Younger skin just a sweet potato away
You can tell the healthiest, most antioxidant-rich veggies and fruits by how they look and smell. There’s no need to carry around a list of your best-bet foods. Simply pick the most brightly colored and strongly flavored fruits and vegetables. These are often the ones with the highest levels of phytochemicals, natural compounds in plants that can stimulate your immune system, prevent free radical damage, and protect you from cancer.
Make it orange — or red. Some of the best phytonutrients for skin protection are in the group called carotenoids, including beta carotene, lutein, and lycopene. You’ll find carotenoids in abundance in red, orange, and green produce like carrots, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, winter squash, apricots, and broccoli.
High-carotenoid foods boost the antioxidant content of your skin to neutralize damaging free radicals from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) light, illness, drinking alcohol, and other stresses of everyday living. Studies show having more carotenoids in your skin can actually decrease the appearance of aging, including skin furrows, wrinkles, and roughness.
Get a healthy glow. When you eat lots of high-carotenoid foods, it shows — all over your face. Experts found that people who eat more carotenoids have skin with a subtle golden glow, similar to the look of a slight tan. This was true in both light- and dark-skinned people. Researchers who studied how other people reacted to this skin coloring found they saw it as a healthy look, more attractive than a natural tan or pale skin.
You don’t have to overdo eating vegetables and fruits with lots of carotenoids to look and feel younger. Just add more brightly colored fruits and vegetables to your meals, and you could see results in a month.
You can uncover more sweet rewards from this tasty tuber — and so many other healthy foods — in Your Body Can Heal Itself. Discover how to fight colds and flu, foil gallstones, defend against diabetes, and so much more!
- FC&A Staff Writer