Did you know that you can eat your way to beautiful skin? That’s right, just as eating right benefits our health, it also benefits our skin. What we eat and the vitamins we take affect how our skin looks and feels. It is also a well known fact that nutritional intake also affects how we age. The combination of a good diet and nutritional supplements will keep your skin healthy and young-looking for years to come.
Eating foods rich in antioxidants such as fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids can help your skin look its best.
All the lotions and creams in the world won’t help much if you don’t start on the inside by eating the right foods.Samantha Heller, clinical nutritionist and contributor to Health magazine
The truth about free radicals and antioxidants
Free radicals are considered the main culprits that cause cellular damage and toxicity. Free radicals damage the skin and make some us look and feel older prematurely.
You need to eat foods high in antioxidants to counteract the damage that free radicals cause to our bodies. That means you need to eat lots of rich coloured fruits and vegetables because they are the main source of antioxidants.
The deeper and richer the colour of the fruit or vegetable, the higher the antioxidant count it contains. That’s why berries and plums are some of the best sources for antioxidants, whether they are fresh or frozen. Artichokes are another great antioxidant food source.
When choosing antioxidant-rich foods, the rule of thumb is to eat lots of them and to vary the colours that you eat, that way you won’t miss any of the nutrients that the various coloured foods have to offer.
When it comes to carbohydrates, choose whole grains as opposed to processed and refined carbohydrate sources. You will want to eat complex carbohydrates as opposed to simple carbohydrates. When you eat complex carbs you get both antioxidants and fibre which help eliminate toxins from the system. Systemic toxicity is another cause for skin breakouts. Complex carbohydrates are also digested at a slower rate so you won’t get insulin spikes like you do with simple carbs. Insulin is one of those hormones that can create havoc on the skin and throw it out of a balance.
Fruits and vegetables
When eating fruits and vegetables you need to make sure that you eat the skin of those foods as well, as it contains silica. Silica is one of nature’s best beauty supplements. It’s found in plant-based foods and it helps to keep our skin elastic and in good complexion.
Anthocyanin is another vitamin that’s found in foods with high antioxidant properties. This vitamin helps to reduce signs of aging, and it’s found in fruits that have blue, purple and red pigments, such as cherries, berries, pomegranates, grapes and plums.
Healthy fats are very important for the skin as well as overall health. Essential fatty acids help to keep the skin membrane healthy and retain the moisture within the cell. The more moisture we have in our skin, the more plump and youthful our skin looks. Eating a diet that’s high in fatty fish like salmon and sardines is essential for beautiful skin. Eating more avocados and nuts is beneficial also.
Water & green tea
You need to drink at least 8 cups of water a day for beautiful skin. It’s suggested to include green tea in your liquid intake as well. Green tea contains a lot of antioxidants that help to prevent UVB skin damage.
The health of our gut reflects in our skin. It’s essential to maintain healthy bacterial flora in our intestines by consuming probiotics. Yogurt and kefir are a popular choice. Vegans can enjoy other probiotic sources like sauerkraut, kimchi, pickled vegetables, kombucha and miso. I really like the Enzymedica Pro-Bio probiotic as well.
Beta carotene foods
Beta carotene is a form of Vitamin A. It’s an antioxidant that fights free radicals and sun damage. This vitamin can be found in food that have deep yellow, orange and red skin, such as carrots, sweet potatoes, red and yellow peppers, mangos and apricots.
Vitamin C foods
Vitamin C foods are so important for skin health. Another antioxidant, Vitamin C helps both in the production and protection of collagen. Collagen helps maintain skin structural integrity and gives the skin its ability to retain its shape, resiliency and assist with wound healing. You can find vitamin C in oranges, broccoli, brussel sprouts, green peppers and berries.
Vitamin B foods
When we don’t get enough vitamin B, our skin becomes dry and flaky. Even mild deficiencies in vitamin B can cause problems. Biotin, one of the components of vitamin B, is one of nature’s greatest beauty supplements. It supports skin health and helps the body synthesize fats and proteins. Biotin can be found in bananas, oatmeal and brown rice. Vitamin C can also be found in various food sources like chickpeas, oats, peanuts, mushrooms, black beans, lentils, sunflower seeds and asparagus.
Foods to avoid:
It’s always avoid inflammatory foods such as gluten, dairy, soy and corn.
To sum it up, we need to make sure that we get adequate amount of nutrients in our bodies so that our skin can be healthy. Making healthy food choices and drinking plenty of water are very important aspects of skin care.
Some of the skin problems people have can actually be avoided with proper nutrition. You can eat your way to beautiful skin, so make sure to eat as many antioxidant-rich foods as possible. If you maintain a diet that’s abundant in fruits and vegetables, you will have beautiful and youthful skin for years to come.