Foods for Beautiful Skin
Certain foods can make your complexion clearer, more radiant and even
more resilient to sun damage. How foods help your skin. Get ready to
eat, drink and be beautiful!
Strawberries, citrus fruits, red peppers, broccoli
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 (Not a fan of strawberries? Try oranges or
grapefruit.) and 1 cup of red peppers and/or broccoli each day. Or try
applying them directly with this at-home facial recipe.
Sunflower seed and almonds
SPF? Practically. These seeds and nuts are loaded with vitamin E, an
antioxidant that, with other antioxidants, works to protect skin from
UV-related free radicals. Skin's top layers contain high levels of 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. Find more healthy snack
options from the No-Cook Diet.
Dark orange, leafy green and red vegetables
sweet potatoes and spinach are teeming with the antioxidant
beta-carotene. Your body converts it to vitamin A, which regulates cell
production and turnover so skin's surface is smooth. Carotenoids might
also lower your skin's sensitivity to sun. Shoot for three 1-cup
servings a day of these polishing picks. Try them in delicious,
good-for-you recipes like Butternut Squash Pizza, Cheesy Sweet Potato
Crisps, and Oatmeal Meatballs With Spinach.
Fortified cereal, lean meat, pork, poultry, oysters
protein-rich foods are full of zinc and iron, minerals crucial to
healthy skin function. Zinc supports cell production as well as natural
cell sloughing, which keeps dullness at bay. Red blood cells need iron
to carry oxygen to skin, helping give you a glow. Pile your plate with 1
serving of cereal (a cup), 1 palm-sized serving of meat or poultry or 3
oysters per day. Bored with chicken? You just need a new recipe.
Wild salmon, Atlantic mackerel, walnuts
fish and nuts, plus fortified eggs, are chockablock with omega-3 fatty
acids, which fight inflammation in the body caused by sun and stress.
Inflammation produces free radicals, and free radicals contribute to
aging by attacking collagen. Research still needs to provide solid proof
that the anti-inflammatory abilities of omega-3s yield younger-looking
skin, but one study found that older people who consumed more fish and
veggies over their life had fewer wrinkles than those who ate more meat,
the Journal of the American College of Nutrition reports. Aim for two
5-ounce servings of fish per week; on other days, 1 oz of walnuts or 2
omega-3-fortified eggs. Get creative with recipes like a Salmon BLT or a
single-serving Spinach and Sun-Dried Tomato Frittata.
Whole wheat and grains
up your skin with these complex carbs. Australian researchers found
that a low-glycemic diet (more whole grains, protein and produce versus
refined carbs such as white bread) may reduce acne. One reason why:
Low-glycemic foods keep insulin steady, while refined carbs and sugar
spike it. The surges may boost production of androgens, hormones that,
when boosted, can cause zits. After 12 weeks of a low-glycemic diet,
subjects' pimple counts dropped 20 percent, a study in The American
Journal of Clinical Nutrition notes. More research is needed to support
the clear-skin connection, but no M.D. will talk you out of eating whole
grains and veggies! Try to have three servings a day (one serving
equals a slice of bread or 1/2 cup cooked grains). See how a beauty
editor cleared up her acne problem.
can sip your way to dewy skin! Skin cells contain mostly H20, and if
you're dehydrated, skin looks and feel parched, too. But you needn't
chug gallons each day: Research from the University of Pennsylvania in
Philadelphia found no studies to back up the recommendation of eight
glasses a day. Prevent dehydration—and dryness—by drinking when you're
thirsty. Aim for 6 cups a day.
by Lucy Danziger, SELF Editor-in-Chief