Eat Your Way to Beautiful

Want healthier skin? Skip the trip to the makeup counter. Try your local grocery store instead.

We’re all about applying SPF daily and using skincare products to keep our skin looking its absolute best, but good skin care goes well beyond the surface. Our bodies absorb essential vitamins and minerals from the foods we eat, and if we’re conscientious about what we consume, our skin will ultimately reap the benefits. Here’s a skin-wise list of foods that will boost your skin’s natural defenses against UV rays, aging, breakouts, and dehydration.


 

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Sun Protection

 

 

Tomatoes: Tomatoes apparently have superpowers (who knew?). By consuming a tomato, or 5 tablespoons of tomato paste daily along with a healthy consumption of olive oil, you can increase your body’s natural defense against sunburn and sun exposure by 33%. That’s right, something as simple as eating tomatoes actually improves your skin’s natural SPF. I’ll let that sink in for a bit.

Citrus Fruit: Oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and limes also have magical SPF superpowers since they’re so high in vitamin C. Research has found that a long-term intake of vitamin C, along with vitamin E, can reduce your potential for sunburn. Citrus also contains limonene, which is the key ingredient you can credit for a 34% lower risk of skin cancer.


Skin Health

 

 

Oatmeal: Obviously, removing breakfast foods coated with refined sugars from your diet will help your skin, but who knew that the regular consumption of oatmeal could benefit the overall health of your skin? Whole grain oats, (not the pre-packaged microwavable stuff) contain specific compounds that reduce inflammation, hence reducing outbreaks. Instead of sugar, add fresh fruit or raisins for a tangy sweet addition to your breakfast.

Green Tea: Green tea is the sound veteran in the healthy drink category. It’s an antioxidant and it boosts metabolism, but I bet you were unaware that drinking green tea daily, will make your skin more elastic and smooth—fighting those stubborn signs of aging. It’s also been found to reduce sun damage to skin by one-quarter compared to those who don’t regularly drink green tea. For the absolute best results, skip the store-bought stuff and brew your own. Forgo the sugar and milk, and add a dab of honey if you like.

Zinc: If you suffer from stubborn acne, chances are you’re zinc deficient. Zinc aids in the movement of vitamin A into your skin, and helps regulate your body’s hormonal balance. It also aids in the renewal of skin cells, a process called apoptosis, which means if your skin isn’t renewing itself due to a lack of zinc, then you’re more prone to a breakout.


Staying Moisturized

 

 

Flaxseeds, Flaxseed Oil: Flaxseeds are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential to maintaining your skin’s natural moisture barrier. Not only does flaxseed improve the skin’s ability to hold moisture, but it also helps repair cell membranes, drastically improving the appearance of dry skin.

Olive Oil: Regular olive oil consumption reduces the signs of aging by 31% because 75% of the fat in olive oil is monounsaturated fatty acids. Monounsaturated fatty acids play a role in maintaining youth and moisture retention in your skin. Pour olive oil over a cucumber salad and double the youthful, supple glow as cucumber contains silica, which boosts moisture and elasticity.

Water: Water is essential for life. It helps maintain every bodily function. Water carries minerals and nutrients throughout the body, it flushes out toxins from the body and helps regulate body temperature. Drinking 6 to 8-ounce glasses of water daily will keep your skin nourished and hydrated, making it appear plump, youthful and glowy.

 

 

Photo Credit: Eva Cavalin/iStock

 
 

Live Well, Live Better. Sign up here for more inspiring expert advice on living your best life from Books for Better Living and Penguin Random House.


 


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