We’ve all chased the fountain of youth, especially when it comes to our appearance, and realized it doesn’t exist in one location or product.
Our bodies are incredibly complex, and we must create a healthful ecosystem within and around us to nurture ourselves and have the same glow and energy we did five, 10 or 20 years ago.
The truth is there are a whole lot of steps we can take to restore and retain our youthful self, including choosing foods with nutrients that moisturize and rejuvenate our skin and hair. Better yet, they help us on a bunch of other fronts as well.
- Watermelon — This fruit’s famous for its hydrating properties for pretty obvious reasons, it even moisturizes your skin from the inside out with help from vitamin A, B6 and C. It’s a top dietary source of the red-hued antioxidant lycopene, which has been linked to better heart health and may have a hand in preventing some forms of cancer — including skin cancer!
- Watercress — Sensing a pattern here? This lesser-known leafy green is about 95% water to give you a burst of hydration along with vitamin C and other antioxidants that can fend off free radicals, which have been implicated in the formation of fine lines and wrinkles, not to mention heart disease and cancer. Its high levels of vitamin K also can reinforce bone health.
- Avocado — This fruit that’s used like a vegetable has become almost synonymous with healthy eating as it promotes smooth, supple skin with omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin A and inflammation-busting antioxidants. The healthy fats, fiber and long list of nutrients it contains has made it a go-to food in the pursuit of everything from better heart health to brain function.
- Red bell pepper — These have a leg up on its green, yellow and orange cousins when it comes to such nutrients as beta-carotene, which helps to protect your skin against UV rays and pollutants, soothes dry skin and eczema and gives a boost to thinning hair. On the macro body level beta-carotene aids everything from eyesight to the mucous membranes found throughout your body.
- Spinach — Another hydrating veggie that carries scads of vitamin A, which is found in many foods on this list as beta-carotene and other carotenoids, which are converted into the vitamin. It promotes skin cell turnover, reduces hyperpigmentation and sun damage and can help to treat acne. Spinach is hailed by nutritionists for other properties that reduce the risks of stroke or heart disease as well as neural tube birth defects.
- Papaya — Bursting with flavor and antioxidants, papaya is the sole dietary source of papain, one of the strongest anti-inflammatory tools that nature gives us. This helps keep our complexion calm and unbothered by rashes and swelling. Papaya also paves the way to overall well-being with lots of fiber, folic acid and potassium for heart, gut and immune health.