The desire to stay young
In an attempt to achieve a radiant complexion and avoid wrinkles, women are slathering their bodies with the latest anti-aging moisturizing creams. Although moisturizers can be somewhat helpful in improving the look and feel of our skin, the key to decreasing fine lines and improving our complexion is to decrease free radical damage from occurring at a rapid rate. In order to do this, we have to fill our diets with foods that are rich in antioxidants and that have anti-inflammatory properties.
My top five anti-wrinkle foods that will help promote the look and feel of your skin are:
According to the US Department of Agriculture, blueberries have 40 per cent more antioxidant capacity than strawberries. Blueberries are high in vitamin C and can help strengthen collagen formation, thereby reducing the signs of aging.
This delicious berry has also been shown to have other health benefits such as improving eyesight and circulation, acting as a natural diuretic, enhancing blood flow and helping to alleviate symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Add blueberries to your morning breakfast or to a shake or eat them on their own as a healthy snack.
Omega-3 eggs are similar in look, taste, storage instructions and cooking versatility to normal eggs. The difference lies in the fact that omega-3 eggs are produced by chickens that have been fed with alfalfa, corn, soy beans and flaxseeds.
Flaxseeds are an excellent source of omega-3 essential fat, which has been shown to be beneficial to human health. In fact, an average-sized omega-3 egg contains approximately 320 mg of omega-3 fats, while a regular egg contains approximately 63 mg. Omega-3 essential fat is known to help prevent and reverse heart disease, reduce inflammatory response, nourish dry skin and hair and repair brittle nails.
Page 1 of 2 -- On page 2, learn what three other foods can reduce the look of aging.
Tomatoes contain a powerful plant chemical called lycopene. Lycopene has been shown to reduce skin cell damage and redness. In order to best absorb lycopene, it needs to be in the environment of a healthy fat. In other words, mix some extra-virgin olive oil into your tomato sauce to enhance the absorption of lycopene.
Sunflower seeds are an excellent source of the fat-soluble vitamin, vitamin E. Vitamin E has been shown to prevent cell damage from free radicals. Sprinkle sunflower seeds over a salad or in a stir-fry for a delicious crunch and a vitamin E boost. When vitamin E oil is applied topically to the skin, it has also been shown to prevent skin damage from the sun.
Cold-water fish, such as salmon and tuna, is an excellent source of omega-3 oils necessary for beautiful-looking skin. Unfortunately, our fish sources are becoming more and more toxic due to chemical spills and poor farming methods (e.g., mercury in tuna and PCB pollutants in farmed salmon).
In addition to eating wild salmon, I highly recommend supplementing with distilled fish oil daily (approximately 2 to 3 grams per day). When purchasing a fish oil, select one that has been distilled, is enteric coated and is made from smaller fish such as anchovies and sardines. The smaller the fish, the shorter the lifespan and therefore the less accumulation of toxicity.
In addition to the foods mentioned above, to improve the texture of your skin and reduce fine lines, make sure your system is properly hydrated. Minimize dehydrators such as alcohol and coffee and substitute a minimum of 6 to 8 glasses of distilled water or herbal tea daily.
Your body does not have a voice. The way it talks to you is through symptoms. Pay attention to the health of your skin -- it is a good indicator of what is going on inside. With the proper food, supplements and water, you can turn back the clock on your skin and look ten years younger!
Page 2 of 2 -- Read more about Dr. Shulman's top wrinkle-fighting foods on page 1.
Dr. Joey Shulman is an international health speaker. Her book The Natural Makeover Diet (Wiley, 2006) is in stores now. For more information, visit www.drjoey.com.