Antioxidants: A Recipe for Anti-Aging
These days it seems that anti-aging antioxidants are in everything from serums and night creams to shampoo and cellulite lotions. And that’s great. But how about preventing the signs of aging from the inside out? I recently sat down with my personal chef, The Next Food Network Star’s Elizabeth Howes, owner of Saffron Lane boutique catering, to put together a few anti-aging appetizers for summertime entertaining.
The antioxidant substances in foods that contain beta carotene, lutein, lycopene, selenium, and Vitamins A, C, and E can dramatically boost skin health, providing that much sought after youthful glow naturally.
Beta-carotene – protects the skin cell membranes and stimulates the growth of new skin cells. Sources: carrots, sweet potatoes, kale, spinach, and cantaloupe.
Lutein – increases skin hydration, elasticity, and skin lipid concentration. Sources: carrots, squash and other orange and yellow fruits and vegetables, and green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, arugula and watercress.
Lycopene – reduces skin wrinkling, redness, and inflammation. Sources: tomatoes, pink grapefruit, watermelon, persimmons, apricots.
Selenium – provides a natural glow to skin and has been linked to a 60% reduction in skin cancer. Sources: watercress, seafood, eggs, chicken.
Vitamin A – known to rejuvenate the skin and improve overall structure, tone, and quality. Sources: peaches, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, squash, apricots, broccoli.
Vitamin C – very important in collagen production and overall skin health. Sources: tomatoes, citrus fruits, strawberries, green peppers.
Vitamin E – vital in protecting skin cells from UV light, pollution, and other elements that produce cell damaging free radicals. It also helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Sources: whole grains, nuts, seeds, green leafy vegetables.
Here is one of Elizabeth’s low-calorie, but utterly delicious, appetizer recipes to kick off that alluring glow, while enjoying the last cherished days of summer with good friends. Stay tuned for more great anti-aging recipes!
Organic Peach, Cucumber & Golden Tomato Gazpacho
Yield: Makes 8-10 appetizer servings | active time: 20 minutes | total time: 45 minutes
- 2 cups pitted and chopped organic peaches
- 2 cups chopped ripe organic tomatoes
- 1 cup chopped organic English cucumber
- 1 medium shallot, chopped
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 4 tablespoons white wine or champagne vinegar
- 1 handful organic basil, torn
- 1 ½ teaspoons sea salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ cup filtered water
In a food processor, place all ingredients except the water and pulse until mixture is coarsely chopped. Add water and pulse a couple times again until the gazpacho is blended but still a little chunky. Place in a glass bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let refrigerate for 20-25 minutes, or until well chilled. Serve immediately in small glasses or bowls. Garnish with diced peach and a cucumber round, if desired.
This is an antioxidant powerhouse loaded with vitamin A and C from tomatoes and peaches and a special bioflavonoid found in cucumbers. It also contains a great deal of lycopene and allium compounds. This is a true collagen producer (and also low in calories), so don’t be shy about seconds!
For more information about Elizabeth and Saffron Lane, please visit www.saffronlane.com.
Dr. Carolyn Chang, San Francisco Plastic Surgeon