Glowing, radiant, dewy, luminous skin is every girl’s dream. While there are those that are genetically blessed with radiant skin, some of us have to work a little bit harder to get that enviable complexion. We’ve all heard that naturally gorgeous skin starts with your diet. As Anne Wigmore – an American Holistic Health expert once said -, “The food you eat can either be the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison.” As I am getting older, I’m becoming more aware of what I am putting into my body in terms of food choices. Not just for the sake of clear skin, but for overall health purposes.
I believe the first and most important thing anyone can do to improve their skin is to pay attention to their diet. You already know that filling your diet with power foods such as fruits, dark leafy greens and drinking lots of water is great for overall health but did you know that certain foods can also work wonders on your skin? Here is a list of some best and worst foods for your skin.
Great Foods For Your Skin
Almonds and Walnuts
These nuts are at the top of the list when it comes to healthy snacking options. Almonds in particular are a great source of vitamin E; your skin contains more vitamin E than any other nutrient. By consuming foods loaded in this nutrient and using products containing vitamin E, you are actively protecting and nourishing your skin. This Vitamin also plays an important role in photo-protection, preventing UV-induced free radicals from damaging your skin.
Walnuts on the other hand are the only nuts that contain a significant amount of Omega 3 fatty acids. They are packed with alpha-linoleic acid which helps the skin to retain moisture. Deficiency in this can result to eczema which is associated with dry skin.
Berries are well known for their high antioxidant content. They are also considered as good skin foods because their nutrients help the body to produce collagen. This is the substance that helps to keep your skin smooth and supple. Some great berries to start incorporating into your diet for radiant skin include:
- Acai berries
- Goji berries
You can read more on the Acai berry here.
Fish is a great source of essential fatty acids like omega-3. An important point with fish intake is to increase omega-3 and not omega 6; think fish oil, sardines or salmon. Fish that are high in omega 3 fatty acids have incredible beauty benefits including glowing skin and shiny strands. You are advised to eat at least two weekly servings of fish for optimal health.
This sweet treat is rich in cocoa flavanols-plant based nutrients which are rich in antioxidant properties. When consumed daily, numerous scientific studies have demonstrated that coco flavanols promote healthy blood flow. Flavanols in dark chocolate also improve skin hydration and reduces roughness of the skin.
Foods To Avoid For Your Skin
Milk and butter is a staple in most households however, dairy undoubtedly has a lot of problems. All dairy even if coming from grass-fed organic cows still comes from lactating cows that contain natural hormones which can translate to hormonal acne in humans. Hormonal issues have been linked with acne problems for many years. If you are having skin issues, its best to steer clear of any dairy products and opt for friendlier options such as Almond milk or soy milk and vegan cheese if you are a cheese lover.
Greasy fast foods may be delicious and convenient but they create inflammation in the body, which spells even more trouble for your skin. The vegetable oils used for fried foods are highly oxidative and reactive and they often release free radicals that act as toxins to the body. I am not saying you should completely avoid fried foods. However, if you are on a journey to clear skin, you may want to look for healthier options such as cooking using olive or coconut oil. Alternatively, you can opt to grill or braise your food.
Sugar is not only highly addictive but highly destructive and particularly bad for the skin as well. It is found in a lot of hidden sources such as cookies, bread and cakes. Sugar has been linked to causing acne and is known to be an age accelerator. If you suspect this could be the culprit for you, try to cut back on your sugar intake. Honey or stevia are great substitutes. Stevia is a sweet herb that contains zero calories.
These are foods that trigger an insulin spike and raise blood sugar levels. They are responsible for triggering hormonal fluctuations and inflammations both of which encourage acne. Examples of high-glycemic foods include:
- White bread
- White rice
- Processed breakfast cereals
Switch to Low-glycemic foods such as sweet potatoes, quinoa, whole grains and most fruits.