Antioxidant Foods To Improve Your Skin
Free radicals (the bad guys of aging and oxidation of your skin) are unstable molecules that take over our bodies, causing irreversible damage to our skin. Free radicals can cause premature aging, wrinkles, hyper-pigmentation and acne. Poor diet, stress, sun exposure, pollution, and even common household cleaners can all cause skin damaging free radicals. We simply can’t avoid them.
Our bodies need powerful antioxidants on a daily basis to fight free radicals. Anti-oxidants have a vital role in our health and they also improve our skin appearance. Antioxidants will help with collagen production, which in turn, making it look firmer and younger. Eating foods rich in antioxidants is a great start, but we just can’t and don’t consume enough on a daily basis. We may need a little help with topical treatments such as skin care products.
All About Antioxidants:
- They are vitamins and enzymes that help the body to get rid of free radicals, such as tobacco, stress and pollution, that are damaging to the skin.
- They neutralize free radicals – avoiding health problems such as heart disease, cancer, and cataracts.
- Protecting the cells from disease.
- Skin healing. Stimulates collagen production – promotes skin elasticity and regeneration.
- Increases the skin’s blood flow and oxygen consumption.
- Helps smooth fine lines and wrinkles.
- Can be eaten and also applied as a topical treatment (skin care products) to receive full benefits.
Top Antioxidant Foods to Eat (aka as the “Super foods”). These edible anti-oxidants usually consist of vitamins A, C, E and Selenium. Here’s a few:
- Avocado , Arugula, Asparagus, Berries (Strawberries, Blueberries), Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrots, Citrus Fruits, Dark Chocolate, Garlic, Grapes, Nuts, Oily Fish, Olive Oil (Extra Virgin Cold-Pressed), Onions, Papaya, Peppers, Pomegranate, Spinach, Tea, Tomatoes.
ANTIOXIDANT SPINACH BERRY SALAD
This Antioxidant salad is my favorite! Contains specific fruits and vegetables known to be high in antioxidants which help protect the body against damage from the toxin and chemical exposure associated with city living. They also help protect the body from the effects of stress. Enjoy!
- 1 bunch Spinach, trimmed and torn into pieces
- 1 small bunch Arugula, torn into pieces
- 8 medium fresh Strawberries sliced
- 1-1/2 cup of fresh Blueberries
- 1 full Mandarin separated into slices
- 1/2 bunch of Asparagus (blanched and cooled and cut in 1.5″ pieces -or in 3′s)
- 1/8 cup of Pine Nuts
- 1/3 thinly sliced Red Onion
- 1/2 cup Goat Cheese separated and crumpled (A peppered goat cheese is great)
Salad Mix: Blanche asparagus (putting in boiling water for 4 minutes and cool in iced water to keep crisp) and drain. Combine lettuce, arugula, strawberries, blueberries, asparagus, pine nuts and onion in a large bowl. Crumble goat cheese over salad. Drizzle with enough dressing (below) to lightly coat. Toss to combine. Makes 4-6 servings.
- Juice and zest from one lemon
- 1 teaspoon orange juice concentrate
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (cold-pressed is best)
- 1 dash of worcheshire sauce
- 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
- 1/8 tsp of dry mustard
- Dash of sea salt and freshly ground white pepper
Dressing: Whisk all ingredients into a large bowl; let stand 10 minutes before adding into salad.
Antioxant Ingredients to Watch for in Skin Care Products:
An “antioxidant” isn’t a type of ingredient, but the function a specific ingredient can perform on the skin. Vitamins A, C, and E within topical creams and facial products can be in the formula or hidden within a particular formulated ingredient.
Here are some popular skin care ingredients to watch for:
- African Kigelia – Is a natural anti oxidant from a hard grey fruit from Africas “Sausage” tree. Contains flavanoids and phytosterol saponosides recognized for their skin firming abilities. Several papers support the use of Kigelia fruit extract for treating skin cancer.
- Alpha Lipoic Acid – Also known as Lipoic acid. Lipoic acid is a well-known natural substance found in certain foods and also produced in the human body. It’s a powerful antioxidant. Improves cellular energy production and reduces inflammation. Lipoic acid is a proven wrinkle fighter and is less irritating than tretinoin (Retin A, Renova) and hydroxy acids.
- Coenzyme Q10 – Helps to slow down the ageing process. This vitamin-like substance is, by nature, present in all human cells and responsible for the production of the body’s own energy. Can penetrate into the living cell layers of the skin and attenuate both the depth of deep wrinkles characteristic of photo-aging, as well as the turnover of epithelial cells. CoQ10 is also highly effective in protecting skin cells known as keratinocytes from oxidative DNA damage induced by ultraviolet light.
- Episphere-Blue technology – Exclusive technology with B.Kamins Chemist Company. Consists of heat-activated, time released tiny blue capsules of anti-oxidant vitamin E to help moisturize and repair delicate skin.
- Pycnogenol – A natural plant extract from the bark located in maritime France. The extract has four basic properties – it’s a powerful antioxidant, acts as a natural anti-inflammatory, selectively binds to collagen and elastin, and finally, it aids in the production of endothelial nitric oxide which helps to vasodilate blood vessels. Intaglio Cosmeceuticals claim that Pycnogenol is 50 times stronger than Vitamin E and 20 times stronger than Vitamin C.
- Retinyl Palmitate – Vitamin A, skin healing, anti-aging and anti-oxidant agent. After its absorption into the skin, retinyl palmitate is converted to retinol, and ultimately to retinoic acid (the active form of vitamin A present in Retin-A). Studies show that topically applied retinyl palmitate reverses some aspects of skin aging.
- Tocopheryl Acetate – Vitamin E, anti-oxidant, anti-aging and moisturizing agent.
Also known as vitamin E acetate. It is believed that the acetate is slowly hydrolyzed once it is absorbed into the skin, regenerating tocopherol and providing protection against the sun’s ultraviolet rays.
- Vitis Vinifera extract – Also known as Grape Seed, Grape Seed Extract, Muscat, Red Wine Extract. Rich in procyanidins, very strong anti-oxidants. A strong anti free radical agent that counters the affects of anti oxidant damage. Help to prevent or control damage to body cells that is caused by diseases, drugs, pollution, tobacco, and other toxins. Grape seed extract is believed to encourage faster, stronger healing with less scarring.
- Wheat Germ Oil – Derived from wheat. A natural carrier for vitamins; also rich in Vitamin E (anti-aging) and contains some A and D. Used for its antioxidant effects on free radicals in the skin. Promotes renewal of new skin cells. Not ideal for gluten sensitive people.
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