Consuming antioxidant foods and drinks is one of the most beneficial things you can do to ensure your skin is healthy.
The skin is the largest organ of our bodies and it is surely a delicate one. Besides many other things that you can do to help it be healthier, your diet is one of the first things you should work on. Maintaining the well-being of your skin is very important, as it is under the influence of both internal and external factors.
While in many cases you can’t control external factors, such as being exposed to polluted air, sun, rain, etc., you can still control the internal ones. Simply put, if you want healthy and radiant skin, you will have to change your eating and drinking habits. So, if you suffer from skin conditions such as acne, using a good antioxidant cream for acne may not be enough. You should also include antioxidants in your diet.
Since there is no “antioxidant foods and drinks grocery lists for glowing and healthy skin”, we are going to help you build one for yourself. We’ll also provide more information about how important your diet is to skin health and what antioxidants are.
How Diet Affects Your Skin
Your skin is dependent on the regular intake of antioxidants, minerals, vitamins and amino acids (proteins). Our bodies use the ingredients from food to make collagen and elastic tissue. Depriving your skin of these elements will make it weaker and less supple.
There are many ways in which your diet impacts the body. A good and healthy diet will make it slim and strong, but it doesn’t end here. Your skin will also be affected, along with your waistline, if you don’t have a well-rounded diet. Antioxidant foods and drinks are known to contain ingredients with very powerful anti-wrinkle effects.
With just the basic knowledge of how skin reacts to the food, you can do wonders for your skin. A slight change to your diet will provide you with many benefits and will also change the way your skin looks and behaves.
What is Antioxidant Food?
Antioxidant food is the food rich with substances that play a crucial role in overall health, as they neutralize the free radicals found in our bodies. It is important to know that the antioxidants found in food are plain and simple natural compounds with many health benefits. One of which is being extremely helpful for our skin.
But what are free radicals, you may ask? Free radicals are also natural substances. They occur completely naturally in our bodies. They are known to attack our DNA, proteins and fats. Free radicals may cause various diseases and they are known to significantly accelerate the aging process. By consuming antioxidant foods, you will increase the level of antioxidants in your body, which your skin can then use to slow down the aging process.
This type of beneficial substances is derived from plants. This means that fruits and vegetables are the foods with the highest amount of antioxidant per serving size. You should also know that not all fruits and vegetables contain the same amounts of antioxidants, but we will come back to this in one of the following sections.
What are Antioxidant Drinks?
Many people think that antioxidant drinks are something completely different than antioxidant foods. However, it is quite the opposite. An antioxidant drink is nothing but the liquid form of foods that are very rich in antioxidants, except when we are talking about antioxidant-rich teas, such as green tea and vine.
These drinks also contain a high number of antioxidants which are used by our bodies to fight free radicals, prevent diseases and slow down aging process. Since the base for these drinks is usually water, antioxidant drinks are very good for skin hydration as well. The nutrients they contain can energize you and provide a welcome boost to kickstart your day.
Antioxidant Food and Drink Benefits
Did you know that “antioxidant” is just a category and that there are many different antioxidants out there? Indeed, scientists have discovered a very wide range of antioxidants. Each one of them has a different effect on our body, as they affect specific parts of our system. Antioxidant foods benefits affect the following:
- Immune System
- Heart Problems
- Eye Problems
- Mood Disorders
We are going to stick with antioxidants’ benefits for the skin in this article. Our skin is very sensitive and it can be seriously damaged by various free radicals. The most damaging are the ones that belong to the reactive species of oxygen:
- Peroxide Radicals
- Superoxide Radicals
- Singlet Oxygen
These three are responsible for skin cancers, premature skin aging, sunburn and photodermatoses.
An antioxidant like alpha lipoic acid is very beneficial and has a calming and anti-inflammatory effect. This antioxidant is found in green tea. Its anti-inflammatory effect comes from its ability to stimulate circulation and improve cell metabolism. Drinking green tea can help you by promoting skin tone, slowing down the formation of wrinkles and keeping acne at bay.
Consuming foods rich in Coenzyme Q-10 such as tuna, salmon, beef and poultry can help your skin a lot. If you are a vegan, you can get Coenzyme Q-10 by consuming pistachios, strawberries, broccoli, cauliflower, soybean and canola oil. CoQ-10 helps skin by making it firmer. It improves the overall health of the skin and rejuvenates its appearance. Maintaining a regular intake will help you tone your skin like never before.
