By Isabel Smith, MS, RD, CDN
Clients always ask me about ways to slow the aging process. Growing older is part of the process of living — but like most processes our bodies undergo, there are ways to slow it down.
Just like preventing sun damage, promoting exercise endurance and others, the food we eat can play a role in promoting healthy aging. Certain nutrients have been found to be beneficial when it comes to promoting healthy skin, hair, cells, nails and bodies in general.
Certain foods contain the key nutrients that help to promote young-looking and feeling skin, and help to slow the aging process too. Here are my 10 favorites:
Blueberries are famous for being great for you, but did you know that they’re also good for keeping your skin young? Blueberries are a source of vitamin C and antioxidants. Add blueberries to your smoothie or have them by themselves as a snack! (Try a cacao blueberry smoothie.)
Blood oranges are one of my favorite types of oranges, and they’re also great for you. Blood oranges, like other oranges contain a healthy source of vitamin C, and these in particular also contain more anti-inflammatory and skin-healthy anthocyanin than other oranges. Blood oranges are great as a part of a salad and also as a snack on their own. (Our Morning Red Riser juice has blood oranges in it — yum!)
Red beets are another great food to include for skin health. They’re great when juiced and also when consumed cooked on salads or part of your favorite dish. Beets are also a source of healthy anthocyanin and vitamin A.
Brazil nuts get a lot of attention for their thyroid-healthy properties, but they’re great for skin, too. Brazil nuts are a source of healthy, plant-based fat and also of selenium, which can help to prevent damage done to cells in our bodies and may help to slow the aging process in our skin. Have 3-4 Brazil nuts for a healthy snack.
Cucumbers are delicious and hydrating, which is great for skin. Cucumber skin is also a source of silica, a nutrient that can help to boost collagen production in the skin. Next time you purchase a cucumber, try to find organic (because they can often be grown with a number of pesticides) and keep the peel on when you eat it.
Kelp is a sea-veggie that’s been touted for it’s thyroid healthy properties thanks to the iodine it contains, but kelp also has vitamins C and E, which both help prevent damage to skin cells. Try adding kelp to your next salad.
Eggs are another great-for-you food that contains a bunch of healthy nutrients including protein that’s key for healthy skin (and other) cells, and biotin, another key nutrient that helps to promote healthy hair, nails and skin. Try having eggs as part of your next breakfast, or even a hardboiled egg for a snack.
Mango is a favorite of mine and rich in vitamin C, which is a precursor to collagen, a key nutrient that helps the skin stay young looking and healthy. Other sources of vitamin C include guava and oranges. (Try this sweet mango-avocado-tomato salad.)
Watermelon is a great skin-healthy food because it’s got a high water volume, which makes it hydrating (skin loves hydration!) and watermelon also contains lycopene, which may help to prevent damage to the skin done by the suns rays. The lycopene in watermelon is special because it can be readily used by the body when consumed raw, whereas other sources like tomatoes have to be consumed cooked or stewed to reap the benefits.
Avocados are both tasty and also contain healthy fats like monounsaturated fats, which are great because they help the skin to stay hydrated and young-looking. Avocados are also a source of vitamin E that can help to prevent wrinkles and repair damage to the skin. Have avocado toast for breakfast.
Get more information on how you can promote healthy skin through your diet: