Part of the impetus of my blog is to show women that we can age gracefully and with minimal damage if we find natural (i.e. non-chemical and non-scalpel) methods to optimize the body’s natural functioning. There is no machine more perfectly engineered than the body. Everything has a function and works well until we start flooding ourselves with chemicals that were never supposed to be there. Our consumer culture has made it difficult to resist buying products – for our skin, our mouth, our homes, our car, our air – everything. But if you want to age slowly you are going to have to return to nature.
Here are 18 foods that tighten and firm skin. Get a natural face lift while eating!
Contains high amounts of the mineral silica which enhances connective tissues in the skin, hair, nails, muscles etc. Silica strengthens elasticity and retains water. Asparagus is a diuretic (can increase water loss) so drink lots of water while eating.
If you read my post Ban the Botox. Chew Celery Instead for Plumper Skin, you already know that celery is also rife in silica (builds skin structure and traps water), vitamin C and water. All essentials for juicy, plumpy skin.
OK I know there is a huge no-dairy-trend going on out there and part of me is sympathetic and listening but the other part of me says ‘like Hell I’m ever going to give up cheese’. Here is why you shouldn’t: hyaluronic acid. Yup, this acid is what makes up the structure outside cells which gives structure and support to skin and helps in tissue repair. Aging costs you this acid. If skin cannot repair itself it will become bumpy and rough! In addition the probiotics in cheese boost immunity, fight bad microbes, improve absorption of nutrients (super important for good skin!) and support production of the wonderful hyaluronic acid. Stick to goat or sheep cheeses for easier digestion.
4. Dried Fruit
Contain high levels of minerals like copper, manganese, potassium, calcium, phosphorus and vitamins A and B. It also contains Vitamin C though at lower levels than fresh fruit. However, the most important benefit of dried fruit is the high level of iron which helps to form collagen. Low levels of iron = reduced collagen.
5. Black Eyed Peas
These peas contain generous amounts of both iron and protein which help to nourish collagen and muscles in the face. Iron helps with the formation of collagen as well as carrying oxygen to muscles that (unless you have a poker face) are moving constantly. Protein contains plenty of amino acids which form hormones, muscles and enzymes. Amino acids help muscles and skin to repair themselves after of day of varied facial expressions and talking.
It’s the season now so look for those reddish celery-like stalks and google some recipes! You won’t be surprised to learn that, like celery, rhubarb has high levels of silica and vitamin C. Antioxidant power + skin structure enforcement + silica’s wonderful knack of trapping water in the skin for a juicier appearance.
They’ve gotten a bad rap over the years and it’s mostly because we’ve become so skilled at distorting their natural state. Peanuts are riddled with vitamin E (kills free radicals, prevents wrinkles, spots, sagging), vitamin B (makes energy for skin) C0Q10 (helps in energy production and is an antioxidant), protein (rife with the building blocks amino acids), monosaturated fat (prevents toxins from sun and other free radicals from damaging skin) and resveratrol (big antioxidant and anti-inflammatory). Pass the peanuts please.
Isoflavanes – super strong antioxidants – are heavily present in soy as is protein which boosts energy production for skin. In addition, as we age, collagen diminishes. Some studies show that when treated topically with a soy extract skin produces more hyaluronic acid and collagen and appears to tighten producing a smoother appearance. Fermented soy is best since it helps in the absorption of isoflavones. Be wary of over-consuming soy if you have breast cancer in the family.
My personal obsession! I always keep home-made hummus in the fridge. Chickpeas contain plenty of fiber (great for detoxification), vitamin B – folate (for energy production in skin’s metabolic processes), trace mineral manganese (has antioxidants which fight the sag-inducing free radicals and helps energy production) and trace mineral molybdenum which removes toxins called sulfites which damage skin. Sulfites are a preservative found in processed foods.
Is rich in nutrients including: flavonoids, folate, pantothentic acid, magnesium, fiber, potassium, carotene, and vitamin C, A and E – all of which support the structure of the skin. The antioxidants vitamin A, C, and E fight free radical damage which affects your skin’s collagen, elastin and fibers. Without them your skin will droop!
11. Brazil Nuts
For me, this is a superfood unto itself. The super high levels of selenium in Brazil Nuts make it a MUST EAT for anti-aging fanatics. Selenium is a strong antioxidant and plays a major role in skin elasticity. Just eat 5 a day for optimal results! Brazil nuts also contain antioxidant vitamin E as well as magnesium and thiamin which support skin structure. Eat Brazil Nuts for a face as firm and luscious as a Brazilian butt!
I want to include them here but you can read all about them in my article: ‘Eggs Can Prevent Your Skin from Sagging’
Clams have it all so don’t forget about them. (Sadly, I often do.) Because clams contain high levels of the B vitamins and protein they help your skin to produce vital energy which is required to power skin repair and renewal. Because of our constant exposure to free radicals and toxins this is a critical contribution. In addition, clams contain the much needed minerals that help your skin retain moisture like copper and zinc (also critical to maintaining fertility FYI). Weirdly, they also contain respectable amounts of vitamin C and A. Time to get clammy!
14. Green Peas
Contain plenty of folic acid and vitamin B6 which both help to diminish the build-up a byproduct of fat metabolism called homocysteine. This byproduct can prevent collagen from building cross links and thereby cause sagging skin. Peas also contain vitamin C, K and A (vital antioxidants) as well as vitamins B1 and 2, copper, iron, zinc, magnesium and potassium – all of which support firmer, tighter skin.
Dates contain high levels of fiber which help to drive toxins from the body by trapping them in the intestine. They also keep cholesterol levels stable and blood vessels healthy enough to provide oxygen to the skin. Dates also contain high levels of antioxidants.
Raisins contain high levels of an antioxidant called phenols which are particularly effective at protecting the erosion of collagen and elasticity.
Rosemary contains high levels of vitamin B6 which both help to diminish the build-up a byproduct of fat metabolism called homocysteine. This byproduct can prevent collagen from building cross links and thereby cause sagging skin. Rosemary also has high antioxidant levels to neutralize those pesky, bloody free radicals. It also contains plenty of iron, calcium and manganese which all help with energy production and to reduce inflammation.
My all time favorite fruit! And, it contains 2 of the most important nutrients for your skin: water and silica. Silica, as we have seen in celery and rhubarb, traps water and hold it in the skin – making skin full and tight – far from saggy! As we age, our ability to absorb silica decreases (we only absorb 40% anyway under the best of conditions). Therefore we need to supplement our diet with silica rich foods and vitamins. Mangos also contain vitamins A (fat soluble antioxidant) and C (water soluble antioxidant) as well as enzymes which enable the body to absorb nutrients (magneferin and lactase).