Top 19 Anti-Wrinkle Foods for Preventing and Reducing Wrinkles
This section of HealWithFood.org's Nutrition Guide to Reducing Wrinkles presents 19 superfoods that can help reverse and reduce the formation of wrinkles and keep your skin firm. These anti-wrinkle foods are packed with nutrients that can help you achieve a radiant, wrinkle-free complexion. For more information about nutrients that can help reduce wrinkles, check out the section Anti-Wrinkle Diet Tips.
Avocado (also known as the alligator pear) has long been touted for its contribution to healthy, beautiful skin — and for good reason. This creamy, green fruit is packed with vitamin E and B-complex vitamins that nourish the skin. Further, it is also rich in essential fatty acids which help moisturize the skin, keeping it soft and smooth. But that's not all — avocados also contain vitamin C. On top of all that, avocados are typically low in pesticides and other harmful chemicals.
Salmon is an anti-wrinkle food par excellence. It provides an excellent source of omega 3-fatty acids — a type of fatty acids that are often in short supply in Western diets. Omega-3's help moisturize the skin and protect it from UV damage, and thus from premature aging and wrinkling.
In addition to omega-3's, salmon contains another interesting anti-wrinkle nutrient: astaxanthin. Astaxanthin, a carotenoid that gives salmon its pink color, is a powerful antioxidant that has been shown to scavenge free radicals created by skin exposed to ultraviolet rays. To get the most astaxanthin, opt for wild salmon. Astaxanthin levels have been reported to be much higher in wild salmon (particularly in sockeye salmon) than farmed salmon. Further, wild salmon contains only low levels of PCBs, harmful chemicals that are often found in high quantities in farmed salmon.
That said, moderation should be the key in the consumption of wild salmon. Too frequent/high a consumption of salmon and other fish may predispose you to an excessive exposure to certain toxins — such as mercury and pesticides — contained in fish. The FDA recommends eating fish twice a week, but not more often. This advice is particularly important for pregnant women and women who are planning to become pregnant because the toxins in fish can impair the neurological development of the unborn baby.
Buckwheat is a superb source of rutin, a bioflavonoid that helps the body utilize vitamin C. Rutin also helps maintain collagen levels in the skin, keeping the skin elastic and firm. What's more, buckwheat groats are loaded with protein, and the protein they boast includes all eight essential amino acids, all of which are needed for skin repair. Buckwheat groats can be used to make a delicious hot breakfast porridge and buckwheat flour (also known as beechwheat, kasha, and saracen corn) can be used for making baked goods.
#4: Wheat Germ
Fed up with stubborn wrinkles and fine lines? Then be sure to include wheat germ in your diet! Wheat germ is packed with skin-smoothing nutrients. It is naturally very high in selenium and zinc, two important anti-wrinkle trace minerals. It is also a fairly concentrated source of vitamin B6 which promotes the absorption of zinc from the intestines. Furthermore, it is one of the best dietary sources of vitamin E, which is crucial for beautiful skin. On top of all that, it is an excellent source of coenzyme Q10 and protein. Try adding wheat germ to breads, cereals, muesli, milk shakes, or pancakes — it makes a highly nutritious, yet undetectable addition! When storing wheat germ, keep in mind that it goes rancid fast because of its unsaturated fat content. To optimize the shelf life of this excellent anti-wrinkle food, store it in a sealed container in a cool, dry place away from exposure to the sun.
Can't wait to start jazzing up your favorite smoothies, salads, and yogurt with wheat germ? Check out the article Where to Buy Wheat Germ for tips on how to get the most out of your next wheat germ purchase.
Blueberries are one of the greatest health foods of all time, and they're a boon to anyone worried about wrinkles. Due to their high concentration of anthocyanins, blueberries contribute to the health of the collagen matrix by neutralizing enzymes that destroy connective tissue and by scavenging free radicals. The anthocyanins also enhance the effects of the vitamin C contained in blueberries. Furthermore, compared to other berries, blueberries (especially wild blueberries) are a good source of vitamin E.
#6: Brazil Nuts
Brazil nuts are by far the nature's best dietary source of selenium: a single Brazil nut provides more than the US reference daily intake! Due to their selenium content, combined with their high concentration of vitamin E, Brazil nuts are up there at the top of the anti-wrinkle food list. It is important, however, to bear in mind that Brazil nuts like most other nuts are calorie dense, and therefore they should be consumed in moderation, especially if you are concerned about weight gain.
#7: Green Tea
A regular consumption of green tea has been shown to be very effective at preventing wrinkles. The beneficial effects of green tea on the skin are thought to be linked to the high amount of catechins green tea contains. Catechins are compounds that are known to have extremely powerful antioxidant and other health promoting properties. To maximize the release of catechins, choose loose tea leaves instead of tea bags and let the tea steep long enough (for approximately five minutes).
Of all the protein rich foods, eggs are among the best sources of protein for people who are concerned about wrinkles. Eggs are a particularly good source of the three big anti-wrinkle amino acids, that is, glycine, proline, and lycine. These amino acids are essential for the production of collagen and elastin which give the skin its texture and ability to stretch. As we age, our collagen and elastin production decreases rapidly, which can show up as wrinkles and fine lines in the skin. Further, not only are eggs an excellent source of dietary protein, they also provide a wealth of nutrients, including vitamin A, vitamin E, and selenium. They also contain iron which helps the amino acids to form strong collagen.
#9: Soy Beans
Soy beans are another excellent protein rich anti-wrinkle food: they contain large amounts of the same anti-wrinkle amino acids as eggs do (glycine, proline, and lycine). Additionally, soy beans contain certain wrinkle-fighting isoflavones, including genistein, daidzein, and aglycone. In one double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, Japanese researches gave 26 middle-aged women either a test food containing 40 mg of soy isoflavone aglycone or a placebo food. After the 12 week trial period, those that had been given the test food showed a significant improvement of fine wrinkles and skin elasticity, compared with the placebo group. When incorporating soy products into your diet, moderation should be used as there is some research linking excess soy consumption to an increased risk of breast cancer. The American Institute for Cancer Research suggests that whole soy foods consumed at normal dietary levels (one or two servings a day) is probably safe for most women. However, women who have had hormone-dependent breast cancer may want to limit themselves to a few servings of soy foods per week.
You probably already know that carrots are good for vision, but did you know that they are also a great anti-wrinkle vegetable? Carrots are one of the best dietary sources of beta-carotene — a nutrient that is known to help protect the skin against the free radical damage from sun exposure. Carrots also contain vitamin C and a wealth of other nutrients. When buying these delicious root vegetables, it is advisable to opt for organically grown produce whenever possible. According to research, conventionally grown carrots are among the most contaminated vegetables (in terms of pesticide and chemical content).