If you can eat your way to good skin, wouldn’t that be lovely? The truth is—you absolutely can. Ok, we’re sick of “you’re what you eat,” but the often repeated maxim holds–at least for skin.
If food can make or break your skin, what categories of foods are skin-friendly? According to health experts, there are many:
Absolutely essential for good skin. First of all, vitamin A is a well-know antioxidant, which rightly enables it to capture free radicals from damaging cells, even those on the skin. You can obtain vitamin A from fruits and vegetbles, but low-fat dairy products are best. According to nutrition expert, Liz Lipski, low-fat yogurt takes the prize. Why? Low-fat yogurt is not only high in vitamin A, it boosts high levels of the probiotics, acidophilus (good live bacteria), that patrol the gut to ensure intestinal health and anything that keeps digestion normal is going to be reflected in healthy skin.
Deeply pigmented fruits and vegetables are colorful because of a group of powerful antioxidants, anthocyanins. These potent antioxidants protect skin against cellular damage. Now, that’s a good thing for skin cells. A recent study published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry listed its own famous quartets of health–Blackberries, blueberries, strawberries and plums–they have the highest “total antioxidant capacity.” So, load your grocery cart with the gang of four and yes, while you’re at it, don’t forget artichokes, beans, pecans and prunes–they are not far behind in their antioxidant count.
Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs)
Don’t let the word “fatty acids” scare you–not all fatty foods are bad. In fact, some fatty foods are downright essential, even necessary for vibrant skin. EFAs contribute to healthy cell membranes and we know that cell membranes hold in water. The healthier the cell membranes, the better they work at preserving moisture, keeping skin cells plump and juicy. The enviable ensues: Radiant supple skin. But that’s not all they can do, EFAs offer protection against inflammation and we know that inflammation harms cells. Include fish, walnuts and flaxseed oil in your diet to boost your intake of EFAs.
You’ve heard of essential oils to moisturize your skin and now…healthy edible oils can nourish your skin from inside out. Healthy oils contain more than EFAs, the nutrients also keep the skin lubricated. When shopping for healthy oils, look for cold pressed, expeller processed or extra virgin. They are not heavily processed and do not have solvents added. Extra virgin olive oil, safflower oil, grapeseed oil are just some examples.
Health experts say that selenium play a key role in the health of skin cells. Selenium facilitates the uptake of nutrients, so it is highly crucial to include selenium in your diet. Turns out that selenium is found in many foods such as whole grain bread or muffins, cereals, turkey, tuna and brazil nuts.
The goodness of green tea is extolled in many researches–from preventing cancer to bad breath. To add to its bunch of health accolades, it also promotes skin health. From drinking the tea to using it as a topical application, green tea’s rich supply of catechins, potent antioxidants are good at protecting cell membranes as well as fighting inflammation of the skin. A study in the Archives of Dermatology shows that green tea can even reduce risks of skin cancer.
If cells are 70% water, it goes without saying that water is essential for keeping skin cells hydrated and fresh-looking. Drink at least 6 to 8 glasses of water. And don’t tell me your mother didn’t tell you….
So, if you’re looking for skin savers–just load your grocery cart with the right kind of foods. Nature has not left us defenseless–it has equipped us with a wide arsenal to fight the conspirators of bad skin.