Ever heard the saying “abs are made in the kitchen”? Believe it or not, so is clear skin! That doesn’t mean that you can never eat junk food again, but cutting back on sugar and highly processed foods can really boost your skin health.
Here are some foods that you can easily work into your diet to help maintain healthy, radiant-looking skin.
NUTS, SEEDS AND OILS
Nuts and seeds are loaded with vitamin E, which is one of the essential nutrients for keeping skin healthy and functioning. In addition, nuts, seeds and oils can contain omega-3 acids that help fight inflammation caused by sun or stress.
“Your body needs the essential fatty acids omega-3 and omega-6 that it can’t produce itself, and these are found in oils like olive oil, nuts, flax/chai seeds, and salmon,” says Savannah Nelson, a senior at the University of Florida majoring in Nutritional Science. “They help keep the skin looking young by providing an oil layer, keeping it hydrated and carrying fat-soluble nutrients that your skin needs to store to be healthy.”
Tomatoes are rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, which helps keep the skin firm. Antioxidants act together, almost like an army, to protect your skin from damaging environmental agents such as the UV rays from the sun or dirt from pollution. Eating red also helps keep skin from turning red, such as after it has been irritated.
“Foods rich in lycopenes like tomato products, especially when cooked, are antioxidants that help free-radical damage in the cells of your skin from oxidation,” says Nelson. “Especially when the sun does damage to the skin, it helps to minimize the damage. It’s like a natural sunscreen!”
Eggs, especially the yolks, are full of selenium, a skin clearing agent, along with zinc, protein and many vitamins. Zinc is critical for the growth of skin and it even can help you achieve shiny hair!
Some evidence has been found that suggests that high cortisone levels, one of the main hormones released by the adrenal gland in response to stress, can lead to break-outs and thus, unwanted blemishes. Sweet potatoes are packed with complex carbohydrates that release sugar slowly over time and can help regulate blood sugar levels, combat stress and improve our moods.
According to Prevention, a cup of strawberries has up to 130% of the daily value of vitamin C, a potent antioxidant that boosts production of collagen fibers that help keep skin smooth and firm. Collagen itself can also be eaten in supplement form in a daily dose.
“Collagen is supposed to really help maintain healthy skin, hair, nails and your gut,” says Kendall Rivera, Instagram foodie (@kissmywheatgrass_) and healthy lifestyle promoter. “I’ve been using it for a while now and my skin isn’t too bad anymore. It used to be a lot worse.”
Green tea is also full of more antioxidants that can help improve your skin. It can even help delay signs of skin aging, such as sagging skin, sun damage, age spots, fine lines and wrinkles.