We experience the realities of aging skin every day, don’t we? As women in our 50s and 60s (and beyond) we know all too well what happens to our skin as we get older. It’s thinner, it has wrinkles and sags, that youthful ‘glow’ isn’t shining quite so brightly any longer. And it’s all part of the natural aging process.
Although we can’t turn back the clock and regenerate the beautifully smooth skin of our past, there are actions we can take to protect, nourish, and keep our skin looking more youthful and healthy. One of the most significant ways we can control how our skin looks and behaves is through our diet, our choice of foods and beverages. Specifically, anti aging superfoods.
What is the definition of a superfood? It is a food that provides more nutrients than an average healthy diet. The top 10 antiaging superfoods for beautiful skin are foods that provide high levels of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to help fight free radicals, which cause aging.
What are free radicals, you ask? They are molecules that have an unpaired electron. They can cause damage to cells and DNA, leading to inflammation, aging of the skin and cancer. They are nasty. We don’t want them.
We are exposed to free radical damage from external sources such as pollution, cigarette smoke and UV rays. We can also be exposed internally through stress hormones released by the adrenal gland in response to anxiety or high levels of cortisol hormone when we’re stressed. Avoiding these things will help you avoid exposure to harmful free radicals that contribute to aging.
So if free radicals are the bad guys, antioxidants are the good guys that come riding in to save the day. Antioxidants are important because they help neutralize the free radicals that we’re exposed to everyday.
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What is the deal with our skin, anyway?
Let’s delve into a little bit of biology and review what our skin actually is, and what it’s purpose is. This can be helpful in understanding why we want to take such good care of this precious organ.
Yes, our skin is the largest organ of the body, about 20 square feet. It serves to protect us from the elements and nasty microbes, allows us to feel things like heat, and cold. Our skin also helps to regulate our body temperature.
There are three layers to the skin: the epidermis, the dermis, and the subcutaneous layer. Here is a simple image from our friends at VeryWellHealth.com:
The top layer of your skin is called the epidermis. It is made up of keratinocytes, which make proteins like filaggrin. These proteins help skin to maintain its elasticity, produce pigment, and help protect the immune system.
The dermis is the layer of skin that covers the epidermis. It does things to protect it from bacteria, UV radiation, and chemicals. The dermis is where our follicles, nerve endings, and sweat glands are located.
It also contains collagen which is what makes skin appear plump and healthy looking. Collagen production decreases with age so it’s important for us to work on making sure that we help our skin retain as much collagen as possible.
The part of the skin that is underneath the first two is the subcutaneous layer. It’s purpose is to provide insulation to the body. It produces a lot of sebum which is what helps keep skin hydrated and elastic.
The subcutaneous layer also contains adipose tissue or fat cells that help our skin maintain its shape including making us look youthful.
So now that we understand a little bit more about our skin, it’s components, and how incredibly important it is to our health, let’s take a look at the top 10 superfoods to keep your skin looking and performing it’s best.
Anti Aging Superfoods to Include in Our Diet
Choosing foods that will nourish our skin, help fight aging, and maintain younger looking skin should become a regular part of our daily nutrition. There are many aspects of aging that are outside of our control, my friend, so when we can actually make a difference by the choice of foods we eat, it seems like a no-brainer to include them in our daily diet.
Let’s take a closer look at these anti aging superfoods and see how we can incorporate them as part of our regular, ongoing nutrition.
A staple of the Mediterranean Diet, and containing monounsaturated fat, olive oil is a good source of vitamin E. It also contains procyanidins and polyphenols which help fight skin damage caused by the environment or sun exposure.
It is made by extracting the oil from olives, and the process is relatively simple. If you want to use the highest quality, least processed, type of olive oil, use extra virgin.
There are powerful health benefits in the fatty acids and antioxidants found in olive oil. In addition to helping fight skin damage, olive oil contain anti inflammatory substances, can help fight cardiovascular disease, and potentially can help fight the risk of cancer.
Using olive oil in cooking is one simple way to include it in your diet. It is fairly resistant to high heat because it contains mostly monounsaturated fatty acids. I have replaced all of my other cooking oils with my good friend ‘extra virgin’, and use an oil sprayer/dispenser for many recipes.
It’s a super healthy superfood!
Blueberries are considered a superfood because of their ability to help fight inflammation and are high in antioxidants. It’s so easy, my friend. Just eat them.
