When it comes to achieving glowing skin, most of us head straight to our vanity tables for results from various skincare products. These skincare products are essential for skin health as they cleanse, protect, prevent, repair, treat and hydrate the skin directly.
Along the side of using topical products, it’s also important to be mindful about what we put into our bodies. A diet consisting of processed foods or foods high in sugar and fat can cause dry skin, acne, oiliness and dark under-eye circles. However, a diet packed full of superfoods, and lean, high-quality proteins are best for supporting healthy skin.
Continue reading to learn more about healthy food options that will help your skin feel refreshed and give you that glowing appearance you are looking for!
Avocados are high in healthy fats. Healthy fats are beneficial to many functions of the body — including achieving healthy, glowing skin. They are essential to keeping skin flexible and moisturized and help reduce the appearance of aging. Furthermore, avocados are filled with antioxidants like lutein and beta carotene. Lutein and beta carotene both help to keep skin supple and soft. Finally, avocados are a great source of vitamin E and vitamin C. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps to protect the skin from oxidative damage, while vitamin C is used in the creation of collagen. Collagen is a structural protein that helps to keep skin firm. One-third of a medium-size avocado provides 6% of the daily value for vitamin E and 4% of the daily value for vitamin C. Enjoy avocados in guacamole, on a piece of toast or even blended into a salad dressing!
Walnuts are packed full of essential fatty acids like omega-3 fats. Omega-3 fatty acids help reduce inflammation in the body — including inflammation found in the skin, and they help the skin stay smooth and moisturized. Walnuts also contain zinc. Zinc helps the skin function as a protective barrier, and it helps heal wounds by fighting inflammation and bacteria. Enjoy walnuts by themselves, stirred into soups or by throwing a few into a summer salad!
If you are looking for a reason to enjoy some chocolate, try eating dark chocolate. Dark chocolate can help to protect skin from sun damage. Chocolate, or raw cacao, contains flavonoids. Flavonoids are anti-aging antioxidants that fight against free radicals to protect the skin from UV radiation and help prevent wrinkles, fine lines and skin discoloration. According to Healthline, it is essential to pick dark chocolate with 70% cocoa to maximize its benefits and keep added sugar to a minimum. Enjoy dark chocolate on strawberries, grated over some oatmeal or by itself for a little pick-me-up in the middle of the day!
Tomatoes are high in carotenoids, including lycopene. To activate the lycopene benefits found in tomatoes, research has shown that it is important to cook the tomatoes a little. Enjoy tomatoes cooked in a stew or soup, or fire-roasted in some fresh salsa!
Blueberries, raspberries and blackcurrants are all loaded with vitamins, like vitamin C, and other anti-inflammatory agents that help protect against free-radicals and help prevent premature aging. Furthermore, berries are lower in sugar than many other fruits. Sugar can speed up the skin’s aging process, besides having many other unhealthy side effects on the body. Enjoy berries sprinkled on some yogurt or blended into your favorite smoothie!
Superfoods Like Broccoli and Kale
Broccoli and kale are two superfoods found in “cruciferous” (cabbage family) vegetables. They are high in a special compound known as sulforaphane. Sulforaphane helps protect against sun damage by neutralizing harmful free radicals and turning on other protective systems in the body. Sulforaphane may also be supportive in the balancing of women’s hormones. This compound contains a substance called indole-3-carbinol that can help balance estrogen levels. Enjoy broccoli or kale in a superfood smoothie, added into a soup, sautéed or stir-fried!
Foods and Drinks to Avoid
Studies have shown that there is a direct correlation between diet and the look and feel of skin. Dr. Bobby Buka, a leading dermatologist in New York City, shared with Insider.com that “You are what you eat. So beware of the dietary impact foods can have on your largest organ.”
Here are some foods and drinks to avoid if you are looking for a brighter complexion:
- Anything Deep Fried — Deep fried foods lead to excess oil production, and they are filled with hydrogenated trans fats that can cause skin problems.
- Cold Cuts — Cold cut meat is often loaded with sodium. Diets high in sodium can cause puffiness, water retention, and swelling around the eyes.
- Gluten — While some people are perfectly fine to eat gluten, there are many people whose bodies cannot tolerate it. A gluten allergy can cause inflammation, like acne on the face.
- Milk — Milk contains compounds related to testosterone and other androgens that stimulate oil production in the skin, causing acne.
- Soda — Soda contains very high levels of added sugar. Added sugar speeds up aging and can make the skin appear lackluster.
- Trans Fats — Trans fats are inflammatory fats that can raise cholesterol, increase the risk of heart disease, and increase levels of inflammation in the skin. Make sure and check the ingredients on food labels to see how much trans fat is hiding in shelf-stable foods!
If you are unsure of where to begin to achieve healthy, glowing skin, please don’t hesitate to make an appointment at our center by giving us a call at 304-598-3888. We look forward to hearing from you!