Since you spend so much time focusing on what you can put on your face to help give your skin its best possible glow, we thought it would be a good idea to talk about one of the other major factors in maintaining beautiful skin: nutrition. A diet rich in nutritious foods can not only help your body maintain a good metabolism and keep your organs healthy, but it can also impact how your skin looks on the outside. Understandably, eating as healthy as possible is sometimes harder than it sounds, but here are eight nutritious foods to pile onto your plate to keep your skin glowing:
Salmon & Fatty Fish
If you suffer from dry skin you may want to consider adding salmon and other types of fatty fish to your diet. This is because fatty fish is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential to maintaining supple, moisturized skin. Omega-3 fatty acids are also responsible for the reduction of inflammation which, on your skin, includes any redness and irritation caused by acne.
These types of fish are also rich in antioxidants like vitamin E to help protect your skin against harmful free-radicals like toxins in air pollution or sun damage. You skin also gets a lot of its strength from the protein that fish contains, while the high concentration of zinc in many types of fatty fish can also help promote the production of new skin cells, preventing signs of aging.
Veggies Rich In Color
Next time you hit the salad bar look for vegetables with rich colors, and a lot of them, if you want to improve the overall appearance of your complexion. Dark green vegetables such as kale are rich in vitamins and antioxidants that are essential to skin nutrition. One of those vitamins is beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant that your body converts to vitamin A when you consume it.
Vitamin A, as you may know, is one of the key ingredients in most anti-aging skin care products because it works to increase cell turnover and diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. If beta-carotene sounds familiar, that may be because other vegetables like carrots, squash, and sweet potato each contain a lot of it. This is where colorful veggies get their color, so make a rainbow salad a couple times per day in order to see the major benefits of beta-carotene.
Colorful Fruits & Berries
On that note, creating a more colorful diet is a good idea all around. While deep colored veggies are high in beta-carotene, brightly colored fruits and berries such as tomatoes, citrus fruits, and strawberries are rich in vitamin C. In topical skin care products vitamin C can come in a variety of different forms because it cannot be applied to the skin on its own to see results.
Instead, stable derivatives of the vitamin are found in active ingredients like ascorbyl glucoside, ascorbyl palmitate, L-ascorbic acid, and ascorbyl phosphate, to name a few. In your food, however, your body can break down vitamin C as is, meaning that nutrition is a great way to see the benefits of vitamin C without the skin care products (though we would not blame you at all if you continued to buy more serums despite this information, because we do the same).
Vitamin C can help brighten your overall complexion while protecting it against free radicals such as pollution in the air. The vitamin has also been found to limit the damage that UV rays can cause on your skin, meaning that a good dose of vitamin C can help your skin recuperate after a day in the sun.
Antioxidant-rich green tea contains a lot of polyphenols, a molecule that can help decrease inflammation and irritation caused by acne. This is often why green tea is a common ingredient in topical skin care products and face masks. The tea is great for flushing toxins from your body and reducing inflammation. We recommend drinking unsweetened green tea, since sugar can often help cause breakouts and an increase in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles thanks to the process your body goes through in order to break it down.
While not technically a food, water is perhaps the single best thing you can ingest in order to help the immediate appearance of your skin. Without water, your skin may appear saggy or lacking in volume. Your body is primarily made up of water, and your skin contains the most of it. That being said, your skin is also the first to see negative results from not drinking enough water. Keeping up with a proper daily intake of water (about 6-8 cups per day) can flush out toxins, help your skin appear more hydrated and supple, and even help you feel and look more energized.
We get it, low carb diets are all the rage. That being said, a couple of carbs every now and then will probably not do too much to your body. Many nutritionists recommend sticking to whole grains (not multi grans) in order to maintain proper health both inside and out. A low-glycemic diet (rich in good proteins, fats, and grains but low in sugar and refined carbohydrates) can help diminish acne as it helps regulate insulin levels in the body. When insulin levels spike, such as when you eat a piece of candy or a slice of white bread, the body has to work to regulate those hormones. This is the reason you often notice an increase in breakouts when you eat less healthy foods than usual.
As you probably know by now, avocado is high in healthy fats like Omega-3 fatty acids (yes, the same type of fatty acid found in fish, meaning you can still get the same type of benefit if you prefer not to eat meat). This means that avocado can help your skin appear more supple and moisturized. Avocado is also rich in vitamin C and vitamin E just as fatty fish is, meaning it also acts as an antioxidant to help prevent signs of aging.
Rich in essential amino acids and healthy fats, eggs are one of the best things you can eat if you want to increase natural collagen production in your skin. Amino acids are protein chains that are essential to the appearance of healthy, young looking skin. While eating eggs has a huge variety of benefits, using them in homemade skin care and hair care products will also provide a lot of benefits. Egg whites can be used in hair masks to make your hair appear more shiny, while egg yolks are rich in essential fatty acids that your skin needs to appear plump and radiant.