A while back I served as a panelist during a seminar for college-aged women during which I discussed numerous practical strategies for incorporating physical activity and good nutrition into college life. At the end of the seminar, a young lady pulled me aside and posed an interesting question: “Do you believe in the power of good nutrition for healing bad acne?”
The reason for her question was clear, as she was obviously bothered by her own acne. My answer was simple and straight forward – A firm “YES”, as I truly believe that beautiful skin starts from within.
I am always amazed by the extent to which people will invest in costly gels, lotions, creams and other acne treatments with little regard for what they actually put in their bodies. Unbeknownst to many, eating a diet largely comprised of nutrient-dense, antioxidant-rich foods, can greatly improve the clarity, texture, and overall appearance of the skin.
So, if you’re like many women and men who have “bad” skin and simply don’t know what to do, here are eight delicious tips for eating your way to amazingly radiant, healthy skin.
Make Carrots a Diet Staple
Carrots house exceptionally high levels of the potent antioxidant beta-carotene, which is converted to vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A protects against common skin issues like drying, peeling, acne, blemishes, wrinkles, and fine lines. You can obtain over 300% of a day’s worth of vitamin A by eating two small carrots or drinking 3 ounces of fresh carrot juice.
Take in Lots of Spinach
While spinach is rarely touted as a beneficial food for the skin it truly is, mainly due to it’s content of two specific carotenoids: lutein and zeaxanthin. These carotenoids help prevent premature aging of the skin by reducing free radical damage associated with excessive sun exposure. Spinach also contains substantial amounts of beta-carotene, which further supports healthy skin.
Include Mangoes in Your Diet
The mango is one of the best anti-aging remedies for the skin. Not only is it a valuable source of beta-carotene but it also contains extremely large quantities of the antioxidant vitamin C. Vitamin C stimulates production of collagen, a structural component of protein that gives the skin a smooth and supple appearance. Just a cup of mango contains all the vitamin C you need in a day.
Enjoy Sunflower Seeds
Sunflower seeds are one of the most potent and versatile anti-aging food sources. Due to their high concentration of vitamin E, sunflower seeds can help reduce the appearance of age spots, wrinkles, and fine lines when consumed regularly. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that protects the skin against sunburn and age-related sun damage. It may also prevent the development of skin cancers linked to excessive sun exposure and free radical damage.
Learn to Love Tomatoes
Tomatoes are deliciously sweet and so good for the skin. Besides being a rich source of vitamin C, the reddest tomatoes are an excellent source of a powerful antioxidant called lycopene. When consumed regularly, lycopene has been shown to greatly improve the overall texture of the skin by reducing roughness and scaling, which is common with aging and acne-prone skin.
Give Brazil Nuts a Try
Brazil nuts are an unusually concentrated source of an important antioxidant mineral called selenium, which plays a pivotal role in skin health. When consumed in combination with vitamin C and E-rich foods, selenium functions as an all-natural sunscreen, protecting the skin from the harmful effects of sunrays. You can obtain over 700% of a day’s worth of selenium by eating just 5-6 Brazil nuts so a little goes a long way.
Eat Salmon and Other Fatty Fish
Believe it or not, regularly consuming salmon and other fatty fish like tuna and sardines can actually do wonders for your skin. Fatty fish are exceptionally rich in powerful anti-aging nutrients like vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids, both of which support the structural integrity of skin in ways that reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and excessive sagging. Collectively, these nutrients may also offer protection against certain skin cancers.
Drink More Water
Water is perhaps the most overlooked yet most essential nutrient to include in a healthy skin regimen. Simply put, inadequate water intake promotes dehydration, which greatly contributes to dry skin. Over time, excessive dryness can cause the skin to become scaly, flakey, itchy, red and inflamed, creating the perfect environment for breakouts. To prevent dehydration and ultimately ward off dry skin, make an effort to drink 8-12 eight-ounce cups of water each day.
So, hopefully you’ve learned that healthy, youthful skin is made in the kitchen! Following these eight tasty tips will greatly boost your skin’s vitality promoting clearer, younger looking skin. But it doesn’t stop there! The nutrient-packed foods I’ve highlighted here can also help ward off a range of ailments from heart disease to the common cold.