We all want to stop that ticking clock, the one that constantly reminds us we are not as young as we once were. Sure, not all of us hear the clock ticking as loudly as others, but it is there. What do you do? You search for a quick solution. How do you stop aging from happening? This question is why so many skin care and beauty product companies are in business. If you cannot afford expensive skincare products and prefer to do something a little more natural, look no further than your pantry and/or refrigerator. The foods that you know and love also have added benefits in keeping your skin looking youthful and vibrant. Score one for the healthy eaters!
What foods to avoid
Let us get the bad news out of the way first. The foods on the forbidden list are essentially all of the foods that are delicious and awesome, but like so many things, a reason exists for why these foods taste so good but yet are so bad for you. Think fried foods, such as potato chips, doughnuts, French fries, and fried chicken. Meats that are high in saturated fights include hot dogs, bacon, pepperoni, and ham. Of course, the last culprit in this list is one that is so commonly associated with most social occasions: alcohol. Yes, they say that a glass of red wine is good for your heart, but having more than just one on a consistent basis will wreak havoc on your skin and more than just that as you get older and your ability to handle your alcohol decreases.
Chocolate lovers unite
All is not lost, my friends. Did you know that dark chocolate is good for your skin? In fact, eating or drinking dark chocolate has been proven to protect the skin against UV exposure. Cocoa beans are high in antioxidants which reduce skin inflammation caused by UV exposure. Eating dark chocolate also increases blood circulation thus improving skin’s ability to stay moist, reducing the appearance of wrinkles. What do you think about that? Dark chocolate makes you look younger! Of course, like anything else, eat in moderation, but relish in the fact that this delicious alternative does exist. So when you are feeling bad about your age, have a bite of that dark chocolate, maybe even with that small glass of red wine. Make sure it is not too much, though.
Berries are excellent foods for younger looking skin, and the good news is this includes all berries. We are talking blueberries, raspberries, cranberries, blackberries and strawberries. What makes berries so great is they are rich in antioxidants, which promote cell health and protect against disease. The darker the berry, the better. Ones that are black or blue in color tend to have the highest concentration of antioxidants, which is great news for blueberry lovers. Various berries have other benefits, as well, including cranberries for better urinary tract health and blackberries for prevention of cancer or diabetes. If you want to double up on your antioxidants, why not try dark chocolate covered berries? See a pattern here?
Here fishy fishy!
Salmon has many benefits and is considered a super food in so many diets. It has always been well-known for being high in omega-3 fats which help in lowering ones cholesterol but also fights inflammation in your skin, making your skin a bit more youthful and moist. Salmon, however, does have a strong “fishy” taste and is not for everyone. If you are looking for something with a milder taste but still effective, try tuna. You will also find the tuna option can run a little cheaper and easier to manage. Make sure, however, when purchasing tuna, you are staying clear of salt and additional ingredients many packaged foods add without you even knowing. Reminder: if it tastes good on its own, there may be a reason for that. Do not be fooled!
Hit the salad bar
Organic fruits and vegetables are amazing when it comes to your health in general, and your skin is no exception. Dark greens like romaine lettuce and spinach carry a number of benefits and are high in vitamins A and C. Add a little bit more to your salad, but including some tomatoes, avocadoes and red cabbage, all of which are beneficial for keeping your skin youthful. If you are looking for a healthy lunch or dinner option, try putting some tuna or salmon on your salad. The trick is to not cover your salad in fatty dressing so steer clear of the ranch dressing.
Yogurt is rich in calcium and good bacteria known to help gut health and diminish the incidence of intestinal illnesses. It is the dairy choice for those who can tolerate milk as well as those who are lactose intolerant. It does not hurt that yogurt has a good taste, as well. You can even combine it with other foods helpful in keeping that youthful look. Why not throw in a few berries into a bowl of Greek yogurt? We are talking delicious breakfast or lunch, or why not both? Make sure you are looking for low fat options, however, when shopping for yogurt, as you do want to watch the calories in addition to helping your skin.
Whole grains and oats
You hear the term “complex carbohydrates” all the time, and that can mean a lot of things. Complex carbohydrates are considered “low-glycemic,” and these foods do not spike your blood sugar like refined breads, rice and pasta do. Do you want to avoid acne and wrinkles? Avoid your high-glycemic foods as much as possible. These low-glycemic foods include oats, barley, brown rice, and shredded wheat. Substituting these foods into your diet can be relatively easy. Most pasta brands include whole grain options, and brown rice is an easy and quick substitute for white rice. Instead of chicken noodle soup, why not substitute barley? Enjoy a nice bowl of whole-grain Cheerios or instant oatmeal for breakfast. Not only are these substitutes easy, they are cheap and super easy to do, as well.
Beans, beans, the musical fruit
Farting aside, beans are actually very good for your entire body. They are excellent source of protein and are excellent substitutes in recipes calling for higher-fatty meats or for those wanting a vegetarian option. Beans can easily be added to so many recipes including soups, chili, casseroles, and Mexican dishes. Beans contain a lot of fiber, iron, potassium and vitamin B. If you do not like one kind of bean, you can try another. So many different options exist out there: soy, baked, kidney, and black, navy, you name it. If you want to make sure you are getting the best health benefits possible from beans with minimal salt, be sure to rinse your beans through a strainer before cooking with them. Try to not focus on the fact that you will likely get gas. Focus on that beautiful, glowing complexion instead.
Foods high in Vitamin C do not just help when combatting the common cold or flu. They are also excellent sources in protecting your skin and keeping it looking youthful and vibrant. Enjoy a nice cup of freshly squeezed orange juice or have an orange or grapefruit with your breakfast of oats and yogurt, and just think of the health benefits you will be consuming. The closer to the natural food itself, the better the benefits will be. Look for orange juice that is all-natural rather than processed. Better yet, try making your own by going to the source yourself if you are unable to afford the more expensive organic juices. You will be helping your skin, and yes, you will also be keeping the doctor away with each slice of orange you consume.
Mix and match
As you can tell, you can mix and match as much as you want to get the results you need. Variety is the spice of life after all, right? In nearly all of these situations, you can throw in a little dark chocolate if you would like. Chocolate covered salmon may not be ideal, but it does go nicely with fruit, yogurt and whole grains. The point is to be creative and have fun. If you do not like one food, such as if beans are not your thing, try another. So many web sites exist out there with a plethora of recipes offering healthy substitutes to regular ingredients to some delicious foods. For instance, did you know black beans can be added with cocoa and other ingredients to make delicious cookies or brownies?
These food options definitely do not hit the piggy bank as hard as your run-of-the-mill skincare products, and they allow you to be creative and have a little fun. Moisturizer is great, but it is no fun in the kitchen. You cannot combine it with dark chocolate either. Explore the cookbook and browse your pantry. You will be pleasantly surprised with the options out there for healthy and younger looking skin.