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Top Anti-Aging Nutrients and the Best Foods to Find Them In

adapted from maxliving.com

Everyone Ages

Lines and wrinkles, crow’s feet, and other imperfections often seem like the inevitable consequences of growing older.

But your skin does more than reveal the effects of aging. As the largest organ in your body, this is your first line of defense to protect against potential threats including ultraviolet (UV) irradiation, chemical stress, and bacterial infection.

At the same time, aging can take its toll on your skin, and nowhere does that become more apparent than on your face. Sunspots, wrinkles, very dry skin, and a worn-out look are signs that your face is aging faster than you are.

You don’t have to surrender your skin to the wrinkles that come with aging. Maintaining glowing, vibrant skin doesn’t require expensive chemical peels, triple-digit skincare regimens, or hours at a day spa.

Healthy Lifestyle, Healthy Skin

How you eat and live can have a dramatic effect on preventing wrinkles and other blemishes that can take their toll as we grow older.

Take sunlight: A little bit of sun can be healthy to make vitamin D. While your skin can make vitamin D from exposure to sunlight, too much can have the opposite effect, contributing to wrinkles, age spots, and even skin cancer.

Conversely, smoking in any amount is also bad news for your skin and overall health. Among its damage, smoking damages the fibers that give your skin strength and elasticity.

But the true secret to healthy, glowing skin comes from within. What nourishes your skin will nourish your entire body, and a healthy diet provides the nutrients that nourish your skin.

Collagen Boosts Skin Strength

If you want better skin, start with collagen.

The most abundant protein in your body, collagen acts as a type of scaffolding to provide strength and structure to connective tissues including bones, muscles, tendons, and your skin. In fact, one-third of the protein in your body is collagen.

Optimal amounts of collagen keep your skin supple, elastic, and strong.  As you get older, collagen decreases, creating wrinkles and sagging skin among its repercussions.

Your body can synthesize collagen from the amino acids in protein-rich foods including wild-caught fish and grass-fed beef. Bone broth is also an excellent source of collagen-building amino acids. Collagen supplements have also gained popularity lately.

Our Core and Advanced Nutrition Plans contain sufficient amounts of collagen-building amino acids as well as other core nutrients that help synthesize collagen and support healthy skin.

These nutrients — vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and trace minerals — create a solid foundation to support healthy, glowing skin.

Among them, these five nutrients play key roles in your skin and healthy aging. Here’s why, and how to get more of the foods that contain these nutrients into your diet.

Key Anti-aging Nutrients That Nourish Skin

Vitamin A

Vitamin A comes in two forms, called retinoids and carotenoids.

In animal foods, vitamin A comes as retinol, the active form. Animal-based foods rich in vitamin A include beef or lamb liver. (You’re probably not eating those regularly.) Others, such as wild-caught salmon and goat cheese, also contain some vitamin A.

You’re more likely to get vitamin A from plant foods. Carotenoids, which your body converts into retinol, give plants their green color and some fruits and vegetables a red or yellow color.

Among its duties, vitamin A helps maintain the integrity and function of surface tissuesincluding your respiratory tract lining, gut, bladder, and skin.

This fat-soluble vitamin:

Researchers attribute vitamin A deficiencies with atopic dermatitis and delayed wound healing.

As with all fat-soluble vitamins, you should eat foods rich in vitamin A with some healthy dietary fat. Combine spinach, for instance, with a hard-boiled egg or some grass-fed beef. Overcooking and direct light can both destroy a food’s vitamin A content.

Best Foods to Get Vitamin A

1. Dark green, leafy vegetables. Rich in antioxidant-boosting carotenoids.

2. Egg yolks. Of course, you’ll eat the whole egg, but don’t throw out the yolks! They provide a rich source of retinol.

3. Sweet potatoes. Whether you eat them mashed or whole, add a little grass-fed butter to fully absorb the fat-soluble carotenoids.

Vitamin C

This water-soluble vitamin does double duty as a powerful antioxidant that lowers inflammation for healthy, glowing skin.

Vitamin C is also a precursor to synthesize collagen. In fact, sufficient vitamin C can increase collagen synthesis to repair damaged skin.

Free radicals are bad news for your skin. Among their damage, the excessive amount of free radicals your body produces can damage your skin, creating a condition called oxidative stress.

As an antioxidant, vitamin C helps prevent the oxidative stress that plays a major role in the aging process and its impact on your skin. Vitamin C can help prevent and treat ultraviolet (UV)-induced damage.

Among its other skin-supporting roles, vitamin C can improve wound healing and prevent dry skin.

As with many other nutrients, vitamin C works best as a team along with other antioxidants including vitamin E and zinc.

Best Foods to Get Vitamin C

1. Berries. All of these are winners, including strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries. Low in sugar and high in dietary fiber and nutrients, these are all vitamin C superstars.

2. Cruciferous vegetables. These include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower. Try sauteing with a little garlic and extra-virgin coconut oil!

3. Leafy greens. Spinach, kale, and other leafy greens are incredibly versatile. You can eat them raw in salads, sauteed as a side dish, or disguised in smoothies.

Vitamin E

This fat-soluble vitamin provides anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits to support your immune system, cell function, and skin health.

As an antioxidant and powerful free-radical scavenger, vitamin E can help reduce UV damageto support healthy, glowing skin. Vitamin E can also help improve skin conditions including acne and psoriasis.

You can also find a topical vitamin E, which makes a good moisturizer for dry, patchy skin.

Best Foods to Get Vitamin E