Almonds: One of my recommended foods to combat a wide variety of these dermal dilemmas is almonds. These nuts are a superfood for the skin because they’re packed with moisturizing vitamin E. They also provide defense against harmful environmental factors such as sun and toxins and they also combat premature aging. Grab a handful of these tasty (unsalted!) treats today and your skin will thank you tomorrow.
Avocados: They are an excellent source of vitamin E, an antioxidant that helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. They also contain vitamin C, which is necessary for the optimum production of collagen, the primary protein in the skin’s innermost layer. These fruits are also loaded with B-complex vitamins which help to calm and soothe irritated, red skin. And don’t worry if you don’t like the taste — avocados make for great face masks, too.
Berries: Not only are these brightly colored gems delicious, they are among your skin’s best buddies as well. Berries are one of the richest sources of antioxidants which help to fend off UV damage and other harmful toxins. Opt for plums, raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries for one of the most nutritious breakfasts possible. Two more to try if you’re looking to expand your palate: both the acai and goji varieties are packed with vitamins and the skin-loving antioxidants known as carotenoids. Berry good indeed!
Carrots: These crunchy snacks are sometimes referred to as the ‘herbal healer’ of skin. Carrots contain beta-carotene pigments, which when eaten, find their way into your skin, fill in blotches and give you a healthy glow. In addition to being tasty, fiber-filled treats, carrots are also loaded with vitamin A, an antioxidant which helps your skin protect against bacteria and repair or protect itself against damage. That’s what’s up, doc!
Cantaloupe: This juicy fruit is rich in vitamin A which is nourishing and healing to skin tissue. It is also packed with water so it naturally plumps up the skin cells and makes you look radiant. Another plus for this melon is that it maximizes antioxidants, and thereby helps to destroy harmful free radicals. All of this means clearer skin so be sure to add a slice or two to your breakfast menu…
Dark Chocolate: We knew this satisfying treat had to be a good thing! The flavanoids and zinc in dark chocolate are not just anti-agers, but they also help to maintain a full head of hair. In addition, dark chocolate is packed with polyphenols, or antioxidants, that help the body to rid itself of harmful cells. Polyphenols protect the skin from ultraviolet damage and also protect against skin cancer. This one’s a delicious winner!
Fish: When it comes to lean protein, it’s hard to beat fish for both nutrient value and delicious taste. The omega oils — specifically omega-3s – found in fatty fish are important constituents of the skin and boost its’ barrier by giving it a healthy thickness and glow. Best bets: sardines, tuna, and wild Alaskan salmon. Salmon contains DMAE , a neurotransmitter that stimulates muscular contraction and contouring in the face. It also contains the antioxidant astaxanthin which gives the fish its’ pink color and helps to protect against the sun and prevents age spots, too.
Flaxseed: Nature’s own wrinkle reducer, flaxseed is great for skin, both inside and out. It is chock-full of plant lignans — or phyto-nutrients – as well as omega-3 and omega-6 oils. Often found in health food stores in either powder or oil form, fiber-filled flaxseed can be easily added to recipes ranging from cookies to stews. Flaxseed is also a great choice for vegetarians who might otherwise miss out on lean proteins. The omega-3s boost the skins’ protective barrier and plump up skin cells, thereby decreasing lines and wrinkles.
Grapes: Looking for a healthy snack for the skin? Grab a bunch of grapes and let the popping begin! The antioxidants known as polyphenols found in grapes help to keep middle-aged skin from sagging by strengthening collagen. Whether eaten raw or frozen, red grapes are delicious and are packed with water, which makes them a smart snack. The healthful benefits of red grapes do extend to red wine as well, but limit yourself to one glass per day to maintain a beautiful, moisturized complexion.
Green Tea: Green tea is one of the best friends your skin can have. It’s been said that the anti-oxidant components of green tea are some of the most powerful known to man. It has polyphenols that have anti-inflammatory properties for the skin, it protects cell membranes, and helps to reduce the risk of skin cancer. Packed with antioxidants, green tea is also a diuretic which helps to flush toxins from the body and skin. Drink to your health!
Mango: Packed with Vitamin A, mangoes promote cell growth and development which leads to more youthful, smooth-looking skin. Foods rich in vitamin A such as mangoes, carrots, and sweet potatoes are known to help combat acne as well. Savor this sweet food regularly to aid digestion and to leave pores feeling clean and clear. As an added bonus, they’re full of phenols which have been shown to help fight a variety of cancers.
Mollusks: The acne terminator, zinc is found in oysters and other mollusks and can decrease acne flare-ups. Zinc also plays a major role in helping break down damaged collagen, thereby allowing new collagen to form, which in turn makes the skin look more youthful. In addition to oysters and shellfish, beef, lamb, veal and many fortified cereals are zinc-rich foods that are thought to boost the immune system.
Mushrooms: These fungi get a bad rap for causing yeast infections, but there isn’t a lot of research to support this. On the other hand, mushroom extracts have been shown to possess powerful anti-aging properties. Full of selenium, mushrooms also protect against free radicals and help to combat dry, flaky skin.
Wine: This delicious drink is your friend — up to a limit. One glass per day is good for the skin but more than that can lead to dehydration and indigestion. Red wines posses one of the best antiagers, resveratrol, which is great for promoting youthful skin. And while studies on resveratrol are ongoing, they are starting to suggest there is evidence that these supplements posses antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer effects.
salmon: friend Of all the fatty fish, salmon is perhaps the best skin bet of all. Salmon is packed with omega-3 fatty acids which not only help to power your brain, but they collect in the walls of your epidermal cells to help lock in moisture and keep your skin looking plump and youthful.
Sweet Potatoes: Packed with beta-carotene — which is then converted to vitamin A — sweet potatoes are a tasty, fiber-filled treat. Sweet potatoes or yams also possess anti-inflammatory powers which calm and soothe skin that has been harmed by the environment. Low in sodium, and full of vitamins B6 and C, plus potassium, and manganese, sweet potatoes are a total winner for overall skin health.
Water: This is a no-brainer, but an important one. To keep skin looking great, you need to drink water throughout the day to stay hydrated and flush toxins from your system. You can make a meaningful difference just by drinking 16 ounces of this key skin-saver. Water also helps to keep skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis at bay, and has even been found to decrease bags under the eyes. Other options for taking on water: eat watermelon, peaches and celery, all foods that are rich in H2O.
Yogurt: All yogurts are not created equal. For skin health, go for Greek yogurt which contains active live probiotic cultures that help the skin to flourish and grow. “Your skin is a direct reflection of your intestinal health and if your insides are well and you’re digesting properly, then you’re less likely to have acne, redness, or rosacea. Yogurt is also packed with vitamin A which lends a hydrated, even tone to skin. Full of lactic acid and enzymes, low-fat yogurt is also works well as a moisturizing mask when applied directly to the face (stick to plain, not flavored varieties here!).