They say that what you eat is what you are and this is 100 percent true. I am constantly planning out our family meals to ensure adequate nutrition but the dermatologist in me cannot resist incorporating vitamin-rich food that will leave my skin looking great as well. Antioxidants that help to prevent age spots, wrinkling, sagging and UV damage are found in a variety of foods. A few of my favorites include:
Lycopene – Commonly found in red fruits and vegetables (red peppers, watermelon, tomatoes, pink grapefruit), Lycopene has anti-inflammatory powers and is an antioxidant that can neutralize the effect of harmful free radicals which will help minimize wrinkles and lines.
Beta-carotene – Find this in orange vegetables and leafy greens (carrots, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, cantaloupe, spinach, kale, collard greens, and romaine lettuce). Beta-carotene is a carotenoid which will help delay the effects of sun-induced aging by slowing down the effects of skin breakdown.
Flavonoids – Enjoy your berries, onions, tea (green, black, or white, non-herbal), and dark chocolate, Flavonoids offer a powerful boost to the immune system and provide anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and anti-cancer properties by protecting against oxidative and free radical damage.
Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) – We all know that vitamin C is one of the first things you turn to when you have a cold but its antioxidant properties also help protect against UV rays and can help keep skin firm with collagen synthesis. Look for Vitamin C in oranges, papaya, kiwifruit, strawberries, red peppers, Brussels sprouts, kale, and broccoli.
Vitamin E – Found in nuts, eggs, green leafy vegetables, avocados and whole grains, Vitamin E is one of the most powerful antioxidants, but your body can’t produce it. Make sure you are getting enough of this valuable antioxidant in your diet to help your skin stay healthier and supple.
At the end of the day, nothing beats a balanced diet! One quick and easy way to incorporate a lot of great antioxidants is to mix up a smoothie to enjoy with your breakfast. One of my favorites is below (my kids love it too!).
Berry Protein Smoothie
1 cup of mixed frozen organic berries
1 cup of spinach
4 TBSP of ground flaxmeal
2 Scoops of Vega Berry flavored vegan protein powder
2 Cups of Filtered Water
Add everything to your blender and blend until smooth
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