Youthful skin not only improves our looks, and can raise our confidence and self-esteem, but also means healthy skin that helps protect the body. Typically we think of certain conditions that come about as skin ages such as wrinkles, lines, sagging, thinning, age spots, and drying. Research now shows that much of what we think of as aging skin is due to inflammation and has more to do with lifestyle and diet than how old we are. This is good news, since we can’t turn back time on aging, but we can make diet and lifestyle changes to improve skin from the inside by eating foods for healthy skin.
Skin Aging From Inflammation
Inflammation that damages and ages skin can be the result of free radicals. Free radicals are molecules in cells that are weakened to the point that they lose an electron. These free radicals then go around taking electrons from other molecules and creating more free radicals and can cause inflammation in the body and lead to oxidation. Oxidation destroys the cells that produce collagen and elastin that are necessary for firm, clear, and resilient skin. Chronic inflammation can result from stress, hormone imbalance, being exposed to toxins and chemicals, over exposure to sunlight, X-rays, smoking, chlorinated water, pollution, and eating overcooked, fried, sugar-filled, and processed foods. This type of inflammation actually affects the mitochondria inside body cells causing them to die off prematurely and affecting skin by weakening collagen, clogging pores and dilating capillaries.
Antioxidants to the Rescue
The immune system is what we have to protect us from illness, health conditions, and damaging free radicals. In the case of chronic inflammation the immune system can be overwhelmed and need help. Antioxidants can help protect cells from the damage of free radicals and repair damage done. Antioxidants to include in a healthy skin diet to enhance youthful skin are:
- Vitamins C, E, A, and B complex
- DMAE (Dimethylaminoethanol)
- ALA (Alpha-lipoic acid)
You’ll find these in a diet of whole foods with lots of bright colored vegetables, fruits, green tea and fish and drinking plenty of clean, pure water. Alpha-Lipoic Acid (ALA) is a super antioxidant that unlike most other antioxidants, is able to penetrate oil and water which allows it to work on skin cells inside and outside the body. The body produces small amounts itself, it can be taken as a supplement, is found in skin creams and is in small amounts in foods such as meats, broccoli, spinach and brewer’s yeast. The body also makes small amounts of DMAE (Dimethylaminoethanol) and it can be taken in supplement form or can be found in small amounts in salmon, anchovies, and sardines. Fish such as these are also high in essential fatty acids which help fight off inflammation, help produce the skin’s natural oils, and support healthy skin. Coenzyme Q10 is a key antioxidant to cellular health, energy production, heart health and the immune system. CoQ10 is necessary for 95% of the energy our bodies need and while the body makes this coenzyme naturally, the production is reduced as we get older often making supplementation necessary. According to Karen E. Burke, MD, Vitamin C can help prevent damage from too much sun and vitamin E can help lessen the risk of wrinkles and damage from the sun. Foods for healthy skin with Vitamin C include bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, and leafy greens and for vitamin E include vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, olives, spinach, and asparagus. Vitamin A can help moisturize skin and repair damaged skin tissue. You’ll get vitamin A by eating foods like spinach, sweet potatoes, apricots, squash, pumpkin, liver, eggs, carrots and cantaloupe. Biotin, one of the B vitamins is another important antioxidant for keeping skin itch free and moisturized as well as being good for hair and nails. Biotin can be found in bananas, eggs, oatmeal and rice. Another B vitamin, Niacin, helps keep skin moisturized and helps reduce inflammation
If you’re not getting this type of nutrition from the foods you eat, this wild whole food supplement program can help not only by giving you the basic nutrition of AFA bluegreen algae, probiotics, and digestive enzymes, but also the antioxidant power of kale sprouts, red clover sprouts, wheat sprouts, concentrated wheat sprouts, and Dunaliella salina algae, the minerals and phytonutrients of dulse, kelp, fucoidan, Ecklonia cava, bladderwrack, Dunaliella salina, spirulina, chlorella, and a blend of reishi, maitake, cordyceps, wild black trumpet, and Poria cocos mushrooms which have been studied for their positive benefits in immune system support. Another supplement that can help with getting antioxidants lacking in your diet is this AFA bluegreen algae, wild blueberry, green tea, and carnosine antioxidant and algae supplement.
You really can eat your way to better skin. Just start cutting out the sugary, processed, refined, unhealthy fatty foods and begin filling your diet with foods for healthy skin with all the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that will make your skin glow and retain its youthful appearance.