Want smoother, younger-looking skin? Add these antioxidant-rich foods to your diet. Studies show that the vitamins and minerals they contain can do everything from speeding cell turnover (to reveal healthier skin underneath) to protecting skin from the sun’s damaging rays. Here, eight foods that are loaded with age-defying nutrients—plus fast, delicious recipes you’ll want to try today.
These brightly colored veggies are a treat for your skin. A half-cup of chopped red pepper will give you more than 100% of your dietary reference intake of wrinkle-fighting vitamin C. Researchers in the United Kingdom looked at vitamin C intake in 4,025 women and found that those who ate more vitamin C had less wrinkling and dryness.
Free radicals are particles that can harm skin cells and reduce collagen, making skin more wrinkle-prone. You can offset free radical damage by consuming antioxidant-rich blueberries. “With 1/2 cup of blueberries, you can just about double the amount of antioxidants most Americans get in one day. If you want to slow down the free radical aging process, blueberries are the leader of the pack,” says Ronald Prior, PhD, head of the USDA Phytochemical Laboratory at Tufts.
Salmon is rich in anti-aging ingredients, including omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s contain alpha-linolenic acid, which decreases dryness and keeps skin soft, smooth, and supple. Fatty fish, like salmon, also reduces inflammation and may help ease chronic skin problems, like psoriasis flare-ups.
Get plenty of moisturizing vitamin E in this creamy fruit. Not only does vitamin E ease dry skin, but studies also show it may reduce free radicals and protect against damaging UV rays. It’s the perfect excuse to have chips and guacamole!
Onions aren’t just for adding flavor to food—they’re also rich in quercetin, an antioxidant that protects against wrinkles. Studies show that it may save skin from harmful UVB rays, so sneak these veggies into soups, main dish meals and onto pizzas.
Eat this skin favorite year-round! Sweet potatoes are loaded with beta-carotene, which produces vitamin A. Vitamin A increases cell turnover and protects the integrity of our skin. In fact, it’s so important for healthy skin that its derivatives, called retinoids, are found in many skin care products. But you can get skin-boosting benefits by adding this sweet, hearty veggie to your weekly meals.
Packed with vitamin C, this tart fruit contains more antioxidants than red wine and green tea. It will keep your skin looking bright and wrinkle-free and may even reduce your risk of skin cancer.
Colorful fruits and vegetables aren’t the only foods that keep your skin looking young. Whole grains contain polyphenols and carotenoids that fight the aging process. If you’re choosing whole grain cereal, use soy milk instead of regular milk—it contains isoflavones that may add to the anti-aging benefits