Looking youthful forever is everyone's dream, isn't it? When you pack your diet with vibrant foods filled with antioxidants, healthy fats, water, and other essential nutrients, your body will show its appreciation through its largest organ, which is your skin.

The skin is often the first part of your body to show symptoms of internal problems and there is only so much that creams, lotions, masks, and serums can do before you need to take a closer look at what is fuelling you. 

Consuming fruits and vegetables is the safest and the healthiest way to tackle dull complexion and fine lines.

You need to understand that beautiful, glowing skin is a reflection of your food habits. Here is a list of superfoods that will nourish your body and provide a radiant look to your skin.

Foods That Help Prevent Skin Ageing

1. Papaya: The delicious food, often regarded as a wonder food, is quite rich in a variety of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that will improve your skin elasticity and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Its nutrients include vitamins A, C, K and E, potassium, calcium, magnesium, B vitamins and phosphorus.

This broad range of antioxidants in papaya helps to counter free radical damage and delay signs of ageing (like fine lines, wrinkles, and dull complexion). 

Papaya also has an enzyme called papain, which provides extra anti-ageing benefits by being a powerful anti-inflammatory agent. In short, eating papaya or using products having papaya extracts can help your body detoxify and exfoliate (shedding of dead skin cells), leaving you with glowing and vibrant skin.

Tip: Add a bowl of papaya to your diet, either in the morning with a glass of skim milk (or non-dairy equivalents if you are lactose intolerant), a glass of papaya juice alongside your lunch, or as a mid-meal snack.

2. Spinach: Spinach is highly hydrating and filled with antioxidants just like papaya. It is rich in vitamins A, C, E and K, lutein, magnesium, and plant-based heme iron. This versatile leafy green vegetable’s high vitamin C content boosts collagen (the main structural protein in your body) production, thereby, helping your skin stay firm and smooth. 

The vitamin A present in it promotes strong, shiny hair, while vitamin K has been shown to have anti-inflammatory benefits.

Tip: Bulk up your morning smoothie or protein shake or salads with spinach for a tasty vitamin-packed meal on the go! If you are adding it to your salad, add some extra-virgin olive oil for the dressing. A double bonus!! 

3. Berries: Berries such as raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries have been known for their antioxidant benefits for decades now. 

Blueberries are rich in an age-defying substance known as anthocyanin that is also responsible for their beautiful deep blue colour. 

These antioxidants are your skin’s protector, saving it from any damage due to sun and blue-light exposure, stress, pollution, etc. Berries are also known to prevent premature collagen loss. 

Tip: Look for a cup of berries a day, or blend it into a smoothie/shake along with other fruits. 

4. Pomegranate Seeds: Pomegranate has been popularised as a superfood in recent years due to its healing properties as an anti-inflammatory agent and the positive impact it has on your overall health. 

Most of its health benefits involve polyphenols, a powerful antioxidant. Given its nutritional contents (like anthocyanins, ellagic acid and tannins), the fruit ought to enhance your health from the inside out. 

Its wide range of health benefits includes: improving skin elasticity, increasing blood circulation and tissue repair, reducing the signs of sun damage and premature ageing, boosting collagen production, and preventing hyperpigmentation and age spots. 

It also contains punicic acid, an omega-5 fatty acid that hydrates skin and prevents moisture loss. For centuries, pomegranates have been used to combat breakouts/acne, reduce scarring and soothe minor irritations such as sunburns.

Tip: Pomegranate can be used in various forms. The crushed seeds as a face mask for exfoliation, pomegranate facial oil/serums, nutritional supplements, or just add pomegranate seeds to your salad.

5. Garlic: This pungent herb is filled with nutrients like allicin that have antibacterial, antifungal, and antiseptic properties. 

Packed with powerful nutrients (such as vitamin C, B6, selenium, copper, and zinc) and antioxidants, garlic is an ultimate booster for your skin and health. It is shown to reduce swelling and inflammation, improve blood circulation, and aid in tissue repair and wound healing. 

Tip: Keep chopped garlic aside for 10 to 15 minutes before adding it to a recipe of your choice to allow its active compounds to develop. Garlic can be used in various ways (garlic cloves in your cooked meals, garlic juice, dehydrated garlic powder, garlic extracts, etc).

Hydrate Well

You have constantly been told that drinking plenty of water is the key to youthful, plump, clear skin, but is this really true? 

The truth is that the water you drink does not automatically go to the skin. Rather, it works at a cellular level and is filtered out by the kidneys. While there is no scientific evidence that drinking water will make a huge difference to the skin, many people have reported more radiant or clear skin after increasing their water intake. 

It cannot hurt to drink plenty of water and you will at the very least prevent signs of dehydration like dry, tight, congested, or itchy skin. 

You can also hydrate through water-rich fruits and vegetables. Not sure where to start? Try cucumbers, celery, zucchini, watermelon, strawberries, and cauliflower.

Tip: Have at least 8 to 9 glasses of water daily, and increase your intake if you have been spending time in the heat or on physical activities. 

Remember your skin is at its best when it is clean and glowy, and that comes from good sleep, nutrition, hydration, and happiness.

Disclaimer: This article is written by the Practitioner for informational and educational purposes only. The content presented on this page should not be considered as a substitute for medical expertise. Please "DO NOT SELF-MEDICATE" and seek professional help regarding any health conditions or concerns. Practo will not be responsible for any act or omission arising from the interpretation of the content present on this page.