As the years speed by and the inevitable effects of aging ensue, you’re likely to begin looking for ways to hold onto wrinkle-free skin, untouched by time. While eating a clean diet rich in fruits and vegetables, exercising regularly, getting ample sleep and drinking plenty of water are the obvious foundations for getting there, there’s one more critical action that can help you continue on your path to aging gracefully—both inside and out: eating superfoods that specifically nourish your skin!
Dubbed as “functional foods,” these three plant-based superfoods have been especially lauded for their beautifying and healing effects, even motivating many skincare manufacturers to include them in their formulas. So, before you prepare to shell out hundreds of dollars on media-hyped face cream that promises radical results, try the natural route and incorporate these superfoods into your diet ASAP.
Acai is literally known as the “beauty berry”—and for good reason! Acai berries are rich in ellagic acid and anthocyanins, two natural plant compounds that provide the plants themselves with protection against burning and wilting. When consumed, the acai berries and juice can similarly help protect your skin from sun damage, as these properties interrupt photo-aging (which is your skin's response to free radicals like UVB rays). More and more skincare products are listing acai on their ingredient panels, but you can just as easily use your own stash! Just mix a small amount of acai powder into a night cream, but don't go overboard or it can leave a temporary purple hue on your skin. Its skin protective qualities also work from the inside out, so adding acai powder to your daily smoothie works, too!
2. Goji Berries
The goji berry has been used for more than 2,000 years as a traditional medicinal tonic herb, revered for its ability to stimulate hGH (human growth hormone), therefore promoting vitality, longevity, energy and stamina. While goji berries contain an array of beneficial vitamins and minerals, perhaps their most impressive attribute is their status as one of the highest ORAC foods. ORAC stands for oxygen radical absorption capacity—the ability to neutralize free radicals (pro-oxidants) that are damaging to the cells of the body. The higher the ORAC content, the stronger the antioxidant capability and the ability to protect against degenerative disease and the overall damage of the body's cells and tissues. Consumption of antioxidant-rich goji berries may slow down, prevent or even reverse the damage that occurs to the body from the natural aging and oxidation processes. This not only includes damage from sun exposure, but also from stress, poor nutrition, meat, sugar and alcohol…and who isn’t guilty of indulging in those now and again?
3. Vanilla & Greens Essential Blend
Navitas Organics Vanilla & Greens Essential Blend is the ultimate functional food, bringing together the best superfoods that support your inner and outer glow in one convenient scoop. Goji, pomegranate, maca, camu, and wheatgrass all work together to support skin, hair and nail health with their impressive content of antioxidants, essential vitamins and minerals. One serving of Vanilla & Greens Essential Blend provides nearly half of your daily value of vitamin C, a necessary component of the production of collagen, which is the protein that helps your skin stay healthy and elastic.
As a general rule, choosing an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant-rich diet can help protect your skin from sun damage. This means incorporating lots of healthy saturated fats like those found in coconut; omega-3-rich foods like acai and hemp seeds; and leafy greens, while easing up on processed meals, sugary foods and refined vegetable oils like canola. No need to fear the aging process—just start building up your defense from the inside out with superfoods!