When we’re in our teens, we can’t wait to get older. Everything is ahead of us: driving, college, turning 21, getting married, having children, the list goes on and on. But somewhere in our late twenties or early thirties, aging becomes less about what’s going to happen next and more about what’s happening to us right now.
We begin to lose muscle tone, our metabolism slows, we can’t recover as quickly when we stay up late, and we start to feel aches and pains that weren’t there before. In essence, we start to see and feel the signs of aging more acutely than before.
One of the first age indicators you may notice is wrinkles. Though perhaps not particularly noticeable at first, wrinkles tend to act as a constant reminder that you’re getting older. But there are steps you can take fight wrinkles at any age.
Chief amongst the ways we can work to fight wrinkles is what we choose to put in our body. Our diet goes a long way to keeping us healthy on the inside and on the outside. And while we may think of altering our diet as a difficult process, there are a few simple changes we can make to begin fighting wrinkles from the inside out. Let’s look at six natural wrinkle-fighting superfoods that you can use to smooth the creases and lines that start to develop with age.
In the book The Beauty Diet, dietician and nutritionist Lisa Drayer tells us, “High vitamin C intake is associated with fewer wrinkles. [And] one cup of peeled kiwifruit contains more vitamin C than the equivalent amount of oranges.”
Citrus fruit, and the vitamin C it contains, helps your body detox by supporting your liver and kidneys. The liver and kidneys, then, serve to “scrub” free radicals (pollutants and toxins that can damage your skin) from your body resulting in less wrinkles and a clearer complexion.
Try adding a few slices of kiwi to your morning smoothie or midday salad for a great vitamin C boost.
Dermatologist Nicholas Perricone, author of The Clear Skin Prescription, touts buckwheat and its monounsaturated fatty acids as a critical ingredient in keeping skin supple and youthful. These monounsaturated fats, along with buckwheat’s rich stores of rutin, serve to help the collagen in your skin keep its elasticity. This elasticity can help prevent wrinkles by returning the skin to its normal position, especially in areas that move a lot such as the eyes and mouth.
Unprocessed, buckwheat is the seed of a plant in the rhubarb family. As a food, hulled buckwheat kernels are very much like oats. Try substituting a portion of the oats in your oatmeal with whole buckwheat, sprinkle ground buckwheat on your salad, or exchange wheat pasta for buckwheat-based soba noodles.
As touched on in the buckwheat section, wrinkles are formed by the breakdown of collagen in the skin. The weakening of the collagen bonds can result in inflammation which can extend into the visible layers of the skin and contribute to the rapid development of wrinkles.
Nutritional consultant Allison Tannis prescribes ginger for its wonderful taste and for its anti-inflammatory properties. Ginger, like most of the foods on this list, works at the cellular level to reduce inflammation and keep you skin looking smooth and wrinkle free.
We’ve been hearing about the avocado’s nutritional benefits for some time now, but did you know that it also protects the skin and can help prevent wrinkles? Avocados (technically classified as a fruit) contain substantial amounts of antioxidants which serve to protect your skin from environmental damage that can increase the formation of wrinkles. In addition, avocados contain healthy amounts of vitamin C (mentioned in the Kiwi section). Taken together in one superfruit, avocado provides a hefty one-two punch to help you fight wrinkles at any age.
Tomatoes, and the lycopene they contain, can help protect the skin against the wrinkling effects of sunlight exposure. According to a 2012 study, lycopene—a powerful antioxidant and the pigment that makes the fruit red—can help keep skin supple by increasing the levels of procollagen in the body. It can also strengthen skin by neutralizing the effectiveness of free radicals that break down the collagen in the skin. In essence, tomatoes work to prevent the breakdown of collagen while at the same time promoting its growth. That’s a powerful advantage in one tasty fruit.
Nuts in general—and almonds in particular—are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids. These monounsaturated fatty acids in almonds can help moisturize your skin from the inside out. Almonds also contain vitamin E that serves as a powerful anti-inflammatory. Vitamin E works to reduce the damage caused by sun exposure and free radicals in the environment. Consumed in moderation, almonds are a great way to snack healthy and fight wrinkles at the same time.
Starting The Skin Detox Diet
Yes, wrinkles are a natural part of aging. But by including these six superfoods in your diet, you can work to reduce, and even prevent, the onset of wrinkles. Add these delicious as sides to your meals are snack on them throughout your day.
Incorporating these foods into your diet may be tricky at first. But as you see your skin change for the better, consuming plenty of these skin-detoxing superfoods will get easier over time. Start by picking one food from the list and adding it to a meal every day. To get all these superfoods in one fell swoop, consider adding them to a salad.
Another great way to ease these foods into your diet is to use them as snacks between breakfast and lunch or lunch and dinner. A small handful of almonds and sliced kiwi can keep you from binging on chips between dinner and bedtime.