1. A cup of green tea a day keeps the wrinkles away, says Victoria Yoffie, integrative wellness practitioner and founder of YoffieLife.com. “The catechins (a type of antioxidant) in green tea boost blood flow and oxygen, which improves important nutrient delivery to the skin. The result is smoother and more elastic skin. And promising studies reveal that a combination of green tea and sunscreen enhances sun protection. The higher the quality of the green tea — think loose leaves over pre-packaged tea bags — the more potent the effects.”
2. Bone broth is big these days. And with good reason, says Be Well Health Coach Katrine van Wyk. “Bone broth (from beef, chicken, lamb or fish) is a rich source of collagen — the main structural protein of connective tissues. Collagen helps to both improve the elasticity of the skin and fight wrinkles. Bone broth also boasts great healing properties for the digestive system. We know there’s a strong connection between the skin and our digestive system — so taking care of it will ultimately also lead to healthier looking skin!”
3. Fat can be your friend, says Yoffie. “Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats — health-supportive fats — act as natural moisturizers to keep skin supple and glowing. Add half an avocado or a quarter cup of pumpkin seeds to your next salad or add 3 ounces of salmon or mackerel to your weekly meal plan.”
4. Check into the triple-crown benefits of chia seeds, incorporating them into smoothies, mixing into oatmeal or adding to almond milk to make chia pudding. The takeway? Super-seed chia “Fights both inflammation and puffiness — plus, it improves digestion,” says Tricia Williams, culinary holistic nutritionist at foodmattersnyc.com.
5. Drink your greens. “Dark, leafy greens like spinach, kale, Swiss chard and collard greens are loaded with minerals and vitamins — and are full of protective antioxidants that help our cells fight off damage from pollution, says van Wyk, author of Best Green Drinks Ever. “Greens also help reduce inflammation, which can calm any skin irritation and acne. A green juice loaded with leafy greens, some cucumber, lemon and just a small amount of fruit is a perfect pick-me-up for the skin!”
6. You can indulge your sweet tooth and benefit your skin, says Yoffie. “Cocoa flavanols, powerful antioxidants in dark chocolate, protect the skin from cellular damage caused by free radicals and help make the skin firmer, smoother and softer. For the best results choose chocolate that contains at least 70 percent cacao and to keep any extra pounds from appearing on your waistline while still reaping the benefits, limit your intake to a 1-ounce portion or the equivalent of 150 calories.”
7. Start at the top — and improve your scalp and hair. “Blueberries are well known for their powerful anti-aging properties, but they’re also rich in vitamin C, which is critical for circulation to the scalp and healthy hair follicles,” says Rebecca Fuller, RD, dietician, Fashion Institute of Technology and Coles Sports Center at NYU. “Increased circulation to the scalp aids in preventing dandruff, psoriasis, and other scalp conditions, as well as promoting faster hair growth. It can take approximately three months for dietary changes to show up in your hair, so be patient and enjoy the other benefits of blueberries, such as improved memory and improved blood pressure.”
Photo Credit: Terry Doyle