Contained in 1 cup of our little blue friends are 4 grams of fiber, 24% of the RDI for Vitamin C, 36% of the RDI for Vitamin K, and 25% of the RDI for Manganese.
It’s very easy to incorporate blueberries into your daily diet:
- just grab a handful and munch on them
- toss some on your cereal or yogurt
- include them with other fresh fruit as a side or meal
- use them in protein or fruit smoothies
- add them in recipes
One of my favorite recipes is Skinny Blueberry Muffins. I make them quite often and they always get rave reviews. Tasty but not too filling, with a size that is manageable.
Walnuts contain omega-three fatty acids, a nutrient that is notoriously difficult for people with dry skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis to consume enough of without supplementation (which can be expensive).
This little nut is so interesting, scientists and industry experts actually gather for a walnut conference annually. Why is there so much to do about walnuts? They give so much back to us when it comes to our health, anti aging specifically.
- rich in antioxidants (more than any other nut – they’re jealous)
- as noted above, they are higher in omega-3 fat than any other nut
- promotes a healthy gut
- may reduce risk of some cancers
- calorie dense, but they may support weight control by helping decrease appetite and hunger
Just a few walnuts per day can offer the antiaging and health benefits we’re looking for. Just don’t overdo the joy.
Almonds contain monounsaturated oleic acid, vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) and phytosterols that work together to protect the skin from free radicals. And you know what those little buggers can do!
You’ll be pleased to learn that almonds are low in carbohydrates but high in protein, healthy fats, and fiber. They can help us feel full and be less tempted to eat unhealthy snacks.
A small handful as a daily snack is a simple way to include almonds, an antiaging superfood, in your diet.
Oatmeal is considered to be a superfood because of its high content of beta-glucans, which help to fight wrinkles and aging.
Oats contain antioxidant substances like vitamin E, phytic acid, phenolic compounds, and avenanthramides. We may not be able to pronounce all of the words, but remember this: Antioxidants are good for your skin, plus they shield your heart (and the rest of you) those damaging molecules, free radicals.
There are 4 types of oatmeal:
- Steel cut oats are literally cut with a steel blade. Because they are less processed and larger than their counterparts, they help you to feel fuller longer.
- Rolled oats that most of us have eaten all of our lives. They are the ones in the big round tube-type container, and have been rolled or flattened to cook quickly.
- Scottish oats have been ground up into a meal-like texture and when cooked resemble a porridge.
- Quick oats are great if you’re in a hurry and want to use the microwave. They are very flat and small, and usually will cook in about a minute.
You’ll find some traditional plus tasty, updated recipes for oatmeal here, from our friends at Food Network.
Tomatoes, another anti aging superfood, are high in beta-carotene, which is converted to vitamin A. Vitamin A helps the skin heal faster and reduces wrinkles by triggering production of healthy cells.
Nutrients and antioxidants include:
- alpha-lipoic acid
- folic acid
Not only that, our little round, red friends are packed with other nutrients:
- 18 mg of calcium
- 427 mg of potassium
- 43 mg of phosphorus
- 24.7 mg of vitamin C
- 1499 international units (IU) of vitamin A
For me, there’s nothing tastier than a freshly cut, ripe tomato. They’re perfect eaten by themselves, in salads, salsas, sauces, and more. I enjoy my scrambled eggs with some fresh tomato and cheese in them.
Be sure to wash tomatoes well, as they can contain pesticide residue. And if you are sensitive to foods that contain higher levels of potassium, or on medication that may interact with it, be aware of this when consuming tomatoes.
Leafy Greens are considered a superfood because they are low in calories and high in vitamins A, C and E. Examples of leafy greens include kale, spinach and collard greens.
Kale is a superfood because it has more calcium than milk in one cup of kale. It also contains vitamin A and C to help with skin elasticity and wrinkling free skin care strategies for aging females over 50.
Other leafy green superfoods include watercress, spinach, collard greens, chard, leaf lettuce, and arugala. Use a variety to make a fresh green salad, a great choice in the warmer months of the year.
One of my recent favorite is sautéd swiss chard. Just heat some olive oil in a saucepan, then add the chard, let it cook for a couple of minutes (it will shrink down a lot), sprinkle with sea salt, and serve. It is amazing!
You might be surprised to learn that pomegranate is a superfood…a skin superfood. This is because it contains ellagic acid, which is an antioxidant that helps prevent skin cancer and slow down the aging process.
