We all know the old adage, “You are what you eat!” I also feel that we look healthier if we eat healthily. This is one of my “secrets” for looking and feeling young. From a skincare perspective, the goal with food consumption is to enhance the look and feel of your skin by starting from the inside out! So, what should we eat to obtain and maintain optimal skin care?
Consideration 1. Optimize your nutrition by eating antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables. Healthy fats from certain fish (like Salmon) and nuts, are also beneficial. This should provide optimal levels of the nutrients that are crucial for radiant skin, including beta carotene, vitamins C and E, zinc and selenium.
Consideration 2. Eat a minimum of five portions of fruit and vegetables every day. Remember to eat more veggies than fruit to keep sugar levels at a healthy minimum. Avoid high-glycemic carbohydrates (like biscuits/breads) and sugary drinks, as they lead to production of insulin, which may damage collagen and accelerate wrinkles.
Fruit and vegetables contain powerful antioxidants that help to protect skin from the cellular damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals, smoking, pollution and sunlight can cause wrinkling and age spots. Eat a vide variety of colorful fruit and vegetables. Beta carotene, found in carrots, sweet potatoes and pumpkin, and lutein (found in kale, papaya and spinach) are potent antioxidants and important for normal skin cell development and healthy skin tone.
Consideration 3. Take in enough high quality Vitamin C. It is a super antioxidant. It is needed to support the immune system, promote radiant skin and help blemishes heal properly. The best sources are blackcurrants, blueberries, broccoli, guava, kiwi fruits, oranges, papaya, strawberries, and sweet potato. Vitamin C is needed to produce collagen that strengthens the capillaries that supply blood, crucial nutrients and oxygen to the skin.
Consideration 4. I love nuts! They are rich in selenium. And Brazil nuts are one of my all-time favorites. Studies suggest that a selenium-rich diet can help to protect against skin cancer, sun damage and age spots. And just a few of these nutrient dense nuts is all you need to get your daily dose of selenium.
Don’t forget the almonds, avocados and hazelnuts to get your Vitamin E and healthy essential fatty acids! These help protect skin from oxidative (cell) damage and supports healthy skin growth, as well as improves elasticity.
Consideration 5. You need Omega 3’s and 6’s for healthy skin. Chia seeds, walnuts and salmon will get you ample Omega-3s and 6’s. These sources have been used traditionally to help relief inflammation in the skin from dermal issues such as eczema and psoriasis. And don’t forget your zinc. Not only is it good for your immune system, but Zinc is involved in the normal functioning of the sebaceous glands in the skin (which produce oil) and helps to repair skin damage, as well as keeping skin soft and supple. Zinc-rich foods include fish, poultry, nuts, seeds and shellfish.
So, remember that all the food you eat - and its quality - matters in maintaining healthy and vibrant skin. You don't have to become a vegetarian to have glowing skin - it just means you should make health conscious choices about the foods you put into your body. And, when possible, always choose organic – it’s the healthiest option, by far. Food can either work for you and your beautiful skin, or work against you. Make prudent choices when it comes to eating the proper foods and it will reward you with a healthy, outward glow. Give yourself the benefit of eating healthy to stay Young Ever After!