Two words: health and nutrition. These considerations are gaining serious ground with consumers seeking to maximize their wellbeing through what they put into their bodies. And the phenomenon isn’t age-specific: interest in functional eating is burgeoning among Millennials, Gen-Xers and Boomers alike. What is it they’re looking for? Tasty, nutrient-rich foods and drinks that contain powerful active ingredients (aka “youth activators”). On that note, we’ve put together a shopping list of must-haves for your next trip to the grocery store.
Skincare 101: selenium and vitamins C and E
Want to improve your skin’s tone and quality? Then look for foods rich in the “mighty three” —selenium and vitamins C and E. These include:
- Sunflower seeds
- Whole wheat
- Dark leafy greens
Cranberries contain high levels of vitamin E, which helps banish wrinkles, hyperpigmentation and dull skin. Brazil nuts contain the highest quantities of selenium, a powerful antioxidant that reduces the signs of ageing. Lastly, red grapes, high in polyphenols, are like an anti-ageing insurance policy, nourishing, fortifying and protecting skin and hair against external aggressors.
Collagen for smooth, firm and healthy skin
Collagen is something the body produces naturally to protect the skin. Certain foods rich in vitamin C can help boost your collagen production. Bonus: up your C-intake, and you’ll reap the other rewards of this “super-vitamin,” known for its antiviral, antibacterial and anti-cancer properties!
Foods that pack a strong vitamin-C punch include:
- Red peppers
- All members of the cabbage family
Uh-oh! Smokers, take note: just one cigarette can deplete your body by as much as 25 mg of vitamin C.
Good news for wishful dads! Daily intake of 1000 mg or more of vitamin C boosts your fertility by increasing sperm count and mobility!
With a vitamin C content three times higher than that of oranges, blackcurrants have massive benefits for the immune system. This antioxidant “superfruit” excels at capturing free radicals, thus helping to ward off cell damage and skin ageing.
Biotin for strong, shiny hair and nails
Biotin is the mineral par excellence for healing and revitalizing nails and hair — but it also has a slew of benefits for the skin. For thicker, stronger hair that’s less prone to breakage and strong and healthy nails, opt for biotin-rich foods like:
Include these foods along with beverages rich in these vitamins and minerals in your daily intake, and you’ll soon see a difference. Functional nutrition won’t just make you feel great: you’ll also look great. And who doesn’t want that?
Skinny Bitch, Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin, p. 138
Vitamins Guide / 301 Ways to Look and Feel Younger, Tasha Jennings, p. 95–96
Un système immunitaire en santé, Lorna R.Vanderhaeghe, 2001, p.164, 165
Vitamins Guide / 301 Ways to Look and Feel Younger, Tasha Jennings, p. 32