Smooth, radiant skin is something everyone wants. While there's no magic bullet, the food you eat, along with a healthy lifestyle, can help stall some of the visible signs of aging.
"Eat smaller portions. Choose nutrient-dense, healthy foods from all of the different food groups. Exercise, and wear sunscreen. All of these things will help you look and feel younger," says dietitian Elisa Zied, author of Younger Next Week.
These seven foods deliver nutrients that can help keep your skin looking great.
"I recommend complex carbohydrates like oats because they're low-glycemic," says Debra Jaliman, MD. She is a New York dermatologist and author of Skin Rules. By "low-glycemic," she means foods that don't spike your blood sugar like refined breads, rice, and pasta can. "High-glycemic foods are known to cause acne and wrinkles," Jaliman says.
Oats also have a natural plant chemical that helps prevent damage to skin cells and soothes skin irritation.
Also try: other whole grains such as shredded wheat, barley, brown rice.
These are loaded with water, so they hydrate your skin and your cells, Zied says. One large orange is an excellent source of vitamin C, which helps make collagen -- and that, in turn, helps keep your skin supple.
In general, vegetables and fruits are great for your skin. Get at least 2 to 2.5 cups of vegetables and 1.5 cups of fruit per day if you're a woman, or 3 cups of veggies and 2 cups of fruit if you're a man. Go for lots of colors so you get a variety of nutrients.
Also try: pink grapefruit, tomatoes, parsley.
Avocados are filled with a healthy type of fat, monounsaturated fat, which helps your skinstay hydrated, Zied says.That same healthy fat can also help you absorb some vitamins and nutrients that your skin needs.
Try replacing high-fat salad dressings and mayo with avocado. "It gives you a lot of flavor and texture, and you don't need much to feel satisfied," Zied says.
Also try: olive oil, walnuts, macadamia nut oil.
4. Lean Beef
"Lean beef, such as top sirloin, is a great way to get high-quality protein," Zied says. Protein helps build collagen.
Zied recommends having a 2- to 4-ounce serving, just two to three times a week. There are other forms of lean protein you can enjoy on other days.
When you cook beef, flip it often. "Cooking it over super-high heat until it's crispy and charred creates chemicals that will undo all of the anti-aging properties of the beef," Zied says.
Also try: eggs, chicken, tofu, beans, fish.