It's no secret that the largest organ of your body (your skin, in case you were wondering) is greatly affected by the things you eat. Since part of your skin's job is to protect you from your surrounding environment, make sure you treat it right and provide it with all the tools it needs in order to keep you happy, healthy, and of course, youthful.
Red Bell Peppers
Need more vitamin C? Ditch the oranges for red bell peppers. Well, ok, don't ditch the oranges completely because they certainly are yummy and healthy. But did you know that a cup of chopped red bell peppers contains three times more vitamin C than an orange? Red bell peppers are also packed with antioxidants and will protect your skin from free radicals and stop them from doing damage. If you want to fend off aging due to UV light and free radicals, make this a part of your favorite cycle of recipes.
Some think of strength when it comes to spinach, but we think of beta carotene. Beta carotene is a precursor to vitamin A, and will convert into it according to your body's needs. Vitamin A can contribute to reducing your risk of cancer and it's a wonderful anti-ager, partially due to its ability to retain moisture. Keeping your skin plump and hydrated is a wonderful way to delay the formation of wrinkles and prevent premature skin laxity.
Omega-3 fatty acids actually make up about 3% of a hair shaft, making this a healthy addition if you're looking to replenish your scalp's natural oils and add shine to your hair. Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines. And while salmon is usually the go-to choice for this nutrient, sardines are considered the healthiest choice since they do not accumulate the same amount of mercury as salmon due to their shorter lifespan.
If you love avocados, you're already a step ahead on this one. Turns out, avocado oil is a highly concentrated version of all the nutrients that are packed into a regular avocado, such as vitamins A, D, E and omega-9 fatty acids. All of them will help even out skin tone if you consume avocado oil regularly, so adding it to soups, salads, or as a cooking oil are all effective ways to incorporate this into your diet.
Tomatoes are anti-aging skincare superheroes, protecting you from sun damage thanks to their high antioxidant content. A recent study presented at The Royal Society of Medicine in London found that women who were given five tablespoons of standard tomato paste with 10 grams of olive oil every day for 12 weeks showed significant improvement in their skin’s ability to protect itself against UV damage.
These delicious little snacks are packed with zinc, as well as vitamins A and K and omega-3 fatty acids, all of which are essential to building a healthy hair shaft. They’re also rich in fatty acids and vitamin C, which are important for producing sebum ‘ your skin’s natural oil ‘ to protect and repair skin.
We all understand that greens are a necessary part of a healthy diet, but the most underappreciated green of them all is collard greens. Packed with vitamin C, you can get 70% of your daily recommended dose of vitamin C with just one cup of collard greens.
This sweet treat is high in vitamin C and the enzyme bromelain, which is known to be an effective skin softener. Drinking pineapple juice and munching on the fruit help the body synthesize collagen, which supports skin structure, while vitamin C and amino acids aid in cell and tissue repair, giving you a youthful appearance. Add it to your morning smoothie for a refreshing treat.
Anyone with an affinity for shellfish will be happy to hear the benefits that oysters have on both your hair and skin. Oysters are a great source of dietary zinc, with half a dozen of them providing you with 291% of your daily recommended value. Zinc is necessary for DNA synthesis, metabolism, immunity, and cell growth and regeneration. But beware—if you do consume oysters for the zinc, please do so in moderation. Consuming too much of this mineral can interfere with absorption of other essential nutrients like iron and copper, and can actually result in a weakened immune system over time if consumed in excess. It can also lead to lower levels of HDL (the good cholesterol), according to the US Department of Health and Human Services. So enjoy them, but be mindful to watch how much you consume.