There is no way to turn back the clock. However, the foods we choose to nourish ourselves can actually have a significant effect on the aging of our skin, metabolism, weight, organs and overall health. Yes, healthy foods can help us age better and feel younger.

Here are nine top foods that not only help you feel optimal from the inside, but will help with your outer glow, too:

1. Fabulous Fatty Fishes

Fatty fish are an amazing anti-aging food. They’re loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, which are uber important for maintaining supple and moisturized skin. Omega-3s also help reduce inflammation and help the skin fight against the sun’s UV rays. Fatty fish are also a great source of high quality protein, vitamin E and zinc – these are all important nutrients to a beautiful complexion. Salmon gets a gold star when it comes to helping you keep your skin looking younger because it contains an antioxidant called astaxanthin that helps with skin elasticity and hydration. Other great fatty fishes high in omega-3s: herring, mackerel, cod, sardines, mahi mahi, tuna, and striped bass.

2. Gorgeous Green Tea

The health benefits of green tea are plentiful. Green tea is super high in antioxidants called polyphenols, which can fight inflammation, diabetes and insulin resistance.  Polyphenols also help protect collagen, which is the main protein in your skin that can reduce and maybe even reverse signs of aging. Green tea also is full of powerful compounds called catechins that can help protect and improve the moisture, roughness, thickness and elasticity of your skin and protect against sun damage. It’s optimal to drink three to five cups of green tea per day.

3. Very Vitamin-Filled Veggies

Vegetables are an absolute must for healthy skin. Vegetables are low in calories, but high in nutrients. They are full of antioxidants and high in carotenoids like beta carotene that help reduce the risk of sun radiation, free radicals, heart disease and maybe even some cancers. Veggies high in beta carotene are sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach, red & yellow bell peppers and pumpkin. Many vegetables are also high in vitamin C, which is great for collagen production and has strong antioxidant effects. Veggies with the highest vitamin C content include all of the leafy greens, bell peppers and broccoli. Broccoli is a top favorite because it’s chalked full of so many minerals and vitamins important for skin health like vitamin C, Vitamin A, zinc, lutein and sulforaphane. Aim for five servings of vegetables per day.

4. Nuts and Super Seeds

Nuts and seeds are awesome sources of nutrients that are important for healthy skin. A few great examples are walnuts, sunflower seeds and flaxseeds. Walnuts provide a source of essential fatty acids that your body cannot make itself. They’re rich in omega-3 fats that help reduce inflammation in the body and skin. Walnuts also contain small amounts of antioxidants like vitamin C & vitamin E, protein and selenium. Sunflower seeds are an excellent source of linoleic acid and vitamin E, which helps your skin stay flexible, thick and moisturized. Flaxseeds contain lignans, which can reduce blood sugar & insulin levels and cholesterol. They are also a great source of an omega-3 fatty acid called ALA, which can protect the skin from sun damage. One-fourth (1/4) cup is a perfect daily serving of nuts and seeds.

5. Dark Chocolate? Yes, Please

As if you needed an arm-twisting to eat chocolate, the amazing effects of cocoa’s high antioxidants on the skin are impressive, including helping reduce wrinkles, increase skin thickness, hydration, blood flow and skin texture. It may help reduce blood pressure, increase insulin sensitivity and improve elasticity. The antioxidant profile of dark chocolate is even more powerful than blueberries, cranberries or acai berries. Cocoa may be a powerful tool for keeping your skin young, but make sure to choose dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa and eat around 20 grams so you can maximize the health benefits.

Karina Heinrich_Pomegranate Seeds Porch_2018.JPG

6. Fantastic Fruits

Fruits are antioxidant superstars. Berries, pomegranates, tomatoes and avocados (avocados get their own shout-out below) stand out when it comes to earning an A for being the healthiest fruits. Pomegranates may even have more antioxidants than that of green tea – helping decrease inflammation, prevent damage from high blood sugar levels and protect the skin from sun damage, plus repair damaged skin and increase collagen production. Tomatoes also provide impressive health benefits due to their high lycopene content, which can help reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke and may also protect your skin from the sun. Cooking tomatoes with olive oil helps boosts the absorption of lycopene into the body.

7. Awesome Avocados

Avocados are not only delicious, but they are a powerhouse food. Avocados are high in healthy fats that benefit both your body and the health of your skin. Avocados are essential for supple, springy, moisturized and flexible skin. Avocados may contain nutrients that protect the skin against sun damage that can lead to long-term skin wrinkling. Avocados are high in vitamin E and vitamin C. Vitamin E is a super important antioxidant that helps protect the skin from oxidative damage. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant that protects your skin from damage caused by the sun and environment. Not only do avocados prevent sun and environmental-related skin damage, they may also help protect the DNA in your skin cells. About ½ an avocado provides 10% of the recommended daily intake for vitamin E and 17% of the RDI for vitamin C.

8. All Over Olive Oil

Extra virgin olive oil is one of the very healthiest fats and has been shown to prevent many common diseases, such as high blood pressure & heart disease, as well as sun damage. Plus olive oil helps your skin look younger because it has awesome anti-inflammatory effects on the skin. Almost 75% of olive oil is made up of monounsaturated fat, which increases skin elasticity and firmness.

9. Be Bold With Bone Broth

Bone broth has become a popular diet “must have” on the health scene. It’s made by cooking bones from fish, poultry and meat in water for an extended time to create a broth filled with healthy minerals. Bone broth is super high in collagen, which helps reduce the signs of aging. When cooked, collagen breaks down into gelatin, which is high in the amino acids that your body can absorb to form new collagen in your skin. Bone broth's high collagen content can improve skin elasticity and reduce wrinkles.

I don’t know about you, but I’m going to cook up a big pot of bone broth, sip a mug filled with green tea, bake some salmon with broccoli (olive oil drizzled on top, of course) and end my meal with a square of extra dark chocolate. I can feel my skin firming up just thinking about it!

Karina HeinrichComment