money on an issue that can be fixed for pennies a day. Aim for 6-8 eight-ounce glasses a day to keep skin moisturised and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Eggs

Eggs are an excellent source of protein and essential fatty acids, which can help retain water and stay moisturise. Water retention might be bad for weight loss, but it’s good for your skin especially if you’re trying to hide fine lines. Their biggest contribution: vitamin A [which you might know as ‘retinol’ from reading anti-ageing articles], which encourages new cell growth and wound healing.

younger-looking skin

Tomatoes

Why walk down the supplement aisle when you can just eat a tomato? The pasta-bound fruits are packed with vitamins A, B, C, K, alpha- and beta-carotene, lutein, and lycopene all great antioxidants and help the skin maintain healthy levels collagen. They’re also super sun stoppers: in a UK study, people who ate five tablespoons of tomato paste a day experienced a 33% increase in sun protection.

Carrots

Remember that whole speech about beta-carotene? You can include carrots in that conversation. But with its bright orange flesh are carotenoids, organic pigments that help protect the skin from everyday pollutants and subsequent wrinkles. Our skin is up against a lot of environmental factors every day like solar radiation and toxins, which combined with stress, leads to a weakened defence against damaging free radicals that attack our skin. Shave a few into your salad for a quick burst of this skin shield.

Olive Oil

Skin experts say you can remove make-up, cleanse, and moisturise the skin with plain old olive oil. But when you drizzle some on your bread your skin gets a boost of antioxidants and skin plumping fatty acids. In fact, a 2012 study discovered that consuming 2 teaspoons of the stuff a day was associated with 31% fewer signs of ageing compared to people who only ate about a teaspoon.

Red Wine

Swap your normal happy hour drink for a glass of red wine, rich in skin-friendly polyphenols and cancer-fighting antioxidant resveratrol. It has anti-inflammatory properties which can protect the body from various diseases caused by inflammation. Beyond healthy skin, you’ll also get a brain boost red wine is known to promote brain health, memory, and the prevention of dementia.

Sweet Potatoes

In just one sweet potato you will find more than 200% of the recommended daily value of vitamin A, says Banks. You’ll also get three grams of fibre, which keeps your digestive tract healthy. But what does that have to do with your complexion? A healthy and functioning digestive tract can help keep your breakouts to a minimum. If only we knew that as teenagers.

Kale

This green veggie is the top of the list when it comes to beauty super-foods. Kale is full of antioxidants that are a great way of reducing wrinkles because they slow down the ageing process. It’s also rich in wrinkle-fighting vitamin A and has been proven to be helpful in averting a host of skin diseases. It’s also one of the best sources of lutein and zeaxanthin, nutrients that absorb and neutralise free radicals caused by UV exposure.

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