The wise adage, “you are what you eat,” ironically, has not been spread as a maxim by the collective dermatology community in the past, but doctors are finally starting to take notice of what Dr. Nicholas Perricone and various, renowned holistic researchers have been preaching for years. The verdict is in at last; food can profoundly affect the radiance and beauty of the skin. To achieve the luminosity and clarity every woman dreams of, certain superfoods are essential to transforming the skin.
To understand how these foods aid in dialing back the clock, it’s helpful to look at the powerful nutrients they contain. The top three skin boosting agents are essential fatty acids (EFA), Vitamin C and antioxidants.
Essential Fatty Acids (Omega 3 and Omega 6) strengthen the cells’ membrane and allow them to retain water and nutrients while filtering out waste; this boosts the skin’s buoyancy and youthful appearance as well as rids cells of impurities that lead to blemishes. EFAs can be found in abundance in nuts, seeds and seafood.
Flaxseed and Flaxseed Oil (flaxseed oil is delicious with lemon in a salad dressing) Hazelnuts
Pumpkin, Chia and Sunflower Seeds
Fish and Shellfish:
Salmon (extraordinary source of EFAs)
Oysters (high in zinc which gives collagen a boost)
Antioxidants, a vital ingredient for healthy skin, helps repair damage and also fights free radicals which oxidize and age skin. When in doubt, make bright fruits and vegetables your go-to food source. Many antioxidant-rich foods contain Vitamin C as well. Vitamin C boots collagen, prevents brown spots and leads to smooth skin!
Berries (especially blueberries)
Lemon (lemon also contains mega Vitamin C)
Tomato and Watermelon (they contain the antioxidant, lycopene, which protects the skin from damaging UV rays that cause skin to age)
Guava (very high in Vitamin C)
Blood Orange (Vitamin C booster)
Artichokes (the vegetable with the highest antioxidants)
Asparagus (high in Vitamin C)
Bok Choy (high in Vitamin A, which is the natural source of age-fighting retinol)
Brussels Sprout (major vitamin C)
Cabbage (beta-carotene, Vitamin C and anti-carcinogen)
Bell Peppers (high vitamin C)
Kale (this superfood is also high in Vitamin A and C as well as Omega 3)
Mushrooms (high in Vitamin D and B)
Olives (olives and olive oil help metabolize fats; cook with this oil for healthy skin and weight loss!)
Romaine Lettuce (high in Vitamin A)
These superfoods, and their essential nutrients, fall into Doctor Perricone’s anti-inflammatory diet. A true pioneer of the healthful-foods-enable-healthy-skin movement, Doctor Perricone believes that, “the cornerstone of the anti-inflammatory diet is the careful regulation of blood sugar. Never forget that important fact if you want to have clear, healthy and beautiful skin.”
Conversely, foods that are rapidly converted to sugar should also be avoided; this includes bananas, gluten, dried fruits, granola and potatoes. In collaboration with blood sugar regulation through types of food, he also promotes the healthy habit of eating three meals a day along with two snacks, which also boosts the metabolism. An advantageous start to the day or mid-day boost can be achieved in juicing these fresh fruits and vegetables. One freshly blended glass of superfoods serves up a healthy dose of necessary nutrients while allowing more absorption of these essential agents along the way. Try a concoction of kale, spinach, lemon, carrot, ginger and pineapple for tasty zing and an age-fighting snack.
For more insight on Doctor Perricone’s skin research, visit his website at www.perriconemd.com. Eating foods rich in the previously mentioned nutrients will not only reveal vibrant and youthful skin, it encourages healthy weight loss and transforms overall health from the inside out.