MSN Health & Fitness: MAKE SIMPLE, TASTY CHANGES
“Establishing good eating habits is pivotal to maintaining healthy skin, but it can also reduce signs of aging,” says Dr. Jill Waibel, M.D., board-certified dermatologist and an expert on wrinkles and food. “We can’t fight the aging process forever, but we can fight physical signs of it by starting from the inside out.”
Now is your chance to take better care of your skin with just a few changes to your diet.
“Prevention is key for healthy, glowing, wrinkle-free skin,” says Juliette Aiyana, acupuncturist and herbalist at Garden Acupuncture. “Once the damage is done, it may be impossible to restore and correct the skin using nutrition alone. We suggest a well-rounded routine to ensure the long-term health of your body’s largest organ.”
Eating a handful of these tasty nuts can protect your skin from aging. The reason? Almonds have a flavonol called quercetin, which protects collagen. They also contain vitamin E, which reduces UV damage.
You can eat this superfood or make a facial mask out of it! Either way, your skin will benefit. Avocados contain natural moisturizers like antioxidant vitamin E.
“A leading cause of wrinkles is sun damage,” says Dr. Chynna Steele, M.D., a board-certified and Harvard-trained dermatologist. “Any food that helps the body fight the effects of UV radiation will ward off wrinkles and premature aging.” Dr. Steele recommends eating blueberries, which are packed with antioxidants and very helpful in fighting aging.
Steer clear of highly processed foods and those with lots of salt. “Foods high in sodium like processed or ready-made foods dry out the skin,” says Dr. Aiyana.
Flax seeds and flax seed oil are packed with omega-3 fatty acids. These good fats help your skin stay supple.
Sip green tea, since it contains oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPCs), antioxidants shown to heal damaged skin and fight free radicals. Make sure you avoid caffeinated drinks, sugary drinks, and booze, which Aiyana says can “cause dehydration and inflammation of the skin.”
Make room on your plate for this sweet and colorful fruit! “Fruits like
and berries contain antioxidants that fight free radicals, which have been linked to a number of skin issues, including wrinkling and sagging,” says Dr. Waibel. pomegranates
Make sure you’re eating fish often. “Fish, especially salmon, is high in omega-3 acids, which help strengthen skin cells,” says Dr. Waibel. Aiyana agrees, saying that she encourages people to eat cold-water fish twice a week. “We suggest baking fish instead of deep-frying it,” she says, noting that you can also take fish oil supplements.
Rich in lycopene, tomatoes are great for protecting the skin and preventing sunburn, which ultimately prevents wrinkles. Studies show lycopene reduces free radicals that age the skin. Lycopene levels are high in processed and cooked tomatoes: get your quota in soup, ketchup, tomato paste, and tomato juice.
Drink up! Make sure you quench your body’s thirst with lots of water. “Although it’s not a food, drinking water is the most important thing you can do to keep your skin hydrated and healthy,” says Dr. Waibel. “Dehydration makes your skin feel dry, tight, and flaky, and can also cause your wrinkles to be more noticeable.”
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