My bathroom is full of all kinds of skincare products, but when I’m looking for more natural ways to make my face glow, I just open my fridge. Turns out, certain foods can make your complexion clearer, more radiant, and even more resilient to sun damage. Read on for foods that beauty gurus can’t live without and see how they help your skin.
Strawberries, citrus fruits, red peppers, broccoli, blueberries, kiwis
Produce packed with vitamin C is crucial for the production and formation of collagen, skin’s support structure. And it’s that strong support layer that evens out the top layer and wards off wrinkles. Try to have two 1-cup servings of fruit and 1 cup of red peppers and/or broccoli a day.
Sunflower, flax, pumpkin & chia seeds, almonds
These seeds and nuts are loaded with vitamin E and omega 3’s, essential fatty acids that make skin glow and hair shine. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that works to protect skin from UV-related free radicals. Skin’s top layers contain a high level of vitamin E that help guard cells’ outer membrane, so cells stay healthy. Plus, strong membranes hold water in, keeping skin hydrated. Aim for 2 tablespoons of hulled seeds or 23 almonds daily. Think of it as an edible SPF!
Dark orange, leafy green and red vegetables
Squash, sweet potatoes, and spinach are teeming with beta-carotene. This antioxidant is converted by your body into vitamin A, which regulates cell production and turnover so skin’s surface is smooth. Shoot for three one-cup servings a day. (My sweet potatoes tend to be covered in brown sugar and marshmallows, so I’m not sure if this counts!)
Fortified cereal, lean meat, pork, poultry, oysters, lobster
These protein-rich foods are full of zinc and iron, minerals crucial to healthy skin function. Zinc supports cell production as well as natural sloughing, which keeps dullness at bay. Zinc also may help prevent acne and boost immune function. Red blood cells need iron to carry oxygen to the skin, helping give you a glow. Strive for 1 one-cup serving of cereal a day, one palm sized serving of meat or poultry, or 3 oysters a day. (Added bonus: Shellfish also has pantothenic acid, a B vitamin that makes hair look shiny.)
Wild Salmon, mackerel, sardines, omega-fortified eggs
These are some more foods that are full of omega-3 fatty acids, which fight inflammation in the body caused by sun and stress, as well as reducing puffiness. One study found that older people who consumed more fish and veggies over their lives had fewer wrinkles than those that ate more meat. Aim for two 5-ounce servings of fish per week, and on other days 1 ounce of walnuts or 2 omega-fortified eggs. When choosing fish, be sure to consult the Seafood Watch Guide, which can be downloaded here: http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/cr/cr_seafoodwatch/download.aspx
By doing so you can avoid selecting fish that have been over-harvested, as well as those that contain mercury or other contaminants.
Dark chocolate, green tea, red wine, grapes and cranberries
Chocolate and wine? Now we’re talking! These foods contain flavanoids, which experts credit with everything from supporting collagen and elastin – which helps keep skin plump – to helping prevent cancer. You can get the amount you need with 100 mg a day – which equals one cup of hot cocoa or a glass of red wine.
So it appears that the old saying “you are what you eat” isn’t a myth after all. People are definitely comprised of the elements they eat, which are absorbed into the bloodstream and feed every cell. Each month, people renew their skin. In order to renew and rebuild in the best possible way, it is important to supply the body with the materials that have been lost as a result of constant use, degeneration and aging. So get ready to eat, drink, and be beautiful!
Sarah MaHannah moved to the North State with her husband in 2000. They live on 166 acres with their cat and two dogs. She is a licensed esthetician and has a passion for skincare as well as the environment. Sarah has combined those two interests with her eco-approach at Glow Skincare Boutique, where the focus is on using only organic and non-toxic products. Glow Skincare is located at 1452 Oregon Street– inside The Spa Shoppes at the historic McCormick Mansion and can also be found online at glowskincareboutique.com.