Certain foods will give your skin a natural glow, prevent wrinkles and other signs of aging, and may even help prevent painful sunburns.
Do you want to have beautiful, healthy, radiant skin without relying on expensive beauty products or treatments? The good news is a healthy diet rich in beneficial nutrients can give your skin a natural glow from the inside out. Bonus: the foods that make your skin supple also help keep your body healthy in other ways, such as preventing high blood pressure, warding off cancer and heart disease, and improving cognitive functioning.
Fatty fish, such as salmon, albacore tuna, mackerel, herring, rainbow trout, lake trout, and sardines are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids–particularly docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) which is an anti-inflammatory. Salmon and tuna also contain coenzyme Q10, an antioxidant shown to improve skin’s appearance. Since chronic inflammation causes acne, loading up on foods rich in omega-3 fats can help keep annoying breakouts at bay.
While all nuts and seeds contain healthy fats, walnuts are the only one that provides enough of the omega-3 alpha-linolenic (ALA) fat to be considered a significant source. Walnuts also give you copper, which can up collagen production. To get your omega-3s, if you can’t eat fish or just don’t care for the taste of it, be sure to enjoy a handful of walnuts each day. Roast them to bring out extra flavor and then toss them into your oatmeal, trail mix, salads, or chop them and use them as a coating for baked chicken.
Ahh, the powerful olive. So many big benefits come from such a tiny food. A recent study that looked at the diets of over 1,250 women revealed that the women who consumed more olive oil (more than two teaspoons per day) exhibited 31% fewer signs of aging than the women who consumed less olive oil (only about one teaspoon per day). Sunflower and peanut oils were tested but didn’t provide as much benefit as olive oil. Researchers attributed the more youthful appearance in the olive oil lovers to its high amount of monounsaturated fats (75% of the total fat).
Seeds are an excellent source of vitamin E, which according to research found in Experimental Dermatology, is essential for preventing acne because of its ability to bolster your immunity and fight off inflammation that causes breakouts.
Deep Orange-Colored Produce
Beta-carotene is a precursor (provitamin) to vitamin A, which is crucial for growing new skin cells to ensure your skin stays soft and smooth. Load up on pumpkin, sweet potatoes, carrots, butternut squash, cantaloupe, dried apricots and sweet red bell peppers. An added bonus of these hefty-hued fruits and veggies? Your skin will appear more attractive to others. A British study recently revealed that people rated individuals who consumed a higher carotenoid-rich diet as having healthier, more attractive complexions than those who took in fewer carotenoids.
Citrus Fruits, Bell Peppers, Broccoli, Strawberries & Kiwi
What do these foods have in common? The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published research finding that individuals who consume foods high in vitamin C have fewer wrinkles and more supple, hydrated skin than people who don’t. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, fighting off free radicals, which harm cells and cause collagen breakdown. Collagen keeps your skin supple and prevents those pesky fine lines. One kiwi provides 120% of the amount of vitamin C you need in a day.
The lycopene in tomatoes has been shown to provide protection against sunburns. Opt for cooked tomatoes, such as tomato sauce, tomato paste or canned diced tomatoes, because they contain more lycopene than fresh tomatoes.
Green tea contains catechins–particularly EGCG–which increase blood circulation and oxygen flow to the skin, resulting in smoother, more elastic skin. Sipping some green tea throughout the day may also help prevent sunburn.
Not only are beans chock-full of protein and fiber, they’re rich in zinc. Research has discovered that when people are low in zinc, they have more blemishes.
Good ol’ H2O should be your go-to beverage for healthy, youthful skin. Water hydrates your skin from the inside out and doesn’t contain any sugar. Sugary beverages spike your blood sugar, resulting in unhealthy-looking skin.
Speaking of sugar, try to cut back on added sugar across the board. When your blood sugar rises after taking in refined carbs, the sugars attach themselves to protein portions of your collagen and then generate compounds that prompt your skin to lose elasticity. Hormonal changes associated with rapid rises in blood sugar also cause painful skin irritations and red spots.