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Top 10 High Anti-Oxidant Foods You Need To Your Skin glow and Healthy!

Top 10 High Anti-Oxidant Foods You Need To Your Skin glow and Healthy!

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 [1], 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 [2]  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 [3] , we have to take a closer look into the aging process. Two types of aging are identified:

• Intrinsic aging – natural aging process

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• 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.

1. Berries

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    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.

    2. Pomegranate

      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 [4] and has anti-inflammat ory effects to even out and brighten skin complexion and reduce the appearance of dark circles, wrinkles, acne.

        4. Apples

          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.

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          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.

              7. Garlic

                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.

                8. Watermelon

                  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.

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                  9. Tomato

                    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.

                    10. Broccoli

                      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 [5] 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

                      Reference

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                      Published on November 14, 2018

                      Why You Suffer from Constant Fatigue and How to Deal with It

                      Why You Suffer from Constant Fatigue and How to Deal with It

                      With our busy, always on lives, it seems that more and more of us are facing constant tiredness and fatigue on a regular basis.

                      For many people, they just take this in their stride as part of modern life, but for others the impact can be crippling and can have a serious effect on their sense of wellbeing, health and productivity.

                      In this article, I’ll share some of the most common causes of constant tiredness and fatigue and give you some guidance and action steps you can take to overcome some of the symptoms of fatigue.

                      Why Am I Feeling Fatigued?

                      Fatigue is extreme tiredness resulting from mental or physical exertion or illness.  It is a reduction in the efficiency of a muscle or organ after prolonged activity.[1]

                      It can affect anyone, and most adults will experience fatigue at some point in their life. 

                      For many people, fatigue is caused by a combination of lifestyle, social, psychological and general wellbeing issues rather than an underlying medical condition.

                      Although fatigue is sometimes described as tiredness, it is different to just feeling tired or sleepy. Everyone feels tired at some point, but this is usually resolved with a nap or a few nights of good sleep. Someone who is sleepy may also feel temporarily refreshed after exercising. If you are getting enough sleep, good nutrition and exercising regularly but still find it hard to perform, concentrate or be motivated at your normal levels, you may be experiencing a level of fatigue that needs further investigation. 

                      Symptoms of Fatigue

                      Fatigue can cause a vast range of physical, mental and emotional symptoms including:

                      • chronic tiredness, exhaustion or sleepiness
                      • mental blocks
                      • lack of motivation
                      • headache
                      • dizziness
                      • muscle weakness
                      • slowed reflexes and responses
                      • impaired decision-making and judgement
                      • moodiness, such as irritability
                      • impaired hand-to-eye coordination
                      • reduced immune system function
                      • blurry vision
                      • short-term memory problems
                      • poor concentration
                      • reduced ability to pay attention to the situation at hand

                      Causes of Fatigue

                      The wide range of causes that can trigger fatigue include:

                      • Medical causes: Constant exhaustion, tiredness and fatigue may be a sign of an underlying illness, such as a thyroid disorder, heart disease, anemia or diabetes.
                      • Lifestyle-related causes: Being overweight and a lack of regular exercise can lead to feelings of fatigue.  Lack of sleep and overcommitting can also create feelings of excessive tiredness and fatigue.
                      • Workplace-related causes: Workplace and financial stress in a variety of forms can lead to feelings of fatigue.
                      • Emotional concerns and stress: Fatigue is a common symptom of mental health problems, such as depression and grief, and may be accompanied by other signs and symptoms, including irritability and lack of motivation.

                      Fatigue can also be caused by a number of factors working in combination.

                      Medical Causes of Fatigue

                      If you have made lifestyle changes to increase your energy and still feel exhausted and fatigued, it may be time to seek guidance from your doctor.

                      Here are a few examples of illnesses that can cause ongoing fatigue. Seek medical advice if you suspect you have a health problem:

                      Anemia

                      Anemia is a condition in which you don’t have enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to the body’s tissues. It is a common cause of fatigue in women.

                      Having anemia may make you feel tired and weak.

                      There are many forms of anemia, each with its own cause. Anemia can be temporary or long term, and it can range from mild to severe.[2]

                      Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

                      Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a condition that can cause persistent, unexplained fatigue that interferes with daily activities for more than six months.

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                      This is a chronic condition with no one-size-fits-all treatment, but lifestyle changes can often help ease some symptoms of fatigue.[3]

                      Diabetes

                      Diabetes can cause fatigue with either high or low blood sugars. When your sugars are high, they remain in the bloodstream instead of being used for energy, which makes you feel fatigued. Low blood sugar (glucose) means you may not have enough fuel for energy, also causing fatigue.[4]

                      Sleep Apnea

                      Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder where sufferers briefly stop breathing for short periods during sleep. Most people are not aware this is happening, but it can cause loud snoring, and daytime fatigue.

