Naturally gorgeous skin often starts with your diet. We are becoming more aware that – there is a direct connection between what you eat and how you look.
Many people find that the appearance of aging skin — wrinkles, thickening, discoloration, and decreased elasticity — is one of their biggest beauty concerns. While genetics largely determines when your skin starts to show these signs of aging, and the extent to which it shows them, environmental damage to your skin, as well as damage you cause yourself through lifestyle choices, can greatly accelerate this process.
Skin damage occurs as a result of oxidation, a chemical process in which unstable molecules called free radicals steal electrons from healthy cells. The most damaging oxidative stressors that we expose ourselves to are smoking and sunlight.
Aside from staying away from cigarettes and using sunscreen when you go out, the next best thing you can do for your skin’s health is to eat a diet rich in antioxidants. These are nutrients that work to defend your body’s cells — including skin cells — against the damage of oxidative stress.
A plant-based diet provides all the nutrients your nails, hair and skin need to look their best. Green foods are the superstars of beautiful skin.
The Superstars Include:
- Spinach: Leafy greens are a particular nutritional standout. This leafy green tends to be one of the top. In addition to bone-building vitamin K, spinach is full of vitamins C and E as well as beta-carotene and folate.
- Aparagus: Asparagus is known for its antioxidant properties. They contain Vitamins A, C and E, plus some beta-carotene and lycopene, another important carotenoid.
- Avocados: Avocados contain lutein, an antioxidant that protects eye health, and they’re rich in vitamin E. Avocados have high amounts of omega 6 fatty acids and the skin needs good fats to moisturize the skin form the inside out.
- Kale: belongs to the powerhouse family of greens known as cruciferous veggies. All cruciferous vegetables contain cancer-fighting plant compounds and vitamin C. Kale in particular also has bone-boosting vitamin K, vision- and immune-boosting vitamin A, and anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids.
- Brussels Sprouts: Another potent cruciferous veggie, Brussels sprouts have vitamins A and C as well as birth-defect fighting folate and blood pressure-balancing potassium.
- Kiwi: Research shows kiwifruit is surprisingly nutrient-dense. According to the California Kiwifruit Commission, this fuzzy green fruit provides 230 percent of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C (almost twice that of an orange), more potassium than a banana, and 10 percent of the recommended daily allowances of vitamin E and folate.
- Edamame: A complete plant-based protein, edamame is a good protein source for vegetarian and vegan diets. While some experts caution that you should avoid soy supplements and processed soy foods because soy’s estrogen-like effects may contribute to health problems, whole soy foods like edamame are a smart and healthy choice. When eaten in place of fatty meat, soy may lower cholesterol by reducing saturated fat intake.
- Green Tea: It benefits the skin because it contains high antioxidant levels, called polyphenols. A diet high in antioxidants is helpful for reducing premature anti-aging because it can prevent excessive free radical damage.
- Basil: Herbs — loaded with vitamins and antioxidants — are underrated health foods. Basil in particular is a good source of vitamin K and iron; fresh basil leaves also boast anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Snip some leaves into salads, pasta, or any Italian dish.
- Seaweed: Seaweed, a Japanese favorite, is a solid source of iodine (essential for thyroid health), packs a healthy dose of iron, and has unique anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties.
- Green Beans: They’re loaded with fiber, which can help lower cholesterol and stabilize blood sugar, making them an excellent choice for people with diabetes.
- Green Peppers: They’re a good source of many important nutrients, including vitamin C, beta carotene (a type of vitamin A), folate, and vitamin K.
Post courtesy of: The Luxe Dossier