We all want to look younger and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles – without having to spend a fortune. Cosmetic products that are made with superfoods are a great option for antiaging, but eating the actual superfoods has also proven to be just as effective.
“Here’s a reason to brew an extra afternoon cup: Tea, especially green tea, offers antioxidants that may help protect the skin from aging caused by UV rays,” Amy Gorin, MS, RDN, owner of Amy Gorin Nutrition in Jersey City, NJ, says.
“If you’re dehydrated, your skin may show it. Sip water throughout the day. Most adults need more than the typically recommended eight ounces, and when you feel thirsty, you’re likely already dehydrated,” Gorin says. “Remember that many foods, like fruit, veggies, soup, and oatmeal, are rich in water, which counts toward hydration.”
“That bright red hue comes from the antioxidant lycopene, which may help protect skin from damage (including wrinkles) caused by UV light,” Gorin says. “Eating fresh tomatoes will help, but also aim to incorporate tomato sauces and pastes, since research shows that the lycopene in cooked tomatoes may be better absorbed by the body.” One of Gorin’s favorite ways to eat tomato sauce is in her Protein Punch Marinara Spaghetti Squash recipe.
“Drinking pomegranate juice may help decrease damage caused by certain UV rays! Pomegranates also offer vitamin C, an antioxidant found to help keep the skin looking young,” Gorin says. “I love cooking with pomegranate juice, too, as in my Roasted Butternut Squash with Pomegranate Sauce.”
“Drinking coffee may help lower your risk of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer,” Gorin says. “It’s possible that the caffeine and polyphenols in coffee may provide some protective benefits to skin cancers caused by UVB rays.”
Green and yellow veggies
Eat those veggies! “Green and yellow veggies, like green and yellow bell peppers, may help lower the wrinkling that occurs in the crow’s foot area, found a study of Japanese women,” Gorin says. “Eat bell peppers in a stir-fry, or slice them and dip them into hummus or guacamole.”
“The monounsaturated fatty acids in olive oil were found to lower risk of photo aging (the long-term effects such as wrinkles and dark spots that occur from long-term exposure to sunlight), per a study in the journal PLoS One,” Gorin says. “Drizzle olive oil onto sliced tomatoes or a salad, or use it in a roasted veggies recipe, such as my Roasted Lemon Pepper Asparagus.”
“Probiotics, such as those found in yogurt and some sauerkrauts, may help repair damage to your skin that’s caused by UV rays—as well as help with skin conditions like eczema,” Gorin says. “One of my favorite ways to eat Greek yogurt is in a breakfast parfait, such as my Greek Yogurt Parfait with Cereal and Pan-Roasted Grapes.”
“Full of healthy fats, avocado may help protect the skin from damage from UV rays,” Gorin says. “This may be due to the lutein and zeaxanthin, which are carotenoids and present in avocado. Slice an avocado onto a salad, or top an omelet with some slivers.”
“Any foods, including oranges, that are rich in the antioxidant vitamin C can help the skin stay youthful,” Gorin says. “Studies have found that diets high in vitamin C are linked with better-looking skin and less wrinkling.” Other fruits and veggies that boast vitamin C include pineapple, strawberries, and mango, she adds.