There is more to skin care and beautiful skin than the lotions and potions applied religiously in the morning and at night. Having beautiful skin is not just about what you put ON your body it is also about what you put IN your body. Treating blemishes and fighting wrinkles may not be enough to help you have the glowing complexion you would like. Many of the nutrients you need to be healthy on the inside also keep you beautiful on the outside. The best part is that they are readily available and you can pick them up on your next shopping trip to the grocery store!
Here are the top 5 foods you should eat if you want beautiful skin and good health.
1. Tomatoes. Tomatoes contain Lycopene, a phytochemical, an active compound found in plants. It makes them red. It also is important for skin because it helps to eliminate skin-aging free radicals caused by ultraviolet rays. Tomatoes are the best source of the anti-aging antioxidant Lycopene. The Lycopene in tomatoes is more easily absorbed by your body when it is cooked so have a little extra marinara sauce or tomato bisque.
2. Spinach. Dark leafy vegetables like spinach reduces the likelihood of cancer cell growth. The folates in dark leafy greens help repair and maintain DNA improving your cell’s ability to renew and regenerate. These veggies are also full of water that penetrates cell membranes and helps to keep you and your skin hydrated. This makes your skin look plumper and less wrinkled.
3. Sweet Potatoes. Sweet potatoes are loaded with vitamin C which helps to smooth wrinkles. Vitamin C is also essential to collagen production. The more collagen you have the less noticeable creases and lines will appear. Collagen helps to keep skin firm. Sweet potatoes are also packed with beta-carotene. Like Lycopene, beta carotene is an antioxidant that fights aging. Of course beta-carotene is found in carrots and Kiwi is rich in Vitamin C so if you don’t like sweet potatoes look for other foods rich in these two important nutrients.
4. Salmon. Or just about any fish you like rich with Omega-3 fatty acids. The fatty acids in fish help to reduce inflammation and help to keep cells strong. Strong cells are able to hold moisture keeping your skin hydrated. Flax seeds are also rich in Omega-3 fatty acids if you are looking for a vegetarian option. Flax seeds reduce inflammation and attract water to skin cells to plump them up reducing the appearance of wrinkles. Tuna and Salmon have an extra benefit. They contain selenium, a nutrient that helps preserve elastin, a protein that keeps your skin smooth and tight. Cooked or raw, add a little more fish to your diet.
5. Nuts. Almonds and Walnut in particular have lots of vitamin E, an effective sun shield. Just 20 nuts a day can reduce the possibility of sunburn. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps to protect skin cells from UV light that generate free radicals that can cause cell damage. Sun protection is key to having great skin.
Lots of foods offer an extra dose of ‘sunscreen’. Tomatoes and nuts are two already mentioned. In addition, dark chocolate, carrots, tuna, and green tea all have properties that contribute to reducing your risk of damage during sun exposure. That doesn’t mean, however, you can go without wearing sunscreen! Nutrition is just an added bonus. Apply sunscreen daily to avoid the risk of sun damage. So, to be beautiful on the outside, start with the inside! The next time you’re at the grocery store, make one or two healthier food choices. It’s a win-win for you and your skin!