We are so accustomed to focusing on what we eat being directly related to our weight and internal health, that we often forget that it also plays a huge role in the health of our skin.
Eating a diet rich in antioxidants, vitamins, essential nutrients, and healthy fats can make a significant difference to the health – and consequently the youthful appearance – of our skin. Our skin is the largest organ of our body, composed of cells that require just as much nutritional support as our internal organs. Here are nine anti-aging snacks that can help you stay looking younger.
If there’s any such thing as a superfood, surely avocados fit the bill. Rich in fiber and heart-healthy fats, avocados contain a high concentration of monounsaturated fats that can support skim membrane health. The high content of antioxidants also works towards fighting the free radicals that can prematurely age our skin.
Research shows that eating a diet full of nutritious, plant-based fats is associated with heightened skin health in older adults.
2. Fatty Fish
Omega-3 fatty acids are highly beneficial to our health, combating oxidative stress, inflammation, heart disease, and more – and fatty fish is packed with it.
Fatty fish, such as salmon, are also high in protein, which our body uses to produce collagen to improve skin strength and plumpness, thereby reducing wrinkles.
There is also evidence to show that consuming adequate amounts of selenium can help reduce the severity of psoriasis and other skin diseases. The mineral selenium – of which fish are high in – is an antioxidant that can also help prevent and reduce the damage caused to skin by UV light.
Popcorn may be a little unexpected, but it contains naturally occurring antioxidants called polyphenols that fight oxidative stress, helping to protect your skin from damage. These polyphenols also have the potential to reduce the risk of skin cancer, although more research is required to understand the benefits further.
Popcorn on its own is a naturally filling snack, high in fiber. However, adding some usual extras, such as butter, oils, and salt can turn it into a high-calorie, unhealthy option.
An easy way to enjoy the benefits of snacking on popcorn is to embrace savory options. Popcorn comes in a wide range of flavors these days, such as yummy dill pickle popcorn, with pickles also being one of the most common food cravings for pregnant women.
4. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Few diets are healthier than the Mediterranean diet, and one of the reasons is that it includes plenty of extra-virgin olive oil. Rich in antioxidants and healthy fats, olive oil helps to reduce oxidative stress and inflammation caused by free radicals.
The anti-inflammatory properties of both antioxidants and monounsaturated fats found in olive oil have been shown to reduce the risk of significant skin aging. Cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil is particularly beneficial because it is even higher in antioxidants.
5. Brussels Sprouts
We know – brussels sprouts aren’t always a favorite, but they are very beneficial to our health. Brussels sprouts are particularly high in C, boosting our immune system and helping to keep our skin healthy. They can also help to reduce the oxidative stress that can damage our skin cells.
6. Green Tea
Green tea is a well-known source of antioxidants. The antioxidants help fight the free radicals that can damage our cells, including our skin cells. Oxidative stress can have a variety of negative effects on our health, and the rich source of antioxidants found in green tea is highly beneficial in combating this damage.
Green tea is already present in a number of skincare products due to its rich source of polyphenols and other anti-aging properties. More research is required to better understand the benefits. Still, it is generally well-understood that eating a diet rich in antioxidants results in healthier skin.
Berries are packed with vitamins, antioxidants, and other micronutrients. This can boost cell heath and slow the aging process of our skin, and more. Blueberries are loaded with flavonoids like quercetin and myricetin – rich in vitamins K and C to help prevent skin damage and support anti-aging. Strawberries are another great choice, rich in nutrients and phenolic compounds that act as anti-inflammatory agents.
Vegetables are typically rich in nutrients and antioxidants that help to reduce the risk of a variety of diseases, while their high carotenoid content can protect the skin against harmful UV rays. Many vegetables are also great sources of vitamin C, which is crucial for healthy collagen production. Vegetables particularly rich in vitamin C include tomatoes, broccoli, and leafy greens.
9. Dark Chocolate
To end on the best news, it’s true that dark chocolate offers up a range of health benefits. This includes for our skin, largely thanks to its rich flavanol content.
Research has found that including some dark chocolate in our diet can help prevent skin from aging, maintain elasticity, and even prevent some of the damage that UV rays can cause.
It’s important to note that the darker the chocolate is, the healthier it is. This is because it’s the cocoa itself that contains the high flavanol content. So, opt for a few squares of at least 70% cocoa choccy for a daily treat that’s good for your skin and more.
You are what you eat
What we eat affects the inside, and it can make a huge difference to the health of our skin. It’s great to know that there is an abundance of healthy, yummy foods that can help keep us looking younger. We just need to make sure that we include a variety of them in our daily diet for optimal benefits.
Who is the author?
Duncan Kariuki has been in the writing profession for a decade now. He has great experience writing informative articles, and his work has been appreciated and published in many popular publications. His educational background in communication and public relations has given him a concrete basis from which to approach different topics in various niches.