Dr. Sarah’s Top 8 Anti-Aging Beauty Foods
This month is all about helping you embrace and enhance your natural beauty from the inside out! There is truth to the old saying “beauty comes from within”; I’ve seen hundreds of patients in my own practice improve their outward appearance by simply changing the foods that they put into their bodies. It’s possible to erase years from your face simply by changing your diet. The state of your skin is an outward reflection of how you treat your body, and I’ve seen patients start looking younger and glowing almost immediately after replacing processed junk with these wrinkle-fighting foods. The following anti-aging foods are packed with essential beauty nutrients that nourish healthy skin, hair and nails from the inside out:
- Vitamin C – 1000mg daily: Collagen production declines as we age causing wrinkles and loose skin. Vitamin C is a vital molecule for skin health because it encourages the body’s own natural collagen production to prevent and treat ultraviolet (UV)-induced skin damage. Food sources: orange, lime & lemon, papaya, strawberries, kiwifruit, cantaloupe, & raspberries. Favourite supplements: Liposomal vitamin C, Ester-C and Ener-C.
- Bone broth – 1 cup daily: bone broth is the ideal anti-aging food packed with collagen (the protein responsible for building strong & youthful skin), glycine (known as the ‘anti-aging amino acid – glycine is crucial for forming connective tissue in the skin) & anti-aging minerals. Bone broth is one of my favourite anti-aging go-to’s because it’s one of the richest sources of dietary collagen, which helps to maintain skin elasticity and prevent wrinkles. Studies show that our bodies begin to produce less collagen after age 25, which is why it’s so important to get more collagen in your diet in order to fight the signs of premature aging. Bone broth is also full of amino acids and nutrients which speed the turnover and healing of skin cells to prevent skin damage. It’s especially high in the nutrient zinc, which has been shown to prevent acne by inhibiting the p. acnes bacteria that causes breakouts. It’s also wonderfully hydrating and nourishes the skin on a deeper level to help skin retain moisture.
- Pomegranates: Your mitochondria are the power plants of every cell in your body and they are essential to your health and longevity and new research shows that the inhibition of a process called mitophagy (aka the turn over of old mitochondria) is at the root cause of many diseases of aging. Pomegranates contain a precursor to molecule called urolithin A which can amazingly re-establish your body’s ability to enhance mitochondrial clean-up and recycle the components of the defective mitochondria. This anti-aging molecule is created in the gut via the ‘good’ bacteria that lives in your digestive system so it would be wise to eat some probiotic foods along with those pomegranate seeds.
- Red wine – maximum 4 glasses weekly: While alcohol creates toxins in the body that are ageing to the skin, new studies are showing that red wine can actually slow down the aging process. Red grape skins are full of antioxidants and natural anti-inflammatory compounds like resveratrol – which has been shown to slow aging, promote weight loss and prevent dementia. I prefer bio-organic wines since they are better for the environment and contain less pesticides and preservatives that conventional wines. Check out South Brook Winery & Frog Pond Organic Winery for great local options.
- Organic Soy – up to 4 servings/week: In a recent study, 30 women were given soy isoflavones for 3 months showed significant improvements to skin health. Skin punch tests were performed before and after the study to measure epidermal thickness, wrinkling and amount of elastic and collagen fibers in the skin. Eating moderate amount of soy product resulted in a significant increase in all categories of skin health. This is because soy can act as an estrogen-receptor modulator to improve natural production of the anti-aging hormone estrogen. Just make sure you’re only eating organic soy product since soy is one of the most heavily sprayed and genetically modified foods available. Food sources: tempeh, organic tofu, miso (add to soups & salad dressings), organic edamame beans
- Avocado – ½ fruit daily: Avocados are high in vitamin E and a rich source of the skin-protective antioxidants that are essential for glowing skin and shiny hair. These wonderful fruits also have a high folate content, which is important for skin cell regeneration and can result in a more youthful complexion. They are also one of the best sources of dietary glutathione – you’re body’s most important antioxidant.
- Hemp seeds – 3 tbs daily: Hemp seed contain significant amounts of omega-6 fatty acid GLA (known for its anti-inflammatory properties) and vitamin E; which is one of the only nutrients that has been proven to decrease the effect of the sun on the skin and prevent future damage. I sprinkle hemp seeds on top of my daily green smoothie in the warmer weather and sprinkled over oatmeal in the fall & winter. They’re also a wonderful addition to baking and salads and provide 14g of additional protein.
- Blueberries – 1 cup daily: We often overlook blueberries in favour of more exotic and trendy super foods, but it’s time to give this humble berry a place in our daily anti-aging routine. 1 serving of this simple super food provides a serious dose of antioxidants to fight free radicals and reduce the appearance of wrinkles & sun damage. The antioxidant values of foods are expressed in ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) units, a unit of measurement for antioxidant content of foods. Blueberries have a high ORAC count of 6,552, and also contain fiber, potassium, folate, vitamin C and vitamin B6.
- Brazil nuts – 3 nuts daily: Brazil nuts are nature’s richest source of selenium, a powerful mineral that aids in the production of your body’s main antioxidant glutathione. This mineral supports detoxification and even repairs cell damage to potentially slow down the skin’s aging process. 3 brazil nuts provides approximately 250mcg of selenium – which is the equivalent to taking a selenium supplement in capsule form.
To connect with a Naturopathic doctor in Oakville to discuss your anti-aging health goals book your appointment here.