Now how about some protection from the inside too? Your hair, skin and nails all contain proteins─including collagen, elastin, and keratin─which reflect the quality of the foods and nutrients you consume. To maintain that healthy glow and guard against premature aging, aim for meals rich in fresh produce, lean protein, and healthy fats. You should also target:
Vitamins C, E, and beta-carotene help shield skin cells from free radical damage. Vitamin C also helps fight wrinkles, since it partners with zinc to help the body make collagen, which provides structure to skin tissue.
The entire B-Complex family supports natural energy production, helps tissues regenerate, and combats the effects of stress─which can take a real toll on your skin─by supporting healthy adrenal function.
Selenium─which enhances the absorption of Vitamin E─may reduce skin cancer risk. Zinc also supports the tissue-rebuilding action of Vitamin A.
These functional foods are powerful allies in skin cancer prevention, not to mention overall wellness. In fact, a diet rich in super greens may reduce your risk of some forms of skin cancer by 50%.1
Omega-3 fatty acids
These essential fatty acids help maintain the integrity of cellular walls, facilitating the transfer of waste and water which greatly impacts skin health. Insufficient omega-3s, on the other hand, can lead to unstable membranes─paving the way for premature aging.
A protein-rich diet fortifies your collagen levels, strengthening the elasticity of your skin so it’s less prone to wrinkling. L-lysine and L-proline─amino acids found in high-quality protein─are especially important for collagen production.
Proper hydration is essential for healthy digestion, circulation, absorption and excretion. Drinking too little water can result in dry, tight, flaky skin, which is less resilient, inviting wrinkles. Aim for at least an ounce of water for every two pounds of body weight each day.
As you can see, there’s a lot that you can do to put your best face forward─naturally.
1 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2007 May;85(5):1401-1408.