One of the most wonderful parts of my job is helping patients look and feel their best and I firmly believe that can only be achieved when patients commit to total body wellness. Though the breakthroughs we have had in cosmetic dermatology offer some fantastic ways to combat aging, there is a big difference between relying solely on treatments to “look younger” and using them as wonderful supplements to a lifestyle that helps you to look your best while feeling vibrant and healthy. If we want our cells, organs and muscles to function and turnover at a high performance rate, we need to provide them with the nourishment they need to do the job. Today, I want to share 10 of the best natural ways to slow down the aging process, increase energy and feel and look amazing.
Rich and vibrant colors are your best bet. Green leafy veggies are an obvious go-to, but if your entire basket consists of various shades of emerald, you’re missing out on some key players. Choose fruits and veggies in vibrant colors (deep green purples and bright red. These are the low-inflammatory foods that are rich in antioxidants and help protect against diseases such as diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure) and arthritis. These are all directly correlated to inflammation. Foods high in antioxidants prevent oxidative stress and get rid of aging free radicals.
Olive oil. Cleopatra combined it with salt to exfoliate her skin, but she would have had more luck digesting it. Olive oil contains monounsaturated fats which have been shown to lower rates of heart disease and cancer and also contains polyphenols, a powerful antioxidant called that may prevent age-related diseases.
Omega 3’s. Anyone who has looked in the mirror to find themselves looking a little deflated knows that dry skin isn’t only a byproduct of chilly winters and hot summer nights. As our tissue ages, it begins to lack moisture which is why we should dine on fatty fish, snack on walnuts or take a daily Omega 3 supplement (with a big glass of water). Omega 3’s counteract this moisture loss by plumping up the walls of the cells which helps the skin look fuller–they also give it a healthy glow!
Ditch the table salt! Table salt has been shown to draw water out of the cells in your skin leaving you prone to wrinkles and a dull complexion. Sea-salt does the opposite. Due to its high level of potassium, it draws water back into the cell, which helps keep skin hydrated.
Amino Acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of collagen and elastin, two elements that are crucial for healthy skin. The two best sources of amino acids are found in meat and eggs, but remember to eat the yolk!
Beets. This amazing fruit contains phytoceramides which help keep the skin hydrated, reduce the visibility of wrinkles and heal dry cracked skin.
Low glycemic carbohydrates. Preventing spikes in your blood sugar will keep inflammation under control throughout the entire body. High-glycemic foods or refined sugar can cause an increase in acne and wrinkles. Choose carbohydrates wisely like oats, sweet potatoes, quinoa.
Vitamin C. This essential vitamin is best known for its immune properties, but it also works to keep your skin supple and helps to build collagen. Yellow peppers, broccoli and kale are loaded with the vitamin and popping a few slices into your water pitcher can give a zing to the eight glasses you are drinking each day (right?)
Grapes. The skin on grapes contains Reservatrol which has been shown to reduce inflammation and helps combat the effects of UV light (but you still need your sunscreen!) Add a few to salads, a fruit salad or freeze them for a healthy “popsicle bites”.
Brussels sprouts. This foodie favorite contains loads of vitamin A and folate and may help prevent sun damage. Add a drizzle of olive oil and sliced almonds and you’re getting a triple dose of skin nourishing nutrients.