Pomegranate has been used for thousands of years by many cultures, so although some may refer to it as a ‘new’ superfood, it really isn’t. The strong antioxidant properties are from the tannins known as punicalagins, which are large polyphenol compounds.
These compounds are water-soluble, bioavailable and easily absorbed by the body. And, while punicalagins offer strong antioxidant properties by themselves, our body breaks them up into smaller polyphenols that are quickly absorbed and metabolized, continuing to work again and again. How cool is that?
A whole pomegranate contains just 200 calories, and when you purchase them, look for a fruit that feels heavy with firm skin.
If you’re like me, pomegranates don’t usually end up on the shopping list. So, what do we do with them if we want to incorporate this fruit into our antiaging diet?
No worries, my friend. Here are some interesting pomegranate recipes for meals, snacks, and beverages, along with some instructions for properly cutting up a pomegranate. Good to know!
Why is dark chocolate considered one of the 10 anti aging superfoods? It certainly isn’t because it is a sweet treat and tastes good, although that’s a big plus.
Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants, which have been shown to help improve blood flow, and boost overall health. It might even help improve your mood! When it comes to your precious skin, the vitamins and minerals found in dark chocolate, like copper, iron, and magnesium, are what is beneficial.
They support the production of collagen, help repair and renew skin, and may also help protect the skin from UV rays. Don’t stop using the sunscreen, though!
When you purchase dark chocolate, look for one that is at least 60 percent cacao or cocoa to maximize the antioxidant benefits. And, a small portion, about an ounce, is enough for a daily treat of this superfood.
Another superfood to include in your diet are avocados. They are packed with healthy fats, which promotes a glowing complexion by preventing dryness of the skin from aging. How does this happen?
Avocados boost the body’s absorption of carotenoids, which is a type of antioxidant and necessary for healthy skin. You can boost this benefit even further by choosing other superfoods that contain carotenoids, like those leafy greens mentioned previously.
Have some fun with these simple and easy avocado recipes, including avocado chocolate mousse, and avocado, kiwi and lime ice lollies. Yum.
Historically, green tea has been used for its many health benefits, including antiviral, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and immune-boosting properties.
Green tea is considered an anti aging superfood for our skin because it contains the catechins epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) that have antioxidant properties. EGCG helps fight wrinkles by reducing production of damaging free radicals on the outside layer of our skin.
You can, of course, drink green tea, take a dietary supplement, or apply it as an ingredient found in anti-aging products. Here are a few for you to consider:
Anti Aging Superfoods + Ongoing Skincare
Taking the time and making the commitment to eating foods that will nourish our aging skin as well as promote a healthy body are essential. We can take our skin care to another level by treating it well every single day.
We all have preferences when it comes to skin care products, and I’ll jump on my soapbox to share with you about Proven Skin Care. It’s a personalized skin care system that is based not only on specifics about you, such as your age, skin type, etc., but also where you live (climate, air quality, water quality) and more.
I receive a supply of this very simple 3-product skin care system delivered to my door periodically, at intervals that I set based on my usage. The formulations change based on the climate where I live as well as my continued usage. It’s a wonderful system that is perfect for mature skin. If you’re curious, learn more and read my review: Best Personalized Skin Care.
When I am asked about my skin and the lack of lines on my face, I always mention my secret weapon, which is Facial Magic. After three full years of this natural at-home facelift system, I am just as pleased with the results now as I was when I started the program.
Is my face getting older? Of course. Isn’t yours? But, I still benefit from the facial exercises I do regularly, just like I exercise my body. Your face is made up of muscles, you know, so why wouldn’t you want to keep them in shape? Learn more about Facial Magic and read my review. I love this system…it really is like magic!
Another tool in my look younger arsenal is City Beauty. I love to use their cruelty-free specialty products to target specific areas that need additional help, like thinning eyebrows, sparse eyelashes, face wrinkles, neck sags, and more. And, my all-time top of the list favorite, Uplift Firming Serum. I can see the difference in about a minute after using this product on my face. It looks firmer and tiny lines are minimized. Read more about City Beauty and their products that are made for mature skin.
Conclusion – Anti Aging Superfoods for Our Skin
While we can’t literally turn back the clock, there are actions we can take to nourish, protect, and enhance the health of our skin and our body. When we make wise decisions about what we eat, including anti aging superfoods like those shown here as well as a mix of other healthy nutritional choices, we’ll keep our bodies stronger and looking their best, especially our beautiful, mature skin!
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