21 Beauty Foods That Fight Aging

It has been said that in this world nothing is certain, except death and taxes. I think they should add wrinkles to that list.

April 20, 2017
woman eating blueberries

Adapted from Eco-Beautiful

While they may be inevitable, there are things you can do to lessen the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. You've probably heard this before, but the body is just like a car—you have to put in the right fuel in order for it to run smoothly and efficiently. You can use all the fancy miracle wrinkle creams in the world, but there is no substitute for healthy food to keep your skin looking youthful. A diet rich in antioxidants is key to fighting off the free radicals that can cause premature aging.

More: 9 Best Homemade Solutions for Youthful Hair & Skin

Contrary to popular belief, a woman can't live on frozen yogurt and sushi alone. A diet packed with power foods high in calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta-carotene can drastically reduce aging, keep your hair shiny, prevent disease, and bring overall wellness and energy to the mind and body.

The following antioxidant-rich foods will feed your skin from the inside out. Put these on your next grocery list and, as always, try to buy organic.

Artichokes
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Artichokes

These are extremely high in vitamin C, which helps provide proper blood circulation—one of the best ways to fight skin aging. Researchers at the USDA ranked artichokes as the top antioxidant vegetable, surpassing spinach and broccoli. 

Try these Sautéed Lemony Artichokes to add more skin-friendly vegetables to your diet. 

Beans
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Beans

Beans are an amazing source of protein and are low in calories. They're also chock-full of antioxidants and hyaluronic acid—an acid that naturally occurs in the skin and helps to retain moisture. A lack of hyaluronic acid in the body is known to spark premature aging. Eat beans three to four times a week and your levels will be covered. 

Make a big batch of High-Protein Vegetarian Chili for a week-long supply of bean-loaded meals. 

Beetroot
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Beetroot

This prime purple food contains anthocyanins, which are antioxidant flavonoids that help promote collagen production in the body. Eating beetroot is like an all-natural collagen injection. Look out, Dr. 90210!

Toss beetroot in the Sexiest Smoothie Ever to get a delicious velvet-red drink that'll also enhance athletic performance.

 

Blueberries
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Blueberries

Blueberries have the best power food combination: They're low in sugar and high in antioxidants. They also have anti-inflammatory properties, so wrinkles beware! I love blueberries in smoothies, on cereal, or just as a snack by themselves.

Need more smoothie ideas? This Blueberry Quinoa Smoothie is the nutrient-heavy drink you need. 

Brown rice
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Brown rice

We all need some carbohydrates to survive, but it's important to eat the right carbs. Brown rice is high in B vitamins. So it's great if you're stressed—and we all know how stress can affect our skin. Replace your favorite white flour products with brown rice, and you won't feel like you need a nap at the end of your next meal.

Not all carbs are created equal. These 15 Carbs That Will Help You Lose Weight should replace the rest in your pantry. 

Cranberries
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Cranberries

Like blueberries, cranberries have anti-inflammatory properties. Another reason they made my list is because it's helpful for women to drink unsweetened cranberry juice during their menstrual cycles, as it cleans out the urinary tract and helps prevent infection.

Sweet and satisfying, this Coconut-Cranberry Soup will give you the benefits of cranberries without the added sugars.

Goji berries
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Goji berries

Vitamin C helps the body produce collagen in the skin, and these little berries are packed with 500 times more vitamin C per ounce than oranges are. Goji berries are also high in linoleic acid, which is an essential fat that plumps up the skin and keeps it looking young. Eat them by themselves or toss them in a salad. Yum.

Add goji berries to healthier trail mix recipes for the added boost in collagen production. 

Kale
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Kale

This dark green vegetable ignites the liver to produce enzymes that detoxify the body. This is sure to help make your skin and eyes clear. Kale is widely praised as one of the most powerful foods to fight off toxins in the body.

Make your own Pizza Kale Chips for a salty snack that won't ruin your skin, or waistline. 

