This season`s hottest anti-aging ingredients can be found in the grocery aisles. Add them to your healthy skin diet now
You covet your souped-up anti-aging creams and high tech serums, but what you put in your body might just give you the anti-aging boost you`ve been searching for. That`s what healthy skin diets are all about.
We had a chat with dietitians Lisa Drayer, MA, RD, author of "The Beauty Diet: Looking Great Has Never Been So Delicious" (McGraw-Hill, 2008) and Tanya Zuckerbrot, MS, RD, creator of the F-Factor Diet, to help you learn how to maximize your body`s wrinkle-fighting abilities through your diet with these foods that have some of the highest percentages of anti-aging vitamins, yet are still super-tasty.
"While topical creams can show some improvements in skin quality, the majority of ingredients just remains on the skin’s surface," says Zuckerbrot. "A well-balanced diet can ensure that nutrients are absorbed into the skin." So why not just pop a few pills to get the vitamins your diet may be lacking? Well, consuming a healthy variety of food is by far the best way to meet your body’s needs because food provides a number of benefits that a supplement can`t -- basically, you get more bang for your buck. "Not only is turning to food a tastier option, but supplements don`t contain all the vitamins and nutrients present in natural foods. Nor have they been shown to have the same disease-fighting benefits," explains Drayer.
Here we look beyond the creams, serums and supplements to share the top beautifying super foods you should fill your plate with in order to look younger and more radiant.
Prevent long-term cell damage with the powerhouse antioxidants found in blueberries. Antioxidants fight free radicals to protect your skin from environmental aggressors. "Consuming food high in antioxidants is one of the simplest, most natural things you can do when it comes to enhancing your health and beauty," says Drayer. Toss a handful into your morning cereal or oatmeal, or pack a Ziploc full for a mid-afternoon snack.
Improve your skin health by drinking flavanoid-rich dark chocolate milk. "One recent study, where women regularly drank a high-flavanoid cocoa beverage once a day for 12 weeks, revealed an increase in blood flow to skin tissue, with improved skin hydration and decreased roughness and scaling," says Drayer. The great news: You can get the same high-flavanoid Cocoapro they used in the study with CocoaVia, $39.95 for 30 packets. The Cocoapro (329 mg), is made using a patented process that helps retain a consistent level of flavanols that occur naturally in cocoa beans and it`s only 30 calories per serving. We`ll drink to that.
Kiwi, Guava and Strawberries
Prevent wrinkles and stimulate collagen by snacking on vitamin C-packed strawberries, guava and kiwi. Vitamin C is good for more than just warding off colds. "In a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vitamin C-rich foods were associated with less noticeable wrinkles and less dryness," says Drayer. Vitamin C "also reduces inflammation and helps minimize puffiness under your eyes," explains Zuckerbrot. Because kiwis are also antioxidant all-stars, they can help neutralize free radicals, which cause damage to cells that can lead to inflammation, cancer and heart disease.
Protect your skin from sun damage by feasting on lycopene-full tomatoes. "Research has shown that daily consumption of lycopene in the form of tomato paste results in less sunburn," explains Drayer. And cooking tomatoes actually boosts absorption of lycopene. Other foods that do similar jobs include sweet potatoes, spinach and fruits like watermelon, cantaloupe and mangoes. "Like tomatoes, these foods also contain carotenoids, which protect against sunburn, so keep these on your shopping list too," says Drayer.
BDST: 1252 HRS, JULY 24, 2012
Edited by: Sharmina Islam, Lifestyle Editor
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