Amazing Anti-Aging Foods

Monday, July 7, 2008

Want younger-looking skin? Try incorporating these six foods into your daily diet.

Yes, aging is inevitable, but looking older than you are isn't. Smooth skin can take years off your appearance, and there are several things you can do to keep yours looking young and healthy. Start by avoiding activities like tanning and smoking, which can cause skin to age more quickly.

In addition, certain antioxidants and vitamins can help to combat signs of aging. In fact, one study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found that people over the age of 70 had less wrinkling if they ate more vegetables, olive oil, and legumes, and fewer dairy and sugar products. For firmer, silkier skin, try to incorporate more of the following six foods into your diet.

Broccoli: Besides being rich in antioxidants, which play a role in keeping skin elastic, broccoli may also be useful in minimizing the damage caused by the sun's UV rays. Scientists at Johns Hopkins have discovered that broccoli (as well as cauliflower and Brussels sprouts) contain sulforaphane, which help make the skin more resilient. A separate Johns Hopkins study found that applying an extract of broccoli sprouts reduced inflammation and cell damage caused by UV radiation.
Green Tea: An excess of particles known as free radicals can damage the skin by destroying collagen and elastic fibers in the tissue. Antioxidant EGCG, which is found in green tea, can help to reduce the number of free radicals, which, in turn, promotes healthier-looking skin. In fact, green tea extracts work so well in repairing skin that researchers from the University of California and the University of Freiburg, Germany, are using them to help repair more extensive skin damage in patients who have been treated with radiotherapy.
Berries: Strawberries help to keep your skin looking smooth because they contain an antioxidant that attracts and neutralized those despised free radicals. Other berries bursting with antioxidants are those that are deep purple in color, such as cranberries, elderberries, and black raspberries. Experts say that the same component that gives these berries their hue (a compound called anthocyanin) can also keep your skin looking radiant.
Salmon: It's one of those miracle foods that seems to be good for just about everything-and your skin is no exception. According to dermatologists, salmon (and red sea plants) contain a skin-friendly antioxidant called astaxanthin, which is more powerful than vitamin E and vitamin A.
Carrots: The beta-carotene found in carrots, long known for keeping eyes healthy, is also beneficial for your skin. And, if you want an extra antioxidant boost, you should cook the carrots. A study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry showed that cooked, pureed carrots-especially those that included the carrot peels-contained higher levels of antioxidants than raw carrots.
Soy: Found in tofu and as a substitute for milk in dairy foods, soy has been shown to decrease the signs of aging. One study, published in the Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology, demonstrated that middle-aged women who took 40 mg of soy a day for 12 weeks showed improvement in fine lines around their eyes and skin elasticity. Those who took a placebo did not see the same improvements


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