You are what you eat. I know I know. Such a cliche. But we all have felt the effects of eating a junk food meal – bloating, lethargy… well just an overall crappy feeling. Well if you feel lousy when you eat poorly, what makes you think your skin won’t look lousy when you eat poorly? Now I am not preaching a complete diet overhaul. But try to add some of the following to your diet. Your skin will thank you.
- Vitamin E: This is a potent antioxidant that help fight the affects of free radicals (e.g. from sun damage) that can lead to wrinkles and dull-looking skin.
- Examples: almonds, spinach, avocados, kale, sweet potatoes
- Vitamin C: In addition to being an antioxidant that fights free radicals, Vitamin C also plays a crucial roll in collagen formation. Collagen is a building block of firm healthy skin and is lost as we age.
- Examples: strawberries, red peppers, kale, oranges, kiwi
- Beta-carotene: Studies have shown subjects retain a healthier glow with appropriate (don’t overuse it or you can literally turn orange) intake of beta-carotene.
- Example: carrots
- Omega-3s: By now you’ve probably heard how omega 3s are important for cardiovascular health. Well we now know they are major players in maintaining a clear complexion. They decrease inflammation to reduce things like rashes and blotchiness. Oh and they also reduce UV damage so they likely fight cancer. So there’s that.
- Examples: walnuts, salmon, flaxseed, soybeans, spinach
- Zinc: in addition to benefits for the immune system, healing, and its role as an antioxidant, zinc also plays a role in regulating oil glands. Acne may in fact be an indicator of zinc deficiency. On top of all that, zinc may even combat hair loss.
- Examples: lean red meat, spinach, shrimp, kidney beans
…on the side:
- Tomatoes: Technically a tomato is a fruit. It is loaded with benefits and is a secret one-stop-shop weapon for skin care. It is loaded with Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, 10 minerals, and lycopene, a powerful antioxidant. They also boost procollagen levels in the skin to slow or even reverse aging. One important note: lycopene level is highest when the tomato is its most red and is most easily absorbed when the tomato is cooked and eaten with fatty foods (think olive oil, avocados).
…and to drink:
- Green Tea: this one is tough for a coffee addict to admit but the science is compelling. Beneficial qualities include antioxidants, anti-cancer properties, and promoting elastic tissue in the skin.
…and for dessert:
- Dark chocolate: No, chocolate doesn’t cause zits. Your mom was just trying to look out. In fact, dark chocolate is loaded with flavonols, antioxidants linked to a clear complexion and smoother skin texture.
Bon appetit! I’ll see you and your glowing skin at the office!