Protect Against Sun Damage with Tomatoes
According to scientists at Newcastle University in England, tomatoes can protect against cellular damage and skin redness caused by exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UV). It’s all thanks to lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that not only stains the tomato red, but also helps protect against the free radical damage that accelerates aging (ahem, wrinkles) and reduce the risk of sun damage. Lycopene is best absorbed from cooked tomatoes, so add some tomato juice or tomato sauce to your meals. Because it’s a fat-soluble antioxidant, your body more easily uses lycopene when you eat it alongside healthy fats, like eggs and avocados.
Alleviate Inflammation and Stimulate Collagen Production with Lean Red Meat
Great news for all you meat-eating gals! Lean red meat contains high concentrations of two of the most important amino acids for collagen creation: glycine and proline. It is also rich in the mineral zinc, a critical component in collagen production and a natural anti-inflammatory.
For all you vegetarians and pescatarians out there, seafood is also high in glycine, and you can get a healthy dose of proline from cabbage and cottage cheese. Add zinc to your diet with kidney beans, raw oysters and lentils.
Reverse Redness with Green Tea
You’ve probably heard of the anti-aging prowess of green tea by now, but did you know that the catechin compounds in green tea can be used both topically and orally to fight UV damage from too much sun exposure and even slash your risk for certain skin cancers? According to the research, one cup of green tea drank twice a day for six months can reverse sun damage, calm redness and even heal broken capillary veins. Added benefits include protection against cardiovascular disease, infections and toxins.
Strengthen Hair and Nails with Green Beans
Want thicker hair and healthier nails? Throw some green beans into the mix. Green beans are high in silicon (the mineral, not the synthetic substance—silicone—that’s used for implants…eek!). Research confirms that just 10 mg a day of silicon can make hair thicker and strengthen nails. Green beans are also rich in antioxidants like vitamins A, C and K and the minerals calcium, potassium and folate. Opt for organic green beans, which absorb more silicon from the soil.
Replenish Gut Health with Yogurt
This one is only for the ladies who are dairy tolerant. Yogurt is a natural probiotic and replenishes your gut with healthy bacteria. What’s the gut got to do with the skin? Everything! Scientists now believe that skin problems such as acne and eczema are linked to poor gut health. Choose a low-sugar, high-fat yogurt, like Greek yogurt. (Don’t worry: eating fat doesn’t make you fat!). The yogurt doubles as a mask because it contains lactic acid, a common ingredient in chemical peels. Just combine the yogurt with a couple drops of carrier oil, like almond oil or olive oil, and let it work its magic for 20 to 30 minutes.