You probably know that it takes more than serums, moisturizers and wrinkle creams that you put on your face to get truly beautiful skin. Although those are vital, it also takes a diligent effort to control what you put in your mouth, too, as the phytochemicals, antioxidants and vitamins in certain foods go to work internally to affect the condition of your skin externally. Here are six foods you need in your diet every day to ensure you’re getting the right balance of nutrients to nourish and protect your skin. And bonus: Eating a diet rich in these options will also fill you up and keep your weight in check.
Citrus. Fit in citrus fruits, like oranges, grapefruit, kiwi and strawberries, for their high levels of vitamin C, a powerful skin saver, rejuvenator and protector. Vitamin C reduces inflammation (that leads to acne), protects collagen breakdown (that leads to wrinkles) and even repairs sun damage (that leads to age spots). Go for fresh varieties rather than juice, which can be high in sugar, a substance you need to avoid for your skin’s sake.
Berries. Fruits that are rich in color, like blueberries, blackberries and raspberries, contain higher levels of antioxidants than more mildly color fruits and veggies. Antioxidants are vital to include in your diet because the fight free radicals, which are unstable extra electrons that seek out other extra electrons from healthy cells, damage them, creating even more free radicals. Antioxidants play interference by binding to free radicals before they can cause damage that leads to dull, lifeless skin. With winter on its way, fresh berries may be in short supply, so opt for the frozen variety that you can blend into a smoothie to get your daily dose.
Poultry. Stick to free-range or organic turkey or chicken, if you can find it, to help boost collagen internally. Collagen is a protein found in our skin, bones, cartilage, tendons and tissues that adds valuable support to skin cells. At about age 35, natural production of good-quality collagen starts to taper off, so it’s important to eat high-quality proteins to replenish it. You’ll be rewarded with less cellulite, tighter skin and fewer stretch marks and wrinkles. Additionally, the tryptophan naturally found in poultry will help you achieve some much-needed beauty sleep.
Green veggies. Pair your poultry with green vegetables (like spinach and kale) to double-up on collagen production and protection. Plus the high dose of vitamin C in green veggies boosts the immune system and promotes tissue growth.
Nuts. Especially walnuts, if you can tolerate them, because they contain a good dose of omega-3 fatty acids, which are necessary for cellular repair. Grab a handful (but no more to keep your calorie consumption in check) or sprinkle some chopped walnuts on a salad, oatmeal or low-cal frozen yogurt. If you’re allergic to nuts, choose another omega-3-rich food every day, like olive oil, salmon or avocados. Omega-3-rich foods even strengthen the skin’s natural sun-barrier function.
Green tea. If you still aren’t drinking green tea, despite everything you’ve read, now’s the time to start. This powerhouse beverage is chock full of antioxidants that ward off free radicals that damage the skin, particularly epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a potent anti-inflammatory that will redness and sensitivity in the skin. Plus, green tea is believed to play a role in weight loss and blood pressure reduction.
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