Another antioxidant found in Vitamins C and E can help you reduce your wrinkles and make your skin look more youthful. Eating foods rich in Vitamins C and E can also help you to reduce fine lines that usually appear around the eyes and mouth.
Antioxidants are so powerful that they can even help you reduce scars on your skin. Scarred skin appears more rigid, but an antioxidant called allium, which is found in antioxidant vegetables like onions, garlic, chives, leeks, shallots and scallions, can help you by increasing the blood flow, thus repairing scar tissue and minimizing the scarred look.
Another problem is that the amount of sun radiation is increasing each year. And we all know how sun exposure can make our skin appear wrinkled and dry. Antioxidants help the skin repair from sun damage by stimulating blood circulation and growth of new skin cells. To reduce redness, you can drink green tea, get lycopene from tomatoes and antioxidants from carrots, all of which will help you protect your skin against sunburn.
While you need to be extra careful about the sun in the summer, you should also have a special skincare routine for winter, as the cold weather comes with other potential issues for your skin.
Antioxidant Foods List
Scientists working at USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) have analyzed dozens of different foods in order to determine the ones with the highest antioxidant concentration. Here is the list of antioxidant foods with highest concentration of antioxidants according to the USDA:
- Dried Small Red Bean is the food at the top of this list. With an amazing 13,727 antioxidants in a serving size of half a cup.
- Wild Berry follows closely with 13,427 antioxidants per 1 cup
- Dried Red Kidney Bean contains 13,259 antioxidants per half a cup
- Pinto bean contains 11,864 antioxidants in half a cup
- Cultivated Blueberry contains 9,019 antioxidants in 1 cup
- Cranberry contains 8,983 antioxidants in 1 cup
- Cooked Artichoke contains 7,904 per 1 cup
- Blackberry contains 7,701 antioxidants per 1 cup
- Prune contains 7,291 antioxidants per half a cup
- Raspberry contains 6,058 antioxidants per 1 cup
- Strawberry contains 5,938 antioxidants per 1 cup
- Red Delicious Apple contains 5,900 antioxidants (1 whole)
- Granny Smith Apple contains 5,381 antioxidants (1 whole)
- Pecan contains 5,095 antioxidants per ounce
- Sweet Cherry (1 cup) and Black Plum (1 whole) contain 4,800 antioxidants
When you take a closer look, this list could be easily named “antioxidant fruits”. Later research has proven that Goji berries are actually the ones with the highest number of antioxidants with an amazing 25,000 per serving.
Antioxidant Drinks List
Beside smoothies you can make by mixing numerous plants to get yourself a perfect drink that’s rich in antioxidants, there are other drinks that can help you with your daily antioxidant intake. The antioxidant drinks for skin benefits list is also a long one.
For instance, zinc, a very powerful antioxidant, is found in milk. If you drink milk, you will also get two highly beneficial antioxidants for your skin, Manganese and Copper. Copper is very important in vitamin C metabolism and in the synthesis of collagen, which is a structural protein of the skin. Magnesium is also a powerful antioxidant in skin cells. Many studies have confirmed that there is a connection between skin rashes and magnesium deficiency.
Catechins and Cryptoxanthin (carotenoid, beta-cryptoxanthin) are also powerful antioxidants and they are found in red wine, green tea and other types of tea. Catechins are known to increase the skin’s healing and defense abilities. They fight wrinkles and make the skin appear youthful. Cryptoxanthin is a proven antioxidant and it stimulates the RB gene that prevents cells from developing cancer.
As you can see, there are many foods and drinks that are rich with antioxidants. Antioxidants are very powerful allies to anyone who seeks to improve and maintain overall health, but also the health and look of their skin.
By fighting free radicals, helping cells to reproduce and preventing damage from outside factors, antioxidants play a very important role on the microscopic scene in our bodies. This is why consuming foods and drinks that have a high concentration of these substances should be a priority for everyone.
One last note at the end: spices are also known to have a high concentration of antioxidants. By using turmeric, oregano leaves, ginger, cinnamon and yellow mustard in your cosine regularly, you will increase your daily intake of antioxidants, make your skin glow and slow down the aging process.