                      Being overweight, smoking, and drinking alcohol can all worsen the symptoms of sleep apnea.[5]

                      Thyroid disease

                      An underactive thyroid gland means you have too little thyroid hormone (thyroxine) in your body. This makes you feel tired and you could also put on weight and have aching muscles and dry skin.[6]

                      Common lifestyle factors that can cause fatigue include:

                      • Lack of sleep
                      • Too much sleep 
                      • Alcohol and drugs 
                      • Sleep disturbances 
                      • Lack of regular exercise and sedentary behaviour 
                      • Poor diet 

                      Common workplace issues that can cause fatigue include:

                      • Shift work: Our body is designed to sleep during the night. A shift worker may confuse their circadian clock by working when their body is programmed to be asleep.
                      • Poor workplace practices: This may include long work hours, hard physical labour, irregular working hours (such as rotating shifts), a stressful work environment, boredom or working alone. 
                      • Workplace stress – This can be caused by a wide range of factors including job dissatisfaction, heavy workload, conflicts with bosses or colleagues, bullying, or threats to job security.
                      • Burnout: This could be striving too hard on one area of your life while neglecting others, which leads to a life that feels out of balance.

                      Psychological Causes of Fatigue

                      Psychological factors are present in many cases of extreme tiredness and fatigue.  These may include:

                      • Depression: Depression is characterised by severe and prolonged feelings of sadness, dejection and hopelessness. People who are depressed commonly experience chronic fatigue.
                      • Anxiety and stress: Someone who is constantly anxious or stressed keeps their body in overdrive. The constant flooding of adrenaline exhausts the body, and fatigue sets in.
                      • Grief: Losing a loved one causes a wide range of emotions including shock, guilt, depression, despair and loneliness.

                      How to Tackle Constant Fatigue

                      Here are 12 ways you can start tackling the causes of fatigue and start feeling more energetic.

                      1. Tell The Truth

                      Some people can numb themselves to the fact that they are overtired or fatigued all the time. In the long run, this won’t help you.

                      To give you the best chance to overcome or eliminate fatigue, you must diagnose and tell the truth about the things that are draining your energy, making you tired or causing constant fatigue.

                      Once you’re honest with yourself about the activities you’re doing in your life that you find irritating, energy-draining, and make you tired on a regular basis you can make a commitment to stop doing them.

                      The help that you need to overcome fatigue is available to you, but not until you tell the truth about it. The first person you have to sell on getting rid of the causes of fatigue is yourself.

                      One starting point is to diagnose the symptoms. When you start feeling stressed, overtired or just not operating at your normal energy levels make a note of:

                      • How you feel
                      • What time of day it is
                      • What may have contributed to your fatigue
                      • How your mind and body reacts

                      This analysis may help you identify, understand and then eliminate very specific causes.

                      2. Reduce Your Commitments

                      When we have too many things on our plate personally and professionally, we can feel overstretched, causing physical and mental fatigue.

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                      If you have committed to things you really don’t want to do, this causes irritability and low emotional engagement. Stack these up throughout your day and week, then your stress levels will rise.

                      When these commitments have deadlines associated with them, you may be trying to cram in far too much in a short period of time.  This creates more stress and can affect your decision making ability.

                      Start being realistic about how much you can get done. Either reduce the commitments you have or give yourself more time to complete them in.

                      3. Get Clear On Your Priorities

                      If working on your list of to-do’s or goals becomes too overwhelming, start reducing and prioritizing the things that matter most.

                      Start with prioritizing just 3 things every day. When you complete those 3 things, you’ll get a rush of energy and your confidence will grow.

                      If you’re trying to juggle too many things and are multi-tasking, your energy levels will drop and you’ll struggle to maintain focus.

                      Unfinished projects can make you self-critical and feel guilty which drops energy levels further, creating inaction.

                      Make a list of your 3 MIT (Most Important Tasks) for the next day before you go to bed. This will stop you overcommitting and get you excited about what the next day can bring.

                      4. Express More Gratitude

                      Gratitude and confidence are heavily linked. Just being thankful for what you have and what you’ve achieved increases confidence and makes you feel more optimistic.

                      It can help you improve your sense of wellbeing, which can bring on feelings of joy and enthusiasm.

                      Try starting a gratitude journal or just note down 3 things you’re grateful for every day.

