We've all heard the saying "you are what you eat." It's true, consistently eating healthy can really help you get and keep the radiant look you're seeking. Antioxidants, like beta carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium, and B vitamins, function as bodyguards to your skin cells, helping protect them from damage. Omega-3's are also key for skin health and appearance and helps to minimize the inflammation that can lead to cell degradation over time.
So, when it comes to getting a gorgeous glow, the foods you eat are just as important as the cleansers or creams you put on your face. Antioxidants are crucial when it comes to maintaining a youthful glow, because they fight off free-radical damage that can cause skin to age prematurely.
What’s a Great Skin Diet?
Green tea is high in antioxidants, which can protect against free radicals. Green tea is particularly high in antioxidants called polyphenols, which can fight diabetes, insulin resistance, inflammation and heart disease. Polyphenols found in green tea are some of the most powerful antioxidants out there. Polyphenols may also help protect collagen, the main protein in your skin. This may reduce and even partly reverse some signs of aging.
All honey offers some benefits for your skin, but manuka honey, produced by bees in New Zealand that pollinate the manuka bush, may be the best. The antioxidants in manuka honey are exceptionally good at binding to free radicals and reducing them, and that’s important since free radicals that come from the sun destroy collagen and elastin, which keep skin smooth and supple. Manuka honey can be found at most natural food markets. To reap the benefits, stir it into a cup of green tea, or drizzle it onto plain yogurt.
Cucumbers are 96 percent water, which makes them one of the highest of any vegetable. They’re great at keeping you hydrated and are totally easy to incorporate into meals. Simply add a few slices to salads, sandwiches, and wraps for a hydrating boost. You can even eat them by themselves with a little balsamic vinegar.
Tomatoes are packed with lycopene, which works like an internal protector to help shield your skin against sunburn and the aging effects that come with sun exposure. To work more tomatoes into your diet, try cooking up a delicious zesty sauce made with fresh tomatoes, garlic, and basil (spoon it on top of whole-wheat spaghetti or baked spaghetti squash). You could also roast a batch of grape tomatoes drizzled with olive oil for a simple yet tasty side dish.
The unsaturated fats found in fish, called omega-3 fatty acids, reduce inflammation and make your complexion look clearer and more even. They also reduce the risk of skin conditions associated with inflammation, such as rosacea and eczema, which cause redness and dry patches, respectively. The American Heart Association recommends that adults eat two servings of fish, which contain omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon, trout, and herring, once a week. If you’re vegan or not a fan of the fish, reach for walnuts, which are also packed with omega-3’s.
Sweet potatoes are a great source of beta carotene, which our bodies convert to vitamin A, which is a powerful antioxidant that fights free radical damage and is anti-inflammatory. One serving of sweet potatoes contains about 4 grams of fiber and a whopping 377 percent of your daily vitaminA requirements.
Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are loaded with antioxidants, polyphenols, and flavonoids, which help neutralize free radicals from your body, helping to slow down the aging process. Keep a bowl handy on your desk or kitchen counter to encourage healthy snacking all day or blend frozen berries into your morning breakfast smoothie.
Once again, sipping lots of water keeps your skin hydrated, making it appear smoother and more supple. If you struggle to drink enough or don’t like the taste, try flavoring your water with fruits or veggies. It’s fun to infuse your water with blueberries, cucumber, basil, and strawberries, and will help you drink more water throughout the day.