Did you know that your diet can affect your skin? Foods that keep your body healthy can also keep your skin healthy. It’s important to eat a well-balanced diet that includes protein, simple and complex carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables. Eating junk food like candy, baked goods and sodas can cause breakouts and so can too much caffeine. Too much fatty protein can cause dull, puffy skin and dark under-eye circles, while too many salty foods can cause puffy skin and aggravate breakouts.
Five A Day
Enjoy five to eight servings of fruits and vegetables everyday to fuel your body with all the nutrients it needs. Fruits and veggies contain antioxidants (see below) and vitamins that promote healthy, glowing skin. For example, Vitamin A is found in citrus fruits, melons, leafy greens, eggs and dairy products. Topically, it can be used for treating wrinkles and brown spots.
Keep your skin well hydrated by drinking lots of water every day. Water keeps skin moist, which helps make fine line lines and wrinkles less noticeable. On a cellular level, good hydration helps cells take in nutrients and get rid of toxins. It also helps with blood flow, giving you a healthy glow. Limit caffeine and alcohol as these can be dehydrating and dry out your skin.
The use of good oils in cooking helps lubricate your skin from the inside out. Extra-virgin olive oil and cold- or expeller-pressed oils add flavor to your food, as well. You can also apply it directly to your skin -- olive oil even makes a great lip gloss!
Free radicals are groups of unpaired atoms that run around your body wreaking havoc by trying to steal electrons from other molecules. This causes all kinds of cellular damage, breaks down collagen and causes skin to age. Antioxidants fight the free radicals in your body. Keeping your body supplied with antioxidants helps keep your skin youthful.
Incorporate essential antioxidants into your diet with these foods:
- Vitamin E is a fat soluble vitamin found in vegetable oils, nuts, olives, seeds, spinach, asparagus, olives and leafy greens.
- Vitamin C, ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin found in citrus fruits, green peppers, cabbage and other fruits and vegetables. Try making a berry mask from strawberries; they contain more Vitamin C than oranges.
- Pumpkin is full of Vitamin A, C and E as well as carotenoids, wrinkle-fighting plant pigments.
- Coenzyme Q10, another antioxidant, also helps create energy. Salmon, tuna, poultry, organ meats and whole grains are good sources of CoQ10. It is also found as an ingredient in skincare products that help reduce wrinkles.
- Drink green tea. It can stop inflammation and help slow DNA damage. Because of tannins, green tea is a great astringent and will take the sting out of a sunburn. Simply chill damp tea bags in the refrigerator and apply to sunburned areas.
Developing healthy eating habits will have a positive effect on your skin as well as your waistline!