Prunes
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Prunes

High in fiber and antioxidants, prunes give wrinkles a run for their money. In fact, prunes got the highest antioxidant score from USDA scientists at Tufts University, beating out blueberries, blackberries, and apples. Prunes aren't just for grandparents any longer.

Prunes are one of the 70 Powerfoods to Supercharge Your Health that you should add to your grocery list ASAP.

Sweet potatoes
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Sweet potatoes

This delicious vegetable gets good marks from nutritionists because it's high in nutrients and low in calories. Sweet potatoes contain a large serving of vitamin A, which is a major force in the renewal of skin cells and a key component in the fight against wrinkles. Sweet potatoes also contain a solid amount of calcium, vitamin C, and potassium.

Give sweet potatoes some love with these 19 Delicious Ways You Can Cook Sweet Potatoes.

Organic extra-virgin olive oil
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Organic extra-virgin olive oil

This will help with dry skin from the inside out. Use as a salad dressing with a touch of fresh lemon juice and it will be delish. Besides the internal benefits, olive oil is great to use topically on your skin, hair, and even your nails.

You'll never buy bottled again if you make these 15 Simple Salad Dressings You Can Make at Home.

Flaxseed oil
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Flaxseed oil

It's a major vegetable source of omega-3 fatty acids. Many medical doctors prescribe flaxseed oil for dry skin, and many dermatologists recommend using it for acne and scars. Organic ground flaxseed meal is another great way to add fiber, fatty acids, and lignans to your skin. Put it on cereals or in smoothies.

Add flaxseeds to overnight oats recipes to get your dose of fatty acids first thing in the morning. 

Omega-3 fish oil
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Omega-3 fish oil

This fish oil is a dietary source of essential fatty acids that help in the fight against wrinkles. Omega-3s also help burn fat while giving your skin a healthy glow. I suggest taking Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega fish oil soft gels.

Coconut oil
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Coconut oil

I highly suggest using virgin (unprocessed) coconut oil when cooking. Unlike some other oils, it doesn't develop trans fat when it is heated. Keep in mind that you buy coconut oil as a solid and it turns into a  liquid when it hits approximately 75°F. You can find coconut oil at your local health food store or online.

Once you've used it in your dinner, consider these other 14 Beauty Uses for Coconut Oil.

Water
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Water

Water is the nectar of the beauty gods. Since the beginning of time, drinking plenty of water has always been a key to having clear and radiant skin. The philosophy behind it is quite simple-- water detoxifies the skin by flushing out and getting rid of unwanted waste and harmful toxins in the body. Toxins build up in the body over time, and if they aren't removed from the body, they can secrete through the pores in your skin.

Do you suffer from acne? Are you drinking enough water? You see where I am going here. There is a direct correlation between breakouts and not drinking enough water. If you suffer from acne you should stay far away from fried foods, saturated fats, and alcohol—and drink lots of water (follow these tips to trick yourself into drinking more water)! Water also helps prevent the skin from sagging. Mind you, drinking water is not going to cure all of your skin problems, but it's certainly an essential building block on the journey to clear and healthy looking skin. And it's all about consistency. You should aim to drink the same amount of water every day. How much water should you drink per day? My rule of thumb is one quart for every 50 pounds of body weight.

On a physical level, if you often feel dizzy or fatigued, or if you have been getting headaches on a frequent basis, you probably are not consuming enough water. Water will increase your energy level and improve mental clarity, as well. For a different way to drink your daily water, I suggest trying hot water with organic lemon slices. It's fabulous for digestion and it will aid in the detoxification process.

Coconut water
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Coconut water

Found in fresh green coconuts, it is extremely high in vital minerals, natural sodium, and potassium. In fact, it has more potassium than a banana. 

Coconut water has many vital health benefits: It promotes weight loss, boosts your immune system, and helps digestion. Even though it tastes sweet, coconut water is actually quite low in sugar and calories (16.7 calories per 3.5 ounces).

