If you are looking for an easy way to improve your skin’s health and appearance, piling more antioxidant-rich foods on your plate is a great place to start.
Antioxidants are responsible for keeping your body and skin protected from harmful free radicals — unstable molecules that can cause your skin to age faster and potentially lead to skin cancer and other health issues. The good news is that there are lots of delicious foods that are packed full of antioxidants, so stock up on plenty of these for healthier skin, inside and out.
▪ Many types of berries are rich in antioxidants, including strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, acai berries, and pomegranate seeds. One rule to follow when choosing fresh fruits and vegetables is to try to eat as many colors of the rainbow as you can. The plant pigments that give these foods their bright, bold colors are also powerful antioxidants.
▪ Ginger is a popular spice that has been used for a variety of medicinal purposes for centuries. It also happens to contain high amounts of antioxidants, making it an excellent food for your skin. However, ginger can make bruising worse after a cosmetic procedure such as dermal fillers, so avoid eating or drinking this spice and other blood-thinning foods and medications for at least 10 days before your procedure. Once your skin has healed, you can resume reaping the benefits of this antioxidant-rich food.
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▪ Turmeric is also a part of the ginger family and therefore possesses the same antioxidant qualities as ginger. If you like Indian cuisine, you’re probably familiar with this yellow-colored spice. As an added benefit, turmeric may also help to alleviate acne, joint pain and other ailments associated with inflammation. However, as with ginger, your board-certified dermatologist will ask you to eliminate turmeric from your diet for 10 days before a cosmetic procedure to help minimize bruising.
▪ Resveratrol is a plant polyphenol with strong antioxidant properties and is found in the skin of the grapes used to make red wine. For this reason, drinking red wine in moderation is believed to help combat signs of skin aging, as well as protect against a variety of illnesses such as heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and even cancer.
▪ If you want to indulge in a sweet treat, try dark chocolate. The cocoa that is used to make dark chocolate is high in antioxidants, so this is a great treat for your skin. Just remember that the higher the percentage of cocoa in the chocolate, the higher the concentration of antioxidants it will have. Milk and white chocolates, on the other hand, contain much less cocoa and much more sugar, so these aren’t the best choices for your skin. In fact, eating too much of these types of chocolate can lead to wrinkles and other signs of aging.
Many people are surprised to learn just how great of an impact diet can have on the health and beauty of their skin. Add plenty of colorful fruits and vegetables to your diet to make sure you’re getting plenty of antioxidants, and limit sugar consumption whenever possible. You can also talk to a trusted dermatologist in your area about adding an antioxidant serum to your daily skincare regimen for an extra boost of free radical protection.
If you’d like to learn more about the best foods to eat and which to avoid for a smoother and more radiant complexion, you can watch this short video on my YouTube channel. Search “Baumann Cosmetic & Research Institute.”
Dr. Leslie Baumann is a board-certified dermatologist, New York Times bestselling author, and researcher who performed the research trials that led to the FDA approval of Botox, Dysport, Restylane Silk, Juvederm Voluma, Revanesse, and many other cosmetic procedures. To learn more, visit derm.net or LeslieBaumannMD.com.