What Your Skin Needs You to Eat
Healthy skin requires love and care from the outside as well as from the inside. We can protect our skin from the harmful rays of the sun with mineral sunscreen and the sufficient application of it. We can reduce the appearance of fine lines, soothe red and irritated skin, clear up blemishes, hydrate parched patches, and promote a dewy radiance with the use of natural and essential oils and high quality serums and creams. We can treat our skin to HydraFacials and spa treatments. We can even implement homeopathic home remedies to help our skin look its best. But if your diet and habits are bad, it is likely that your skin will reflect your poor choices.
A healthy diet is crucial for a healthy life. Our systems require certain vitamins, minerals, and amino acids to function properly and this also includes our skin; the largest organ in our body and the one that protects us from all of the external elements. Think of your skin as your body’s shield on top of it being the physical part of yourself that you present to the world. What goes into your body will eventually reveal itself on your surface.
In the book Feed Your Face, Dr. Jessica Wu offers a few simple insights into the types of foods we should be eating in order to help keep our skin looking younger, smoother, and more radiant. The following foods are also great for the rest of your body too!
Tip one: Eat a variety of color at every meal. The more colorful your plate is with natural foods, the more likely your meal is healthy and well balanced. Three colors in particular that are quite valuable to skin health however are red, yellow, and green. Red, specifically tomatoes are high in the antioxidant lycopene. Lycopene is great at fighting free radicals, which contribute to skin damage and early signs of aging. Yellow and green vegetables such as arugula, kale, spinach, and squash are also free radical fighters and can help to reduce the breakdown of collagen. A good rule of thumb is that the darker and brighter the color is the more nutrients it has.
Tip two: Make sure you are eating ample protein. Eating a diet rich in protein is essential for the absorption of amino acids, which come from protein. These acids are key in collagen production. Collagen is what makes your skin strong. Amino acids are also important for the elastic issue in your face. Lack of amino acids will result in lack of strong and supple skin. It is important to remember that protein comes from far more sources than just animals. In fact, plant-based protein is much healthier and more environmentally friendly. Good sources of plant-based protein are lentils, black beans, peanut butter, wild rice, chickpeas, chia seeds, spinach, and steel cut oatmeal.
Tip three: Eat omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin A, C, and E rich foods. Omega-3 fatty acids are critical for strengthening your skin. Foods like sardines, chia seeds, flaxseed, and walnuts are very high in omega-3. Juice Plus+ also recently released a new attention to their line of whole food nutrition, an Omega Blend, that is packed full of all of the omegas! Vitamin A and E are antioxidants that will help your skin’s defense system against free radicals and reduce the signs of premature aging. Almond butter, sweet potatoes, carrots, and cantaloupe are all full of vitamin A and E. Vitamin C works wonders for collagen production. Make sure to eat plenty of bell peppers, strawberries, citrus, kale, and broccoli to keep your skin plump and supple.
Tip four: Hydrate. Divide your weight by two and that number is the number of ounces of water that you should be drinking on a daily basis. Every system in your body requires water and your skin is no exception. Drinking sufficient water will not only help to flush out toxins, but it will also help to keep your skin hydrated and glowing.
Here are some more delicious additions to your diet that will benefit your skin:
- Olive oil
- Dark chocolate
- Green tea
- Red wine (1/2 to 1 glass)
- Sunflower seeds