If you want beautiful skin, what you eat matters. Here are twelve healthy beauty foods to help keep your skin healthy, fight inflammation and keep aging at bay.
When it comes to beautiful skin, we often lean heavily on what we can put on—or in (hello, injectables)—our skin, like face and eye creams or sunscreen. Turns out, what you put in your body as part of your daily diet can help keep you looking youthful, too—as well as help fight inflammation, which plays a role in physical ailments such as psoriatic arthritis and diabetes.
Here arev5 foods to help fight wrinkles and inflammation, as well as boost collagen and hydration for healthy, younger-looking skin.
This leafy green has already reached nutrition superstardom, but now you can add anti-aging skin powers to its list of accolades. Kale is brimming with lutein and zeaxanthin, two carotenoids that, according to research published in the journal Clinics in Dermatology, can boost your skin's elasticity and hydration, as well as the fat under your skin, which acts as a "measure" of youthfulness. Lutein specifically also appears to be able to shield your skin from a particularly harmful wavelength of light (and one that sunscreen isn't very good at protecting against) called blue light. Don't like kale? Try avocados instead—they're also full of lutein and zeaxanthin.
2. Dark Chocolate
Great news, chocolate lovers—dark chocolate offers some serious anti-aging benefits. Cocoa beans, the main ingredient in dark chocolate, is packed with antioxidants that can reduce inflammation from UV exposure, increase circulation and help your skin better retain moisture. This is a winning formula for glowing, healthy skin.
Dark chocolate is also rich in magnesium, another inflammation-fighting nutrient. Magnesium reduces stress and improves sleep duration and quality, which plays a role in skin aging. Just be sure to check the added sugars content of your favorite dark chocolate bar—too much sugar could wreak havoc on your skin. Research from Baylor University College of Medicine shows sugar has a negative affect on collagen fibers and can cause skin to appear more stiff and less elastic.
Thankfully, eating to age gracefully doesn't have to mean cutting out all types of sugar. Some fruits play a major role in keeping skin looking youthful and vibrant. Berries are packed with vitamin C—a common ingredient in anti-aging skin products—and antioxidants that fight off free radicals aging the skin.
Turns out, your spice cabinet is your next great anti-aging tool. Certain spices, like oregano, cinnamon and cloves, contain lipoic acid—a compound that acts as a powerful antioxidant in the body. Lipoic acid helps stiumulate antioxidant production throughout the body and removes heavy metals responsible for oxidative stress. While lipoic acid is naturally present in the body, you can boost your intake through certain foods (like these aromatic spices).
We can't talk about inflammation without mentioning turmeric. Turmeric has been used medically in other cultures for centuries to combat and prevent inflammation, and has recently become a popular supplement of choice in the Western world. This pungent spice can also help protect against depression, arthritis and certain cancers.
Everyone's favorite summertime fruit deserves a spot in your anti-aging diet all year long. Watermelon is packed with vitamins A, C and E—which all show to boost skin health—and powerful antioxidants like lycopene, making it the ultimate food for youthful skin. Watermelon is also seriously hydrating, as it is 92% water. Staying hydrated is essential for keeping your skin glowing and vibrant.