A healthy lifestyle is essential for beautiful, youthful looking skin. While we’ve written about many specific foods to eat for aging, a good general guideline is to eat a colorful diet. Antioxidants are responsible for the vivid hues in many foods, which means that eating an array of produce from the color spectrum helps combat the signs of aging. It’s an excellent way to complement a daily practice of facial exercises and good skin care protocol.
Here is a breakdown of some of the benefits of each hue:
Leafy greens are rich in iron, fiber, folate and vitamins A, C, E and K. While vitamin K is less common than the others in the list, it’s important—it protects against bone disease, inflammation and dark under eye circles. These greens also contain indoles, isocyanate and sulforaphane, which inhibit carcinogens and therefore may ward off various cancers. Some good choices are kale, spinach, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, bok choy and mustard greens.
Many red and pink foods combat free radical damage that causes the breakdown of collagen and elastin. They contain lycopene, a vital carotenoid that boosts heart health and protects the skin against sun damage from the inside out. It has been shown to reduce hyperpigmentation, age spots and melasma. Lycopene also benefits blood pressure, bone health and the prostate. Some excellent sources include tomatoes, red bell peppers, pink grapefruit, mangoes, papaya and guava. These choices are also very high in vitamin C, which boosts collagen production and immunity.
Orange-colored foods like pumpkin, squash, sweet potatoes, yams, carrots, apricots, cantaloupe and mangoes contain alpha- and beta-carotene, which converts to vitamin A in the body. These powerful carotenoids help remove destructive free radical scavengers from the body, stopping damage in its tracks. Beta-carotene also helps protect against sun damage and imparts a healthy, natural glow.
Both red-purple and blue-purple translates to some powerful antioxidants. The general rule is that the darker the color, the more antioxidant rich the fruit or vegetable. Eggplant, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, beets, prunes and cranberries all help fight free radical damage in a big way.
Avocados are a good example of this category, which is loaded with carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin to fight macular degeneration, and beta-cryptothanxin, which promotes cellular communication. Antioxidant-rich yellow green foods that boost skin health include green peas, collard greens, yellow corn and honeydew melon.
Load your plate with as many of these colors as possible to fight the signs of aging and give your skin a youthful glow. Click here for more anti-aging tips and information on Facercise, our revolutionary system of facial exercises.