You know that old adage, ‘you are what you eat’? Well those words have never been more true when it comes to your skin.
If you want smooth, flawless skin that glows you need to give your skin the nutrients (and micronutrients) it needs to look it’s best. When you need to lose weight you cut out simple carbs, eat more salad and reduce the booze…right? Well this is the same thing, only you have to keep at it if you want your skin to keep looking good.
And before you think you can cheat your way to gorgeous skin, consider that skin loses its elasticity as we age and you’ll need every bit of help you can get. So let’s talk a little bit about how skin and nutrition go hand in hand.
Think of all the ways your skin gets damaged on a daily basis such as smoking, excess sun exposure and all the pollution swirling in the air. Each time you step behind a car exhaust, touch your face or walk through a group of smokers you’re exposing yourself to oxidative stress that can damage the skin. That damage can lead to wrinkles and age spots, not to mention dry, dull skin.
But the five a day, as in fruits and vegetables, is as essential as your favorite moisturizer. Shopping in the produce section is a great way to get the antioxidant protection you need to keep your skin safe and youthful. Adding beta-carotene rich foods like sweet potatoes and carrots is a great way to protect against sun damage while kale and spinach are rich in lutein, which helps skin develop normally and gives you a healthy skin tone.
Add five a day to your day and show your skin you care.
If you spend a lot of time in the sun then you really need to add more foods high in selenium to your diet. Like most fruits and vegetables it has antioxidant properties that protect skin against sun damage, skin cancer and those dreaded age spots.
What’s more is when you combine selenium rich foods—I’m talking to you broccoli, tomatoes and shellfish—with foods that contain vitamins C and E they work as a immune booster which is good for the whole body.
Need more selenium? Ground up a few Brazil nuts and add them to a smoothie or salad.
Spend any time in the skin care aisle of your local drugstore or a fancy department store beauty department and you’ll see moisturizers, serums that promise to give you that healthy glow. And guess what most of those products contain? Yep, vitamin E.
You don’t have to stock up on every designer brand eye cream to rejuvenate dark, wrinkly skin. What you need is to add foods rich in vitamin E to your diet, such as avocado, pine nuts, sunflowers and almonds. Are we noticing a theme with the vitamin E foods and good fats?
Moisture is an essential part of nearly all forms of life. Whether amoeba or human, moisture helps in any number of ways. You know when you wash your face and your skin fells tight and dry? You’re probably using the wrong face wash and it’s drying out your skin!
Now imagine that you’re just depriving your whole body of water. All that skin look tired and dry, maybe a little grey and sickly. And let’s not forget the cracked peeling skin. Gross, right? It’s amazing that something as simple as drinking enough water each day can stop all those bad skin effects.
It’s true though. Some will tell you to drink six to eight glasses and that’s a good place to start but the better rule of thumb is, if you feel thirsty drink some water.
A diet heavy in salt and alcohol will require you to drink even more water to counteract the damage.
Good healthy fats, you know the ones that provide those essential fatty acids the body requires for basic functions, well it turns out those are also good for your skin too.
Instead of avoiding good fats—monounsaturated and polyunsaturated—are nature’s very own moisturizer. Keeping it supple, tight and youthful. All you need is to add seeds, nuts and fish to your diet since they’re all really great sources of natural moisturizing.
When it comes to looking good we’ve all kind of fallen into the habit of thinking we need to bow down to the men and women in lab coats who make skin care products, because they know best. It turns out that the Farmer’s Market you always drive by on Saturday mornings is a pretty good option too.
A healthy diet is packed with fruits & vegetables, fish and nuts & seeds. Seems simple enough, right?
What are your favorite foods to keep your skin healthy? Let us know in the comments below.
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