I used to be one of those soda sipping, chip crunching, not a care in the world of what I put in my body type people. I could fall asleep in my makeup (GASP!) without consequence, not to mention just use whatever on my skin. Then over time reality hit and things I started to put into my body started showing up on the outside, and I was NOT liking it. It was a big wake up call and I’ve struggled since then to figure out how to clear up my cystic acne and dull skin. While I’m no where near perfect, and I do still break out, I’m certainly on to something.
I tried ignoring for too long that the unhealthy (poor diet, no exercise) lifestyle I was living was playing a strong role in why my skin was looking the way it was. It wasn’t until recently that I did a total 180 with the way I’ve been eating and noticed a significant difference. With that being said, I put together a list of foods that I eat and/or has been suggested to eat in order to get that healthy glow back.
Top 10 Foods That Are Good For Your Skin
OK, so it’s not a food, but it’s essential in order to have clear skin. I don’t mean to over stress this one since I’m sure you’ve heard it all before, but water will help to flush all those lingering toxins you have lurking in your body out. Not to mention it hydrates you from the inside out like no other beverage, FYI dehydration not only accelerates wrinkles it also welcomes acne aboard that pretty little face of yours. So drink it. All day, everyday.
Strawberries, blueberries, açaí berries, raspberries, blackberries, schnoz-berries (OK, not those). All are high in antioxidants which will protect your skin from the inside out by reducing sun and free radical damage. Eat them alone, eat them in a smoothie, eat them in your yogurt, oatmeal, cereal or how ever you choose.
Nuts & Seeds
The fatty acids of nuts will help reduce inflammation in the skin giving you a smooth complexion. They’re also packed with omega-3?s, fiber and vitamins such as zinc, magnesium, selenium, E, and B – all of which are known for contributing to clear skin. If that’s not enough, they also curb your hunger and keep you full longer. Some of the best to snack on are walnuts, almonds, Brazilian nuts, chia and hemp.
One of my personal favorites, I eat these bad boys every chance I get. “Mother Nature’s skin moisturizer” ,avocados are loaded with healthy fats and nutrients that will lead you on the path to healthy skin. This crazy looking fruit (I didn’t know it was a fruit until recently, guess I never really thought about it) is rich in vitamins A, D, and E. Best part is, not only is it delicious (hummus, tomato, avocado & sprout sandwich, yum!) but it makes for some awesome DIY beauty recipes.
One word, beta-carotene. An antioxidant which our bodies convert into Vitamin A, known for aiding in cell production and turnover leading to smoother, softer skin. Not to mention these babies are also jam packed with Vitamin C and fiber.
Since January I’ve cut out all red meat and poultry from my diet for various reasons. I do still occasionally indulge in wild salmon though because not only is it delicious but it is bursting with omega-3 fatty acids that keep skin looking smooth and young. One to three servings per week is recommended for those who are meat eaters. Aim for wild vs farm raised to ween out as many pollutants as possible.
Dark Leafy Greens
Spinach and Kale are two of my favs, I add them to salads and smoothies almost on a daily basis and I know for a fact that doing so has really helped clear my complexion. Packed with folate, calcium, beta carotene, vitamins (K,C,A,E & B), minerals and enzymes, greens make for smoother digestion, a more hydrated you and beautiful skin. Do your best to eat 2 1/2 cups per day to reap the full benefits.
It’s been said that low glycemic foods such as quinoa, brown rice and bulgar help to keep insulin levels steady where as refined carbs (think white rices and/or breads) can spike your sugar levels and may boost acne causing hormones and androgens. Try replacing pastas and breads with those made from brown rice, or substitute quinoa, my personal favorite, to get your daily dose.
I got my first taste of fresh ginger in a delicious, tropical smoothie in Costa Rica last summer and have been hooked since. Little did I know, ginger does wonders for your skin! The root is a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory promoting even skin tone and a youthful radiance from increased blood circulation. Ginger is also known to treat digestive problems which can be a huge contribution to acne and other skin problems. I add an inch or so of ginger to smoothies and tea for a little kick in flavor and nutritional value.
When you hear the word bacteria I’m pretty positive you aren’t associating it with beautiful skin– BUT you should start to. Just as with everything else in this world, there are good and bad bacteria, and probiotic bacteria is one that’s pretty awesome for you. Probiotics help with digestion and absorption of minerals and nutrients into your body. They also create a protective barrier to keep pollutants and harmful substances from being absorbed. Lastly, probiotics help regulate the yeast within our bodies keeping candida symptoms at bay. Try adding a probiotic supplement into your diet or try fermented veggies such as pickles or sauerkraut.