How many times have you wondered how to restore skin glow? Nothing compares to a healthy and radiant skin, but numerous factors cause dull complexion, speed up aging, and make your skin look lifeless. You don’t need Photoshop or expensive treatments to look healthier and younger. Regular skin care routine and lifestyle changes can do wonders. When it comes to skin health, the most commonly mentioned term is the use of antioxidants. This article brings you the list of ten high-antioxidant foods to include into your diet.
Where Do Antioxidants Come From?
Antioxidants are substances that provide a wide array of benefits for your health and well being. They are found in plant-based foods such as fruits like acai berry , vegetables, dark chocolate, wine, and other sources. These compounds are present in skincare products, but you can also obtain them through diet. In fact, they perfectly fit into the well-balanced diet and healthy lifestyle. Antioxidants are useful because they help prevent or stop cell damage caused by oxidants. What are oxidants? They are defined as free radicals that can cause serious harm and contribute to diseases, cancers, and even impair the quality of one’s skin by speeding up the aging process.
You Are What You Eat (Unfortunately)
Do you eat a healthy diet or you prefer standard Western diet characterized by high intake of junk food? If your diet consists of unhealthy foods, it shows on your skin. How? Well, your skin needs certain nutrients to stay youthful and smooth. If you consume foods with little to no nutritional value, then your skin isn’t able to get these vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals.
Due to stressful lifestyle and too little time for too many things to do during the day, fast food has become the easy way to deal with hunger. That’s because we tend to think healthy meals are difficult to make and cost a fortune. The reality is different, consuming a well-balanced, antioxidant-rich diet and high-fiber foods  aren’t too expensive, you don’t have to spend hours in the kitchen. The crucial thing is to know what foods to look for, which is the purpose of this article.
Do you often find yourself looking in the mirror and thinking how come products you use don’t work? Your skin has become dull, and wrinkles are getting more and more visible. How is that possible if you also use different products advertised in fashion magazines?
The answer is an unhealthy diet. Beauty comes from the inside, and a growing body of evidence confirms that healthy lifestyle characterized by regular exercise and a healthy diet can prevent harmful actions of free radicals, but antioxidant-rich foods yield the greatest benefits.
The Controllable and Uncontrollable Types of Aging
To truly understand the relationship between antioxidants and anti-aging effects  , we have to take a closer look into the aging process. Two types of aging are identified:
• Intrinsic aging – natural aging process
• Extrinsic aging – aging process that is contributed by lifestyle and environmental factors. This includes photo-aging due to exposure to sun’s harmful UV rays, smoking, unhealthy diet, sedentary lifestyle
What’s Happening During Extrinsic Aging
Evidence shows that human skin is directly exposed to UV radiation, air, and other environmental pollutants which are capable of inducing the generation of free radicals that contribute to extrinsic aging. Among all environmental factors, sun exposure is the most harmful regarding skin health and aging due to oxidative stress.
Oxidative stress occurs when the formation of free radicals exceeds the antioxidant defense ability of the target cell. This is where antioxidants step in; they work to neutralize and remove the free radicals from your bloodstream. Not only are free radicals generated by UV exposure, but your body produces them. Naturally, they are in the air you breathe and food you eat.
How Antioxidants Counter Aging?
Antioxidants come in different types, and each of them delivers its unique benefits including carotenoids for eye health, lycopene for a healthy prostate, flavonoids for a strong heart. When it comes to skin, it is important to consume different types of antioxidants that you can find in different food sources. Vitamin E, astaxanthin, and carotenoids (beta-carotene) are the most beneficial for your skin. Although some antioxidants such as glutathione, is naturally produced in our body, others we obtain through the diet.
As mentioned above, the relationship between food and skin is evident, especially when it is rich in antioxidants. How can they help? Well, a growing body of evidence shows that antioxidants provide photo protection of human skin against different diseases and skin aging.
They use a multifaceted approach to making your skin healthier, smoother, and more youthful. For example, they exhibit anti-inflammatory effects to promote even skin tone and keep wrinkles and acne at bay. Additionally, antioxidants increase collagen synthesis, thus restoring skin’s elasticity and firmness and thanks to their potent benefits, they minimize the appearance of scars and fine lines and wrinkles. Plus, antioxidants stimulate blood flow enabling skin to get much-needed nutrients more easily than before.
10 Anti-Oxidant Food You Simply Cannot Miss
Healthy blood flow also encourages the growth of new skin cells to look youthful, more radiant, and repair of sun damage. Now that you know how antioxidants help, you probably wonder what foods can lead to better skin health. They are listed below.
Berries are the richest sources of antioxidants and an ideal food for the radiant and youthful skin. One study found that blueberry, blackberry, and strawberries also contain gallic acid, vanillic acid, ferulic and ellagic acid, quercetin, and other types of flavonols and flavonoids. Let’s not forget the acai berries whose popularity keeps increasing; they are a major source of anthocyanin.