                      5. Focus On Yourself

                      Exhaustion and fatigue can arrive by focusing solely on other people’s needs all the time, rather than worrying about and focusing on what you need (and want).

                      There are work commitments, family commitments, social commitments. You may start with the best intentions, to put in your best performance at work, to be an amazing parent and friend, to simply help others.

                      But sometimes, we extend ourselves too much and go beyond our personal limits to help others. That’s when constant exhaustion can creep up on us.  Which can make us more fatigued.

                      We all want to help and do our best for others, but there needs to be some balance. We also need to take some time out just for ourselves to recharge and rejuvenate.

                      6. Set Aside Rest and Recovery Time

                      Whether it’s a couple of hours, a day off, a mini-break or a proper holiday, time off is essential to help us recover, recharge and refocus.

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                      Recovery time helps fend off mental fatigue and allows us to simply kick back and relax.

                      The key here, though, is to remove ourselves from the daily challenges that bring on tiredness and fatigue. Here’s how.

                      Can you free yourself up completely from work and personal obligations to just rest and recover?

                      7. Take a Power Nap

                      When you’re feeling tired or fatigued and you have the ability to take a quick 20-minute nap, it could make a big difference to your performance for the rest of the day.

                      Napping can improve learning, memory and boost your energy levels quickly.

                      This article on the benefit of napping is a useful place to start if you want to learn more: How a 20-Minute Nap at Work Makes You Awake and Productive the Whole Day

                      8. Take More Exercise

                      The simple act of introducing some form of physical activity into your day can make a huge difference. It can boost energy levels, make you feel much better about yourself and can help you avoid fatigue.

                      Find something that fits into your life, be that walking, going to the gym, running or swimming. 

                      The key is to ensure the exercise is regular and that you are emotionally engaged and committed to stick with it.

                      You could also walk more which will help clear your head and shift your focus away from stressful thoughts.

                      9. Get More Quality Sleep

                      To avoid tiredness, exhaustion and fatigue, getting enough quality sleep matters. 

                      Your body needs sleep to recharge.  Getting the right amount of sleep every night can improve your health, reduce stress levels and help us improve our memory and learning skills.

                      My previous article on The Benefits of Sleep You Need to Know will give you some action steps to start improving your sleep. 

                      10. Improve Your Diet

                      Heavy or fatty meals can make you feel sluggish and tired, whilst some foods or eating strategies do just the opposite.

                      Our always on lives have us reaching for sweets or other sugary snacks to give us a burst of energy to keep going. Unfortunately, that boost fades quickly which can leave you feeling depleted and wanting more.

                      On the other hand, whole grains and healthy unsaturated fats supply the reserves you can draw on throughout the day.

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                      To keep energy up and steady, it’s a good idea to limit refined sugar and starches.

                      Eating small meals and healthy snacks every few hours throughout the day provides a steady supply of nutrients to body and brain. It’s also important not to skip breakfast.

                      Eating a balanced diet helps keep your blood sugar in a normal range and prevents that sluggish feeling when your blood sugar drops.

                      11. Manage Your Stress Levels

                      Stress is one of the leading causes of exhaustion and fatigue, and can seriously affect your health.

                      When you have increased levels of stress at work and at home, it’s easy to feel exhausted all the time. 

                      Identifying the causes of stress and then tackling the problems should be a priority. 

                      My article on How to Help Anxiety When Life is Stressing You Out shares 16 strategies you can use to overcome stress.

                      12. Get Hydrated

                      Sometimes we can be so busy that we forget to keep ourselves fully hydrated.

                      Water makes up about 60 percent of your body weight and is essential in maintaining our body’s basic functions.

                      If we don’t have enough water, it can adversely affect our mental and physical performance, which leads to tiredness and fatigue.

                      The recommended daily amount is around two litres a day, so to stay well hydrated keep a water bottle with you as much as possible.

                      The Bottom Line

                      These 12 tips can help you reduce your tiredness and feeling of fatigue.  Some will work better than others as we are all different, whilst others can be incorporated together in your daily life.

                      If you’ve tried to make positive changes to reduce fatigue and you still feel tired and exhausted, it may be time to consider making an appointment with your doctor to discuss your condition.

                      Featured photo credit: Annie Spratt via unsplash.com

                      Reference

                      [1]Oxford English Dictionary: Definition of fatigue
                      [2]NHS Choices: 10 Reasons for feeling tired
                      [3]Verywellhealth: What is chronic fatigue syndrome
                      [4]Everyday Health: Why does type 2 diabetes make you feel tired
                      [5]Mayo Clinic: Sleep apnea
                      [6]Harvard Health: The lowdown on thyroid slowdown

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