Vitamins are crucial for your overall health, but they also slow down aging mostly through their anti-oxidant or anti-inflammatory actions. Adding a vitamin cocktail into creams and serums can give your skin the support it needs to stay youthful, but did you know that you can also get the same anti-aging benefits through your diet? Eating the right kind of vitamins is a proven way to slow down the aging process and this effect is not just skin deep. A vitamin-rich diet will provide you with a whole lot of anti-aging benefits from head to toe. Here is a list of the top 8 anti-aging vitamins you should include in your daily meals.
1. Vitamin A (β-carotene)
Found mostly in red and orange fruits and vegetables, vitamin A exerts a strong anti-aging effect by protecting the skin from sun damage. A study published in the 2010 issue of Dermatology found that low doses of vitamin A oral supplementation improved facial wrinkles and skin elasticity. However, larger doses seemed to result in the opposite effect, so it’s best to keep your vitamin A, intake at around 30mg a day.
2. Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)
One of the nature’s most powerful water-soluble antioxidants, vitamin C can also protect your heath and looks in so many ways. The vitamin is abundantly found in one of nature’s best anti-aging foods, namely citrus fruits and it works as a free-radical scavenger. This means that this vitamin will protect all cells in your body from DNA damage. The result is youthful skin, a sharp mind, and better overall health. Vitamin C is also important for collagen synthesis which is another reason why you should boost your vitamin C intake.
3. Vitamin E (α-tocopherol)
Vitamin E is another potent antioxidant that is fat soluble. Studies show that vitamin C and E works synergistically in protecting the body from oxidative stress. This is why so many anti-aging products contain both vitamins in their formulas, and this is also why you should include both these vitamins into your diet for best results. Foods rich in vitamin E are sunflower seeds, almonds, spinach, red pepper, and avocado to name a few.
4. Folate (folic acid)
Folic acid is the type of B vitamin important for heart heath. Folate deficiency can lead to anemia, and it can also speed up aging. Conversely, one study found that applying a topical form of this vitamin made the skin firmer. Folate deficiency is quite common in older people which is why we need to monitor our folate intake to prevent age-related chronic diseases. Foods that are rich in folate are broccoli, Brussels sprouts, eggs, citrus fruit, fortified cereals, etc.
5. Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid)
You’ll find this vitamin in many B complex formulations. It is also naturally abundant in foods of animal origin but also in many vegetables, cereals, and legumes. The vitamin is of crucial importance as it helps our bodies use carbohydrates, proteins, and lipids but it is also recognized as an important component of skin heath. The stable alcoholic analog of vitamin B5 is panthenol or provitamin B5 which you’ll find in a great number of skin-care products like Nuvitaskin. Panthenol works as a great moisturizing ingredient, and it also stimulates wound healing.
6. Vitamin K
Vitamin K is responsible mostly for blood clotting, but it can also influence the condition of your skin according to some studies. One study published in Laboratory Investigation has linked the severity of skin wrinkling to vitamin K deficiency in patients suffering from a severe skin disorder that causes the skin to lose its elasticity. Foods rich in vitamin K are kale, scallions, cabbage, prunes, and cucumber.
7. Vitamin B12 (cobalamin)
Another B group vitamin, vitamin B12 is mostly recognized as playing an important role in blood and nervous system health. The vitamin is also recognized in dermatology and its deficiency manifests as a wide range of skin disorder. A lack of B12 vitamin can also lead to hyperpigmentation. Since your liver stores quite a bit of this vitamin for years to come, you are probably not in danger of developing a deficiency. However, if you are a vegan, then make sure to get vitamin B12 supplements because this vitamin is usually obtained from animal sources.
8. Vitamin D
This vitamin naturally occurs in foods of animal origin. It can also be synthesized by the body through sun exposure. However, studies show that a lot of people suffer from vitamin D deficiency. Since this vitamin plays an important role in bone metabolism, a deficiency of vitamin D can lead to frail bones, especially with increased age.
Aging is inevitable, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything about it. Increasing your fruit and vegetable intake can significantly slow down the aging process because these foods are abundant in anti-aging vitamins. If you want to age gracefully, make sure you’re getting your daily dose of the vitamins we’ve listed here.