Who doesn't want to feel beautiful, youthful and radiant from the inside out?! Luckily, when we pack our diet with antioxidants, healthy fats, proteins and water, our body will show more effects than even the most expensive bottle of serum. Here are some of the most nutrient-packed fruits and vegetables to incorporate into your diet:
Avocados are high in fatty acids that fight inflammation and promote smooth, supple skin. They also contain essential nutrients that prevent the negative effects of aging, such as vitamins K. C, E, and A, as well as potassium and B complex vitamins. This high content of vitamin A in avocados help us shed dead skin cells (fun fact: it works the same way as a retinol/oid!)
Broccoli is an anti-inflammatory, anti-aging powerhouse with fiber, folate, lutein, calcium, antioxidants, and lots of vitamin K and C, which aids in the production of collagen. Lutein, vitamin K and calcium have been linked to the brain's memory function- broccoli gives beauty and brains!
If you haven't noticed, vitamin A is an essential component to keeping skin looking healthy. Blueberries are rich in vitamin A and C, as well as an anti-oxidant named anthocyanin (which gives blueberries their color!) These antioxidants help protect skin from sun damage, stress, and pollution through preventing collagen loss and moderating your body's inflammatory response.
Nuts are a great source of vitamin E, which repairs skin tissue, protects skin from UV rays, and helps your skin retain moisture. Certain nuts, like walnuts, contain omega-3s that help strengthen skin cell membranes, protect against sun damage, and give your skin more glow by preserving its natural oil barrier.
Papaya is SUCH an overlooked fruit! It's rich in a variety of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals such as calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, B complex vitamins, and vitamins A, C, K, and E. A long list for one fruit! Because of all of these, papaya helps improve skin elasticity, and minimizes the appearance of fine lines/wrinkles through fighting free radical damage. Papaya also contains papain, which is one of nature's best anti-inflammatory agents!
Pomegranates have been used for centuries as a medicinal fruit because of their high content of vitamin C and antioxidants. They reduce inflammation in our system and protect our bodies from free radical damage. Pomegranate seeds also contain punicalagins, which preserve collagen in the skin!
Red Bell Pepper
Notice a pattern to these yet? That's right, antioxidants and vitamins! Red bell peppers are no different- they're loaded with antioxidants and vitamin C, which are essential for collagen production. Red bell pepper also has carotenoids, an antioxidant responsible for the red/yellow/orange color in fruits and veggies. Carotenoids help protect your skin from inflammation, environmental toxins, and sun damage.
Spinach is super hydrating (helloooo water content!) and packed with antioxidants to help oxygenate your body. It also has vitamin C to enhance collagen production, vitamin A to promote strong, shiny hair, and vitamin K to reduce inflammation in cells. Spinach also has lutein, plant-based heme iron, and magnesium to keep your body working at its peak performance.
Watercress is nutrient dense and so hydrating! It's a great source of calcium, potassium, manganese, phosphorus, vitamins A, C, K, B-1 and B-2. These all work together to increase the circulation and delivery of minerals to all the cells of your body- hydrating and oxygenating the skin. The antioxidants and vitamins in watercress neutralize harmful free radicals in our body, minimizing the damage that leads to aging!
Fighting signs of aging with diet (and lots of sunscreen!). Proper nutrition nourishes the body and replenishes what we lose when our body is stressed- environmentally, physically, or emotionally. Your skin will thank you later!
If you enjoyed this article be sure and hit the share button. My goal is to be the last dietitian you ever need. I personally love food and firmly believe you don't have to give up what you love to reach your goals. My services are virtual so no matter where you are, we can find a way to help you have your cake and eat it too! Click here to inquire.