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17 of the Best Foods for Glowing, Vibrant, Younger Skin
Health & Fitness
Most of your skin’s health and its ability to react to stress, damage, and the environment rely more on your lifestyle than what you slather on the outside. We treat each part of the body as distinct and separate, buying different products for our hands, face, feet, and bodies.
This is how the medical, pharmaceutical & beauty product worlds see us as just specific parts that require attention.
The individual parts of the body are all interconnected, tied together with countless cells that are all relying on you to feed them well so they can be their best.
It shouldn’t surprise you that the same things you should do to improve heart health, control weight & lower your risk for developing diseases are the same things you should do for better skin.
That’s right; you may know where this is headed. You need to exercise, get enough sleep, and eat healthier. If any aspect of your health is suffering, it means your body as a whole is suffering and these three simple things will help minimize or eliminate the cause.
Exercise does wonders for the entire body. It improves heart function; keeps veins young, elastic & improves how cells burn energy. It increases circulation which keeps the cells furthest from the heart, like the skin, well nourished. Exercise helps the body flush away toxins and oily residue.
We’ve all heard of beauty sleep. This isn’t just something made up by some coy actress in the 1950’s. Beauty & sleep are tied together. Sleep lets your body recover from the stress & mayhem of the day. It is a time to renew & conserve energy.
The body produces growth hormones during sleep to facilitate the use of amino acids as they repair bone, muscle, and tissues, including the skin. During sleep, the skin’s metabolic activities actually rise as it fixes the damage that builds up during the day.
Foods are the building blocks that our bodies use to grow, develop & repair. Healthy, plant-based foods provide the energy & nutrients to do so. If we aren’t eating well, we’re starving our cells or at the very least not giving them the proper tools they need to function at their best.
Here are a few of the top foods to keep you looking young & your skin at its finest:
Almonds – Almonds are packed with vitamin E, an antioxidant that defends against sun damage. Nuts also help us maintain healthy weight. Those who eat several servings a week are less likely to gain extra pounds.
Chia Seeds – Chia seeds are rich in omega 3 essential fatty acids that erase blemishes, soften wrinkles, and help keep the skin hydrated & supple.
Tomatoes – Lycopene, the compound that gives tomatoes their rich color, is a powerful antioxidant that eliminates skin-aging free radicals from ultraviolet exposure. Fruits and vegetables rich in carotenoids also color our skin with a healthful glow.
Watermelon – Watermelon is a great source of hydration, hence the name, but also another good source of lycopene.
Sweet Potatoes – These orange tubers are packed with carotenoids and vitamin C which boost collagen production. Collagen controls the strength, firmness, and flexibility of the skin.
Citrus – Citrus are another good source of vitamin C which also fights inflammation.
Peppers – Red bell peppers contain more vitamin C than an orange, along with other antioxidants. The spicier peppers come packed with capsaicin, a compound that improves circulation & promotes the release of toxins
Spinach – Spinach is rich in folate, a B vitamin that aids in the repair of DNA & may reduce the risk of skin cancer. Greens like spinach, kale, turnip greens, dandelion leaves, broccoli, & asparagus all are rich in vitamin A, iron & vitamin K. Iron aids circulation by carrying vital oxygen.
Olive and Safflower Oils – The omega 6 fatty acids in these oils keep skin supple. Use them in moderation though as they are also calorie-dense.
Coconut Oil – Another oil that is great for skin both internally and externally. It provides some sun protection, fights bacteria, and helps soften skin.
Sunflower Seeds – These seeds are rich in selenium which preserves elastin to keep skin smooth and tight. Selenium acts as an antioxidant too. Sunflower seeds also contain vitamin E which works well with selenium to enhance the effects of both.
Sesame Seeds – Sesame seeds contain zinc which can reduce the oily sebum that leads to clogged pores.
Carrots – These roots are filled with vitamin A from carotenoids. Vitamin A prevents the overproduction of skin cells which can lead to clogged pores and skin cancer.
Dark Chocolate – The flavanols in chocolate act as antioxidants, provide sun protection & reduce the roughness of skin for healthier appearance & feel.
Whole Grains – Whole grains are rich in B vitamins that assist cells in processing fats to hydrate & revitalize skin. The complex carbohydrates mixed with fiber in whole grains are digested and absorbed slowly & don’t create sugar spikes that contribute to acne. Avoid Refined and processed sugars.
Strawberries – These are another vitamin C rich fruit that may also lower the risks of skin cancer.
Apples – Apples contain quercetin, an antioxidant in the peel that protects against sun damage.
There’s more to consider than just what we eat. Avoid smoking & prolonged exposure to the sun. These both damage the skin & make it age faster. About 10-20 minutes of sun a day is healthy as it creates vitamin D, a powerful antioxidant & anti-carcinogen but wear sunscreen if in the sun any longer.
Avoid stimulants like refined sugar and caffeine. These upset hormone balances and mess with circulation. They also make it difficult for the body to get the rest it needs to repair.
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