What are its beauty benefits? I've found that drinking coconut water on a regular basis makes my nails stronger and my hair incredibly shiny. It even works on blemishes. Just dab some fresh coconut water directly on a pimple and it will reduce the inflammation and help to prevent scarring. Also, because it's rich in plant protein and replenishes minerals and electrolytes needed by the body, it's a post-workout dream. My advice is to stop drinking those sugary sports drinks that can cause breakouts and go for pure coconut water. It's nature's very own energy drink!

The best place to find fresh green coconuts is your local health food store or natural foods market. However, if you can't locate them there, the next best thing is to try a drink called O.N.E. O.N.E. is 100 percent all-natural coconut water packed in individual 11-ounce environmentally friendly Tetra Paks. This drink is easy for you to carry. No excuses—drink up!

Agave
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All-natural sweetener: Agave

We all like the taste of sugar, but it's not so sweet for your mind and body. A diet high in sugar can affect your sleep as well as your mood. And it's not good for your skin. Sugar is an inflammatory and it damages collagen in your body, which can cause fine lines and wrinkles.

Furthermore, the surge of insulin that sugar causes in your bloodstream can cause breakouts. I urge my clients to read food labels regularly. It might say "sugar free" on the package, but that doesn't mean there isn't a different form of sweetener inside. Look out for ingredients like corn syrup, barley malt, molasses, and artificial flavors, among others.

More: The Skinny On Sugar Substitutes

Many people avoid sugar to lose weight and they use artificial sweeteners as an alternative. There have been conflicting reports about whether or not artificial sweeteners cause health problems, but my advice is to stay away from them altogether. Luckily, there are some great all- natural sweeteners you can use in place of sugar. You can still have your cake and eat it, too! Here are a few of my favorites.

Agave: This all-natural sweetener comes from the agave plant. It won't cause the spike or drop in blood-glucose levels that cane sugar does. Agave can also boost your immune system.

Stevia
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Stevia

This nontoxic sweetener can be found in liquid or powder form. It contains beneficial ingredients such as vitamin C, calcium, beta-carotene, fiber, and potassium, and it actually sweetens without calories.

More: Are You Using the Wrong Sweetener?

Honey
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Honey

It's great for digestion and good for your heart. Make sure you use a high-quality honey, and always look for local varieties, which will taste fresh and flavorful.

More: 20 Easy Ways to Help Your Heart

Organic maple syrup
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Organic maple syrup

This is very high in zinc and magnesium, both of which boost your immune system. It also contains vitamins B2, B5, and B6.

Spices
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Spices

One way to spice up your diet and help your skin look its best is to add herbs and spices. Scientific studies suggest that organically grown spices such as oregano, rosemary, turmeric, and cayenne can actually slow down the aging process.

More: 7 Herbs & Spices Everyone Needs to Eat

Cooking meals with salt and butter certainly won't get you that eco-beautiful glow. Those ingredients may add flavor to your meal, but they also add sodium and saturated fat. Instead, try cooking with organic spices. The meal you love can taste just as delicious—or even better—if you swap salt, fats, and oils for fresh herbs and spices. Here is a list of some antioxidant-rich, anti-aging spices that I strongly suggest using on a daily basis. Make sure these spices are always on your spice rack, because a dash here and a sprinkle there can really go a long way!

Turmeric. A major anti-inflammatory that has been said to act as a sunscreen for the skin from the inside out. Also, it's great for back pain.

Oregano. This super spice has over 40 times the antioxidant power of apples.

Ginger. Aids digestion and can help with nausea and morning sickness.

Garlic. This potent herb acts as a natural antibiotic. There is also evidence suggesting that garlic can help prevent heart disease.

Rosemary. A cold and flu fighter that is also a natural astringent.

Cinnamon. An ultra fabulous sugar substitute without sugar's side effects. Studies have also indicated that cinnamon may help lower cholesterol and blood-glucose levels.

Cayenne. This warm spice helps to bring blood to the skin, giving you a healthy, rosy-cheeked look.

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