You can’t stop time, but you can delay some of its effects on your appearance and health. Healthy living, diet and nutrition are essential. As you’re writing your menu plan and grocery list, keep these anti-aging vitamins in mind:
- Vitamin E (alpha tocopherol) helps skin retain moisture and even repairs dry, cracked skin when used as a cream or lotion. It also prevents and limits the damage caused by free radicals and improves the functioning of your immune system. Nuts, seeds, green leafy vegetables and vegetable oils are good sources of vitamin E. It’s also available in a variety of supplements and topical applications.
- Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps prevent sun damage. It improves the firmness and production of collagen, giving your skin a more youthful appearance. This connective tissue is also important for healing wounds. Fruits and veggies (especially citrus and potatoes) are excellent natural sources of vitamin C.
- Vitamin K aids in the constriction of capillaries, breaking up the tiny blood clots that form the dark circles that may appear under your eyes. Vitamin K can be consumed as a supplement, as part of a multivitamin, in the form of topical creams or through your diet. Kale, lettuce, spinach and broccoli are all excellent sources of vitamin K, as are non-hydrogenated vegetable oils.
- Niacin, one of the B vitamins, has several anti-aging properties. One visible way it helps you as you age is by increasing your skin's ability to retain moisture. Moist skin not only looks healthier, it actually helps you stay healthier by providing a strong, unbroken barrier against viruses, bacteria and other antigens. Niacin also plays a major role in converting food into energy. You can find niacin in lots of common foods, including poultry, eggs, meat, fish, nuts and enriched breads.
- Vitamin A is an antioxidant that helps neutralize the damaging effects of oxidation caused by free radicals. Vitamin A is important for your overall bone health and for offsetting the effects of osteoporosis. You can add it to your diet through liver, eggs and fatty fish or via over-the-counter supplements or topical applications.