Ellagic acid present in berries was found to prevent collagen destruction and inflammatory response which are major causes of wrinkles. Additionally, berries are an amazing source of Vitamin C which acts as an antioxidant. Besides skin health, berries are also beneficial for your heart, cognitive functioning, diabetes management, weight control, and cancer prevention.
Pomegranates contain punicalagin which are potent antioxidants. Thanks to antioxidants in pomegranate, this fruit combats inflammation from acne breakouts to clear out your complexion. Polyphenols found in pomegranate protect our cells from oxidative stress while stimulating collagen production. Just like berries, this fruit is an amazing source of Vitamin C as well. Other benefits of pomegranate include breast and prostate cancer prevention, lowering blood pressure, arthritis and joint pain relief, and others.
3. Green tea
Green tea contains EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate) which is a catechin polyphenol and a powerful antioxidant. This compound is well-known for its benefits to lower risk of heart attack and stroke, glaucoma, and high cholesterol. A growing body of evidence shows that green tea is linked with skin rejuvenation thanks to, you guessed it, EGCG. A team of researchers discovered that when exposed to EGCG the old cells found in the upper layers of the skin started dividing again. Moreover, green tea is the most powerful foods for gorgeous skin  and has anti-inflammat ory effects to even out and brighten skin complexion and reduce the appearance of dark circles, wrinkles, acne.
In one study, subjects who ate apples, prunes, and drank tea had 34% less skin wrinkling than their counterparts who didn’t. This isn’t such a shocker because apples are abundant in fiber, Vitamin C, and multiple antioxidants. Some compounds found in this popular fruit include quercetin and catechin. Besides skin benefits, apple aid weight management, lower blood sugar levels and prevent cancer.
5. Red grapes
Red grapes contain resveratrol, a phytoalexin antioxidant with chemopreventive and therapeutic effects against numerous diseases and disorders, and it is also beneficial for your skin. Resveratrol exhibits protective effects against oxidative stress caused by UV radiation. As a result, it shows a tremendous potential in warding off skin disorders and slowing down the aging process.
6. Dark chocolate
Dark chocolate is highly nutritious containing fiber, iron, magnesium, copper, manganese, potassium, and other important nutrients to benefit your health. Above all, it is loaded with antioxidants such as polyphenols, flavanols, and catechins. One study found that regular consumption of dark chocolate protects skin from UV damage, while conventional chocolate doesn’t induce those effects. Also, dark chocolate improves brain health, lowers blood pressure and raises levels of HDL (good) cholesterol.
Garlic has anti-inflammatory effects that fight skin conditions such as psoriasis, and it can help eliminate acne. What most of us don’t realize is that garlic also acts as an antioxidant due to a high level of compounds such as allyl cysteine, alliin, allicin, and allyl disulfide. Evidence shows that consumption of garlic can help neutralize free radicals and it exhibits beneficial effects on the maximum proliferative capacity of fibroblasts for long-term, meaning it plays a role as an anti-aging and rejuvenating agent. Regular intake of garlic improves your athletic performance, improves bone health, and aids body detox.
Watermelon is one of the best sources of antioxidant lycopene and Vitamin A which is required for sebum production and keeps your skin hydrated and moisturized. Watermelons help prevent cancer, improve heart health, and lower inflammation. The best way to eat is on its own, especially during hot summer days.
Just like watermelons, tomatoes are also a great source of antioxidant lycopene which prevents or minimizes the appearance of wrinkles and has the potential to cut down the risk of skin cancer. Additionally, the tomato is abundant in water content which has a beneficial impact on your skin, and it is rich in vitamin C. Besides lycopene, tomatoes also contain beta-carotene, chlorogenic acid, and naringenin, all powerful antioxidants.
Broccoli is rich in carotenoids, kaempferol, and quercetin all of which are potent antioxidants. This vegetable also contains antioxidant glucoraphanin which protects the skin from consequences associated with UV radiation . If we bear in mind that the sun is responsible for 80% of wrinkles on your face, impairs collagen production, elasticity, and gives you dull complexion then including broccoli is one of the most powerful foods for gorgeous skin. It Lower cholesterol levels, eye health, decreased intensity of allergy symptoms, anti-inflammatory effects, and bone health are just some of many health benefits of broccoli.
Your skin is constantly exposed to UV radiation, air, the wind, and various pollutants that contribute to a dull complexion  and speed up aging. Besides regular skincare routine, increasing consumption of antioxidant-rich foods is an effective, yet natural way to get healthier, more youthful, and radiant appearance.
Featured photo credit: http://www.ebay.com via google.com
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