You are what you eat! This age-old adage is especially important for your skin. Everything you put in your mouth can help or harm your skin. Fill your pantry with skin-saving superfoods and look better than ever!
Foods rich in antioxidants will make your skin glow. That means lots of colorful fruits and veggies:
- Yellow and orange fruits and vegetables: Enjoy apricots, carrots, peaches and more.
- Green leafy vegetables: Spinach, anyone?
- Ripe juicy tomatoes: Add them to sauces, salads and sandwiches.
- Berries: Blackberries, blueberries, strawberries and plums are have the highest “total antioxidant capacity” of any food, according to the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
Other high antioxidant capacity foods include beans, pecans, prunes and artichokes.
Foods with essential fatty acids
Essential fatty acids, such as omega-3, promote healthy cell membranes, which affect what can and cannot penetrate your body’s cells. Moreover, a healthy cell membrane helps contain moisture, which results in plump, young-looking skin.
Load up on omega-3-rich foods such as salmon, mackerel, walnuts and flaxseed oil.
You moisturize your skin on the outside, and ingesting healthy oils lubricates your skin from the inside. Look for the least-processed oils you can find, such as extra-virgin olive oil, which still contain important nutrients.
Include approximately two tablespoons per day in your diet. Any more than that might cause you to pack on the pounds.
Low-fat dairy products
The vitamin most often associated with healthy skin is vitamin A, and one of the easiest ways to boost your intake of vitamin A is with dairy products.
Foods such as carrots are high in beta-carotene, which your body can convert to vitamin A. But not everyone’s body can easily make this conversion. Low-fat dairy products provide true vitamin A that every body can use.
So enjoy low-fat milk and cheese and stock up on yogurt. The live bacteria that are so beneficial for your digestive system will also do wonders for your skin.
Foods with selenium
Selenium promotes healthy skin cells, and foods containing this important mineral are easy to include in your diet.
- whole-wheat breads and muffins
- whole-grain cereals
- brazil nuts
As an added benefit, these foods will leave you feeling fuller so you’ll be less tempted by white-flour foods, rice and sugars — all of which may leave your skin looking less than healthy.
Green tea. This near-perfect drink will boost your skin in a way nothing else can. Anti-inflammatory properties protect the skin’s cell membranes — research suggests that green tea may even help lower your risk of skin cancer.
Water. Plain water provides the hydration that soda and juice cannot. The oft-recommended “eight glasses a day” translates to about half a gallon of clean, still water.
In addition to hydrating, water helps carry nutrients in and toxins out of your skin cells, and it makes your body sweat efficiently so that your skin looks clean and clear.
It’s no surprise that these skin-healthy foods are also good for your overall health. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is the best thing you can do for your skin.