Key Antioxidants to Include in Your Diet and Where to Find Them
Summer is here and fresh fruits and vegetables are available in abundance at your local market. There’s never been a better time to add some serious, free-radical fighting antioxidants to your diet than right now!
Here’s how to get the most bang for your buck the next time you’re browsing the produce isle or that fabulous farmer’s market around the corner.
How often have you heard that a certain food or beverage is “loaded with antioxidants” or has “essential vitamins and minerals”? While we usually accept these facts (and health benefits) without much thought, many people have no idea which antioxidants they’re gulping down or what their specific benefits are. So if you’re wondering which antioxidants will help you to attain healthy, glowing skin (and where you can find them), here are the ones you’ll want to start including in your diet.
Vitamin A: In topical form, the various versions of vitamin A are commonly known as retinoids. As it turns out, however, the vitamin’s anti-aging properties are not exclusive to retinoids. The edible version (naturally found in sweet potatoes, carrots, squashes, and leafy greens) helps the skin to ward off bacteria and viruses while simultaneously boosting the entire immune system.
Niacin: Vitamin B3 (or, if you prefer its alias, Niacin) does a world of good for skin. It’s famous in the skin care realm for its potential to reverse sun damage, maintain hydration, and boost healthy cell development. So pick up some tuna, bran, or poultry (specifically, chicken and turkey) to get your daily dose of niacin.
Vitamin C: An alleged cure for the common cold, a great boost for the immune system, and now the perfect antioxidant for skin health, vitamin C has been used for many purposes throughout history. Outside of its topical form (which is a common ingredient in a lot of skin care products), great sources of vitamin C can be found in the produce aisle: citrus fruits, tomatoes, berries, spinach, and bell peppers (to name a few).
Biotin: Biotin, or vitamin H, is widely celebrated for its miracle-working abilities when it comes to growing healthy hair and nails. However, biotin is also essential when it comes to skin care. Found in yogurt, almonds, eggs, berries, and swiss chard (as well as a variety of other foods), biotin promotes balanced hormones and works to remove toxicities from both the skin and nervous system.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids: The term has been all over the health world in the last few years, and the antioxidant is commonly associated with nuts and fish (think salmon, walnuts, sardines, and flaxseed). By promoting cardiovascular health, the fatty acids encourage better blood flow to the skin. With easier access to oxygenated blood, the skin will maintain a healthier glow.
Resveratrol: An up-and-coming in the world of skin care, resveratrol is a compound found in red wine, grapes, and various berries. While the full benefits of the antioxidant are still being explored, preliminary studies have shown that resveratrol is effective at repairing free radical damage and protecting the skin from further UV damage.
Iron: While too much of the mineral can cause free radical damage, the obverse (an iron deficiency) can be even more damaging. It’s role in skin health, where it works in sync with vitamin B and is essential for heart health, iron is an often overlooked antioxidant that offers profound benefits. Red meat, beans, dark leafy greens, and oysters are all excellent sources of iron.
Flavonoids: Green tea is perhaps one of the most praised sources of antioxidants, widely considered to be the second-best beverage choice (after water). It’s primary forms of antioxidants are flavonoids, plant-based nutrients that offer anti-inflammatory properties, which help to calm common skin ailments (including eczema and acne). Flavonoids also promote healthy cell growth and offer reparative characteristics.