We've learned a lot about the power foods that boost, protect, and prime our insides for a longer, healthier life. But what about our outsides?
Here are the top 10 power foods that not only better our health, but help improve the image we see when we look in the mirror for years to come.
They may look soft and delicate, but this peachlike fruit packs a powerful antiaging punch. Apricots' vivid orange exterior comes from carotenoids -- powerful antioxidants that can also boost your exterior. Our bodies convert the carotenoid beta-carotene into vitamin A, which contributes to healthy eyes, skin, hair, gums, and glands.
Ripe papayas contain nearly a three-day supply of vitamin C and a significant amount of beta-carotene and vitamins E and A. These antioxidants can impressively improve your complexion and strengthen your nails and hair. When it's applied topically, papaya can fade freckles and sunspots.
In the world of bell peppers, not all are created equal. It's the warm-toned peppers -- red, yellow, and orange -- that stand out nutritionally.
Just one of these vibrant peppers gives you up to three times your daily requirement of vitamin C, the nutrient needed for collagen production and tighter skin. They also contain natural anti-inflammatories to ward off signs of aging.
If you're looking for a natural antiager, don't skimp on these spears. On top of tons of vitamins and potassium, which benefit your body, asparagus offers high levels of glutathione, which minimizes skin damage from sun exposure, protects and repairs DNA, and promotes healthy cell replications. Goodbye, sun spots and crow's feet!
Healthy Asparagus Recipes
There's a reason Italians live so long and age so gracefully -- olive oil is a staple in their Mediterranean diet. Olive oil is packed with the right fats to make you slim and heart-healthy. It reduces inflammation and cholesterol and improves skin circulation and digestion. All of these factors lead to a healthier appearance.
Many nuts are full of healthy oils, protein, and nutrients, but pistachios are gaining recognition for something else -- the ability to reduce the body's response to wrinkle-causing stress. Toss in a hefty amount of antioxidants that fight inflammation and you've got a shell full of age-defying power.
One powerful antioxidant that protects skin from environmental damage is lycopene and tomatoes are full of it. Cooked tomatoes contain two to eight times more lycopene than raw because the carotenoid is tightly bound within a tomato's cell walls; heat breaks down those walls, releasing more lycopene for absorption and use by your body. So, roast or saute your tomatoes to serve up extra protection for your skin.
Healthy Tomato Recipes
The lycopene found in tomatoes that increases the skin's resistance to the sun is also found in certain citrus fruits, including Cara Cara oranges and pink grapefruits. Blood oranges benefit from anthocyanin, which fights inflammation that results in signs of aging on your skin.
Healthy Citrus Recipes
Don't save these little cruciferous vegetables for your holiday side-dish menu; their antiaging benefits are worth taking advantage of all year. These baby cabbages provide plenty of vitamin A, which promotes healthy, glowing skin.
The antioxidant boost you'll get from this fish will get your skin glowing faster than other types of fish. Wild salmon's pink hue comes from a diet of nutrient-rich krill and brings a healthy dose of a beneficial pigment called astaxanthin, which has anti-inflammatory properties. The mineral selenium, another antioxidant in salmon, protects healthy skin cells by fighting off free radicals; it also helps the thyroid function properly.
Healthy Salmon Recipes
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