Our skin is constantly under assault. Toxins in what we eat, pollutants in the air and even sunshine itself all cause incremental damage to the skin in the form of free-radicals. Free-radicals are mutations in DNA that reduce the skin’s ability to heal and renew itself. This leads to wrinkles, age spots, enlarged pores and even skin cancer. Luckily antioxidants are readily available in many everyday food items. Adding foods high in antioxidants can help you keep your skin healthy and radiant. Here are 13 of the best antioxidant foods:
Garlic has to be one of the healthiest foods around. Garlic is credited with being able to promote cardiovascular health, help prevent cancer, fights diabetes and reduce blood pressure. It is an anti-inflamatory and supports body metabolism. Diets that regularly include garlic encourage higher antioxidant counts.
Avocados are a great source of vitamin E, which helps promote the growth of new skin cells. The top layers of skin are constantly replacing dead skin cells with new ones, keeping this cycle of renewal operating efficiently keeps your complexion looking young and vibrant.
Coffee is the number one source of antioxidants consumption in the United States. Some studies have shown that women who consume at least three cups of coffee a day are less likely to develop skin cancer. Be careful though, coffee can dehydrate you, making your skin dry.
Collagen is the basic building block of the skin, it is what gives the skin its firmness and strength. Vitamin C is a key component for the body to be able to create and maintain collagen. Citrus fruits like oranges and limes are a great source of vitamin C.
The health benefits of nuts keep piling up. Tree nuts like walnuts, pecans, pistachios and almonds are packed with Zinc, vitamin E, Manganese and health fats. Zinc is an essential building block for skin cells to heal wounds and protect against ultraviolet light. Vitamin E is one of the most powerful antioxidant agents for fighting free radicals and keep help minimize the damage caused by sun burns. Manganese aids in building connective tissues as well as help the body's absorption of vitamin C.
Tomatoes contain the highest lycopene count of an food. Tomatoes draw their color from this antioxidant which is credited with fighting free-radicals linked to many types of cancer, including skin cancer. In addition to lycopene, tomatoes are also a good source of vitamins A, C, K, folate and potassium.
Many common skin conditions, such as psoriasis, eczema and rashes, are caused by inflamations in the skin. Olive oil contains oleocanthal, a powerful anti-inflammatory agent.
Its no surprise that leafy greens, such and kale and spinach, make the list. These vegetables are bursting with nutrients. The vitamin A in leafy greens is a must for the skin as it is essential for the body to build new tissue. Since your body is constantly replacing the top layers of old, dead skin cells, a diet high in vitamin A gives your body the building blocks it needs for new healthy skin cells.
Many types of fish are a great source for omega-3 fatty acids. These "good" fats have to reduce inflammation in the skin, helping to keep pores open and clear, improving your overall complexion. Species with the highest omega-3 counts include mackerel, sardines and wild caught salmon.
Its all about cocoa content. Cocoa is known to be loaded with flavinols and epicatechin, beneficial, free-radical fighting antioxidants. Dark chocolate may also helpful in building tooth enamel, keeping your smile beautiful as well. Feel free to indulge in a piece of dark chocolate or just sprinkle a little cocoa powder on fruit or yogurt for a healthy, skin friendly snack.
Red grapes and red wine are a potent source of resveratrol, which may help cells live longer, healthier lives. This polyphenol antioxidant appears to stimulate the mitochondria, the "power house" that generates energy inside individual cells. Cheers!
Green tea contains an type of antioxidant known as catechins. Studies have show these catechins are helpful in protecting the elasticity of our skin, that is the ability for the skin to stretch. Think about when you pinch your skin, it is the elasticity that causes it to rebound and return to normal. Catechins also help prevent free-radicals caused by UV light.
Berries are small packages carrying a heavy antioxident punch. Its hard to go wrong with berries, acai, cranberries, strawberries, raspberries, they are all packed with vitamins and lower in sugar than other fruits. When it comes to antioxidants though, the tiny blueberry is a serious heavy-weight. Blueberries they are loaded with vitamins K and C, manganese, fiber, copper and are consistently ranked as having the highest antioxidant count of all foods. Take advantage of the fruits of summer this year and enjoy a variety of skin healthy berries!