The best compliment I’ve received is that I have great skin. I was actually taken a back given that I have freckles and a long clash with acne. But I’ll take what I can get. After years of trying every cream, lotion, pill on the market I stopped focusing on the things I put on top of my skin and instead focused on what I was putting into my body. Maybe I just grew out of the acne, but I’m eating healthier than ever before and my skin has never looked better. My tip is to try and eat antioxidant and anti-inflammatory rich foods every day, simply put: eat your fruits and veggies.
Antioxidant rich foods are those that contain:
- Vitamin A aka beta-carotene, the orange/red pigment that gives carrots and squash their color, can also give your skin a healthy glow as the pigments accumulate under the skin’s surface.
- Vitamin C and E are often paired together as they help protect against cellular damage in our bodies including skin. In fact a vitamin c deficiency usually manifests with dry, scaly skin and bleeding gums – a testament of vitamin c’s influence of tissue health.
- Selenium is a mineral found in the earth, and thus many foods contain it including seafood, meat, and plants. Depending on soil conditions, the same food grown in different soils can contain varying amounts of selenium. One Brazil nut is usually all you need for a days worth of this antioxidant.
- Zinc – although not really considered an antioxidant, zinc is essential for the proper functioning of the antioxidant pathways in the body.
Anti-inflammatory rich foods are those that contain:
- Healthy fats like those found in ground flax and fatty fish. A soft fluid-like membrane (made up of the fat you eat) protects all of your trillion cells, so you can imagine they are extremely important for skin structure. In the omega-6-fat laden society we live in, it is hard to obtain omega-3 fats, which research has shown to decrease inflammation in the body. A great goal is to incorporate fish into your meals twice a week.
Tips for eating clean
- Go slow. Especially if you are not use to regularly eating whole foods. Try adding one fruit or veggie at a time. Pay close attention to your body. There is such a thing as too much fiber!
- Drink more water. Fiber requires lots of hydration to pass through your gut comfortably and efficiently. Extra water is good for your skin too. Everyone’s hydration needs vary, but generally 6-12 glasses per day will do the trick.
I hope this inspired you to eat your fruits and veggies if not for anything else, for a glowing complexion!
Did you know? Acne is a disease of western civilization. It does not exist in certain countries like Paraguay and New Guinea. As expected, these cultures eat very clean diets excluding processed and refined foods…
Need help finding healthy foods containing antioxidants? Check out this website at www.WHFoods.org
PS – you don’t need to take supplements for great skin. Eat the food, the whole food, and nothing but the food! It’s how nature intending us to get our vitamins and minerals.
By: Liz Schneider, guest blogger