Long known for the region’s healthy lifestyle, the health benefits these Mediterranean foods can help protect against skin aging
Olive oil is at the heart of the Mediterranean diet, it is packed full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that are essential to skin health. The best type to buy is extra virgin olive oil, which has high levels of vitamin E, beta carotene and also the less well known antioxidant squalene, which plays an essential role in protecting and hydrating the skin. Although we are born with around 12% natural squalene, these levels drop to less than 5% by age 50.
Tomatoes can not only help keep skin looking youthful, but help protect it from the suns damaging rays. The key antioxidant contained in the fruit is called lycopene, the pigment that gives tomatoes their deep red colour. It is found most in processed and cooked tomatoes and is believed to be essential in protecting skin from UV damage, and keeping skin soft.
Oily fish such as herring, mackerel, salmon, anchovies, and tuna are packed full of omega 3 fatty acids, which are essential to skin health.
Nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds are a key part of the Mediterranean diet, and can help skin remain supple and smooth. A serving of walnuts provides 95% of the recommended daily intake of Omega 3. They are also high in vitamin B and fatty acids all of which support healthy skin. Meanwhile, pumpkin seeds full of vitamin E, zinc and magnesium which help promote the regeneration of skin cells.
Avocados contain plenty of healthy fats, chlorophyll and other antioxidants, that can reduce skin inflammation and reduce age spots. They also contain D-manno-heptylose which has been shown to boost collagen formation.
Goat’s milk contains plenty of triglycerides and fatty acids, which are good for maintain healthy skin. It is also rich in selenium and Vitamin A, which help to keep skin looking youthful. The type of lactic acid in goats’ milk (an alpha hydroxy acid) also helps skin rejuvenation, helping to brighten the skin.