Eat Right for Younger Looking Skin

Did you know? The skin is the largest organ of the body! It is made up

of three layers, the epidermis, dermis, and hypodermis. These layers work together to act as a protective barrier from pathogens, bacteria, fungi and much more. The skin plays a vital role in regulating our health and protecting our bodies from external hazards.

Now, let's talk about your skin health!

We all want healthy looking skin and as a result the elixir for youthful skin has been sought after & studied for years by dermatologists & doctors. So what are some tips and tricks of achieving the 'youthful & healthy skin look'?

In order to look young on the outside, we must take care of our body from the inside. Today, we'll be talking about the intake of food & the power of antioxidants!

What are antioxidants?

Antioxidants are compounds that inhibit oxidation. What is oxidation you ask? 

  • Oxidation is a chemical reaction that produces free radicals. As a result, these free radicals create a reaction that can lead to damage of cellular function & regeneration. 
  • Free radicals can be both beneficial & harmful. They neutralize harmful bacteria & viruses in our bodies, however... too many free radicals can cause damage to even healthy cells. 

Environmental factors contribute to the overabundance of free radicals within the body. Factors such as sun exposure, pollution, cigarette smoke & radiation can contribute to the formation of these free radicals. This is what we want to avoid- extra damage to our skin & health. 

The benefits of antioxidants?

  • Helps correct the signs of aging
  • Helps the skin repair itself
  • Helps brighten skin tone

The best sources of antioxidants?

Plant- based foods. Fruits & vegetables!

  • Berries, oranges & bell peppers - For your source of Vitamin C
  • Green vegetables, Nuts & Seeds-For your source of Vitamin E! 
  • Spinach & brocolli, Dairy produce & eggs- For your source of Vitamin A!

Experts have studied the effects of antioxidants and believe they have the ability to ‘capture’ free radicals and may protect us from certain diseases. Therefore, antioxidant-rich foods can also give us a healthier, glowing complexion.

According to Susan M. Kleiner, R.D., Ph.D, a Seattle-based nutritionist, eating foods rich in antioxidants is best.

        “There’s no substitute for getting nutrients through food. The body absorbs                and assimilates them far better than in supplement form.”

Kleiner suggests following the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Guide Pyramid, and eating three to five servings of vegetables and two to four servings of fruit each day. Choose at least one citrus fruit, such as an orange, a tangerine, or a grapefruit, for vitamin C. To increase  beta-carotene intake, eat at least two orange-yellow or leafy green vegetables each day.

         “Don’t be afraid to add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil to your diet, or to eat some nuts or seeds,” advises Dr. Kleiner.

The following guideline can be used for RDAs for three of the most common antioxidant nutrients, vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta-carotene; good sources and how best to maximize benefits of each are included.

Vitamin C: RDA at least 60 mg. (1/2 cup orange juice = 70 mg.) Citrus fruits and juices and tomatoes are good sources of vitamin C. Eat whole fruit for extra fiber. Avoid juice in glass containers, and heat-pasteurized juice. Light and heat destroy some of the vitamin C.

Vitamin E: RDA 8 mg for women / 10 mg. for men (1 tablespoon of canola oil = 9 mg.) Good sources include nuts, seeds and their oils, fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, halibut, and trout, and wheat germ. Use canola, olive, or another vegetable oil in place of butter or margarine when cooking.

Beta-carotene: no established RDA. Expert Dr. Kleiner, however, recommends 5-6 mg. ( One carrot = 12 mg.) Orange and yellow vegetables, and leafy green vegetables, including broccoli, are all good sources. Instead of potato chips or popcorn for an evening snack while watching television, opt for prepackaged, washed and peeled baby carrots. If you feel you are unable to meet the RDAs through diet alone, options include taking by an all-in-one antioxidant vitamin supplement a day, but continue to pay attention to rich food sources. However, we advise you to talk to a health specialist or family physician regarding any dietary concerns- to make sure to find an option that best suitable for your heath. Because many over-the-counter cosmetics containing antioxidants don’t have enough to be totally affective by themselves, it is best to ‘feed’ them to your skin in combination with a healthy, antioxidant rich diet for younger looking skin.